Education News Roundup: Feb. 25, 2016

L-R: Utah Board of Education leadership Dave Thomas, Dave Crandall and Jennifer Johnson at the Capitol.

L-R: Utah Board of Education leadership Dave Thomas, Dave Crandall and Jennifer Johnson at the Capitol.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Senate rejects fees for full-day kindergarten.

http://go.uen.org/6bS (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/6bZ (DN)

 

Utah Political Capitol looks at the charter school funding bill.

http://go.uen.org/6c7 (UPC)

 

Stateline looks at the national teacher shortage.

http://go.uen.org/6ci (Stateline)

 

California teacher tenure case is back in the news.

http://go.uen.org/6cm (LAT)

and http://go.uen.org/6bE (Fresno [CA] Bee) and http://go.uen.org/6bD (Ed Week)

 

High school principals oppose opt outs.

http://go.uen.org/6bJ (Ed Week)

or a copy of the policy

http://go.uen.org/6bK (National Association of Secondary School Principals)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Utah Senate rejects proposal to charge fees for full-day kindergarten

 

Questions Surround SB 38’s Charter School Funding Changes

 

Two education bills change year-end tests for students, teacher evaluations

 

Vaccinations In The Utah House On Thursday’s Access Utah

 

High school students supporting e-cig tax bill getting threats, lawmaker says

 

Potential new teacher retirement policy extends years of service

 

Cache County School District refinancing loan for new schools

 

Utah girl genius, 10, honored nationally for math skills

 

Elementary Students Perform in Original Musical Based on Utah Olympians

 

Northern Utah schools prepare to take the stage with spring musicals, plays

 

Pleasant Grove teen named finalist for Military Child of the Year

 

Pro Kids

 

Arts, Museums Arts education grants available for schools, school districts

 

Granite High School Site Could Become A Walmart South Salt Lake City Council approves zoning change in a 4-3 vote

 

High school artists lauded for their work

 

STEM concepts take wing

 

Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert rewards Draper elementary for reading

 

CBN helps Utah Catholic Schools

 

Educator of the Week: Lisa DuVernay

 

Student of the Week: Olivia Styler

 

JL Bowler awards ‘Good Citizenship’

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

How college admissions are distorting the character of America’s high school students

 

Legislature, public must act to save children’s brains

 

Personalized learning: Why your classroom should sound like a coffee shop iPads, partnerships and real world work

 

In education publishing, even the stalwarts need to get on board with digital

 


 

 

NATION

 

What Does It Take to End a Teacher Shortage?

 

How easy should it be to fire bad teachers? A landmark case may decide for California

 

High School Principals Group Takes Stand Against Testing Opt-Outs

 

Study: Black, Hispanic parents more likely to say college degree is important

 

Study Explains The Sad Reason Behind The Achievement Gap In Science If this gap continues, the consequences could be dire.

 

Feds Eye Disparities in Supports for SAT, ACT Justice dept. exploring why students with disabilities miss out on supports for required ACTs, SATs

 

John King Quizzed on Charters, Teachers, Spending at House Budget Hearing

 

School District Board Votes To Provide Free Condoms To Middle School Students

 

Gov: Transgender meeting ‘helped me see things through their eyes’

Gov. Daugaard has until March 1 to act on transgender bathroom bill

 

The New Dream Jobs

What a survey of millennials might tell us about the workplaces of the future

 

Greenwich High seniors protest reported graduation gown change

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Utah Senate rejects proposal to charge fees for full-day kindergarten

 

Full-day kindergarten programs will remain free of charge at the Utah schools that offer it.

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have allowed schools to charge a fee to families who enroll their children in supplemental kindergarten hours.

Ogden Republican Sen. Ann Millner, the bill’s Senate sponsor, said Utah’s full-day kindergarten programs are often limited to Title 1 schools, with a large number of low-income children.

She said her bill would allow district to expand their kindergarten programs by recouping some costs from parents willing to pay to enroll their children.

“This bill doesn’t provide day care. It doesn’t provide preschool,” she said. “It really is a rigorous, academic, kindergarten program.”

But several lawmakers expressed concerns about charging fees for the state’s public education system, and the competition the bill would create with education providers in the private sector.

http://go.uen.org/6bS (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/6bZ (DN)

 


 

 

Questions Surround SB 38’s Charter School Funding Changes

 

On Tuesday morning, during the Senate’s normal business on the second reading calendar, Senator Lincoln Fillmore (Republican – South Jordan) rose to make a somewhat rare request of the Senate body. Addressing the President, Wayne Niederhauser (Republican – Sandy), Fillmore requested “leave of the body” to open a bill file. As a newcomer, Senator Fillmore needed to catch-up to some of his more seasoned and senior colleagues, but not completely as the result of his freshman status.

When making his request Fillmore told the body, “You may remember that a compromise was reached on SB 38 and a substitute was prepared but further feedback from the House. [The House] has asked that we present that [bill] to them as two separate bills, so we just need to open one additional bill file to send both pieces.” At this point, President of the Senate asks the body, “Everybody understand the motion?” With a barely audible nay on the authorization, Senator Fillmore’s request was granted.

On the surface, all of this might appear as the routine legislative process, except that the record indicates that Senator Fillmore has requested seven bill files currently marked “in process” by the Senate clerks and all are awaiting text so that they can be numbered. Observers believe that four bills in preparation could be related to Fillmore’s concept of “equity pupil unit,” a key component of the aforementioned SB 38 which sought to increase funding for charter schools at the expense of public school districts.

http://go.uen.org/6c7 (UPC)

 


 

 

Two education bills change year-end tests for students, teacher evaluations

 

The Cache County and Logan City school districts’ superintendents are concerned about a bill that would remove end-of-year assessment scores from teacher evaluations and commented on another tweaking end-of-year assessment for students.

The two bills are House Bill 200 and House Bill 201, sponsored by Marie Poulson, D-Salt Lake City. HB200, which was passed by the House and went to the Senate on Wednesday, allows districts to waive year-end assessments for 11th graders; HB201, out of committee and still up for a floor vote, removes end-of-year assessment scores from teacher evaluations.

Steve Norton, superintendent of the Cache County School District and Frank Schofield, Logan City School District superintendent, gave their two cents on those bills.

http://go.uen.org/6bB (LHJ)

 


 

 

Vaccinations In The Utah House On Thursday’s Access Utah

 

Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, is sponsoring HB221, which would preserve parents’ rights to exempt their children from immunizations but would require those parents to watch an educational video to receive the exemption.

Rep. Moss says that the 15- to 20-minute video is meant to teach parents what to do in the case of an outbreak and standardize education across local health departments. She says that officials in some areas of Utah are reporting that those areas are close to losing herd immunity, in which everyone is protected indirectly from infectious disease because a great majority of the population is immune to infection.

Gayle Ruzicka, President of the Utah Eagle Forum is opposing HB221.

We’ll talk with Rep. Moss, Gayle Ruzicka, and two nurse practitioners, Lacey Eden and Beth Luthy.

http://go.uen.org/6cp (UPR, audio)

 


 

 

High school students supporting e-cig tax bill getting threats, lawmaker says

 

Salt Lake City — A criminal investigation is underway and a state lawmaker is fuming after some Utah high school students received threats.

Those threats are targeting the teens because of their support for House Bill 333, a measure that would tax e-cigarettes.

The Davis County sheriff tells 2News he’s opening an investigation, and the people making the threats could face serious consequences.

http://go.uen.org/6c8 (KUTV)

 


 

 

Potential new teacher retirement policy extends years of service

 

CEDAR CITY — Change is on the horizon in the Iron County School District, and although the changes are few, some of them will have long-term impact on educators.

In a regularly scheduled Iron County School District board meeting Tuesday, newly elected school board President Stephen Allen said that in response to concerns about losing valuable teachers who provide quality education to Utah students, the Utah Retirement Systems, an agency serving Utah public employees with retirement and insurance benefits, has asked districts statewide to change a portion of the Early Retirement Incentive Policy.

http://go.uen.org/6ct (SGN)

 


 

 

Cache County School District refinancing loan for new schools

 

With two new Cache County high schools in the middle of construction, the district is aiming to refinance a prior loan and reduce its interest rate to save money for future projects.

The final bids to refund the higher interest rate bonds issued in 2006 are due Thursday morning, according to Preston Kirk, senior vice president for George K. Baum & Company, a municipal adviser for the district.

According to Business Administrator Dale Hansen, the district received $129 million in voter authorization in 2013 and sold $90 million of the bonds to start construction projects in 2014. Hansen said the district is finishing up spending the $90 million, but still needs to complete the projects, so it is selling the remaining $39 million of new construction bonds and $6 million of refunding bonds. A refunding bond retires another bond before it matures.

http://go.uen.org/6c4 (LHJ)

 


 

 

Utah girl genius, 10, honored nationally for math skills

 

St. George, Utah —In a class full of St. George high school students, one student definitely stands out. Why? She’s only 10-years-old and can solve math problems that many of the older kids can’t even solve.

Catalina Lemmon is being called a prodigy by her peers and teachers after scoring a 570 on the math portion of the SAT and receiving honors from Johns Hopkins and Duke University.

“Math is really easy for me,” Catalina said.

Math is so easy for Catalina that she was able to skip from fifth grade to ninth grade, and is now living in a high-school world.

“I skipped around from algebra to trigonometry to geometry.”

To help her on her educational path, she enrolled at Providence Innovation Academy on 1746 South Blackridge Drive.

http://go.uen.org/6ca (KUTV)

 


 

 

Elementary Students Perform in Original Musical Based on Utah Olympians

 

BOUNTIFUL, Utah – Valley View Elementary school in Bountiful presents “Good as Gold.”  A unique story about two Utah Olympians.

The musical is about Noelle Pikus-Pace a skeleton racer, and Steven Holcomb a bobsledder, and how they overcame challenges to achieve their Olympic dreams.

http://go.uen.org/6cd (KTVX)

 


 

 

Northern Utah schools prepare to take the stage with spring musicals, plays

 

OGDEN — Spring is in the air and that means high school students all over the area will be hitting the stage in a wide variety of musicals and plays. Shows range from serious plays to fairy tale extravaganzas.

http://go.uen.org/6c1 (OSE)

 


 

 

Pleasant Grove teen named finalist for Military Child of the Year

 

The life of military brats is often nomadic and uncertain but rarely actually “bratty,” and the finalists for Military Child of the Year are good examples of this.

Jodi Johnson, a 17-year-old senior at Pleasant Grove High School, has moved with her family almost as many times as she is old. Her father, James, is in the National Guard and, in addition to being deployed, has often relocated his family for military assignments.

But despite her gypsy-like upbringing, Jodi excels at school and serving in her community, and because of it, she’s now a finalist in the 2016 Operation Homefront Military Child of the Year. If she wins for her military branch, she will receive a $10,000 scholarship.

http://go.uen.org/6c2 (PDH)

 


 

 

Pro Kids

 

ProStart (UtahRestaurantAssociation.org/Pro-Start.com) is a nationwide educational program that trains high-school juniors and seniors the skills and techniques to begin careers in culinary and hospitality positions in the restaurant industry. Under the leadership of Melva Sine, president of the Utah Restaurant Association (URA), Utah was the pioneering state for the ProStart program, which began in 1996. “ProStart is more than just a food course,” Sine says. “It helps inspire and educate our future generation of restaurateurs, chefs, managers and culinary professionals.”

Currently, Utah ProStart students from 40 different high schools around the state are engaged in regional culinary team competitions being held throughout Utah. The 10 highest-placing teams will go on to compete on Tuesday, March 8, at the South Towne Expo Center for the state championships during the URA’s industry career fair, themed “Passport to Success.” The public is invited to the ProStart cooking competitions. The winning Utah team will go on to the national ProStart competition in Dallas, April 29-May 1. In addition, the 13-episode reality TV series called Utah Prostart Teen Chef Masters is now available to view at Ora.tv/TeenChefMasters.com.

http://go.uen.org/6co (Salt Lake City Weekly)

 


 

 

Arts, Museums Arts education grants available for schools, school districts

 

SALT LAKE CITY—Utah Arts and Museums (UA&M) recently announced that two Arts Education grants are available for eligible schools and school districts across the state: Artist-in-Residence and Arts Education Project Grants. Last year, UA&M granted over $65,000 in arts education grants. The application deadline is Friday, March 18.

For questions or assistance with the application process, contact our office at 801.236. 7547. Application and guidelines are online and may be accessed through uamgrants.utah.gov.

http://go.uen.org/6cq (PDH)

 


 

 

Granite High School Site Could Become A Walmart South Salt Lake City Council approves zoning change in a 4-3 vote

 

SOUTH SALT LAKE – A controversial zoning amendment that would allow a Walmart on the site of the former Granite High School passed 4-3 in a South Salt Lake City Council vote late Wednesday night.

http://go.uen.org/6cc (KTVX)

 


 

 

High school artists lauded for their work

 

Winners of the 44th annual Utah All-State High School Art Show present their artwork to Utah representatives from the gallery of the Utah House on Wednesday, February 24, 2016. Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox also hosted an award ceremony for the winners in the Gold Room of the Capitol in Salt Lake City. There were 979 works from 95 schools across the state entered in the contest. Of those entries, 328 were selected for display in the exhibition.

http://go.uen.org/6bV (DN)

 


 

 

STEM concepts take wing

 

Edonna Halilovic, Trindee Mendez, Kamila Bodero and Om Soni look over a balloon airplane they built at Neil Armstrong Academy in West Valley City on Wednesday, February 24, 2016. The students made the airplanes with the help of volunteers from Boeing, who taught the students the basics of flight. The students then worked together to complete design challenges and master key concepts using science, technology, engineering and math. In 2015, Boeing gave more than $300,000 in charitable contributions to support impactful STEM education programs throughout Utah, such as the Northern Utah STEM program in support of Granite, Davis, Weber, and Jordan School Districts and the Leonardo Museum’s teacher professional development programs.

http://go.uen.org/6bW (DN)

 


 

 

Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert rewards Draper elementary for reading

 

St. John the Baptist Elementary students got a stifling surprise Wednesday.

The Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert visited the Draper school for the team’s “Be a Team Player — Read!” contest.

The French center — nicknamed “the Stifle Tower” — was among the Jazzmen who visited eight elementary schools Wednesday to reward their students for reading. Two Tooele schools will have similar assemblies Thursday.

http://go.uen.org/6bR (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/6bY (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/6c3 (PDH)

 


 

 

CBN helps Utah Catholic Schools

 

Representatives of the Catholic Business Network present the proceeds from their first annual golf tournament to Mark Longe, superintendent of Utah Catholic Schools, and Holy Cross Sister Catherine Kamphaus, assistant superintendent. The CBN tournament raised $5,250, which they donated to the three Catholic high schools.

http://go.uen.org/6cn (IC)

 


 

 

Educator of the Week: Lisa DuVernay

 

Lisa DuVernay is a learning lab special education teacher at Traverse Mountain Elementary School. She was chosen as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Educator of the Week.

http://go.uen.org/6cr (PDH)

 


 

 

Student of the Week: Olivia Styler

 

Olivia Styler is a fourth-grader at Traverse Mountain Elementary School. She was chosen as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Student of the Week.

http://go.uen.org/6cs (PDH)

 


 

 

JL Bowler awards ‘Good Citizenship’

 

The J.L. Bowler Elementary School recognized its Good Citizens from each first through fifth grades for the month of December.

http://go.uen.org/6c5 (SGS)

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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How college admissions are distorting the character of America’s high school students Deseret News commentary by columnist Eric Schulzke

 

Ashley Gore is poised to graduate from high school with a 4.6 grade point average. She’s taken multiple advancement placement classes, ranks sixth in her class, and has some pretty nice SAT scores.

But the senior at Poly High School in Riverside, California, has two B’s, which bug her. And she has only two service projects to put on her college applications, when most applications have room for 10.

http://go.uen.org/6bT

 


 

 

Legislature, public must act to save children’s brains Deseret News op-ed by Cheryll May

 

We all have been outraged at the story of lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, which has inflicted the greatest harm on the city’s young children. During this period of the most rapid neurological development, lead poisoning has been shown to inflict the most “permanent and irreversible” damage.

What many do not realize is that thousands of Utah children are also being subjected to conditions proven to decrease the amount of grey and white matter, as well as the volume of the amygdala and hippocampus in their brains. This diminished brain development can account for 15 to 20 percent of the achievement gap these children exhibit in school and later in life. The cause of this stunted brain development is that these children are being raised in deep poverty.

Children living at 150 percent of the federally established poverty level and below have many strikes against them. They are often food and housing insecure, and many have no access to well baby medical care. Parents in poverty are often burdened with overtime work, multiple jobs and long commutes, leaving little time for the consistent and positive interactions essential for children’s cognitive and emotional development. These children are often subjected to “toxic” levels of stress that strip away essential parts of their brain architecture.

A great deal can be done to alleviate these negative effects of poverty. As the Utah Citizens’ Counsel notes in its recent annual report, a number of early training programs for parents and children have proven enormously helpful in mitigating these effects.

Such programs as the Nurse Family Partnership, the Salt Lake School District’s Parents as Teachers program and the Granite and Murray District’s DDI Vantage Early Head Start Program teach young mothers the skills they need to promote their children’s brain development.

http://go.uen.org/6bA

 


 

 

Personalized learning: Why your classroom should sound like a coffee shop iPads, partnerships and real world work Hechinger Report op-ed by BARBARA BRAY  and  KATHLEEN MCCLASKEY, co-authors of Make Learning Personal

 

There seems to be confusion around the term “Personalized Learning” and what is and what is not personalized learning.

Teachers are always asking us what does it look like and what happens in their role. The first thing we say is that the room sounds like a coffee shop. There is a hum with many people talking softly in different parts of the classroom. You don’t hear one person talking. Yet, in most traditional classrooms, the teacher is doing most of the talking.

The traditional classroom is all most of us know or experienced as learners ourselves. To know what it might look like in a personalized learning environment, teachers have to see and hear what it looks like.

http://go.uen.org/6cj

 


 

 

In education publishing, even the stalwarts need to get on board with digital Poynter Institute commentary by columnist Rick Edmonds

 

Aging gracefully is a tough trick in publishing these days. I caught up recently with the chief editors of Education Week and The Chronicle of Higher Education — industry-leading publications with more than 80 years in business between them. Each is seeing the same slow slide in print revenue as have daily newspapers, and each has embraced a digital strategy to stay sustainable.

At the Chronicle, President and Editor-in-Chief Michael Riley is placing what he calls “a pretty big bet” on Vitae, a digital system for managing academic resumes that will match employers and recruiters with job candidates.

I first wrote about plans for the venture more than two years ago. It has just come to market in the last several weeks, and Riley expects several more years work before it contributes profits. But he believes that there is a $60 to 70 million market in higher ed recruiting and that, with Vitae, “we have a shot at capturing a good share of that market.”

Doing so would essentially be a reinvention of the classified job postings that used to fill dozens of pages every issue and made the Chronicle, founded in 1966, a highly lucrative enterprise for decades.

Education Week, launched in 1981, has no comparable single product launch in the works. But President and Editor Virginia Edwards told me that digital subscriptions and other activities have gelled as the traditional print weekly audience fades.

http://go.uen.org/6ck

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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What Does It Take to End a Teacher Shortage?

Stateline

 

Prairie View Elementary School doesn’t usually have trouble attracting new teachers. It’s one of the more affluent schools in rural Enid, Oklahoma, housed in the district’s newest building, which looks out on to wheat fields.

“When I started having trouble hiring teachers — I can only imagine what the other principals are doing,” said Prairie View’s principal, Clark Koepping.

Schools nationwide are reporting teacher shortages that go beyond the chronic struggle to fill positions at low-income schools and in subjects such as science and special education. Oklahoma, where education funding has been slashed, may be the hardest hit state.

Like many of her counterparts, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has focused on one solution: giving teachers a raise. Her latest budget proposal finds money for teacher pay increases despite declining revenue and a projected $1.3 billion deficit for fiscal 2017.

In South Dakota this week, the House approved Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s plan to raise the state sales tax to fund teacher pay increases. New Mexico’s Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has proposed raising entry-level teacher salaries and expanding student loan repayment and scholarships. Washington’s Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee has also called for increasing teacher compensation.

Raising teacher pay is a simple policy lever for lawmakers to pull — most states have increased K-12 spending in recent years, including spending on teacher compensation. But there are other things states can do to close the gap, such as establishing residency programs, akin to those for young doctors, to give new teachers more support.

“The solution is to improve the job,” said Richard Ingersoll, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Some approaches, such as raising teacher salaries and reducing class sizes, cost a lot of money. Others, such as giving teachers a bigger role in how classrooms are run, do not.

http://go.uen.org/6ci

 


 

 

How easy should it be to fire bad teachers? A landmark case may decide for California Los Angeles Times

 

The sides squaring off in a Los Angeles appeals courtroom on Thursday in the landmark case of Vergara vs. California agree on this: Teachers are key to whether students founder or thrive, and far too many students are failing or falling behind.

The debate over how to address that problem has erupted into a pivotal fight over the competing and complementary rights of students and teachers.

The people who slammed the state with this high-stakes lawsuit have a straightforward prescription: Make it easier for schools to get rid of bad teachers.

Their opponents, including Gov. Jerry Brown and the state’s powerful teachers unions, characterize this solution as simplistic and even dangerous.

In 2014, L.A. Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu sided with the diverse group of nine students who brought the suit with support from a number of wealthy backers who want to see schools become more businesslike.

Treu threw out the state’s tenure and seniority systems, saying they harmed all students, but especially poor and minority students, leading to outcomes that “shocked the conscience.”

If that ruling holds up under appeal, teachers at unionized schools will no longer be entitled to a level of job security that’s rare, even in the public sector.

http://go.uen.org/6cm

 

http://go.uen.org/6bE (Fresno [CA] Bee)

 

http://go.uen.org/6bD (Ed Week)

 


 

 

High School Principals Group Takes Stand Against Testing Opt-Outs Education Week

 

The National Association of Secondary School Principals announced Wednesday that it opposes state and district policies that permit parents to opt their children out of standardized tests.

The statement was adopted by the NASSP’s board of directors, and announced as the organization’s annual meeting convened, in Orlando. The group will now solicit public comment on it before formal adoption planned for November.

The issue is a hot one, since opposition to standardized testing, and opting out of tests, has been rising. The new Every Student Succeeds Act still requires states to test 95 percent of students, however, and the U.S. Department of Education has warned them that they need to have a plan to deal with opt-out rates that endanger that participation rate.

The position paper says that despite a rise in opt-out activity, fueled by the view that students spend too much time taking tests, schools get a lot of valuable information from assessment results. Even a few students sitting out the test could alter those results, the statement cautions.

http://go.uen.org/6bJ

 

A copy of the policy

http://go.uen.org/6bK (National Association of Secondary School Principals)

 


 

 

Study: Black, Hispanic parents more likely to say college degree is important USA Today

 

The percentage of Americans with a college degree is at an all-time high. But rates of college completion differ — sometimes dramatically — between racial and ethnic groups.

As it turns out, so do attitudes about the importance of a college degree. A new analysis of findings by the Pew Research Center shows that when black, white and Hispanic parents are asked about education, a significantly higher percentage of black and Hispanic parents say it’s important that their children earn a college degree.

Nearly eight in 10 black parents say a degree is important, as do nearly nine in 10 Hispanics. By contrast, two-thirds of white parents with children under 18 say it is either “extremely” or “very important” that their children earn a college degree.

The survey data show blacks and Hispanics are also more likely to believe that having a college degree is a key component to being in the middle class.

The findings stand in contrast to recent U.S. Census Bureau figures that show white adults are much more likely than those in the other two groups to have completed four years of college.

http://go.uen.org/6bM

 

http://go.uen.org/6bO (Latin Post)

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/6bP (Pew Research Center)

 


 

 

Study Explains The Sad Reason Behind The Achievement Gap In Science If this gap continues, the consequences could be dire.

Huffington Post

 

The seeds of the achievement gap in science are planted before a child has ever set foot in an elementary school, according to a new study.

The new report out this month looks to explain why white, upper-class eighth-graders tend to perform much better in science than their low-income and minority peers.

Unfortunately, the answer involves a series of factors beyond any child’s control. By the time they enter kindergarten, white, affluent students already have a much larger general knowledge of science than their minority classmates, the study shows. This gap follows white and black students beyond elementary school to middle school, where more affluent students substantially outperform their peers on measures of science achievement.

The authors of the study — from Pennsylvania State University and University of California, Irvine — based their findings on a nationally representative sample of over 7,000 kids who entered kindergarten in 1998. Data on the children, maintained through the National Center for Education Statistics, was collected until 2007.

The study’s findings could have insidious consequences for the country. Employees of color are already vastly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. As growing wealth disparities continue to divide the country, low levels of science achievement have the potential “to derail the nation’s long-term global competitiveness,” the study says.

http://go.uen.org/6bF

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/6bG (Educational Researcher)

 


 

 

Feds Eye Disparities in Supports for SAT, ACT Justice dept. exploring why students with disabilities miss out on supports for required ACTs, SATs Education Week

 

As more states embrace the SAT or the ACT as their mandated high school test, a new gulf is opening between students with disabilities and those without, and it’s caught the eye of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The department’s civil rights division is gathering information about the practices of the College Board and ACT Inc. after persistent complaints that the testing organizations reject many requests for accommodations that are routinely provided by schools, such as extra time or frequent breaks.

That practice puts students with disabilities in a tough spot, particularly in the 23 states that now require high school students to take one of the two college-entrance exams. Students who can’t get the testing accommodations they’re used to can take the exams without them and risk a compromised performance, or, in some states, they can insist on their usual accommodations and give up a key benefit their non-accommodated peers receive: a “college-reportable” score.

That’s because the College Board and ACT Inc. won’t certify scores for use in college admissions if their tests aren’t taken with accommodations they approved. The organizations defend their practices, and say relatively few students end up with non-reportable scores.

http://go.uen.org/6ce

 


 

 

John King Quizzed on Charters, Teachers, Spending at House Budget Hearing Education Week

 

Acting Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. got asked about a variety of issues during the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Wednesday hearing on the U.S. Department of Education’s budget request for fiscal 2017, from charter schools to open educational resources.

King, whose own confirmation hearing will take place in the Senate education commitee on Thursday, was also quizzed about ways his department wants to improve the teaching profession and increase the diversity of the teaching workforce through its requested budget. And he was put on the hot seat by Republicans on the committee who expressed concerns about the new programs in the department’s request.

http://go.uen.org/6cg

 


 

 

School District Board Votes To Provide Free Condoms To Middle School Students Bay City News Service via San Francisco Chronicle

 

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Unified School District board voted unanimously on Tuesday to make condoms available to all middle school students.

Students will need to meet with a nurse or school social worker for assessment and education before they can receive the free condoms, but under state law do not need parental consent, district officials said.

The district has been providing condoms to high school students under a similar policy since 1992.

http://go.uen.org/6bH

 


 

 

Gov: Transgender meeting ‘helped me see things through their eyes’

Gov. Daugaard has until March 1 to act on transgender bathroom bill Sioux Falls (SD) Argus Leader

 

Gov. Dennis Daugaard said meeting with students “put a human face” on the impact a so-called transgender bathroom bill could have if he approves it.

In his first experience knowingly meeting with transgender people, Daugaard spoke for about half an hour Tuesday with three transgender people, including two students.

And while both sides entered the meeting a little nervous, Daugaard and two of the transgender residents left with a sense of understanding for one another.

“It helped me see things through their eyes a little better and see more of their perspective,” Daugaard said.

http://go.uen.org/6bQ

 

http://go.uen.org/6ch (Ed Week)

 


 

 

The New Dream Jobs

What a survey of millennials might tell us about the workplaces of the future New York Times Magazine

 

When the National Society of High School Scholars asked 18,000 Americans, ages 15 to 29, to rank their ideal future employers, the results were curious. To nobody’s surprise, Google, Apple and Facebook appeared high on the list, but so did the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The Build-A-Bear Workshop was No. 50, just a few spots behind Lockheed Martin and JPMorgan Chase. (The New York Times came in at No. 16.)

However scattershot, the survey offers a glimpse into the ambitions of the millennial generation, which already makes up more than a third of the work force. By 2020, it will make up half. Survey after survey shows that millennials want to work for companies that place a premium on employee welfare, offer flexible scheduling and, above all, bestow a sense of purpose. These priorities are well known and frequently mocked, providing grist for the oft-repeated claim that millennials are lazy, entitled job-hoppers.

But it’s important to remember that this generation was shaped by a recession, an unprecedented crush of student debt and a broad decline in the credibility of all kinds of institutions. Stability is an abstract concept to these young workers, so they instead tend to focus on creating a rich, textured life now, rather than planning for a future obscured by uncertainty. How these desires map onto companies like Google and Facebook is clear, given their strong roots in philanthropy and innovation. But the high ranking of national-security employers also speaks, just as clearly, to millennials’ hope to make a difference in the world.

http://go.uen.org/6bL

 


 

 

Greenwich High seniors protest reported graduation gown change Greenwich (CT) Time

 

Greenwich High School graduates will be getting a wardrobe change for this year’s commencement ceremony — a makeover many seniors have panned.

Breaking with the decades-old tradition of female graduates wearing white gowns and males wearing red, school administrators have decided to incorporate the school’s colors into a unisex “gender-neutral” outfit that will be red with white stripes. Diane Chiappetta Fox, the school’s student activities director, announced the change in a letter Monday to parents.

Headmaster Chris Winters said Wednesday the change will represent the unity of the graduating class. He pointed to school officials’ desire to recognize students who might not be comfortable with a gender-based dress code.

“We are increasingly aware of student choices with gender orientation,” Winters said in an email. “In an effort to respect all students, we will cease using separate-colored gowns for males and females. We strive for GHS to provide a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment for all. This small change of tradition demonstrates our commitment to those principles.”

http://go.uen.org/6cf

 

 

 

 

 

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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 25:

House Education Committee meeting

8 a.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/HEDU0225.ag.htm

 

Utah State Board of Education legislative meeting

Noon, 210 Senate Building

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

 

Senate Business and Labor Committee meeting

5:10 p.m., 215 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/SBUS0225.ag.htm

 

 

February 26:

Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting

8 a.m., 250 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/SREV0226.ag.htm

 

 

March 10:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://go.uen.org/62M

 

 

March 17:

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

 

 

March 18:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

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