Education News Roundup: Nov. 25, 2015

Education News Roundup "School buses in the fall 2" by Larry Darling/CC/flickr

Education News Roundup “School buses in the fall 2” by Larry Darling/CC/flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

High school student Ben Lords named this year’s Dixie Applied Technology Student of the Year.

http://go.uen.org/5hB (SGS)

and http://go.uen.org/5hM (SGN)

 

Politico looks at the Bureau of Indian Education’s record.

http://go.uen.org/5hu (Politico)

 

Ohio school district sues the state for excess charter school funding.

http://go.uen.org/5hw (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

 

New York Times throws open the debate on what we should teach in schools about Thanksgiving.

http://go.uen.org/5hJ (NYT)

 

Why would anyone want to be a high school referee anymore?

http://go.uen.org/5hF (AP)

 

Noooooooooooo. Not the spork.

http://go.uen.org/5ht (WaPo)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Protesters oppose racial discrimination at Salt Lake City school board

 

Bullying gets Jimmered

 

DXATC names youngest student as Student of the Year

 

Educator of the Week: Katie Berns

 

November 2015 Students of the Month honored by St. George Exchange Club

 

The integration of art into STEM sounds like a no-brainer, but some aren’t so sure

 

Is the pressure to excel too much for teens in wealthy Palo Alto?

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Classroom bias is nothing new, but the response may be different

 

Government — is it something to be thankful for?

 

Pay for Success model changes lives

 

Rethinking the Way We Teach Thanksgiving

 

Has Common Core influenced instruction?

 

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The author says philanthropy often fails to achieve its goals and is affected by donor interests. But government is often worse.

 

The Gift of Reading

 


 

 

NATION

 

How Washington created some of the worst schools in America ‘It’s just the epitome of broken,’ Arne Duncan says. ‘Just utterly bankrupt.’

 

Parma City School District bills the state for $46 million for ‘excess’ charter school funding

 

Congress Prepares to Launch a New Era in Education Policy A bipartisan agreement to replace George W. Bush’s signature No Child Left Behind law could pass next month.

 

Who knew? Kindergarten is optional in Michigan

 

The venerable spork’s days are numbered as school cafeterias move on

 

Crumbling Schools Add Health Problems to Classroom Stress Eighty percent of parents want greener schools filled with sunshine, yet many campuses are falling apart.

 

Lawsuit: IPS ignored former employee’s sexual misconduct with student School officials knew of the former educator’s predatory history and could have prevented sexual assault of student, lawsuit alleges

 

Referees Struggle with Respect Amid Growing Hostility

 

Vancouver High School Uses Snapchat To Communicate With Teens

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Protesters oppose racial discrimination at Salt Lake City school board

 

Salt Lake City, UT – More than two dozen protesters rallied outside the Salt Lake City school board meeting on Nov. 17, demanding an end to racist discrimination in employment. It comes in the guise of newly created and highly paid administrative positions all going to white candidates, while passing over highly qualified African Americans and other oppressed nationalities already employed by the school district.

Outside the building the crowd chanted, “From Mizzou to SLC, we want our schools racist free!” and “Racists resign! Racists resign!” Community organizers carried signs, “End racist education,” and “Get racism out of our schools.”

http://go.uen.org/5hO (Fight Back! News)

 


 

 

Bullying gets Jimmered

 

Jimmer Fredette’s senior season at BYU was magical.

Fredette scored 49 points against the Arizona Wildcats midway through his junior season to set a new school record and ignite Jimmermania. He infected the whole country and especially the fans in Provo.

He set 11 school records his senior year, led the nation in points per game and was named 2011 Best Male College Athlete at the ESPYs.

The whole community supported their star, and now he’s giving back to the community through the Fredette Family Foundation.

Fredette started the Fredette Family Foundation in 2012 to give back to the community through school programs and pooled resources. Blair Giles is the president and CEO of the foundation. They are advised by both a board of directors and a community board. “Jimmerosity” is the foundation’s program and their answer to the bullying problem in the Provo and Glens Falls school districts.

Jimmerosity specifically targets bullying in elementary, middle and high schools through positive peer pressure and more access to guidance counselors.

http://go.uen.org/5hQ (BYU Universe)

 


 

 

DXATC names youngest student as Student of the Year

 

Ben Lords handed in his application for the Dixie Applied Technology Student of the Year on the first day applications were accepted. Lords is the youngest student in the program and turned 18 the day he applied for the award, which he won on Monday.

He is still in high school and has been enrolled in high school classes at the same time as taking classes in the college program. He said the program has given him direction despite always knowing he had a knack for computer science and design.

“I’ve always been a little, weird artsy kid,” said Lords.

DXATC president Kelle Stephens helped choose the winner of the award and said the vote was unanimous for Lords.

“That kid has got talent like you would not believe,” Stephens said. “What he’s done since he’s been with us so far has been fantastic.”

http://go.uen.org/5hB (SGS)

 

http://go.uen.org/5hM (SGN)

 


 

 

Educator of the Week: Katie Berns

 

Katie Berns is a teacher at Larsen Elementary School in Spanish Fork. She was selected as Educator of the Week in the Daily Herald.

http://go.uen.org/5hA (PDH)

 


 

 

November 2015 Students of the Month honored by St. George Exchange Club

 

  1. GEORGE, Utah — The November Students of the Month recipients were recently honored by the St. George Exchange Club. The St. George Exchange Club sponsors the Student of the Month Program, which honors one student from the area high schools each month.

http://go.uen.org/5hC (KCSG)

 


 

 

The integration of art into STEM sounds like a no-brainer, but some aren’t so sure

 

In spring 2013, Susan Riley used Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky’s geometric paintings to teach Maryland public school students how to measure acute and obtuse angles.

http://go.uen.org/5hy (DN)

 

 


 

 

Is the pressure to excel too much for teens in wealthy Palo Alto?

 

A spate of suicides in a six-month period in 2014 has wealthy Palo Alto, California, shaken up, according to an article in The Atlantic.

http://go.uen.org/5hz (DN)

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Classroom bias is nothing new, but the response may be different Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist PAUL ROLLY

 

A Washington Post editorial that ran in The Salt Lake Tribune recently about bias in the classroom condemned the brutal assault of a black high school student by a resource officer in South Carolina.

In response, former Salt Lake City Schools Superintendent Don Thomas shared a memory from when he was in charge several decades ago.

He received a call from Utah’s iconic civil rights activist Alberta Henry reporting that a young black child had been arrested in the Granite School District and taken to a police station.

The boy was 6 years old.

Thomas called the principal of the school to learn what happened and was informed that there had been a fight between two first-grade boys, one white and one black.

When Thomas asked if the white boy also had been arrested, the principal said no. “It’s the blacks that always start the fight,” he noted.

“You are fired,” Thomas retorted. “Tell [then Granite District Superintendent] Reed Call that I fired you and that you will not be reinstated until the black mother calls and tells me that the problem has been resolved.”

Between a rock and hard place • The Salt Lake City Police Department has been cracking down on loitering near the homeless shelters on the city’s west side in an effort to reduce drug trafficking and other crimes prevalent in the area.

But sometimes those efforts can become overzealous and produce unintended consequences.

Several dozen children staying at The Road Home family shelter with their parents attend school at Washington Elementary School and take school buses for their transportation.

But unlike parents in virtually every other part of the city, the homeless parents were not allowed by police to wait on the sidewalk for the bus so they could escort their children safely inside. If they congregated in anticipation of the bus, they were hassled and in some cases ticketed for loitering.

http://go.uen.org/5hx

 


 

 

Government — is it something to be thankful for?

Deseret News op-ed by Richard Davis, professor of political science at Brigham Young University

 

Thanksgiving is a time when we give thanks for the blessings we have received in our lives. Many families who gather around their dinner table tomorrow (or various folding tables for the extended family) will use their prayers of grace to express gratitude for family, health, prosperity and safety. That is as it should be.

Let me suggest another object of our thanks — one that we rarely think of at Thanksgiving. That is the role of government. Recently I was listening to a talk delivered by a church leader who was originally from Mexico but had moved to Utah many years ago. He talked about his early life in Mexico and contrasted that experience with his later life in this country. He described the United States as a nation with “wonderful social programs.”

I pondered his phrase, particularly since I usually hear the opposite from so many people. They deride social programs and those who use them. What are those wonderful social programs he was talking about? What are the programs that are run by government for our benefit and perhaps we, too, should consider “wonderful?”

One is our public education system. Appropriately, public education originated in the United States — a nation that cherishes the ideal of legal, political and social equality. Public education is based on the concept that a democratic society educates all of its citizens and not just those rich enough to pay. It provides an opportunity for those seemingly born without opportunity to sit in desks next to the children of the rich and receive an education that prepares them to participate as first-class citizens in the work, culture and governance of our society. It is a concept that is still foreign for many in nations across the globe. But it is a staple of American life, and, significantly, it is run by government.

http://go.uen.org/5hN

 


 

 

Pay for Success model changes lives

Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Mark Innocenti, director of research and evaluation at the Center for Persons with Disabilities in the College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University

 

Utah has long been a pioneer state, and for more than two years we’ve been pioneers in the field of early childhood education. Our groundbreaking first-in-the-nation Pay for Success program for early childhood education is providing high-quality preschool education for up to 3,700 disadvantaged children and their families in the Granite School District. Without the support of private investment, these at-risk children would otherwise not have access to these vital services.

An investment in high-quality preschool programs means lower long-term taxpayer costs for education and health services, expanded social and economic opportunities and — ultimately — stronger communities. Unfortunately, the state of Utah presently does not provide funding for much-needed, high-quality preschool serving vulnerable kids. The Pay for Success model is a win-win-win for schools, taxpayers and — most importantly — our children. If the program fails for any reason, the private investors lose money — not the taxpayers.

http://go.uen.org/5hK

 


 

 

Rethinking the Way We Teach Thanksgiving New York Times commentary by Esther Storrie, Yatibaey Evans, Ramona Peters, Tracy McKenzie, Richard Pickering

 

This week, school children across the United States will don Pilgrim costumes and native American garb. They will draw turkey figurines, using their outspread hands. And they may even talk about what they are thankful for — all as part of our national holiday.

But in sugar-coating the holiday and glossing over important issues regarding migration, religious freedom and the destruction of a way of life for native Americans, have we done a disservice to our nation’s history and failed to challenge our children’s world view? Do we need to rethink the way we teach children about Thanksgiving?

http://go.uen.org/5hJ

 


 

 

Has Common Core influenced instruction?

Brookings Institute commentary by Nonresident Senior Fellow Tom Loveless

 

The release of 2015 NAEP scores showed national achievement stalling out or falling in reading and mathematics.  The poor results triggered speculation about the effect of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the controversial set of standards adopted by more than 40 states since 2010.  Critics of Common Core tended to blame the standards for the disappointing scores.  Its defenders said it was too early to assess CCSS’s impact and that implementation would take many years to unfold. William J. Bushaw, executive director of the National assessment Governing Board, cited “curricular uncertainty” as the culprit.  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan argued that new standards typically experience an “implementation dip” in the early days of teachers actually trying to implement them in classrooms.

In the rush to argue whether CCSS has positively or negatively affected American education, these speculations are vague as to how the standards boosted or depressed learning.  They don’t provide a description of the mechanisms, the connective tissue, linking standards to learning.  Bushaw and Duncan come the closest, arguing that the newness of CCSS has created curriculum confusion, but the explanation falls flat for a couple of reasons.  Curriculum in the three states that adopted the standards, rescinded them, then adopted something else should be extremely confused.  But the 2013-2015 NAEP changes for Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina were a little bit better than the national figures, not worse.  In addition, surveys of math teachers conducted in the first year or two after the standards were adopted found that:  a) most teachers liked them, and b) most teachers said they were already teaching in a manner consistent with CCSS.  They didn’t mention uncertainty.  Recent polls, however, show those positive sentiments eroding. Mr. Bushaw might be mistaking disenchantment for uncertainty.

For teachers, the novelty of CCSS should be dissipating.  Common Core’s advocates placed great faith in professional development to implement the standards.  Well, there’s been a lot of it.  Over the past few years, millions of teacher-hours have been devoted to CCSS training.  Whether all that activity had a lasting impact is questionable.  Randomized control trials have been conducted of two large-scale professional development programs.  Interestingly, although they pre-date CCSS, both programs attempted to promote the kind of “instructional shifts” championed by CCSS advocates. The studies found that if teacher behaviors change from such training—and that’s not a certainty—the changes fade after a year or two.  Indeed, that’s a pattern evident in many studies of educational change: a pop at the beginning, followed by fade out.

My own work analyzing NAEP scores in 2011 and 2013 led me to conclude that the early implementation of CCSS was producing small, positive changes in NAEP.  I warned that those gains “may be as good as it gets” for CCSS. Advocates of the standards hope that CCSS will eventually produce long term positive effects as educators learn how to use them.  That’s a reasonable hypothesis.  But it should now be apparent that a counter-hypothesis has equal standing: any positive effect of adopting Common Core may have already occurred.

http://go.uen.org/5hv

 

 


 

 

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The author says philanthropy often fails to achieve its goals and is affected by donor interests. But government is often worse.

Wall Street Journal book review by GERARD ALEXANDER, associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia

 

In 1988 polio was paralyzing some 1,000 children per day. Today, according to the World Health Organization, the disease is down 99% and has been eliminated in more than 120 countries. The global immunization effort was given an enormous boost by the Gates Foundation. What could possibly be wrong with an effort like that? If you ask Linsey McGoey, quite a bit.

Anyone who follows charitable giving knows that philanthropists and foundation officers are prone to jargon, faddish ideas and wasteful spending. So they are fair targets of scrutiny and even mockery. In “No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy,” Ms. McGoey offers heaping servings of both.

The author, a sociologist at Britain’s University of Essex, concludes that global philanthropy, at best, does surprisingly little good and sometimes may do real harm. She devotes sections of her book to well-off donors—she calls them “ TED Heads,” after the lecture series—who posture at international conclaves and use philanthropy to promote their reputations and their own business interests. She lampoons the hype surrounding trendy notions like “social entrepreneurship,” concluding that “hype has outpaced outcomes—at least for the global poor.” And she tackles serious problems with philanthropy aimed at education and health—specifically, risky clinical drug trials and what she claims are potentially ineffectual school reforms such as charters and reduced class size.

But Ms. McGoey’s real critique is that philanthropists have committed several original sins that severely limit the good they can ever accomplish. The first problem is that, like all individuals, they become beholden to fashionable ideas (some of them foolish) about how to address durable problems. Second, because of this, they tend to be fickle, so recipients are “jerked back and forth whenever a powerful donor like the Gates Foundation decides to prioritize a new area.” Third, foundations are accountable only to powerful benefactors or board members, not beneficiaries. Thus they are frequently domineering, attaching strings to the aid they give.

She ostensibly focuses on the Gates Foundation but never systematically presents where and how it spends its money. She discusses its projects only through anecdotes and criticisms mounted by activists and the press. For instance, she uncharacteristically says that the foundation’s spending on global health has “done considerable good.” But she swiftly implies that it can’t have done that much good—after all, the Gates Foundation, which spent $899 million on global health in 2012, spends “less than the UK and US” in that area. She then proceeds to outline two lengthy studies questioning the wisdom and value of Gates initiatives to eradicate polio and mount a clinical trial in India for a vaccine for human papillomavirus.

Even when Ms. McGoey zooms in, her judgment is questionable. She critiques the Gates Foundation—along with the Walton Family Foundation and the Broad Foundation and others—for squandering some $4 billion a year on education reform in the United States, especially on charter schools. She argues that “studies to date indicate that most charters perform either no better, or worse, than traditional public schools.”

http://go.uen.org/5hq

 

 


 

 

The Gift of Reading

New York Times commentary by columnist Frank Bruni

 

The list of what a child needs in order to flourish is short but nonnegotiable.

Food. Shelter. Play. Love.

Something else, too, and it’s meted out in even less equal measure.

Words. A child needs a forest of words to wander through, a sea of words to splash in. A child needs to be read to, and a child needs to read.

Reading fuels the fires of intelligence and imagination, and if they don’t blaze well before elementary school, a child’s education — a child’s life — may be an endless game of catch­up.

That’s a truth at the core of the indispensable organization Reading Is Fundamental, a nonprofit group that provides hundreds of thousands of free books annually to children age 8 or younger, in particular those from economically disadvantaged homes, where books are a greater luxury and in shorter supply.

I shine a light on Reading Is Fundamental, or R.I.F., for several reasons.

We’re in the midst of giving thanks, and this group deserves plenty. It has distributed more than 410 million books to more than 40 million American children.

http://go.uen.org/5hr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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How Washington created some of the worst schools in America ‘It’s just the epitome of broken,’ Arne Duncan says. ‘Just utterly bankrupt.’

Politico

 

It took 50 years for the federal government to admit officially that the education it had promised to provide Indian children was so bad it qualified as abuse. “Grossly inadequate,” wrote the authors of a scathing 1928 report. Forty years later, the feds were taking themselves to task again, in a report by Sen. Edward Kennedy, that called the state of Indian education a “national tragedy.”

Flash forward 46 more years. The network of schools for Native American children run by an obscure agency of the Interior Department remains arguably the worst school system in the United States, a disgrace the government has known about for eight decades and never successfully reformed. Earlier this fall, POLITICO asked President Obama’s secretary of education, Arne Duncan, about perhaps the federal government’s longest-running problem: “It’s just the epitome of broken,” he said. “Just utterly bankrupt.”

The epitome of broken looks like Crystal Boarding School.

http://go.uen.org/5hu

 


 

 

Parma City School District bills the state for $46 million for ‘excess’ charter school funding Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer

 

PARMA, Ohio – The Parma school board is billing the state for $46 million, for what district officials call “unfair and excess” funding to charter schools.

Two resolutions approved by the school board last week seek to get the money back and change the “unfair and inequitable” state funding formula.

Parma City School District Treasurer Daniel Bowman charter schools in the Parma area received about $7,000 per student, while Parma received $2,350 per student. Bowman said the district is asking the state pay the difference.

“We have nothing against charter schools,” Bowman said. “This is about the inequity of the funding mechanism. Don’t fund charter schools on the backs of us.”

http://go.uen.org/5hw

 

 


 

 

Congress Prepares to Launch a New Era in Education Policy A bipartisan agreement to replace George W. Bush’s signature No Child Left Behind law could pass next month.

Atlantic

 

In the next few weeks, a bipartisan majority in Congress is likely to pass a law that, in various ways, repudiates the education legacies of both the Bush and Obama presidencies.

House and Senate negotiators last week agreed to a legislative framework replacing George W. Bush’s signature No Child Left Behind law, a landmark reform of K-12 education placing strict federal requirements on states and schools that proved unworkable over time and led to a culture of testing that drew criticism from liberals and conservatives alike. While some federal benchmarks for accountability will remain in place, the new bill gives much more latitude to the states and restricts the ability of the secretary of education to punish or reward them based on their progress.

The overhaul is years in the making—Congress has been due to reauthorize the underlying Elementary and Secondary Education Act since 2007. And in the absence of action on Capitol Hill, the Department of Education has amassed even greater power by negotiating waivers with 42 of the 50 states to exempt them from the law’s sanctions, which included the potential closure of schools. Ultimately, the mounting frustration both with the original law and the waiver system that took its place propelled an alliance among Republicans, Democrats, and even the teachers unions that have battled the leadership of both parties over the years.

The final bill is still being drafted, but a House-Senate conference committee approved its framework in an overwhelming vote—of the 40-member panel, only Senator Rand Paul voted against it. Despite concerns about the restrictions the new law would place on the secretary of education, the White House “is pleased with the framework,” said Roberto Rodríguez, an education adviser on Obama’s Domestic Policy Council. Advisers and advocates in both parties described the bill as a genuine compromise between a bipartisan plan that passed the Senate and a more conservative House bill that would have eviscerated the federal role in education policy and shifted more resources away from needy schools.

Praise has come from unlikely corners.

http://go.uen.org/5hH

 


 

 

Who knew? Kindergarten is optional in Michigan Port Huron (MI) Times Herald

 

For parents having trouble deciding whether their 5-year-old is ready for kindergarten, a bill under review in the state House Education Committee would make the decision easier for them.

House Bill 4987, introduced in mid-October by retired school teacher Rep. Charles Brunner, D-Bay City, calls for full-day, mandatory kindergarten enrollment for 5-year-olds.

Michigan law now makes school compulsory at age 6. A child who turns age 5 between Jan. 1 and Sept. 1 has the option to attend kindergarten, but enrollment is not mandatory in Michigan. Parents whose children turn 5 after Sept. 1 can seek a waiver to enroll their child in kindergarten.

Kindergarten is optional in 34 states and mandatory in 16 and the District of Columbia.

http://go.uen.org/5hG

 


 

 

The venerable spork’s days are numbered as school cafeterias move on Washington Post

 

A final spork will be tossed unceremoniously into the trash in a New York City school cafeteria sometime next year, ending the 30-year reign of the flimsy plastic fork-spoon combo in the nation’s largest school system.

The disposable plastic implement has been a mainstay in the city’s school cafeterias for a generation, but the spork’s meals are numbered there and in public schools in Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Orlando.

The six districts, which educate 2.8 million children in 4,500 schools, are using their combined purchasing power to replace plastic, disposable sporks with knives, forks and spoons made from compostable materials.

“We’re replacing the spork we’ve fallen out of love with,” said Eric Goldstein, chief executive of the Office of School Support Services at the New York City Department of Education, which serves 860,000 meals a day, more than any other institution outside of the U.S. military.

http://go.uen.org/5ht

 


 

 

Crumbling Schools Add Health Problems to Classroom Stress Eighty percent of parents want greener schools filled with sunshine, yet many campuses are falling apart.

Take Part

 

Among teachers, it’s known as the 2:30 headache, describing the pain that sets in after hours of breathing polluted air in an old school building or a temporary classroom. For Rachel Gutter—and educators and schoolchildren nationwide—it isn’t theoretical.

“My mom suffered permanent respiratory damage by working in a sick school,” says Gutter, the U.S. Green Building Council’s vice president for knowledge. A school administrator in metropolitan Washington, D.C., her mother had asthma and mold allergies, which were constantly irritated by the bad air. Gutter says one visit to a portable classroom triggered a particularly severe attack.

“Within minutes, she was hacking and wheezing like crazy,” Gutter says. “My mom had such a severe reaction that they called in the district,” had the air tested, found it was of poor quality, and put the school on a fast track for renovation. It’s not just teachers, she adds. Studies show asthma, an air quality–related illness, is the leading cause of student absenteeism.

That’s why Gutter is pushing the government to conduct a long-overdue assessment of the nation’s school buildings and refurbish the ones that are triggering illnesses in teachers and students. She’s backed up by a new USGBC survey showing an overwhelming majority of parents think an overhaul of the nation’s school infrastructure should become a national priority.

According to the survey, eight out of 10 respondents support “green” schools—construction and renovation concepts that create airy, spacious, sunshine-filled environments—which enhance learning while saving energy and protecting the planet.

http://go.uen.org/5hs

 

 


 

 

Lawsuit: IPS ignored former employee’s sexual misconduct with student School officials knew of the former educator’s predatory history and could have prevented sexual assault of student, lawsuit alleges Indianapolis (IN) Star

 

Corey Greenwood, a former Indianapolis Public Schools teacher, admitted having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student. For that, he was sent to jail briefly and received a probation sentence.

That was almost three years ago.

But, according to a lawsuit filed against Greenwood, his history of inappropriate relationships with students began 10 years ago. School officials knew of the former educator’s predatory history, the lawsuit alleges, but still kept him on staff and later promoted him to a supervisory position.

The former IPS student with whom he had a sexual relationship in 2012 is now suing Greenwood, 44, and other former IPS officials in federal court. The complaint, filed Tuesday, says Greenwood and others violated Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination and harassment in schools that receive federal money.

http://go.uen.org/5hD

 

 


 

 

Referees Struggle with Respect Amid Growing Hostility Associated Press

 

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Jimmy Woods has been a youth official for nearly 30 years, and he’s lost count of how many football games he has refereed and how many times he’s been yelled at, threatened or insulted.

Oh, he remembers the details. He has been surrounded by angry parents following games, told he “has no integrity” by coaches and cursed at as recently as this season by players and fans at a private high school in Little Rock.

“People don’t respect the emblem anymore,” said Woods, a 50-year-old firefighter who officiates games on the side. “They think you’re out to get them or cheat them.”

Violence against referees is as old as sport itself, and most are familiar with awful stories from lower-division soccer matches in Europe or South America. But the headlines have appeared uncomfortably closer to home for Woods and his fellow officials lately.

In a two-year span, referees in Utah and Michigan died after they were punched by angry players during games. In September, two San Antonio football players blindsided a referee on purpose, an incident that drew widespread condemnation.

This has come at a cost: By all accounts from those involved, finding and retaining referees is becoming more and more difficult. In fact, recognizing the potential shortage, many desperate state high school associations have taken lead roles in recruiting new talent to an aging workforce facing startlingly hostile conditions.

http://go.uen.org/5hF

 

 


 

 

Vancouver High School Uses Snapchat To Communicate With Teens Huffington Post

 

One Vancouver high school is harnessing the influence of cellphones by using Snapchat as a way to communicate with its students.

Prince of Wales Secondary has been using the immensely popular photo and video-sharing app to release school bulletins to nearly all of its 1,160 students.

To see the bulletins, students simply add the school by its Snapchat username, and updates appear in the app as soon as the school posts them.

The information, which appears like a photo, can be “replayed” as many times as a student likes within a 24-hour period, or saved as a screenshot for future reference. Those who don’t have the app can still see bulletins on the school’s website or around campus.

http://go.uen.org/5hI

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

December 3:

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

 

 

December 4:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

December 7:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

 

December 10:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

January 6:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2016&com=APPPED

 

 

January 25:

Utah Legislature

First day of the 2016 general session

http://le.utah.gov/

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