Education News Roundup: March 31, 2016

Gov. Gary Herbert/education news roundup

Gov. Gary Herbert/education news roundup

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Gov. Herbert vetoes six bills and line-item vetoes some education funding.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6w9 (UP)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6wU (SLT)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6wm (DN)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6wy (KTVX)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6wV (KSL)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6wC (KSTU)

 

Enrollment is up at Utah colleges and universities.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wS (CVD)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6wY (PDH)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6wT (KSL)

 

Utah’s autism rate plateaus.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wi (SLT)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6×2 (DN)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6×3 (USN&WR)

or a copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/6×4 (CDC)

 

NBC profiles Lily Garcia.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wP (NBC)

 

For all of you who have been putting off finding out what’s in the new ESSA, Ed Week helps you out.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wM (Ed Week)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Herbert Vetoes Six Bills in Final Legislative Actions

 

New law requires Utah computer techs to report child porn

 

Enrollment at Utah colleges grows as missionaries return

 

Utah’s autism rate plateaus after 6-year surge

 

LDS general authority, a figure in Matthew Shepard story, talks to Utah teens about hate

 

New homeless-youths shelter will offer security, counseling and education

Volunteers of America » The 30-bed facility, which will be open 24/7, will offer education, counseling and job training.

 

Utah chosen to receive grant to better align schoolwork with industry needs

 

From Teacher to Powerful Labor Leader: Lily Eskelsen García’s Journey

 

Perry students learn about earthquake fault in their backyard

 

Provo Wasatch Elementary students use Chinese and English to share American heroes

 

Students get close-up look at Utah County agriculture

 

A teacher’s EDGE

 

Local actor, Dixie Middle School student, set for big screen debut

 

Cherry Hill Elementary celebrates 50 years with 50K acts of service

 

Open houses set for closing of Club Heights, MarLon Hills elementary schools

 

Construction under way for new North Ogden Junior High gym

 

State Parks officials praise local student for urging change to life jacket regulations

 

Utah donor boosts school-building efforts

Foundation pledges to give $1.5 million toward new Catholic school in the Lewiston Orchards

 

Local JROTC Team makes finalist in International Space Challenge

 

Candidates file for six local positions; Two school board members not seeking re-election

 

Second driver to be charged in connection with fatal Layton crosswalk crash

 

20 percent of Utah’s 4 year olds can now access UPSTART pre-K online program: Traducción en español

 

‘Get out, get out, get out’: Teenager has hilarious meltdown when embarrassing mom gate-crashes her high school dance

The footage has now gone viral, with nearly 500,000 YouTube viewers

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Goodbye to Tribune’s Tom Wharton, who took us to high school gyms, Utah’s outback and more

 

STDs on the Rise

 

The time is now to decide on public lands

 

To improve education, eliminate high school sports

 

Better effort needed to stop bullying

 

The Upside of Academic Tracking

New evidence suggests that black and Latino students thrive in honors class.

 

Here’s Why Tests Matter

The SAT is especially important. With grade inflation, report cards are basically meaningless.

 

Fixing our school facilities: An essential combination of education and infrastructure policy

 


 

 

NATION

 

The Every Student Succeeds Act: An ESSA Overview

 

Lifeline vote could help millions of poor families get online

 

Teachers sue over rule right to speak freely about tests

 

School leaders say they need more practical training in education technology. Here’s one way that can work

 

North Carolina Bathroom Law Could Be Decided in Virginia

 

Indian Education Director Demoted Amid Hiring Allegations

 

A Diverse Teaching Force? This Search Firm Can Help, But It’ll Cost You

 

School Climate: Ed. Dept. Provides Free Surveys, Resources to Schools

 

Chicago Teachers to Strike Over Contract, Budget

 

Chubb adds cyber bullying coverage to U.S. home insurance policies

 

Mind Craft

Microsoft’s popular video game Minecraft helps kids learn everything from programming, science and math to art, languages and history.

 

Shirley M. Hufstedler, First U.S. Secretary of Education, Dies at Age 90

 

Foundation Defends Award to Palestinian Teacher

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Herbert Vetoes Six Bills in Final Legislative Actions

 

GOP Gov. Gary Herbert finished up his work Wednesday on the 474 bills and resolutions passed by the 2016 Utah Legislature, which adjourned March 10.

The governor vetoed six bills, allowed one to become law without his signature (HB220 which the Democrats hated) and cut nine line items from various budget bills.

You can read the governor’s veto letters on his website, here.

He vetoed the following, along with their sponsors’ names:

H.B. 258                Solid Waste Amendments                                                           Rep. Curtis Oda

S.B. 87                   Administrative Rulemaking Act Modifications     Sen. Howard Stephenson

H.B. 377                Grandparent Rights Amendments                                           Rep. LaVar Christensen

*H.B. 2                  New Fiscal Year Supplemental Appropriations Act            Rep. Dean Sanpei

*H.B. 3                  Appropriations Adjustments                                                      Rep. Dean Sanpei

*S.B. 2                  Public Education Budget Amendments                  Sen. Lyle Hillyard

The veto that may cause the most umbrage among GOP legislators is several million dollars for a variety of education programs in SB2 – the primary education funding bill.

In his veto letter, Herbert says there is already some money in various accounts to pay for similar, or the same, programs.

But he didn’t like the micro-managing of education programs, something he told legislators during the session when Herbert said more money should be placed in the WPU and not allocated for specific programs.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6w9 (UP)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wU (SLT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wm (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wy (KTVX)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wV (KSL)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wC (KSTU)

 


 

 

New law requires Utah computer techs to report child porn

 

Computer technicians in Utah will now need to report child pornography they find while working on clients’ computers or face possible jail time.

A new law signed by Gov. Gary Herbert on Monday requires computer technicians who find child pornography to report what they have found to law enforcement or the federal cyber tip line.

House Bill 155 classifies the “willful failure” of a computer technician to report child pornography as a class B misdemeanor.

The new law would provide a safeguard for computer technicians who do file a report by keeping their identity confidential unless needed for a criminal investigation or judicial process.

Like the new bill, those who don’t report discovery of child porn can be charged with a class B misdemeanor.

“There’s plenty of laws already in place to cover what most of this new bill covers,” said Washington County School District Director of Technology Charlie Roberts. “By law any employee of the district is required to report any suspected child pornography on either a district school-owned or even personal device they see in the schools.”

Roberts said he has written a procedure that he will share with his technicians to ensure they are aware of the new law and what they must do to follow it.

He added that, like other federal laws, many people aren’t aware of new legislation that has passed. He said including the class B misdemeanor in the new law will add some impetus for people within the computer industry to better understand laws.

Roberts said there is, however, some concern among employees.

“My technicians are a little worried about this because this seems to make it possible for them to be accused,” Roberts said. “What I’ve done is written a procedure that I’ll share with my technicians so that they’re well aware of what they must do.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wZ (SGS)

 


 

 

Enrollment at Utah colleges grows as missionaries return

 

SALT LAKE CITY— The number of students at Utah colleges increased again this year as returning Mormon missionaries flooded back to school, helping campuses recover from enrollment drops following the church’s historic move to lower missionary ages, new data shows.

The current bump was tempered by declines among other groups of students as the improving economy sent people to the workforce instead of the classroom, higher education officials said.

Enrollment at Utah’s eight public colleges and universities grew by a total of about 2,000 students in January 2016 over the year before, an increase of 1.3 percent, according to Utah System of Higher Education data released Wednesday.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wS (CVD)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wY (PDH)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wT (KSL)

 


 

 

Utah’s autism rate plateaus after 6-year surge

 

Utah’s autism rate has held steady as the national rate also has leveled off, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s a stark difference from 2011, when researchers found autism’s prevalence had doubled in a six-year window.

“We’ve plateaued,” said Deborah Bilder, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah and a principal investigator on the study.

One in roughly 58 Utah 8-year-olds have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to the review of 2013 data. It’s a slight dip since 2010 — when the diagnosis rate was 1 in 54 — but researchers say the decline is not statistically significant.

It is the first year that the national average also has held steady.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wi (SLT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6×2 (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6×3 (USN&WR)

 

A copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/6×4 (CDC)

 


 

 

LDS general authority, a figure in Matthew Shepard story, talks to Utah teens about hate

 

Draper • Rulon Stacey said he truly learned what the word “hate” means in 1998, when he was CEO of the hospital where hate-crime victim Matthew Shepard was treated and ultimately died.

Stacey, a regional leader for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visited Corner Canyon High School on Wednesday to meet with students involved in a production of “The Laramie Project,” a play about Shepard’s death that features a character based on Stacey.

As the public face of Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo., where Shepard was transported after being attacked, tortured and left for dead, Stacey told the Draper students about navigating a media storm, arranging a call between President Bill Clinton and the Shepard family, and the angry and offensive letters he received after the news conference when Shepard’s death was confirmed.

He recalled one letter, in which he was called a “sniveling swine” and asked whether he also cried when “normal” people died or just when gay patients did.

“There are people out there who hate people without knowing them,” he said. “It was frightening for me to see that.”

Students performed “The Laramie Project” at Corner Canyon High School last month, and the production won first place at a regional high school theater competition. A statewide competition is scheduled for April.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wj (SLT)

 


 

 

New homeless-youths shelter will offer security, counseling and education

Volunteers of America » The 30-bed facility, which will be open 24/7, will offer education, counseling and job training.

 

A new day for homeless youths in Salt Lake City is about two months away as Volunteers of America-Utah puts the finishing touches on its 30-bed shelter at 888 S. 400 West.

The $6 million, 20,000-square-foot facility will offer 24/7 support as well as education, counseling and job training to help teens struggling with homelessness.

On Wednesday, Volunteers of America (VOA) officials offered a sneak peek of the state-of-the-art facility. It’s scheduled to open May 24.

Kathy Bray, the president and CEO of VOA-Utah, said the shelter will offer security to young people ages 15 to 22 and also will focus on health, education and employment.

At the new shelter, youths can attend classes from Horizonte, the alternative high school, get counseling for employment and use a computer lab, among other things.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wk (SLT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wW (KTVX)

 


 

 

Utah chosen to receive grant to better align schoolwork with industry needs

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is one of 24 states chosen to receive a $100,000 grant to examine how well schools are preparing students for employment and to develop a plan to improve.

The grants are part of a five-year $75 million initiative called New Skills for Youth, a partnership between the Council of Chief State School Officers, JPMorgan Chase and Advance CTE.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wo (DN)

 


 

 

From Teacher to Powerful Labor Leader: Lily Eskelsen García’s Journey

 

NAME: Lily Eskelsen García

HERITAGE: “My mom is from Panama and my dad from Mississippi.”

HOMETOWN: Salt Lake City, Utah

OCCUPATION/TITLE: President, National Education Association

Lily Eskelsen García is president of the United States’ largest labor union. Lily began her career in education as a school lunch lady and now leads a professional association of three million educators. She is the first Latina to lead the NEA and one of the country’s most influential Hispanic educators.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wP (NBC)

 


 

 

Perry students learn about earthquake fault in their backyard

 

Perry is pinched right along the Wasatch Fault Zone, which makes it perfectly positioned for students to learn about the ever-changing cycles of rocks.

This school year, fifth and sixth graders at the Promontory School for Expeditionary Learning have worked with Alexis Ault, an assistant professor in geology at Utah State University. Her specialty is geochronology — the science of rock dating. More specifically, she’s interested in earthquakes, including those that happened millions of years ago along the Wasatch Front.

“I feel like part of understanding how the Wasatch Fault has evolved over time, and understanding what it’s doing today, is knowing what the history of earthquakes is in the past,” she said. “As geologists, we always say ‘the past is the key to the present.’”

The Promontory School, a Perry-based charter school, puts an emphasis on field trips and active learning. Ault visited science classes to talk about faults earlier this year, but said she realized the complexity of past earthquakes is best demonstrated on-site at Utah State University’s many labs. So on Tuesday, the science class took a trip to Logan.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wp (OSE)

 


 

 

Provo Wasatch Elementary students use Chinese and English to share American heroes

 

Dressed as Juliette Gordon Low, Girl Scouts founder, Kelsey Burges gives her presentation in Chinese as part of the Chinese immersion program on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at Wasatch Elementary. Fifth and sixth grade students dressed up as Wax American History heroes for the day. SAMMY JO HESTER, Daily Herald

Numerous fifth graders in school districts throughout Utah County either dread or are excited about their American History Wax Museum presentations each year. The students participating in the Chinese Immersion program at Wasatch Elementary in Provo are no different.

But they are unique because not only did they have to do a month’s worth of research on their chosen hero, create a presentation board, write up their presentation speech, memorize it, gather items to represent their hero and dress up rather convincingly like them — they also then had to write out their speech in Chinese as well.

For the first time, as visiting students in third, fourth and sixth grade wandered the gym Tuesday at Wasatch Elementary, they could push an “English” button or a “Chinese” button at any station marked with Chinese writing. According to their choice, they could hear facts in Chinese or English about Einstein, Winfrey, Pocahontas, Stan Lee, Isadora Duncan, Alice Waters and others.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wv (PDH)

 


 

 

Students get close-up look at Utah County agriculture

 

SPRINGVILLE — A group of Utah County second-graders learned Wednesday it is not simply the supermarket up the street that provides fresh eggs for breakfast or hot dogs and hamburgers at family cookouts.

The annual Farm Field Days put on by the Utah Farm Bureau and held in various locations throughout the state showcased Harward Farms in Springville in a three-day event that concludes Friday.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wn (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wt (PDH)

 


 

 

A teacher’s EDGE

 

When a person finds something they are passionate about, it is said they will never work a day in their life, because it is a labor of love. Senior elementary education major Emilee Witt has found that passion in teaching.

Witt discovered her love of teaching when she was a senior in high school and was given the opportunity to be a teaching intern at Heber Valley Elementary School. When she started at SUU, she knew that she wanted to go into teaching, because of the way she felt in front of a class.

“When I am in front of a class of kids I come alive,” Witt said. “I feel most like myself when I am teaching.”

Witt decided to incorporate her love of teaching into her EDGE project, by helping students to improve their reading skills. She worked with a small group of second graders at Iron Springs Elementary, who were reading below their grade level.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6×1 (Southern Utah University News)

 


 

 

Local actor, Dixie Middle School student, set for big screen debut

 

  1. GEORGE — Caroline Labrum has been acting since she was a young girl, getting her first big role in “Les Miserables” at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins. Since then, the 15-year-old has had roles on the television dramas “Criminal Minds” and “Granite Flats” and is set to make her feature film debut Friday when the movie “Saturday’s Warrior” opens in theaters across Utah.

“Saturday’s Warrior” will have a limited early opening Thursday at Pineview Theaters, 2376 E. Red Cliffs Drive in St. George.

Labrum, a freshman student at Dixie Middle School, also recently finished filming a role in the movie “The Elving Project” which has not yet been released.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6×8 (SGN)

 


 

 

Cherry Hill Elementary celebrates 50 years with 50K acts of service

 

In honor of the school’s 50th birthday, students and staff at Cherry Hill Elementary are celebrating through service. During the past five months, members of the school have done 41,155 individual acts of service and 133 class service projects — all in hopes of reaching 50,000 acts of service by Thursday.

Individual acts of service included simple gestures such as shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, reading a book to a sibling, doing the dishes without being asked, taking homework to a sick friend and making cookies for classmates.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wu (PDH)

 


 

 

Open houses set for closing of Club Heights, MarLon Hills elementary schools

 

SOUTH OGDEN — Former students, employees and volunteers will have one last time to walk the halls of Club Heights and MarLon Hills elementary schools before the buildings close for good at the end of this school year.

Club Heights Elementary’s open house will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 20. The MarLon Hills Elementary open house is set for 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on May 11.

Club Heights Elementary was built in 1950, at 4150 S. 100 East, and three vehicles from that era will be parked outside during the open house.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wq (OSE)

 


 

 

Construction under way for new North Ogden Junior High gym

 

NORTH OGDEN — North Ogden Junior High School students celebrated the construction of their new gym during a groundbreaking ceremony held Tuesday, March 29. The groundbreaking was moved indoors because of wet weather, but it was symbolic from the start with excavation already under way.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wr (OSE)

 

 


 

 

State Parks officials praise local student for urging change to life jacket regulations

 

It started as a simple assignment, designed to teach sixth-grade students the art of argumentative writing, but in the last few weeks, that assignment has created a ripple effect, reaching as far as the Utah Department of Transportation, and the Utah Division of State Parks.

Several weeks ago, Buffy Camps asked her sixth-grade students to choose something they wanted to change, then write a letter that included the reasons they believed the change was needed, as well as research to support their position.

“We talked about how they have the power to make a change in their community when they are willing to address something they see needs to be fixed or made better,” Camps said.

Many of the letters were forwarded to the government entities responsible for the change in question. Earlier this month, a group of students spoke to the Moab City Council to address issues concerning the flashing yellow pedestrian lights on Main Street. Their letter caught the eye of officials at the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) who later gave a presentation to the students about UDOT’s plans for the Main Street corridor.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6xa (Moab Times Independent)

 


 

 

Utah donor boosts school-building efforts

Foundation pledges to give $1.5 million toward new Catholic school in the Lewiston Orchards

 

A $1.5 million pledge has enlivened efforts to build a new All Saints Catholic School next to its sister church in the Lewiston Orchards.

The money has been promised by the ALSAM Foundation in Salt Lake City, and will be donated once the school has $3.5 million toward the $5 million structure, according to the Rev. Brad Neely of All Saints Catholic Church.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6×7 (Lewiston [ID] Tribune)

 


 

 

Local JROTC Team makes finalist in International Space Challenge

 

ST GEORGE, Utah – Thanks to mentoring from a local NASA Scientist, a team of local students from Dixie High School’s Air Force JROTC program is among a select group of teams worldwide to earn a spot at the Finals in the first-ever StellarXplorers International High School Space Competition. Led by Colonel Glenn Whicker, the “Star Flyers” is one of just 10 teams to be invited to Colorado Springs next month to vie for the championship. Candy “CJ” Hansen-Koharcheck, a friend of the JROTC program with significant space expertise, helped tutor cadets in early competition activities that started last Fall, preparing them through two practice rounds and three online competition qualification rounds that ultimately identified the top 10 teams. Due to their performance during these rounds, six cadets and their coach will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Colorado for the Championship round, a tour of the Space Foundation’s 32nd Space Symposium, and an Awards Dinner next month.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wD (KCSG)

 


 

 

Candidates file for six local positions; Two school board members not seeking re-election

 

Based on political filings that officially closed March 17, Morgan County School Board’s District 3 is the hottest contested race.  Candidates Gaylene Adams, Jennie Earl and R. Kraig Walker will be on a primary election ballot June 28 for the four-year seat.  Incumbent and current Board Chairman Ken Durrant will be stepping down from that position at the end of the year after serving for 20 years.

Board Member Neil Carrigan, who has served on the board for eight years, will likewise be stepping down from the District 5 school board seat.  Candidates Jim Brown and Adam Toone both filed to fill the four-year position this time around.

Ronald Blunck, who was appointed in June to his school board seat representing District 1, will retain his seat for another four years in an uncontested race.

The school board will be appointing someone to fill a seat to be left vacant by Mark Farmer, representing District 4.  Applications are being taken at the school district office through Friday, May 6.  Applicants will be interviewed in an open meeting May 10, followed that day by a swearing in.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6×5 (Morgan County News)

 


 

Second driver to be charged in connection with fatal Layton crosswalk crash

 

LAYTON — Layton police say the second driver involved in a fatal crash in a Layton crosswalk will be charged.

Lt. Travis Lyman said on Wednesday, March 30, that Layton City Attorney’s Office will file a charge of improper lookout, a class C misdemeanor, against Julia Nelson, 38, of Layton.

As of Wednesday morning, the case was not filed in 2nd District Justice Court in Layton, according to the court website.

Nelson was driving a Dodge Durango going northbound when police say she hit BaiLee DiBernardo, 17, in the crosswalk.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6ws (OSE)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wB (KSL)

 


 

 

20 percent of Utah’s 4 year olds can now access UPSTART pre-K online program: Traducción en español

 

SALT LAKE CITY— Because of UPSTART’s success in preparing Utah’s preschool-age children for school, the state Legislature earlier this month increased the amount of funding for the program, making the program available free to 7,800 enrollees, or 20 percent of Utah’s 4 year olds.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wx (SGN)

 


 

 

‘Get out, get out, get out’: Teenager has hilarious meltdown when embarrassing mom gate-crashes her high school dance

The footage has now gone viral, with nearly 500,000 YouTube viewers

 

When you’re 15, the last thing you want it your parents to turn up to your high school dance.

But a fun-loving mom and dad from Utah thought they’d do just that.

Judd Bagley and his wife, Kristen from Salt Lake City surprised their 9th grade daughter at a dance after she’d specifically asked them not to chaperone her.

‘We respected her wishes but did decide to drop in and see what she was up to,’ Judd wrote online.

Unsurprisingly the 14 year old took the intrusion badly.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6×9 (London Daily Mail)

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Goodbye to Tribune’s Tom Wharton, who took us to high school gyms, Utah’s outback and more

Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist PAUL ROLLY

 

Granite High sophomore Tom Wharton had just made the staff of the Granitian, the school’s student newspaper.

That allowed him to attend a daylong high school journalism workshop to hear lectures from Salt Lake Tribune sportswriters John Mooney and Dick Rosetta, among others, and then participate in a writing contest.

The next morning, he was awakened by his father who told him his name was in The Tribune. He was one of the winners and, as a result, got to be an honorary sportswriter for the paper and help cover the 1967 high school basketball tournament.

Thus began Wharton’s five-decade-long journalism adventure. His coverage of the just-completed 2016 prep basketball tourneys, which now include girls’ contests, concluded 50 straight years of high school sports reporting for Wharton.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6×6

 


 

 

STDs on the Rise

Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist Katharine Beile

 

Let’s talk sex. The Deseret News did when it raised the alarm about a huge rise in STDs in Utah. And buried in the news story was a cry against abstinence-only education. “It kind of denies both the reality and it rejects kids that are sexually active,” a Salt Lake City School District official said. “Kind of”? An after-school program sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Utah is at risk with the governor’s decision to cut funding. And a bill from Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, to allow parents to opt-in to comprehensive sex education was defeated. All this while chlamydia, syphilis, HIV and gonorrhea have been rising precipitously over the past five years. So by all means, let Mom and Dad handle the problem. They’ve been doing a great job.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6×0

 


 

 

The time is now to decide on public lands

(St. George) Spectrum op-ed by Sen. David P. Hinkins, Rep. Keven Stratton and Washington County Commissioner Alan Gardner

 

For years, the debate over federal v. state land ownership has been raging in Utah.

Democrat Gov. Scott M. Matheson declared himself a “Sagebrush Rebel” and many of our leaders, past and present, have understood the inherent injustice in the federal government owning and controlling in perpetuity the majority of the land within the borders of our state.

Over the past few years, the Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands has looked very closely at Utah’s ability to manage its lands from a financial perspective, as well as to assess the viability of legal claims that might allow it to do so.

If the federal government controls two-thirds of the land within a state, it is clear that the state’s treatment is not equal to those 38 states that control the majority of their own lands and are able to make their own decisions regarding growth, development, taxing and the building of roads and infrastructure.

Does the fact of this disparate treatment, then, impact the sovereignty of Utah and others similarly situated? Self-government and the right to tax have been ruled by the Court to be fundamental aspects of state sovereignty. Utah’s taxing authority is limited to one-third of its land and greatly affects our ability to more adequately fund schools and other state and municipal services.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wQ

 


 

 

To improve education, eliminate high school sports

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Natasha Herbst

 

Athletics are a huge part of our culture as Americans, but have we paused to consider how this affects our country?

Billion dollar sports stadiums are dotted across the country, and the Super Bowl is by far the most watched television broadcast.

From a young age we are exposed to the idolization of sports. Famous athletes are our version of American royalty, and our high school environments are no different. Athletics are seen as a must when in all reality just over half of high school students play sports and only about 2 percent get athletic scholarships.

When there are budget cuts, the first things to go are teachers, library services and guidance services.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wl

 


 

 

Better effort needed to stop bullying

(Provo) Daily Herald letter from Melanie Ward

 

Bullying happens every day, whether it is in school or online. Some say it is an epidemic in America. It also seems to be a major cause of suicide.

Bullying is on a scale larger than anything we’ve ever seen in the past. How can something this huge go unnoticed by so many people? Why aren’t more measures being taken in schools to stop it? The efforts being made are appreciated, but more needs to be done.

My brother suffers from bullying almost every day, if not every day.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6ww

 


 

 

The Upside of Academic Tracking

New evidence suggests that black and Latino students thrive in honors class.

Atlantic commentary by columnist JILL BARSHAY

 

Tracking, the practice of putting a small group of higher achieving students into separate advanced or honors classes, isn’t popular with progressive educators. Previous research has pointed out that it exacerbates inequality in our schools because higher income and white or Asian kids are more likely to get tracked into the elite classrooms. Students who aren’t chosen can become demoralized, or the curriculum in the average class can get too watered down. Great teachers and extra resources get steered to these honors programs, leaving the kids who need the most help with less. Researchers have sometimes found that lower-achieving kids are worse off in schools that track.

Now two fresh studies, both published in March 2016, make a compelling case for continuing to cream off the top students and teach them in separate classrooms. One, from the Brookings Institution, suggests that the United States won’t produce as many students, including blacks and Hispanics, who can master higher mathematics if schools don’t begin preparing them separately, starting in eighth grade. The second one, from two economists, finds that tracking can close the achievement gaps both between high-IQ blacks and whites and between high-IQ Hispanics and whites.

The Brookings researcher, Tom Loveless, found that states that track more students into different ability levels in eighth-grade math wind up with more students scoring better on the Advanced Placement calculus exam, typically taken by top students during the senior year of high school. States where tracking isn’t practiced as much had fewer students hitting a passing score of 3 or higher on this AP math test.

“We’re talking about a very rarefied group of high-achieving kids who are taking the toughest courses and the toughest tests,” said Loveless, the author of the study. “My point is that they don’t just get there out of thin air. You need to cultivate talent over time in mathematics.”

Tracking in eighth-grade math—steering some to algebra and most others to another year of general math—remains popular across the United States. It’s also a critical decision in a student’s life. Kids who don’t study algebra in eighth grade proceed on a path that effectively shuts them off from calculus and advanced science classes. On average, Loveless found that states tracked about three-quarters of eighth-graders in math, with Arkansas tracking the least (50 percent) and Nevada the most (97 percent). (The data came from surveys of school principals conducted by the National Assessment for Educational Progress, or NAEP, in 2009).

Four years later, in 2013, roughly around the time that these eighth-graders would have been eligible to take the AP calculus exam, Loveless found that states with more tracking had more passing scores. For example, Utah tracks 89 percent of its students in eighth-grade math, and 70 percent of AP calculus test takers in Utah scored a 3 or higher. In Texas, only 57 percent of students are tracked, and only 52 percent of the state’s AP calculus test takers passed.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wX

 


 

 

Here’s Why Tests Matter

The SAT is especially important. With grade inflation, report cards are basically meaningless.

Wall Street Journal op-ed by JAMES PIERESON, president of the William E. Simon Foundation, and  NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY, senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum

 

Earlier this month, students for the first time took a new, and allegedly improved, SAT. The test’s developer included more-contemporary vocabulary and removed penalties for guessing the wrong answer. The changes came with a predictable outcry—complaints, for instance, that too many word problems in the math sections disadvantage some students. There was also a familiar refrain from parents: Why do we have this exam at all? Why do colleges put so much stock in the results? And why-oh-why do our kids have to take so many tests?

It might seem unfair that admissions officers place almost as much weight on a one-morning test as they do on grades from four years of high school, as a 2011 survey from the National Association for College Admissions Counseling showed. But there’s a simple reason for this emphasis on testing: Policy makers and educators have effectively eliminated all the other ways of quantifying student performance.

Classroom grades have become meaningless. Last year a public-school district in northern California decided to score on an “equal interval scale”—meaning every letter grade is assigned a 20-point range. Students who score above 80% get an A. Only those below 20% will be given an F. This is only part of a larger trend.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wa

 


 

 

Fixing our school facilities: An essential combination of education and infrastructure policy

Washington Post op-ed by Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Biden, is a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

 

We can argue all day about the role of government in our economy, but there are two areas where that role is widely agreed to be essential: education and public infrastructure. Well, there’s a great way to roll those roles together: a deep investment in the quality of our public school facilities.

Here are some facts to get you thinking about the scope of the problem, from a careful and timely new study by three groups that brought some heavy analytic firepower to this question of the state of our schools:

— Every school day, 50 million students and 6 million adults (mostly teachers) meet at the 100,000 K-12 public schools nationwide. These buildings, along with supporting areas, such as bus lots and storage areas, comprise 7.5 billion square feet, the equivalent of half the total commercial space in the country. After highways, this is the biggest piece of our public infrastructure.

— Although considerable variation exists, the average age of the main building of a public school today is about 44. That means many roofs, windows, boilers, and ventilation, plumbing and electrical systems need to be fixed, upgraded or replaced.

— Although the local share of operating costs is 42 percent, localities are responsible for 82 percent of capital costs (which is what pays for infrastructure). Given the increase in income inequality by place, that fact automatically maps inequality into our public education infrastructure.

— That imbalanced investment formula is especially damaging given the relationship between learning and learning environment. “Because local wealth is the primary source of capital construction funds, underinvestment disproportionately affects children from low-income families. The results affect both students’ well-being and their educational opportunities.”

I find this last point particularly motivating.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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The Every Student Succeeds Act: An ESSA Overview

Education Week

 

The new Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law Dec. 10, 2015, rolls back much of the federal government’s big footprint in education policy, on everything from testing and teacher quality to low-performing schools. And it gives new leeway to states in calling the shots.

That’s a big change from the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which ESSA replaced and updated.

The Every Student Succeeds Act takes full effect in the 2017-18 school year. Below are key elements of the law.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wM

 


 

 

Lifeline vote could help millions of poor families get online

CNNMoney

 

As everything from homework and job applications move online, millions of Americans who can’t afford to access the Internet risk being left behind, creating a massive digital divide.

On Thursday, that gap may finally close a little. The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote on a proposal to expand its 31-year-old Lifeline program, which currently subsidizes telephone access for low-income Americans. If approved, the program would offer low-income households a $9.25 a month subsidy for broadband Internet access at home or to add a data plan to their cell phones.

More than 40 million could be eligible for the program if they meet income requirements or are enrolled in government benefit programs like SNAP. Although roughly 12 million currently participate in Lifeline.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wb

 


 

 

Teachers sue over rule right to speak freely about tests

Santa Fe New Mexican

 

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico sued the state Public Education Department on Wednesday, alleging that a regulation prohibiting teachers from “disparaging” standardized testing is a violation of their free speech rights.

The ACLU wants the state District Court in Santa Fe to rule that the regulation is unconstitutional and to force the education department to stop using it.

“Teachers are afraid of saying anything about the tests, including telling parents that they have the right to opt their children out,” said María Martínez Sánchez, the ACLU attorney who filed the complaint on behalf of four Albuquerque teachers, one teacher in Santa Fe and a parent who has a child in the public school system. “The state, via the [Public Education Department], has really muzzled teachers, silenced them to the point that they are fearful of losing their licenses over speaking critically about standardized testing.”

But a spokesman for the education department said that is not true and the regulation, put in place in 2009 under former Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, has never been enforced. The spokesman said the state has never punished or even threatened a teacher with punitive action for speaking about standardized tests.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wc

 


 

 

School leaders say they need more practical training in education technology. Here’s one way that can work

Hechinger Report

 

Barbara Treacy, a lecturer at Harvard University with expertise in blended learning, has devoted quite a bit of time to talking to school leaders about education technology.

A theme developed from these conversations. Over and over she heard from administrators with this a lonely refrain: “We just really never have a place where leaders can talk to each other.”

Many education technology creators have targeted teachers, rather than entire districts, to get a foothold in classrooms. An overwhelming majority of schools now provide computers in classrooms, and new money from the federal government is advancing the march of modern Internet access to even the poorest schools.

As a result, innovation has been able to grow organically, with teachers leading the way on experiments to improve classroom instruction with the help of technology. But this created a scattershot effect, with pockets of teachers trying new things. It also left these pioneering teachers to be assessed for their effectiveness by school leaders – many of them had not been trained in these new tools.

“This is the group that is both a critical lever in success in any change process — and that includes technology,” Treacy said. “They have to be prepared to lead it.”

New programs, such as The Friday Institute at North Carolina University (where Treacy is a consultant), are designed to help principals who need training to take blended and online learning to the next level in their schools. The University of Pennsylvania offers training focused on teaching educators how to work in a blended learning school. And academia isn’t the only group attempting to tackle it. The Lexington Institute, a conservative-leaning think tank in Washington, D.C., offers training for innovative school leaders.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wf

 


 

 

North Carolina Bathroom Law Could Be Decided in Virginia

Associated Press

 

RICHMOND, Va. — The fate of North Carolina’s new law aimed at restricting restroom use by transgender people could be determined in Virginia, where a school board has ordered a teenager to stay out of the boys’ room.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond could rule any day now in the case of Gavin Grimm, who was born female but identifies as male. Grimm says he has to take a “walk of shame” to use a restroom at Gloucester High School.

Whatever the judges decide, the impact will be far more sweeping than what Grimm envisioned when he challenged the policy last year.

“I did not set out to make waves – I set out to use the bathroom,” Grimm says.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6we

 


 

 

Indian Education Director Demoted Amid Hiring Allegations

Associated Press

 

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The director of the federal agency that oversees education for American Indian children was demoted Wednesday after a federal watchdog found he used his influence to get jobs for a close relative and a woman with whom he had a romantic relationship.

Charles “Monty” Roessel abused his position as director of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education to help the woman secure multiple positions and to get the relative a job on the Navajo Nation, the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General said in a report.

Roessel has led the bureau since late 2013. He didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wI

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wJ ([Verona, NY] Indian Country Today)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wR (CVD)

 


 

 

A Diverse Teaching Force? This Search Firm Can Help, But It’ll Cost You

NPR

 

More than half of public school students are members of minority groups, but 83 percent of their teachers are white. Half of students are boys, while three-quarters of teachers are women.

Students can benefit in many ways from having teachers who look like them, but in many schools around the country the math doesn’t add up.

In recent years, attention to the issue has been increasing, with national teachers unions and the U.S. Education Department, among others, trying to raise awareness and drum up more diverse recruits.

One man working in the private sector to address this problem — or at least a slice of it — is a former elementary school teacher named Orpheus Crutchfield. He’s the president of Stratégenius LLC in Berkeley, Calif. (Yes, it’s spelled with the accent over that first e.) It’s been around for 15 years. And to his knowledge, it’s the only search firm in the country that specializes in placing underrepresented candidates in schools.

If your school is looking for a male kindergarten teacher, a female physics teacher or a person of color in any position, Crutchfield says, he can help.

But it’s going to cost. The firm typically works with between 55 and 65 schools at a time, charging each one a $1,650 annual retainer.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wE

 

 


 

 

School Climate: Ed. Dept. Provides Free Surveys, Resources to Schools

Education Week

 

The U.S. Department of Education released a free, web-based survey Thursday that schools can use to track the effectiveness of school climate efforts and resources on how to best improve learning environments for students.

The surveys, developed with input from researchers and the department’s office of safe and healthy students, can be administered to middle and high school students, staff, parents, and guardians, providing real-time data about their perceptions of the school environment.

That data can be stored on state and local data systems, the Education Department said, adding that “the federal government is planning to conduct a sample-based study using the surveys for benchmarking but will not collect or store data generated by schools using the surveys for their own school climate improvement purposes.”

Tracking school climate through periodic surveys is part of a growing trend as more and more research shows the role that discipline policies, supportive relationships, and emotional health play in students’ academic success. Cleveland schools, for example, regularly administer “conditions for learning” surveys, providing the results in an easily readable format on school-level report cards. Principals and teachers regularly review the data to inform policies and tweak practices.

The new federal surveys provide a tool for schools and districts that may not have had the resources or capability to develop one on their own.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wF

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wG (ED)

 


 

 

Chicago Teachers to Strike Over Contract, Budget

Associated Press

 

CHICAGO — Thousands of Chicago teachers plan to walk off the job for one day on Friday, shutting down schools in the nation’s third-largest district.

The walkout could be an early glimpse of a prolonged strike still to come.

Some 27,000 Chicago Teachers Union members have worked without a contract since June. They’ve overwhelmingly authorized an open-ended strike like the one that closed schools for more than a week in 2012. That would still be weeks away.

The union says it wants to draw attention to its fight for a new contract and better funding for a district “on the verge of financial collapse.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wL

 


 

 

Chubb adds cyber bullying coverage to U.S. home insurance policies

Reuters

 

Insurer Chubb Ltd said on Wednesday it has added coverage to help U.S. victims of cyber bullying pay for costs, including mental health treatment, legal expenses and lost wages.

The company said it added $60,000 of cyber bullying coverage to its U.S. Masterpiece Family Protection policy, a $70-a-year add-on. The insurance already covers threats including stalking, carjacking, home invasion, air rage, hijacking and child abduction.

Chubb added the coverage amid unprecedented public awareness of cyber bullying. Last year an article in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics reported that about a quarter of U.S. adolescents had experienced cyber bullying through social media, (reut.rs/1MBu3cS)

Chubb said the new coverage will pay for expenses resulting from “harassment and intimidation” over personal computers, telephones or mobile devices.

Covered costs include psychiatric care, temporary relocation services, education expenses, public relations services and cyber security consulting.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wh

 


 

 

Mind Craft

Microsoft’s popular video game Minecraft helps kids learn everything from programming, science and math to art, languages and history.

c/net

 

Concerned because you can’t pry your daughter away from Minecraft? Worried that your son spends every moment obsessing over moves in the super-popular video game?

Chill. It turns out that Minecraft builds up brain cells instead of dissolving them.

Minecraft isn’t about bloody broadswords and burning rubber. It has no complex story lines or gorgeously rendered images of alien soldiers. Instead, it’s filled with people, animals, trees and buildings that look as if they were built from digital Legos. And in a way, they were: The Minecraft universe is made up of blocks representing materials such as dirt, trees, stone, ores and water. Players mine and then use these blocks to craft the shelters, tools and weapons they need to protect themselves against nightly attacks from monsters called “mobs.”

When they move beyond the basics, kids can let their imaginations run wild, creating worlds with transporters, flying chickens or rain that springs up from the ground.

Along the way, Minecraft’s young players learn things like computer coding, engineering, architecture, urban planning and math.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wd

 


 

 

Shirley M. Hufstedler, First U.S. Secretary of Education, Dies at Age 90

Education Week

 

Shirley M. Hufstedler, who was appointed as the nation’s first secretary of education in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, died Wednesday at age 90 in California, according to her law firm.

Hufstedler served as education secretary from 1979, the same year that Congress created the U.S. Department of Education, to 1981. Prior to leading the Education Department, Hufstedler served as a federal appeals court judge and as a California appeals court judge. (The Education Department began actual operations in May 1980.)

After leaving her position as secretary, Hufstedler returned to private practice, and had worked at the Morrison & Foerster law firm in California for the last 20 years.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wN

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wO (Bloomberg)

 


 

 

Foundation Defends Award to Palestinian Teacher

Associated Press

 

JERUSALEM — The U.K.-based foundation that awarded a Palestinian schoolteacher a $1 million prize for preaching nonviolence is sticking by its choice following revelations that the woman’s husband participated in an attack that killed at least six Israelis three decades ago.

Earlier this month, the Varkey Foundation awarded Hanan al-Hroub its Global Teacher Prize. In its selection, it cited her slogan “No to Violence” and her efforts in protecting Palestinian schoolchildren from the effects of living in a conflict zone. She had developed a book called “We Play and Learn” focusing on the importance of playing, trust, respect, honesty and literacy.

However, her husband, Omar, served time in Israeli prison, convicted as an accomplice in a bombing attack that killed six Israelis as they were walking home from sabbath prayers in the West Bank city of Hebron in 1980. According to an Associated Press account at the time, Omar al-Hroub was a chemist who provided chemicals needed for making the bombs.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6wH

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

April 4:

USBE Superintendent Selection Committee meeting

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

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

 

 

April 14:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

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

 

 

April 15:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/A

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