Education News Roundup: Dec. 15, 2015

Education News Roundup. Photo by Cybil Prideaux.

Education News Roundup. Photo by Cybil Prideaux.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Herald Journal looks at how Utah schools are preparing for the new science standards.

http://go.uen.org/5tj (LHJ)

 

New national report shows high school graduation rates at a new all-time high in 2013-14, and Utah’s rate beat the nation’s rate.

http://go.uen.org/5t8 (WaPo)

and http://go.uen.org/5tq (Ed Week)

and http://go.uen.org/5tg (AP)

or a copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/5t9 (NCES)

 

LA Unified shuts down its schools after receiving an e-mailed threat.

http://go.uen.org/5ts (LAT)

and http://go.uen.org/5tt (USAT)

and http://go.uen.org/5tu (Reuters)

and http://go.uen.org/5tC (Ed Week)

 

New York schools also received a threat, but didn’t shut down.

http://go.uen.org/5tw (Reuters)

and http://go.uen.org/5tK (NY Post)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Local districts prepare for new science standards

 

Carbon District at the top of graduation percentages in the state

 

Veteran teacher finds ‘best job ever’ at McPolin She moved to Park City in 2012 to retire and reunite the family, but couldn’t resist chance to teach

 

Overstock.com chairman aims to unseat popular Utah governor

 

Utah schools not closing, but urging caution as families brave frightful weather Snow » Davis and Canyons districts to delay start time, cancel pre-K and K on Tuesday.

 

6th grader braves snow, commutes on unicycle

 

Granite to raise extracurricular participation fees

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Taxpayers should know more about charter schools

 

LAUSD schools closed by ‘credible threat’ of violence

 

What Will Your Kids Study on Bill of Rights Day?

 

Teachers got stipend, not holiday bonus

 

ESEA Reauthorization: How Will ESSA’s Regulatory Process Work?

 

The Big Issues Of The 2016 Campaign

And where the presidential candidates stand on them

 

How to Raise a Scientist in the Xbox Age Increase kids’ boredom so they’ll start daydreaming. Also, forget about today’s ultrasafe chemistry sets.

 

Diverse Housing, Diverse Schooling: How Policy Can Stabilize Racial Demographic Change in Cities and Suburbs

 

The Top 20 Education Next Articles of 2015

 


 

 

NATION

 

High school graduation rate hits all-time high, 82 percent finish on time

 

LAUSD schools closed by ‘credible threat’ of violence

 

New York police commissioner says NYC school threat ‘not credible’

 

In this high school, reading and writing happens in every class, even math and chemistry

 

Immigrants Burden and Blessing for States

 

Kate Brown announces ‘innovation’ adviser as part of education agenda

 

Expulsion hearing set in ‘son of ISIS’ case

 

Principal out as First Place moves to go from charter back to private school

 

In Many States, Prospects Are Grim for Incarcerated Youths

 

16-year-old girls arrested in Douglas County high school murder plot Sheriff’s office says threats were made against Mountain Vista High School

 

Washington Coach Suspended for Praying Files Complaint

 

Guidance Issued on How Schools Can Partner with Outside Organizations that Provide Single-Sex Programs under Title IX

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Local districts prepare for new science standards

 

With the Utah State Board of Education’s decision earlier this month to adopt new science standards for grades six through eight, local districts are already planning and working out how to implement them in schools.

Curt Jenkins, the director of curriculum at Cache County School District, was part of the statewide science committee that met Friday, Dec. 11, to discuss how the standards are going to be introduced.

“We spent the day talking about implementation and what professional development would look like,” Jenkins said. “Mostly, just talking among our districts about how do we unveil this and what can we do to prepare our teachers to teach these new standards and for students to understand what they mean.”

Professional development will start at the Cache district during the 2016 summer, followed by larger professional development all throughout the following school year. Jenkins said the biggest challenge facing the district is time and professional development.

http://go.uen.org/5tj (LHJ)

 


 

 

Carbon District at the top of graduation percentages in the state

 

Carbon School District was named one of the top school districts for senior graduation rates in the state in a report that was recently released by the Utah State Board of Education.

In pure percentages, Carbon High School graduated 97 percent of the students who started the school as sophomores three years ago and Lighthouse High School graduated 95 percent. Overall the districts graduation rate was 96 percent.

“Only two schools in the state had higher graduation rates than our district,” said Carbon School District Board President Wayne Woodward during the monthly board meeting held on Dec. 9.

http://go.uen.org/5tG (Price Sun Advocate)

 


 

 

Veteran teacher finds ‘best job ever’ at McPolin She moved to Park City in 2012 to retire and reunite the family, but couldn’t resist chance to teach

 

“Ms. DebVinci.” That’s what the kids at McPolin Elementary call Debra Kulig, their elementary visual arts (EVA) teacher. That’s because she explained to her kindergarten through 5th grade students on the first day of class that she and Leonardo DaVinci had at least three things in common: they are both Italian (Kulig’s grandparents were from Italy); they both loved pizza and pasta; and their favorite subjects were art and science.

“I love my job here,” said the veteran educator, in just her second year as the McPolin EVA teacher. “I keep telling my husband this is the best job I’ve ever had and I’ve been a teacher for 40 years.”

EVA teachers are relatively new to the Park City school district. Funded by a grant from the Park City Education Foundation and guided by a lesson plan developed at the Kimball Art Center, Kulig and her counterparts at Trailside and Parley’s Park elementary schools bring art projects into the classroom once a month.

http://go.uen.org/5tH (PR)

 


 

 

Overstock.com chairman aims to unseat popular Utah governor

 

The voters of Utah like Republican Gov. Gary Herbert. They really like him.

A survey conducted for the website Utah Policy and released last week found 72 percent of the state’s voters approve of Herbert’s job performance, a figure that increases to 86 percent when it includes only Republican voters.

Those figures bode well for Herbert as he readies to seek a third election to the governor’s mansion and his second full term in office. Herbert won his first term in a 2010 special election to succeed former Gov. Jon Huntsman (R).

But that unrivaled popularity is likely less welcomed by Republican Jonathan Johnson, a political novice and chairman of the board of online retailer Overstock.com Inc., who is hoping to knock Herbert out of office next year.

Johnson, who launched his challenge to Herbert in September, has been attacking the Republican executive from the party’s right wing, arguing the governor has been ineffective on issues like education and curtailing the state’s reliance on federal appropriations.

http://go.uen.org/5tI (Environment & Energy Publishing)

 


 

 

Utah schools not closing, but urging caution as families brave frightful weather Snow » Davis and Canyons districts to delay start time, cancel pre-K and K on Tuesday.

 

Winter’s first major snowstorm wasn’t enough to close Salt Lake County schools Monday, but parents and children were encouraged to use caution before venturing outdoors.

The power was knocked out at Draper’s Oak Hollow Elementary, but emergency generators provided the heat and electricity to hold classes.

http://go.uen.org/5tc (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/5th (OSE)

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/5tl (KUTV)

 

http://go.uen.org/5tn (KTVX)

 

http://go.uen.org/5to (KSL)

 

http://go.uen.org/5tp (KSTU)

 

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

 


 

 

6th grader braves snow, commutes on unicycle

 

While tens of thousands of Utah drivers were struggling to avoid crashing in a morning winter commute on Monday, a 6th grade student found a different way to get to school: a unicycle.

That’s right, this Farmington Elementary student hopped on a unicycle – while wearing shorts – all to get to school Monday morning.

Ethan Peterson decided to brave the elements by riding nearly 1 mile to elementary school on one of the worst snow days Utah has seen in a few years.

http://go.uen.org/5tm (KUTV)

 


 

 

Granite to raise extracurricular participation fees

 

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Granite School District is planning to increase student fees in its secondary schools for the 2016-17 school year.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Taxpayers should know more about charter schools Salt Lake Tribune editorial

 

Does it strike anyone else as odd that the head of the Utah Taxpayers Association and his former top assistant are pushing policies that will drain more taxpayer dollars away from the public schools and put them somewhere where the taxpayers have precious little information or oversight?

Or is that just Utah?

It is entirely possible to be a fan of the concept of charter schools and still worry that recommendations from a state task force have less to do with the educational quality or diversity of charters than with making the financial drain they place on public schools both increased and hidden.

The Charter Funding Task Force wants the Legislature to change the formula for funding charter schools, scattered among the state’s 41 public school districts, that will drain an additional $16 million away from those districts, even as those elected school boards have no say in the formation or operation of charter schools.

Or depending on how you do the math, it might actually be a bump of up to $40 million.

Either way, traditional public schools, already the most poorly financed in the nation on a per-pupil basis, would see millions less in taxpayer support so charters can get more.

http://go.uen.org/5t2

 


 

 

What Will Your Kids Study on Bill of Rights Day?

Deseret News op-ed by Roger L. Beckett, executive director of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University

 

Tuesday is Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the day in 1791 when the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution were ratified by the states. As a matter of law, it is “observed” — casually at best, in most cases — on Dec. 15 of each year.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in signing the proclamation in 1941 creating the observance, said, “It is fitting that the anniversary of its adoption should be remembered by the Nation which … has enjoyed the immeasurable privileges which that charter guaranteed: the privileges of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the free right to petition the Government for redress of grievances.”

These “privileges,” as FDR called them, are essential to the American way of life, but the current generation, as we are seeing on college campuses from coast to coast, doesn’t seem to understand or appreciate the Bill of Rights.

This should come as little surprise since today’s high school students, who in a few years will take their place on those same college campuses, also don’t understand U.S. government and history. The Bill of Rights? Who cares?

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

 


 

 

Teachers got stipend, not holiday bonus

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Gary Dunn

 

I read, with a great deal of interest, the article a few days ago about the “Christmas bonus” being given to the Logan City School District employees. The article made it sound as though the benevolent school district and board was somehow rewarding the employees. This is far from the truth.

As a quick background, I taught in the district for 26 years. During that time, I served as LEA (Logan Education Association) president four times, plus served as a building representative for several more. I was on the teachers’ negotiations team for the better part of 20 years. I was also on the district insurance committee for a number of years. I speak with first-hand knowledge and experience.

There is no such thing as a “christmas bonus” in the Logan School District. There is, however, a part of the negotiated agreement which states that is there is a surplus of funds at the end of the fiscal year, those funds will be distributed to the employees and other programs. The district us to meet with the LEA presidency to determine how those funds will be distributed and how much.

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

 


 

 

ESEA Reauthorization: How Will ESSA’s Regulatory Process Work?

Education Week analysis by columnist Alyson Klein

 

The Every Student Succeeds Act is officially an honest-to-goodness law.

So what happens next? And how will regulation on a bill that is aimed partly at curtailing the federal role on K-12 work?

For starters, there will be a transition period between No Child Left Behind, the old version of the law, and its waivers to these new ESSA plans. Waivers are null and void by August 1, 2016. ESSA will be fully in place beginning in the 2017-18 school year. States are expected to have more discretion in crafting their ESSA plans than they did under waivers or NCLB. They can even request a hearing if they’re rejected.

The 2016-17 school year will be a transitional time with states continuing to watch very low-performing schools and those with big achievement gaps.

And it will be a transitional time at the department too, with John King, the incoming acting secretary, and his team leaving mid-year and a new team, led by a secretary-to-be-named-later, taking the reins about halfway through the school year.

It’s unclear just how much King and company will be able to get done on regulations before heading out the door. But the Obama administration has enough time to at least begin moving the ball forward. And they’re expected to get going soon, in coming days and weeks.

http://go.uen.org/5t4

 


 

 

The Big Issues Of The 2016 Campaign

And where the presidential candidates stand on them FiveThirtyEight commentary

 

Education

Only 4 percent of Americans consider education the nation’s most important problem, according to Gallup’s monthly polling, which may explain why we haven’t heard much about specific education policy from the presidential candidates.

But the real fault line is likely to be K-12 education, particularly the Common Core curriculum and charter schools. A recent Education Next poll found that 57 percent of Democrats favor using the Common Core standards in their state, and only 37 percent of Republicans do. On charter schools, 56 percent of Republicans supported their formation, compared with 40 percent of Democrats.

Thus far, the Democratic candidates have been relatively quiet on all things K-12, whereas the Republican field has been more vocal about things like the Common Core, school choice and the role of the federal government.

One issue that has been gaining attention, especially since President Obama spoke about it two weeks ago, is the role of standardized testing.

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

 


 

 

How to Raise a Scientist in the Xbox Age Increase kids’ boredom so they’ll start daydreaming. Also, forget about today’s ultrasafe chemistry sets.

Wall Street Journal op-ed by ROBERT SCHERRER, chairman of the department of physics and astronomy at Vanderbilt University

 

When I was 12 years old, I nearly blew myself up with my own chemistry set. A blob of sodium silicate had clogged up a test tube, so I heated it over an alcohol lamp, intending to melt it. Instead, the bottom of the test tube exploded, spraying shards of glass all over the basement. Naturally I wasn’t wearing safety goggles—I’d never even heard of them. Later, in another mishap, I almost set the basement (and myself) on fire. I tried to duplicate an experiment from my science encyclopedia, which claimed that a rag soaked in alcohol would burn with such a cool flame that the rag itself would not catch fire. Turns out that isn’t true.

What did I learn from these experiences? Not everything melts when you heat it. Alcohol can set your pants on fire. And don’t do stupid things. (The last of these remains a work in progress.) I’ve compared notes with colleagues in chemistry and nearly all of them had similar childhood near-death experiences, which they relate with various mixtures of pride and embarrassment. But it’s always with a sheepish smile, and all agree that using a chemistry set was a formative experience leading to their scientific careers.

So you can imagine my disappointment when, a decade ago, I set out to buy a chemistry set for my oldest child, only to discover that they had gone the way of the dodo and the cassette tape. Sure, there were pathetic imitations, complete with minute amounts of harmless chemicals. But I could have created a better chemistry set from the liquids in my own refrigerator. What killed the chemistry set? The relentless drive to shield our children from even a whiff of danger.

Yet there is an even more insidious problem now facing young proto-scientists. Arthur C. Clarke once said that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and many of our household gadgets now lie firmly in the “magic” category. When I was younger, my grandfather, who worked for a moving company, would bring home all sorts of discarded mechanical and electronic gizmos. Armed only with a screwdriver and a hammer (and no goggles), we would dissect these marvels to see what made them work. Try taking apart a modern cellphone or a laptop computer. Assuming you can even figure out how to pry it open, the inside is as mysterious and inscrutable as the outside.

Why does this matter? Because the ability to tinker, to take things apart and understand how they function, is one of the key traits of a scientist.

http://go.uen.org/5t3

 


 

 

Diverse Housing, Diverse Schooling: How Policy Can Stabilize Racial Demographic Change in Cities and Suburbs National Education Policy Center analysis by Amy Stuart Wells, Columbia University

 

This policy brief provides a review of the social science evidence on the housing-school nexus, highlighting the problem of reoccurring racial segregation and inequality absent strong, proactive federal or state integration policies. Three areas of research are covered: (a) the nature of the housing-school nexus, (b) the impact of school desegregation and housing integration policies on the nexus, and (c) the connection between the implicit racial biases literature (the “perceptions of place”) to research on school and housing choices.

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

 


 

 

The Top 20 Education Next Articles of 2015 Education Next commentary

 

Every December we release a list of the most popular articles Education Next has published over the course of the year.

Which topics were most popular with Education Next readers in 2015?

Poverty and inequality have been major themes in the U.S. in 2015 and Ed Next readers were particularly interested in articles looking at the intersection of these topics with K-12 education policy.

Five of the articles in the top 20 are from a special issue Ed Next released last spring on the 50th Anniversary of the Moynihan Report which examined the rise in the number of children growing up in single-parent families. Several of the articles in that issue take a close look at the impact of changes in family structure on educational attainment in the U.S. and in other countries.

The top Ed Next article of 2015 is one that investigates whether the poverty rate in the U.S. explains the lackluster performance of America’s schools, and concludes that it does not. That article, “America’s Mediocre Test Scores,” by Michael Petrilli and Brandon Wright, launched a debate over the best way to compare poverty rates across countries.

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

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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High school graduation rate hits all-time high, 82 percent finish on time Washington Post

 

The national high school graduation rate hit an all-time high in 2013-2014, with 82 percent of students earning a diploma on time, according to federal data released Tuesday morning.

That data show that every category of student — broken down by race, income, learning disabilities and whether they are English language learners — has posted annual progress in graduation rates since 2010, when states adopted a uniform method of calculating those rates.

“America’s students have achieved another record milestone by improving graduation rates for a fourth year,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who is stepping down at the end of this month. “The hard work of teachers, administrators, students and their families has made these gains possible and as a result many more students will have a better chance of going to college, getting a good job, owning their own home, and supporting a family. We can take pride as a nation in knowing that we’re seeing promising gains, including for students of color.”

The gap between graduation rates for white students and black and Hispanic students has narrowed, but disparities persist.

http://go.uen.org/5t8

 

http://go.uen.org/5tq (Ed Week)

 

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

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/5t9 (NCES)

 


 

 

LAUSD schools closed by ‘credible threat’ of violence Los Angeles Times

 

The person who sent an email threat to several Los Angeles Unified School board members that prompted a closure of all Los Angeles Unified Schools claimed to be “an extremist Muslim who has teamed up with local jihadists,” according to Congressman Brad Sherman.

“The email makes relatively specific and wide-ranging threats to Los Angeles schools,” said Sherman (D-Los Angeles), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“The text of the email does not demonstrate that the author has studied Islam or has any particular understanding of Islam,” he added. The only thing known, Sherman said, was that the email was “sent by an evil person.”

The email also mentioned explosive devices, assault rifles and pistols and was traced to an IP address in Frankfurt, Germany, according to law enforcement sources.

All campuses were closed Tuesday morning after receiving what officials have called a “credible threat” of violence involving backpacks and packages left at campuses. Still, one law enforcement source familiar with the evidence said there was no sign that “this individual is actually capable of carrying out the threat.”

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

 

http://go.uen.org/5tt (USAT)

 

http://go.uen.org/5tu (Reuters)

 

http://go.uen.org/5tC (Ed Week)

 


 

 

New York police commissioner says NYC school threat ‘not credible’

Reuters

 

New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said a threat on Tuesday to city schools was “not credible” and called the decision by Los Angeles officials to cancel school over an apparently similar threat “a significant overreaction.”

Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio held a news conference to reassure parents that students in the nation’s biggest school system are safe despite the threat.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/5tK (NY Post)

 


 

 

In this high school, reading and writing happens in every class, even math and chemistry Washington Post

 

The chemistry students at Northwestern High School were not fiddling with Bunsen burners or studying the periodic table one recent weekday morning. They were sitting at their desks, reading an article about food coloring, underlining key ideas and preparing to analyze it in an essay.

This is the beginning of what Prince George’s County officials hope will be a significant shift in teaching and learning, one that mirrors a change taking hold in high schools nationwide as districts adjust to the Common Core State Standards. Literacy, long the responsibility of English teachers, is filtering into every other classroom — including math, science and even health class.

The idea is that in order to be ready for college, students need more explicit instruction about how to read, think and write analytically. And they need to be able to glean meaning not just from literature in English class but also from historical primary sources, scientific articles and other (sometimes dense) works of nonfiction.

Prince George’s has started an ambitious effort to train all teachers to be literacy teachers, and lots of adults in the system are hopeful: “I think it’s going to be effective in the long run if all teachers buy into it, if they believe that it can work,” said Sheree McNeil-Gordon, the teacher in that Northwestern High chemistry classroom.

All students aren’t buying it — yet.

http://go.uen.org/5t5

 


 

 

Richard Crandall named sole finalist as Colorado education commissioner Colorado State Board of Education will be able to formally offer job in two weeks Chalkbeat Colorado via Denver Post

 

A Republican former state lawmaker from Arizona who briefly served as the chief of schools in Wyoming is in line to become Colorado’s next education commissioner.

The state Board of Education, which has been bitterly divided over a number of contentious issues in the past year, voted 6-0 Monday to name Richard Crandall, 48, sole finalist for the position.

Considered to be a moderate Republican, Crandall played a key role in ushering in major changes to education policy in Arizona, including backing the state’s adoption of the Common Core state standards and crafting a teacher evaluation law.

http://go.uen.org/5t7

 


 

 

Immigrants Burden and Blessing for States Stateline

 

Having children, and parents, who don’t speak English can tax school systems.

Schools in Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city, spend $5.3 million annually on staff and programs for children who don’t speak English or are only learning it. There are too many languages for a bilingual approach, said the schools’ spokeswoman, DeeAnn Konrad.

The schools are often unable to find interpreters for children or parents, so teachers and support staff must fall back on nonverbal communication, such as pointing.

“With more than 70 different languages represented in the district, we cannot translate communications for all families,” said Ann Smith, who supervises programs for immigrant children there. “Our school-home liaisons make personal contact to explain test scores and report cards. Our liaisons are not necessarily bilingual but have incredible skills communicating without words.”

Cultural differences can stand in the way of learning, too. Some of the newest immigrants to Sioux Falls, like the Kunama people from Ethiopia and Eritrea, need some coaxing to see the value of reading and writing.

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

 


 

Kate Brown announces ‘innovation’ adviser as part of education agenda

(Portland) Oregonian

 

Gov. Kate Brown on Monday offered a glimpse of her education agenda in 2016 and beyond — announcing a new “education innovation officer,” saying she wants to improve high school graduation rates and repeating calls for new investments in technical education.

The governor spoke as part of a panel on career and technical education at the Oregon Business Summit.

Prepared remarks of her speech said the innovation officer would focus on student testing — which has emerged as a policy and political flashpoint in education circles. But her live speech emphasized the innovation officer’s role in lifting graduation rates.

http://go.uen.org/5t6

 


 

 

Expulsion hearing set in ‘son of ISIS’ case Dayton (OH) Daily News

 

VANDALIA —An expulsion hearing is set for this week for a seventh-grader accused of threatening to bring a gun to school and shoot a Muslim classmate, school officials said Monday.

Vandalia-Butler City Schools officials praised students who reported the threat.

“We’re really proud of the students who came forward, actually,” said Principal Shannon White, Morton Middle School. Last week, students told school officials they heard the seventh-grader use derogatory terms to refer to his classmate.

The student also called the classmate “Son of Isis” and “Terrorist.”

Charges of ethnic intimidation and aggravated menacing were filed and the student was taken to the Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Center. He also faces a 10-day suspension with a recommendation for expulsion, according to Vandalia-Butler City Schools.

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

 


 

 

Principal out as First Place moves to go from charter back to private school Associated Press and Seattle (WA) Times

 

The first charter school in Washington will go back to being a tuition-free private school after the state Supreme Court struck down the charter-school law as unconstitutional, officials announced Monday.

All nine charter schools in Washington, including eight that opened last fall, have been scrambling to find a way to keep their doors open after losing state funding. The others said last week that they will go a different way and try to become so-called Alternative Learning Experiences under the umbrella of the Mary Walker School District in Eastern Washington.

First Place, a school with students in kindergarten through fifth grade, said it received a grant to stay open for the rest of the school year without state funds or disruption to its 106 students.

It was a private school for decades, serving homeless and other vulnerable students in Seattle’s Central District, before becoming Washington’s first charter school last year.

But the school’s transition back to a private school is beginning to look as messy as its conversion to a charter school last year, with parents and staff at the school frustrated about the leadership on the school’s board.

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

 


 

 

In Many States, Prospects Are Grim for Incarcerated Youths Education Week

 

The quality of schooling for tens of thousands of incarcerated juveniles falls far short of the education their peers receive in public schools, advocates say, raising major concerns about the prospects of one of the most vulnerable groups of students.

Even as the number of incarcerated juveniles dropped significantly over the past decade, only 13 states provide students who are behind bars with the same types of educational and vocational services, including GED preparation, credit recovery, and postsecondary courses, that students in schools receive, a survey of juvenile-corrections agencies by the Council of State Governments Justice Center shows.

In a report released last month, the council found that many states do not hold schools inside juvenile correctional facilities—which can be run by the states, private companies, or nonprofit organizations—accountable for providing students with curricula aligned with a state’s college- and career-readiness standards. And many do not have rigorous oversight of educational programs at those facilities as they do for regular public schools.

While the number of juveniles in state custody has dropped in the past decade and a half, from more than 75,000 in 1997 to just under 36,000 in 2013, the proportion of juveniles in privately run and locally run facilities grew from 46 percent to 61 percent. That trend makes it harder to ensure that all students have access to programs of the same quality.

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

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/5tB (Council of State Governments Justice Center)

 


 

 

16-year-old girls arrested in Douglas County high school murder plot Sheriff’s office says threats were made against Mountain Vista High School Denver Post

 

Two 16-year-old girls have been arrested in Douglas County on suspicion of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder after allegedly making threats against classmates at Mountain Vista High School.

The county sheriff’s office says authorities were made aware of the threats on Saturday. The girls could also face other charges, officials said.

Investigators called the threats against the Highlands Ranch school were “credible,” but they did not elaborate.

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

 


 

 

Washington Coach Suspended for Praying Files Complaint Associated Press

 

SEATTLE — A Washington state high school assistant football coach who was suspended for praying at midfield after games has filed a discrimination complaint.

The Liberty Institute, a Texas-based law firm representing coach Joe Kennedy, says he filed the complaint Tuesday with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

It alleges Bremerton School District discriminated against him when it suspended him Oct. 28.

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

 


 

 

Guidance Issued on How Schools Can Partner with Outside Organizations that Provide Single-Sex Programs under Title IX U.S. Department of Education

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights today released guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter detailing schools’ responsibilities under Title IX when partnering with certain outside organizations that provide single-sex programs to a school district’s students. The letter explains the circumstances under which a school district may work lawfully with “voluntary youth service organizations” under Title IX.

“We know that outside organizations can be great resources for school districts trying to improve the quality and diversity of the educational opportunities they offer,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon. “We hope this guidance provides schools with additional clarity on how to comply with Title IX’s requirement to provide equitable opportunities for students regardless of their sex, including, where the law allows it, while working with organizations that serve students of only one sex.”

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

 

 

 

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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 15:

Legislative Management Committee meeting

1 p.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00005564.htm

 

 

January 6:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting

9 a.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

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

 

 

January 7:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

January 13-14:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

January 25:

Utah Legislature

First day of the 2016 general session

http://le.utah.gov/

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