Education News Roundup: Feb. 3, 2016

Charter Day at the Capitol/Education News Roundup

Charter Day at the Capitol/Education News Roundup

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Sen. Dabakis to rework his bill on education funding.

http://go.uen.org/5Wh (UP)

 

Rep. King opens a sex education bill.

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

and http://go.uen.org/5WF (KTVX)

and http://go.uen.org/5WI (KUER)

and http://go.uen.org/5WJ (MUR)

 

Logan School District voices opposition to SB38 on charter school funding.

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

 

The lead plaintiff in the suit over Utah State Board of Education elections writes in about potential legislative fixes.

http://go.uen.org/5X1 (DN)

 

Amazon opens a new website to encourage math education.

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

and http://go.uen.org/5WV (Seattle Times)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Dabakis Tweaking His Education Funding Plan

 

Battle over sex education returning to Utah Legislature

 

Logan City School District opposes Senate bill diverting funds to charter schools

 

Arts Education Bill Dies Along Party Lines

 

STEM or STEAM: Is there room for both in Utah schools?

 

LGBT advocacy group report finds Utah legislation is ‘building equality’

 

Diesel technician program gives students path into growing career field

 

Logan High School Student Attends Paris Climate Summit

 

Utah students enjoy science at second annual STEM Festival

 

Students using colors to understand their personalities

 

Construction on St. George Academy set to begin

 

Former Utah school counselor admits inappropriate touching, accessing porn Courts » None of Samuel Naim El-Halta’s victims were students, according to school officials.

 

‘Brave’ teen with no arms or legs inspires family, classmates on the dance floor

 

Alpine to hold open houses on proposed boundary changes

 

Salt Lake diocese celebrates Catholic Schools Week

 

Give teachers some love by nominating them for Teacher of the Year

 

Corner Canyon students flash mob for pre-game introductions against Alta

 

Snow closes school for first time in 61 years

 

Volunteering Utah students eligible for Youthlinc’s $5,000 college scholarship

 

Vista School receives Dixie Direct check

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Karen Decker

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Andrea Ramirez

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Put tax increase for schools on the ballot

 

Perpetuating injustice?

 

Walton Family Foundation: We Must Rethink Online Learning

 

Finding Common Political Ground on Poverty

 

John Kasich and Education: Five Facts to Know Before the New Hampshire Primary

 

National Campaign Launched to Abolish U.S. Education Department

 


 

 

NATION

 

We Still Don’t Know What Makes a Great Teacher “At every stage of a teacher’s career we simply don’t know how to help her improve.”

 

Amazon, Ed. Organizations Launch Blitz for “Growth Mindset” in Math

 

NEA, AFT Presidents: Hillary Clinton Can Make Things Happen

 

Education Department CIO rushed to hospital after House questioning Chief Information Officer Danny Harris was transported to George Washington University Hospital Tuesday after a four-hour-long hearing that probed his misconduct.

 

Seeing success, conservative Oklahoma banks on universal preschool

 

California faces a dire teacher shortage. Should other states worry, too?

Report suggests that California expand routes to the classroom to fill positions

 

Trying to stem refugee influx, Sweden asks: When is a child not a child?

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Dabakis Tweaking His Education Funding Plan

 

Sen. Jim Dabakis’ proposal to cut higher education out of the income tax equation would take nearly $600 million annually out of that system. However, Dabakis says he’s got a proposal to fix that problem.

Right now, all income taxes collected by the state go to fund both public and higher education. The proposed constitutional amendment in SJR4 removes higher education from that mix, boosting money for public education.

Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, acknowledges that higher ed officials are “in a tizzy” about the proposed change because they would be short an estimated $560 million per year. Dabakis says he’s working on a solution.

“If this amendment were to pass, our higher education system would collapse,” says Dabakis.

He is working on a companion bill that would not allow the constitutional amendment to take effect until there is a one-percent increase in sales tax that would be set aside specifically for higher education.

http://go.uen.org/5Wh (UP)

 


 

 

Battle over sex education returning to Utah Legislature

 

A battle is returning to the Legislature over whether to allow comprehensive sex education in Utah schools — instead of just the abstinence-only curriculum now permitted.

Knowledge is power. I don’t believe in keeping our kids ignorant,” said House Democratic Leader Brian King who introduced HB246 to allow comprehensive sex education.

But Gayle Ruzicka, president of the conservative Utah Eagle Forum promised to fight the move.

“Comprehensive sex education is all about teaching children that it’s OK to have sex as long as they use a condom. It just doesn’t work,” she said.

King says his bill is needed because the rates of sexually transmitted diseases are rising quickly, and youth need more education to protect themselves. Ruzicka says Utah ranks among the lowest in the nation for such diseases, and for abortions, showing that abstinence-only education works best.

Statistics support both arguments, to a point.

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/5WI (KUER)

 

http://go.uen.org/5WJ (MUR)

 

 


 

Logan City School District opposes Senate bill diverting funds to charter schools

 

A Senate bill on charter school funding under consideration by the Utah State Legislature is concerning to the Logan City School District.

Senate Bill 38 proposes to increase the amount of money diverted to charter schools.

“One of the concerns there is, for example, if local recreation property tax revenue is used, currently charter school students come and participate in athletic programs at Logan High,” Logan City School District Superintendent Frank Schofield said. “So if that funding that is used to pay for those programs, if a portion of that starts to go to charter schools, then that charter school is receiving money, and their students are still participating in our activities.”

Schofield continued, “So the question is we’re draining the funding for district high school activities by providing more funds to the charter school that way.”

Educators at Fast Forward Charter High School said they are very interested in the possible passing of the bill, as they believe more funding is needed. Principal Jill Lowe said the school gets $164 from the state to use per student, and if the bill is passed, it would rise to $564 per student.

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

 


 

 

Arts Education Bill Dies Along Party Lines

 

A bill that would have required schools to spend a certain amount of state funds on arts and cultural education failed to gain the endorsement of the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee Tuesday.

SB 98 – Arts and Cultural Education Spending, which was sponsored by Senator Jim Dabakis (Democrat – Salt Lake City), called for school districts, charter schools, and institutes of higher education to allocate 3 percent of state funds toward arts and cultural education.

http://go.uen.org/5WD (UPC)

 


 

 

STEM or STEAM: Is there room for both in Utah schools?

 

SALT LAKE CITY — In the Coleman family, STEM is a household word.

Science, technology, engineering and math are frequent sources of homework for Laurie Coleman’s children in first, third and fifth grades. And since their father is a research scientist, the Coleman children have no shortage of opportunities or parental support in pursuing STEM interests.

“We just try to give them opportunities to learn and be challenged,” Laurie Coleman said.

She was one of dozens of parents walking with their kids Tuesday at the second annual STEM Fest, where companies and educators are gathering this week to showcase career opportunities in various STEM fields.

But there’s a key component of her kids’ education that Coleman doesn’t want them to miss. It’s a puzzle piece that ties it all together, helping them build a foundation of creativity and draw connections in their work, she said.

That piece is the arts, which makes Coleman and others see STEAM as a more complete academic puzzle.

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

 


 

 

LGBT advocacy group report finds Utah legislation is ‘building equality’

 

A national LGBT advocacy group found that Utah’s recent legislation falls into the category of “building equality” — more progressive than legislation in 28 states and less so than in 12 states found to be “solidifying equality” or “working toward innovative equality.”

The Human Rights Campaign’s second annual State Equality Index, conducted in partnership with the Equality Federation, saw Utah advance into a higher tier after inclusion in its lowest-rated group, “high priority to achieve basic equality,” in 2015.

HRC judges states by five criteria: parenting laws and policies, nondiscrimination laws, hate crime laws, youth-related laws and policies, and health and safety laws and policies.

Utah is credited for laws governing adoption, surrogacy, foster parent training and parental presumption for same-sex couples, as well as nondiscrimination laws for housing and employment passed in 2015. The state also gets positive marks for laws related to cyberbullying and school suicide prevention, and for allowing a gender marker change on driver’s licenses.

The state is docked for restricting inclusion of LGBT topics in schools, sodomy laws and HIV/AIDS criminalization laws.

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

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/5WY (Human Rights Campaign)

 


 

 

Diesel technician program gives students path into growing career field

 

WEST VALLEY CITY — Weston Umphenour, 21, has always enjoyed tinkering with automotive engines. It’s an avocation the Riverton High graduate picked up from his father, who works as a technician for the Utah Transit Authority.

“I’ve always liked working on engines,” he said. “At home, we’ve always worked on cars — (for) neighbors (or) whoever needs it. So I kind of fell in love with it at an early age.”

It was that passion that prompted Umphenour to enroll in a pilot program at his high school during his junior year. That’s when he was introduced to what would become the Utah Diesel Technician Pathways program.

Following high school and two years at Salt Lake Community College, he is today working full time for Wheeler Cat, with ambitions of one day becoming a diesel technician or engineer.

Designed to provide Utah students with a direct path from high school and college into the workforce, the program starts in high school with the completion of select classes. Upon graduation, students will complete an internship with one of the diesel technician industry partners and then at least one year of training at Salt Lake Community College.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/5X0 (Utah Business)

 


 

 

Logan High School Student Attends Paris Climate Summit

 

Toward the end of last year, at COP21, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, 185 countries and the European Union signed the Paris Agreement. This agreement is the first international accord to establish binding commitments by all parties to work towards limiting global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.

Delegates from Utah included Salt Lake City mayor Ralph Becker, Utah Moms for Clean Air founder Cherise Udell, and Logan Environmental Action Force member Piper Christian.

“I just want to give a little background on myself, because I think some people have wondered why…this wasn’t necessarily a youth-oriented summit, it was a United Nations negotiation, and many people may wonder: why would a 16-year old want to go and spend time at this summit? I come from a family that has been completely influential in my views of the world and protection of the environment.”

Piper, a student at Logan High School, talked about her experience at COP21 in front of an audience of about 50 people last Tuesday at the Logan Country Club, as part of a new series called Green Drinks. While she was in Paris, she interviewed dozens of people, including a 12-year-old Balinese girl who went on a hunger strike to convince the governor to ban plastic bags.

http://go.uen.org/5X6 (UPR)

 


 

 

Utah students enjoy science at second annual STEM Festival

 

More than 18,000 Utah middle and high school students will enjoy hands-on science exhibits this week at Utah STEM Festival 2016.

The state’s second annual STEM festival engages students in science, technology, engineering and math activities, provided by professional organizations, companies, colleges and others, at South Towne Expo Center in Sandy.

Students in 7th through 10th grades will attend through Thursday.

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

 


 

 

Students using colors to understand their personalities

 

Students at Pine View High School are going to have a new way of looking at themselves and other students when they participate in the Color Code Campaign.

The two-week public relations project springboards from a test the students took in December to assign a color to their personality type.

More than 150 of the school’s students and 10 to 15 teachers participated.

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

 


 

 

Construction on St. George Academy set to begin

 

The land purchase agreement for the St. George Academy, a new charter high school in Washington City, was finalized and development on the building is set to begin, according to a school official.

The land registration was acquired  Tuesday.

Construction on the facility is expected to start some time before the beginning of March, according to St. George Academy Board President Steve Wattles.

The school was already approved in 2015 by the Utah State Office of Administration.

The school will be located at 3090 South and 300 East on roughly nine acres of land.

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

 


 

 

Former Utah school counselor admits inappropriate touching, accessing porn Courts » None of Samuel Naim El-Halta’s victims were students, according to school officials.

 

A former Iron County school counselor has been sentenced to 30 days in jail after admitting he inappropriately touched seven woman and accessed pornography while on school grounds.

Samuel Naim El-Halta, 40, of Enoch, was charged last year in Cedar City’s 5th District Court with seven counts of sexual battery and 10 counts of accessing pornography while on school property.

Last week, El-Halta — who counseled 7th and 8th graders at Cedar Middle School — pleaded guilty to all seven of the sexual battery counts and two of the pornography counts.

The charges are all class A misdemeanors, each punishable by up to one year in jail.

Judge Keith Barnes sentenced El-Halta to 30 days in jail — to be served in 48-hour increments at the Juab County jail. As part of 24-month probation, El-Halta must pay a $1,137 fine.

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

 

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

 

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

 


 

 

‘Brave’ teen with no arms or legs inspires family, classmates on the dance floor

 

When Gabe Adams is on stage, he feels a sense of freedom and exhilaration he’s never felt before — and never even thought he was capable of feeling.

The 17-year-old first discovered his passion for dance in 7th grade, when he choreographed a dance to the tune of “Unfriend You” by Greyson Chance for his middle school talent show. After receiving a standing ovation for his performance, he never wanted to stop.

http://go.uen.org/5X7 (NBC Today Show)

 


 

 

Alpine to hold open houses on proposed boundary changes

 

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Alpine School District will hold two open houses to get input on boundary changes necessitated by the construction of a new elementary school at approximately 600 S. 175 East.

The meetings will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 3, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., at Saratoga Shores Elementary, 1415 South Parkside Drive; and on Thursday, Feb. 4, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., at Sage Hills Elementary, 3033 Swainson Ave.

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

 


 

 

Salt Lake diocese celebrates Catholic Schools Week

 

SALT LAKE CITY — National Catholic Schools Week was celebrated throughout the United States from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6.

With the theme “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service,” the 16 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Salt Lake City celebrated the week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members.

http://go.uen.org/5WW (IC)

 


 

 

Give teachers some love by nominating them for Teacher of the Year

 

SANDY — It’s time to give teachers some love.

Parents in the Canyons School District can send their child’s favorite teacher a well-deserved valentine by nominating him or her as the district’s Teacher of the Year.

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

 


 

 

Corner Canyon students flash mob for pre-game introductions against Alta

 

The history of the Alta and Corner Canyon rivalry is neither long nor illustrious. But after not facing one another for the first two years of the Chargers’ existence, the two schools finally got an opportunity to play this season once the Hawks transitioned down to Class 4A.

The rivalry might not be old, but it certainly is one of the best in the state already. After winning the first meeting, Corner Canyon completed the season sweep against Alta, with 56-39 win on Tuesday, but before the game, the Chargers cheerleaders and student section rioted into a flash mob for pre-game introductions.

This is exactly what makes high school sports fun to watch:

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

 


 

 

Snow closes school for first time in 61 years

 

IRON COUNTY – Snow accumulation resulting in hazardous road and weather conditions forced a cancellation of school in the Iron County School District Feb. 1.

http://go.uen.org/5X8 (Iron County Today)

 


 

 

Volunteering Utah students eligible for Youthlinc’s $5,000 college scholarship

 

Young volunteers are no doubt rewarded for providing service, but current or prospective college students have the opportunity to actually cash in on their humanitarian endeavors.

Youthlinc is offering a $5,000 college scholarship as part of the Youthlinc Utah Young Humanitarian Award to a student and Utah resident, as well as $8,500 in runner-up awards for other applicants.

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

 


 

 

Vista School receives Dixie Direct check

 

Vista School added a little more than $13,000 to its budget on Tuesday thanks to the efforts of its students and the Dixie Direct program, which allows schools and fundraising groups to sell Dixie Direct books and keep half of the money for the group or school.

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

 


 

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Karen Decker

 

Karen Decker is a librarian and college and career awareness teacher at John Hancock Charter School. She was chosen as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Educator of the Week.

http://go.uen.org/5X2 (PDH)

 


 

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Andrea Ramirez

 

Andrea Ramirez is a second grade student at John Hancock Charter School. She was chosen as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Student of the Week.

http://go.uen.org/5X3 (PDH)

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Put tax increase for schools on the ballot Salt Lake Tribune editorial

 

It says something about the state of our politics when legislators need political cover before they can put more money in educating our children.

But that is exactly where we sit. With the perennial underfunding of schools growing more pronounced in recent years, Utah’s business leaders have come up with an aggressive plan to put another half a billion dollars a year into public education.

To do that, they propose increasing the state income tax by 7/8ths of a percent. Knowing that legislators would be loathe to do that on their own, they aren’t asking the Legislature for the money, at least not yet. They’re just asking that they put the tax increase on the November ballot so voters in a presidential election year can decide for themselves how deep they want to dig for schoolchildren.

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

 


 

 

Perpetuating injustice?

Deseret News letter from Breck England

 

This week the Utah Legislature is deciding whether to perpetuate an injustice. You can’t just run for the Utah State Board of Education the way you run for any other office. If you file as a candidate, you must be “vetted” by a committee of political appointees. If they don’t like you for any reason at all, they can cut you off the ballot.

That’s what happened to me. In 2014, I filed as a candidate for the board, but the committee rejected me without explanation. So I sued them in federal court. My argument was simple: This is America. A citizen should have the right to run for office without getting the permission of some unelected committee. The judge agreed with me. He threw out the process as unconstitutional on the face of it.

But now certain legislators are proposing a bill to keep this unjust system in place. The committee will continue, but it can’t take into account a candidate’s “political or educational philosophies, viewpoints or affiliations.” This bill is absurd and unenforceable. Unless you can read minds, you’ll never know if the committee is biased by a candidate’s “philosophies or viewpoints.”

http://go.uen.org/5X1

 


 

 

Walton Family Foundation: We Must Rethink Online Learning Education Week op-ed by Marc Sternberg, director of education giving at the Walton Family Foundation, & Marc Holley, the foundation’s evaluation-unit director

 

By its very definition, innovation will always lead to some failed starts. And when that innovation involves educating children, it’s especially important to learn from mistakes and adjust quickly.

The Walton Family Foundation has invested more than $385 million in creating new charter schools over more than two decades to seed educational innovation and improve U.S. education at scale. The foundation has allocated a small fraction of that investment—about $550,000—to virtual charter schools, which teach full-time students exclusively online.

We remain strong believers in creating educational options and opportunities. We have provided startup dollars to about a quarter of the charter schools in the United States, all with the goal of creating opportunity for high-needs students, and we recently committed to investing another $1 billion over the next five years to expand access to high-quality educational choices. In recent years, we have hoped that online charter schools could provide a lifeline for some students. But while we were enthusiastic about supporting online education entrepreneurs, our first priority is always making sure that students are served well.

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

 


 

 

Finding Common Political Ground on Poverty New York Times commentary by columnist Eduardo Porter

 

If you have been paying any attention to America’s paralyzed politics, you are not going to believe this.

Even as substantive legislation in Washington remained largely bogged down by bitter partisan mistrust, some of the leading thinkers on opposite sides of the ideological divide — experts on the right who have advised Republican policy makers alongside left­leaning scholars who have Democrats’ ear — came together to champion an increase in the minimum wage.

They didn’t stop there. In a report published in December, they also recommended attaching a job requirement to the food stamp program, to compel poor people to work. They strongly endorsed marriage, as well as birth control.

They called for increasing the earned­income tax credit for adults without children. They also proposed more federal investment in early childhood education and community colleges. They defended a common core in education.

To pay for it all, they recommended culling corporate boondoggles and individual tax expenditures that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, like farm subsidies and the mortgage interest tax deduction. And they urged reducing Social Security benefits for affluent Americans.

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

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/5Wo (Brookings)

 


 

 

John Kasich and Education: Five Facts to Know Before the New Hampshire Primary Education Week commentary by columnist Alyson Klein

 

Okay, Iowa is over—on to the New Hampshire primary. And on the GOP side, Donald Trump, the real estate mogul, is expected to be the top vote-getter there, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders looks likely to win on the Democratic side, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in second place, at least based on polls a week out.

But, the runner-up in the GOP contest could matter going forward, particularly for voters looking for an alternative to Trump as the race heads into Super Tuesday on March 1.

And, as of this week, there were two candidates we haven’t profiled recently who seem to have a some shot at that second slot—Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is in second place in New Hampshire, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. They’re dark horses, to be sure, but you never know where presidential politics will go.

So it might be worth getting to know Kasich, a budget hawk who actually boosted education funding and still hearts the Common Core State Standards.

Here is what you need to know:

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

 


 

 

National Campaign Launched to Abolish U.S. Education Department New American commentary by columnist Alex Newman

 

After years of running up against unconstitutional federal education mandates imposed on states using bribes and bludgeoning from Washington, D.C., a group of parents and grassroots education activists from across America is launching a fresh effort to shut down the U.S. Department of Education once and for all. The mission: “Stop Fed Ed.”

In the crosshairs is everything from dumbed-down “standards” such as the Obama-backed Common Core nationalization of schooling and associated federal testing regimes, to the deeply controversial federal data gathering and data mining encouraged and financed largely by the feds. The group hopes to pressure Congress into ending all education-related federal funding, mandates, and data schemes. Efforts will also be undertaken at the state and local level.

In the end, the group hopes that by abolishing the Education Department and removing the federal government’s tentacles from America’s schools and children, positive reforms can be pursued at the state and local level to improve education — as intended by the framers of the Constitution. Many of the group’s leaders have long track-records of pushing state and local efforts to fix various education problems. But with the specter of unconstitutional federal meddling and threats always looming large, that has been difficult.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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We Still Don’t Know What Makes a Great Teacher “At every stage of a teacher’s career we simply don’t know how to help her improve.”

U.S. News & World Report

 

​                Nearly 27,000 teacher preparation programs in the U.S. produce roughly 200,000 teachers annually, and yet education policy experts have a very limited understanding of what makes a teacher great.

That’s the sobering reality from a research paper published Tuesday by the nonprofit Bellwether Education Partners.

The analysis shows that teacher candidates collectively spend roughly $4.8 billion and 302 million hours each year on their preparation work, but researchers don’t yet have a body of evidence justifying those requirements, nor do they know how to measure and define a successful teacher-training program.

“This concept – that we can’t identify a great teacher on the basis of her resume – should be liberating,” write co-authors Chad Aldeman, associate partner at Bellwether, and Ashley LiBetti Mitchel, senior analyst. “But for some reason, it’s largely ignored in the education field.”

Instead, they point out, states impose various conditions for becoming a teacher, such as licensure tests, minimum grade point averages and SAT scores, student teaching quotas and teacher-performance assessments. None of the requirements guarantee effective teachers, they argue, and, in fact, they can often prevent students from pursuing the profession altogether, including would-be great teachers.

“There is not yet any magic cocktail of program and candidate requirements that would ensure all teachers are great before they begin teaching,” they write.

What’s more, policymakers don’t know how to help teachers improve once they begin teaching, including how best to keep advancing the effectiveness of veteran educators.

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

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/5Wq (Bellwether Education Partners)

 


 

 

Amazon, Ed. Organizations Launch Blitz for “Growth Mindset” in Math Education Week

 

The belief that students benefit academically from having a “growth mindset” has spread quickly from the research arena to classrooms, and now education companies selling tech products to schools and advocacy organizations are aggressively promoting the concept, too.

In what might be the clearest example of the concept’s rapid take-up, Amazon Education and TenMarks, another Amazon company focused on schools, today announced a national campaign to “transform student attitudes about math,” and encourage teachers to promote positive thinking about the subject.

K-12 officials, education organizations, and businesses have for years struggled to find ways to encourage students to approach math with enthusiasm and confidence, rather than sourness and self-doubt.

The hope is that changing opinions about math will lead more students to take the subject seriously, succeed in it, and potentially choose careers that rely on it.

The new campaign, titled “With Math I Can,” asks teachers and students around the country to take a pledge that they will replace the attitude, “I’m not good at math” with the view that “I am working to get better at math.” Amazon Education and TenMarks are directing educators, students, and parents to a new website, www.withmathican.org, which includes resources designed to promote perseverance, motivation, and achievement in math.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/5WV (Seattle Times)

 


 

 

NEA, AFT Presidents: Hillary Clinton Can Make Things Happen Education Week

 

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton barely eked out a win against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Democratic caucuses Monday and is likely to lose the New Hampshire primary next week, based on the latest polling.

But the two national teachers’ unions, which have put their muscle and money behind Clinton, say they not disheartened with their candidate—they’re in this for the long haul.

There are 49 states to go, said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, the president of the National Education Association, a 3 million-member And, no matter how close the margin was in Iowa, a victory is a victory.

“We’ll take it!” she said of the close win in a phone interview Tuesday, from the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, is on the same page. “The fact that she won the caucus, I thought that was terrific,” Weingarten said in a separate interview Tuesday, just before heading out canvass in the Granite State.

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

 


 

Education Department CIO rushed to hospital after House questioning Chief Information Officer Danny Harris was transported to George Washington University Hospital Tuesday after a four-hour-long hearing that probed his misconduct.

FedScoop

 

Education Department Chief Information Officer Danny Harris collapsed Tuesday after intense questioning by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and was rushed to George Washington University Hospital. He was conscious and in stable condition Tuesday afternoon, an agency spokeswoman confirmed by email.

Harris, who started at the department as an intern in 1985, was the focus of an intense hearing into his conduct. Investigators at the department confirmed he used his office improperly, running a home theater installation business and a car detailing venture, and failing to report the extra income on his tax returns.

He also secured a job for a relative in the agency and had a close friend whose company was awarded about $10 million in contracts to perform work for the department.

“Simply put, the CIO’s failure to bring high ethical standards to work — institutions suffer, and the data of millions of Americans are in danger,” said Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah http://go.uen.org/5Ws

 

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

 

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

 


 

 

Seeing success, conservative Oklahoma banks on universal preschool NewsHour

 

Children in Oklahoma don’t wait for kindergarten to begin public education; there’s preschool for anyone who wants it. While costly, the government program has been hailed for the long-term benefits and has become a national model.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/5WR (Hechinger Report)

 


 

 

California faces a dire teacher shortage. Should other states worry, too?

Report suggests that California expand routes to the classroom to fill positions Hechinger Report

 

California should consider recruiting teachers as early as high school and offer clear pathways to the classroom for aspiring educators who transfer from other careers or states to mitigate a chronic teacher shortage.

Those are two of the policy recommendations in a new report by the nonprofit California-based Learning Policy Institute, which suggested seven strategies to get more teachers into the classroom, especially in hard-to-fill positions.

“When California last experienced severe teacher shortages in the late 1990s, it took a wide array of programs to begin to stabilize the teaching force,” wrote the authors of the report. “Most of these have, unfortunately, been discontinued or sharply reduced since then, leaving the state with few existing tools to use to address the current situation.”

The authors suggested that California invest in a program that would recruit new teachers from colleges, other states, and other careers and simplify the path to the classroom. Aspiring teachers interested in teaching high-shortage subject areas should be given incentives, such as funds to cover tuition and living expenses or loan forgiveness. And recruitment efforts should start early, the authors said, by offering free teacher preparation to the top 5 percent of high school graduates at each high school in the state and providing exposure to the teaching career during high school.

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

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/5WT (Learning Policy Institute)

 


 

 

Trying to stem refugee influx, Sweden asks: When is a child not a child?

Reuters

 

STOCKHOLM | Under huge strain from an influx of unaccompanied children seeking asylum, the Swedish government faces political pressure to undertake medical tests like X-rays to vet the age of young refugees despite opposition from doctors and lawyers.

The controversy reflects tensions over surging immigration into the Nordic country of 10 million after a public backlash that saw controls reimposed on the border with Denmark, from which most migrants have entered Sweden.

Sweden took in 163,000 asylum seekers last year, the most per capita in Europe. They were among more than one million who streamed into the continent, fleeing increasing conflict and deprivation in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

More than a fifth, 35,000, of those reaching Sweden have been unaccompanied children, stretching services like schools.

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

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

February 3:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2016/html/00000875.htm

 

House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee meeting

4 p.m., 450 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/HLAW0203.ag.htm

 

Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee meeting

4:11 p.m., 415 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/SGOP0203.ag.htm

 

House Judiciary Committee meeting

4:15 p.m., 20 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/HJUD0203.ag.htm

 

 

February 4:

Senate Education Committee meeting

2 p.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/SEDU0204.ag.htm

 

House Education Committee meeting

4 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/HEDU0204.ag.htm

 

Utah State Board of Education study session and committee meetings

5 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

6:10 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

 

February 5:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

8 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

February 11:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

9 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

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