Education News Roundup: April 5, 2016

Send your nomination today. Education News Roundup.

Send your nomination today. Education News Roundup.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Governor’s line-item vetoes of education funding are still being discussed.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zB (KUER)

 

Congratulations to Columbia Elementary students who are co-champions in a national math competition.

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

 

If you’re reading this before 12:15 p.m., you can get in on the live Trib Talk on teacher unions in Utah.

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

 

Former Utah State Board of Education Member Jay Monson (1977-1984) discusses legislative changes to State Board elections.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zO (LHJ)

 

Education Trust study finds only 8 percent of students nationwide complete a college-and-career-ready curriculum. “High schools are prioritizing credit accrual, which treats graduation as the end goal,” write researchers Marni Bromberg and Christina Theokas. “Instead of being prepared for college and career, many of our students turn out to have been prepared for neither.”

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

or a copy of the study

http://gousoe.uen.org/6z8 (Education Trust)

 

As more and more colleges reject ACT and SAT tests, more and more state public ed systems are turning to them as high school tests. New York Times takes a look.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zJ (NYT)

 

Washington Post looks at why April 20 could be a particularly troublesome day for schools.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zH (WaPo)

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Lawmakers Say Governor Wrong To Veto Education Spending

 

Columbia Elementary students named co-champions in math competition

 

Trib Talk: How do teachers unions fit into Utah politics?

 

Utah’s House members vote in lockstep — on purpose Stewart, Love, Bishop and Chaffetz say they are “very similar” philosophically and try to present a “united front” on most national issues important to Utah.

 

St. George after school program shows its worth by raising high school graduation rates

 

Changes to Regents Scholarship will see fewer students denied on technicalities

 

Washington County School District appoints Ralph Brooks as interim school board member

 

Utah’s Children’s Dance Theater takes flight with ‘Gwinna’

 

Local medical researchers visit EHS

 

Lawsuit says Davis schools’ ‘drunk goggles’ lesson led to student’s injury

 

Young Weber County philanthropist launches her own nonprofit, inspires adults

 

HOPE Squads help students recognize suicide warnings

 

Juvenile arrested for social media threats

 

Copper Hills educator named VFW’s Utah Teacher of the Year

 

STEM Stories: LANDESK and Utah Schools

 

How parents can help teens prep for college

 

Liberty Youth Academy, passionately educating the individual child

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

A plea to be party-free

 

When Are Edtech Companies ‘School Officials’?

 

Literature’s Emotional Lessons

Grappling with the way books make students feel—not just analytical skills—should be part of the high-school English curriculum.

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Education Secretary Urges State Chiefs to Seize ESSA’s ‘Opportunity’

 

Education Department Releases Proposals for Consideration by ESSA Negotiated Rulemaking Committee

 

Only 8 Percent of Students Complete College- and Career-Ready Curriculum

 

Rejected by Colleges, SAT and ACT Try High Schools

 

Opt-out movement aims to lure more African-American, Latino parents

 

Will controversial new tests for teachers make the profession even more overwhelmingly white?

Race may play into how we judge good teaching

 

Push in Connecticut to Exclude State Tests From Teacher Evaluations Teachers unions push for legislation; education commissioner opposes

 

In poor neighborhoods, does ZIP code have to equal economic destiny?

Fixing Inequality: Research shows you can change a child’s future by changing address, but that’s not a solution for everyone. One Atlanta neighborhood is trying to chart another way forward.

 

Federal agencies review funding to N.C. in wake of new LGBT law

 

The strange seasonality of violence: Why April is ‘the beginning of the killing season’

 

Health Scare at Malibu School Sets Off Media War

 

Charter school grads stay in college, earn more money: study

 

Judge’s order allows religious school scholarships

 

Is the PARCC exam mandatory or not?

 

Lawmakers back bill on drug-money seizures, despite opposition from law enforcement

 

2nd Student from New York School Repeats Ivy League Sweep

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Lawmakers Say Governor Wrong To Veto Education Spending

 

Some state lawmakers say Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s decision to veto spending on a handful of education programs is misinformed.

Governor Herbert rejected increased spending on a K-3 reading intervention program and UPSTART, an online pre-school program. Herbert said in letters to House and Senate leaders, UPSTART needed further evaluation before receiving additional funding. He added, the reading intervention program is underutilized and isn’t really working.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zB (KUER)

 


 

 

Columbia Elementary students named co-champions in math competition

 

KAYSVILLE — Columbia Elementary School students willingly gave up free time over their spring break to work thousands of math problems. The hours spent on their computers paid off when they were named co-champions of the March Math Madness competition.

“I just want to let you know how proud I am,” Principal Scott Hughes told students when they returned from break on April 4. “I don’t know that I’ve ever known national champions on just about anything. I may have met someone who was at the Olympics once or something like that, but to have 370 national champions in our school — that’s pretty amazing.”

The March Math Madness contest is sponsored by Think Through Math (TTM), an online program that teaches math concepts and uses competition to motivate learning. Columbia Elementary students were excited when they passed off more lessons than any other Utah school, winning the Utah Cup. They then powered through the national March Math Madness competition.

The finals, with Columbia Elementary facing off against Naches Trail Elementary in Tacoma, Washington, hit at the same time as Columbia’s spring break.

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

 


 

 

Trib Talk: How do teachers unions fit into Utah politics?

 

How do teachers unions fit into Utah politics?

It’s a time of change for Utah’s two major education unions. One group will elect a new president this month, while the other will see if its leader can win a seat on the state school board.

On Tuesday at 12:15 p.m., outgoing Utah Education Association president Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh and American Federation of Teachers Utah president Brad Asay join Tribune education reporter Benjamin Wood to discuss the recent legislative session and the role of organized labor in the politics of a conservative, right-to-work state.

Watch this online video chat at sltrib.com. You can also join the discussion by using the hashtag #TribTalk on Twitter and Google+ or texting 801-609-8059.

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

 


 

 

Utah’s House members vote in lockstep — on purpose Stewart, Love, Bishop and Chaffetz say they are “very similar” philosophically and try to present a “united front” on most national issues important to Utah.

 

Washington • Utah’s four House members voted the same way nearly every time last year, and it’s no accident.

Unlike Utah’s senators — Republicans Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, who cancel out each other’s vote on about every fifth roll call on issues ranging from cybersecurity to highway funding — a Salt Lake Tribune review of 2015 congressional votes found that Republican Reps. Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffetz, Mia Love and Chris Stewart were on the same side 94 percent of the time.

Still, there are times when they just have a difference of opinion, and those can expose some interesting philosophical splits on issues ranging from cancer research to arming police with military-grade weapons.

Bishop also broke with his Utah colleagues when he supported a study by the Department of Education to look at school start times. Unlike the others, he thought it was a good idea.

“This is one of the few things that fits into what [the Department of Education] should be doing that they haven’t done in decades,” says Bishop, who taught at Box Elder High School earlier in his career. “The other element is, I think clearly, as a former teacher, we start schools too damn early.”

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

 


 

 

St. George after school program shows its worth by raising high school graduation rates

 

Graduation rates have been a touchy topic for years in Utah but over that period of time many programs have popped up and become available for students in need.

One of those programs is trying to spread throughout the state, it is called the School of Life, ran by the School of Life Foundation. It is based out of St. George and it is a high school program that focuses on character and life based skills, which has already been incorporated into all of Washington County Schools, including pilot programs within the elementary and middle schools.

Shorten

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zx (KUTV)

 


 

 

Changes to Regents Scholarship will see fewer students denied on technicalities

 

SAINT GEORGE, UTAH — Do the work – earn the reward. That’s the way it’s supposed to work for students applying for Utah’s Regents Scholarship. It is designed by state lawmakers to reward hard-working students with money for college. The scholarship is not a competition. Every student who puts in the work and applies is supposed to get the money.

But as Get Gephardt has been reporting, dozens of students and their parents say they felt robbed after scholarship money was withheld. One of those students chose to fight and her efforts will mean future students won’t have to.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zw (KUTV)

 


 

 

Washington County School District appoints Ralph Brooks as interim school board member

 

  1. GEORGE – The Washington County School District Board of Education named Ralph Brooks as an interim member of the board Friday. Brooks will fill a seat vacated by Barbara Beckstrom, who died March 8.

Beckstrom was elected to the school board in 2012 to represent Washington County School District 1 in western Washington County.

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

 


 

 

Utah’s Children’s Dance Theater takes flight with ‘Gwinna’

 

Children’s Dance Theatre’s annual spring production brings to the stage 280 children, 13 choreographers, and hundreds of yards of fabric to tell the story of “Gwinna,” a modern-day fairy tale about a young girl’s struggle to find her true self.

CDT is the performing arm of the Tanner Dance Program, an arts auxiliary of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah. Each spring, the youth company founded by modern-dance pioneer Virginia Tanner in 1937 presents an original full-length piece. The child-centered choreography with professional-level production values sets this performance apart from traditional studio recitals.

“Gwinna’s” narrative is adapted from a children’s book by Barbara Helen Berger, but the creative process is pure Virginia Tanner. She taught that movement discovery by children, within a teacher-guided structure, makes wholesome yet extraordinary choreography. Teachers from the 13 CDT classes help students originate, edit and refine the movement into a form that fits into the outline of the story.

The philosophy of children developing healthy minds and bodies through creative activity extends to all the newly expanded Tanner programs: Fine Arts Preschool, French Immersion Preschool, Dancers with Disabilities (children and adults), Creative Arts, Summer Arts, Arts in Education Programs and Services, Professional Development For Educators, Tanner Dance Ballet and the performing companies CDT, Tipping Point and In Motion.

Tanner Dance became part of the U. in 1960 and resided in the declining Army barracks on campus before moving in 2015 to the stunningly beautiful Beverley Sorenson Arts and Education Complex. In the barracks, studio space was limited and the costume shop resembled Cinderella’s mice in the attic. Now, multiple dance studios with state-of-the-art equipment face out to a view of the Wasatch Mountains, and whirring sewing machines and organized bolts of fabric are the envy of any professional shop.

“Beverley Sorenson gave the lead gift to build this complex and shared her incredible vision of bringing the entities of the College of Education, the College of Fine Arts and Tanner Dance together to work collaboratively,” Lee said.

Elementary-education majors at the U. are required to take a class each year in one of the fine arts to learn about the form as well as ways to incorporate it into the classroom. It’s a sustainable concept, since once in the classroom, the Tanner Professional Development Program is one of the organizations that support the needs of educators to fulfill the Utah State Fine Arts Core Curriculum in schools across the state.

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

 


 

 

Local medical researchers visit EHS

 

The two medical research students that brought their research to Emery High may have looked like hometown boys in the flannel and boots and that’s because they were. Colton Leavitt and Tyler Bean, taught a two day workshop for the Emery High science programs. Colton is a graduate from Emery High School, and Tyler a graduate from Carbon High School, and both do research for the medical community at the University of Utah.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zP (Emery County Progress)

 


 

 

Lawsuit says Davis schools’ ‘drunk goggles’ lesson led to student’s injury

 

FARMINGTON — A 13-year-old girl suffered a crippling leg injury during an alcohol impairment simulation exercise in a Centennial Junior High School health class, the teen’s parents say in a $275,000 2nd District Court civil lawsuit.

Kylie Nielsen and classmates were told to don “drunk goggles,” which the suit, filed March 31, said “are designed to significantly impair the wearer’s vision and perception abilities and to place the wearer in a simulated state of drunkenness.”

Andrew and Camille Nielsen of Kaysville accused Davis School District and teacher Rick Smith of negligence and recklessness after their daughter was injured in class the morning of May 9, 2014.

The suit says that during the “drunk goggles” exercise, Smith encouraged students to play tag and run through his classroom full of desks, tables, chairs and other equipment. Kylie Nielsen’s foot got caught in the brace of a desk, severely twisting her ankle, the suit says. It quotes medical reports as saying the girl suffered multiple bone fractures, including at least one to the growth plate in her left ankle.

The parents say the girl has had two surgeries, and the injuries have left her with one leg shorter than the other. The suit says she’s unable to be physically active without pain and swelling.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zT (AP)

 


 

 

Young Weber County philanthropist launches her own nonprofit, inspires adults

 

RIVERDALE — Sometimes, all a young person needs is a little cheerleading from adults.

Such is the case with 12-year-old Armani McFarland. She now has her own 501(c)(3) organization after being named the recipient of the Utah Philanthropy Day’s Outstanding Young Volunteer Award.

The new non-profit, One Can Make a Change, has helped Armani formally organize her adult cheerleaders who have helped with her charitable efforts for the last three years. She held an official meeting Tuesday, March 29, with the adults on her board of directors.

“Some of the coolest days I’ve had in my life have been tied to what she’s been doing,” said Mike Brosnon, manager of Goodwood Barbecue Company in Riverdale and the host of her meetings.

Now a member of her board of directors, Brosnon said he was inspired by watching Armani’s commitment and the amount of work she puts into helping others.

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

 


 

 

HOPE Squads help students recognize suicide warnings

 

OGDEN — As a survivor of a suicide attempt, Itzel Ramirez says she is acutely aware of the pressures her peers frequently encounter — feeling rejected, being harassed or bullied at school, family problems at home, or expectations of perfection, just to name a few.

Ramirez, a Mound Fort Junior High School student, is now an advocate of suicide prevention and has a message of hope for any teenager questioning whether their life is worth keeping.

“If you can’t see something good about yourself, get up, look in the mirror,” Ramirez said. “Look a little closer, a little longer.”

Ramirez is one of several students at junior high and high schools throughout the Ogden School District who belong to a HOPE Squad — teams of students trained to recognize suicide warning signs and identified as someone their peers can come to if they or a friend are struggling.

The district and NU HOPE, an educational nonprofit organization funded by the McKay-Dee Hospital Foundation, joined forces to conduct a town hall meeting Monday night at Ogden High School, exploring the issue of suicide with parents, students and other members of the community.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


 

 

Juvenile arrested for social media threats

 

A Virgin Valley High School student was arrested on Sunday and charged with one gross misdemeanor count of threatening to cause bodily harm or death to a pupil or school employee.

The threat, which was reported to Mesquite Police Department by several parents of students, was directed at another student suggesting that student not show up for school the following day, according to Quinn Averett, the department’s public information officer.

Five other students were cited and released on lesser charges for their involvement.

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

 

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

 


 

 

Copper Hills educator named VFW’s Utah Teacher of the Year

 

Copper Hills High School teacher Lorna Murray, fifth from left, puts her arm around 92-year-old World War II veteran John Delliskave at the West Jordan school on Monday.

Delliskave, who survived the Battle of Iwo Jima, and fellow veterans David Earle, left, Ewald Kuefner, Nick Flake, Mike Stiebing and Stanley Martinez paid a surprise visit to Murray’s class to announce that she is the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Utah Teacher of the Year.

Murray was selected for her dedication to teaching young people about the world wars and making sure students never forget that freedom is not free, Jordan School District officials said.

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

 


 

 

STEM Stories: LANDESK and Utah Schools

 

LANDESK’s CEO, Steve Daly, recognizes the importance of STEM education and encourages all of his employees to be involved in their local schools- so much so, that LANDESK employees have 16 hours a year of time-off allocated for such purposes.

In 2015, more than 100 LANDESK employees logged over 1600 hours of STEM education service in local Utah schools. This program is fun for employees and helps inspire children/teenagers to pursue a career in STEM.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zK (KUTV(

 


 

 

How parents can help teens prep for college

 

Amanda Grow has helped thousands of high school students improve their ACT scores and choose which college is right for them. She says a big part of the equation is how parents contribute. Here are a few of her tips:

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

 


 

 

Liberty Youth Academy, passionately educating the individual child

 

  1. GEORGE — In today’s education world where core curriculum and standardized tests dominate the landscape it can sometimes feel like public schools are pushing out a product rather than teaching a child.

Liberty Youth Academy, a private, leadership academy based on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith, with its small class sizes and emphasis on virtue, offers an alternative to public education which teaches the whole child from mind to soul – from kindergarten through eighth grade.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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A plea to be party-free

(Logan) Herald Journal op-ed by Jay Monson, a former educator

 

Sadly, I feel Utah’s legislators have put party above the people by making the State School Board into a partisan body. There are only five states in the whole nation which have partisan elected state school boards! I contacted each of our Cache legislators and good friends Ed Redd and Lyle Hillyard responded. Also one other telling me he “didn’t think that passed!”

Ed Redd gave some good reasoning why it made sense to him, number one being that most voters who vote for a State Board member from their area have no idea who the candidates are nor what their positions are on important educational issues. And, he wrote: “A recent judicial ruling determined that our current method for state school board elections (governor chooses who gets to be on the ballot) is not in keeping with our state constitution, so doing nothing this past session was not an option …. I voted for the bill because it was not clear that any other bill addressing this problem was going to pass and something needed to be done to allow for election of school board members for this 2016 election cycle.”

He also pointed out that State Board members often represent several counties, and are not well known. That was true when I was elected to the State Board, I represented all of Northern Utah, Ogden to the Idaho border. I was told I wouldn’t win because both opponents had last names before “M” and most folks voted for the first name on the ballot. However, I did win, twice.

Most state boards across the nation are appointed by the governor, much the same as our Utah Board of Regents is for post-secondary education. That would be much better than political parties getting involved. Sadly, our own fine current State Board of Education representative, Terryl Warner, will not be eligible to run in the next election due to her employment because of the Hatch Act. In her employment with Cache County, she is paid with federal funds. I wonder if Sen. Hillyard was aware of that when he voted for the change? She is a good friend of his.

Columnists in both Salt Lake City newspapers have expressed concern that once the state school board becomes partisan, what is next? Partisan local school boards?

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

 


 

 

When Are Edtech Companies ‘School Officials’?

(Burlingame, CA) EdSurge op-ed by Brenda Leong, Senior Counsel and Director of Operations at the Future of Privacy Forum

 

The ‘School Official’ exception to FERPA, the federal student privacy law, allows schools to provide student data to principals, teachers and school employees to use for educational purposes.

But recent questions have been raised by stakeholders in the education marketplace as to whether this definition applies to such entities as contractors who may work for the school—such as a bus company—or an email service provider.

The original sponsors of FERPA, which was adopted in 1974, talked about “schools and their agents” on the floor of the U.S. Senate during deliberations on the draft law. But unlike almost all other later privacy laws, the law itself does not directly address how to deal with vendors who might run a school cafeteria, or even parent volunteers who access data by working in a classroom or by calling other parents on a class list.

Nevertheless, schools have regularly used third parties of various sorts—bus companies, parent volunteers, yearbook publishers, photographers. As digital technology expanded into education, these third parties began to include Internet service providers, online assignment tools, scheduling programs, emergency alert systems, back up data centers, and more.

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

 


 

 

Literature’s Emotional Lessons

Grappling with the way books make students feel—not just analytical skills—should be part of the high-school English curriculum.

Atlantic commentary by ANDREW SIMMONS, a writer, teacher, and musician based in California

 

I’d drawn a little tombstone on the board. I was in the middle of leading a class of 10th-grade English students through Piggy’s death scene in Lord of the Flies: the rock, the shattered conch, Piggy’s long fall, the red stuff flowing out, the twitching legs. The corners of her eyes bubbling, a 15-year-old girl dashed for the door.

When I spoke with her after class, the student explained that she identified with Piggy. Being studious, fearful of bullies, and a bit of an outsider, it upset her to casually discuss his violent death. Piggy’s demise was not the symbolic death of order or logic, but the murder of a kid like her.

In my experience teaching and observing other teachers, students spend a lot of time learning academic skills and rarely even talk about the emotional reactions they may have to what they read—even when stories, as they often do, address dark themes. The Common Core Standards push students to become clinical crafters of arguments and masters of academic language. While these are essential skills to possess, the fact that my other students appear perfectly comfortable not acknowledging and discussing emotional responses to literature may be as revelatory as this one student’s teary dash from class. Inundated with video games, movies, and memes, teenagers often seem hard to shake up. Characters are fictitious abstractions, and, without actors to bring them to life and makeup and digital tricks to make the drama feel real, students may strictly do the analytical work teachers expect without the interference of a significant emotional response. That’s a bad thing. An emotional response should be part of the curriculum.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Education Secretary Urges State Chiefs to Seize ESSA’s ‘Opportunity’

Education Week

 

Washington — In a far-ranging talk, U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. told an audience of state superintendents Monday to move swiftly and methodically to build new school accountability systems under the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to think differently about how we define educational excellence,” he said at the annual legislative conference of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

For an hour at the Capital Hilton, King fielded questions from state chiefs about how to prepare for the transition to the next presidential administration, the testing opt-out movement, and the ESSA regulation and approval process.

The moderated discussion was part of a conference in which state chiefs will spend part of the week hearing from civil rights activists, attending workshops on accountability plans, and meeting with members of Congress.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6z7

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zk (USN&WR)

 

 


 

 

Education Department Releases Proposals for Consideration by ESSA Negotiated Rulemaking Committee U.S. Department of Education

 

The U.S. Department of Education sent proposals today to the committee working on proposed regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The proposals focus on the issues being negotiated: Title I, Part A assessments, and the requirement that federal Title I-A funds supplement, not supplant, state and local resources.

The proposals are in response to input from negotiators given during the committee’s first three-day session in March. The committee meets again this week from April 6-8.

“These proposals are part of the important work this committee is doing to ensure the law is implemented smoothly and with a focus on the most vulnerable students, consistent with the law’s purpose,” said Ann Whalen, senior advisor to the Secretary, delegated the duties of the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education. “We look forward to continuing to work with the committee to promote equity and excellence for all students by providing states and school districts with timely regulations so that they can plan ahead to support students and educators.”

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

 


 

 

Only 8 Percent of Students Complete College- and Career-Ready Curriculum Education Week

 

Only 8 percent of U.S. high school graduates complete a curriculum that prepares them well for college and the workplace. Even fewer complete those course sequences with grades that would suggest they mastered the content.

Those are the conclusions of a study published Tuesday by the Education Trust. It raises questions about how well adults in schools are guiding students along pathways that provide strong preparation for college, job training, or the workplace.

The study analyzes transcript data from the federal High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, which tracks 23,000 students from 9th grade through graduation in 2013 and beyond. EdTrust researchers looked at the courses students took, and also at the grades they earned, to produce a rough proxy of college- and career-readiness.

Alarmed by the patterns of course-taking and grades they saw, the EdTrust researchers concluded that students were “meandering toward graduation” with a focus on accumulating credits, rather than on systematically building a strong base of knowledge and skills that will help them thrive after they get their diplomas.

“High schools are prioritizing credit accrual, which treats graduation as the end goal,” write researchers Marni Bromberg and Christina Theokas. “Instead of being prepared for college and career, many of our students turn out to have been prepared for neither.”

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

 

A copy of the study

http://gousoe.uen.org/6z8 (Education Trust)

 


 

 

Rejected by Colleges, SAT and ACT Try High Schools New York Times

 

The SAT and the ACT, bugaboos of generations of college applicants, were supposed to shrink in significance as more colleges and universities have moved away from requiring standardized test scores for admission.

Instead, the companies behind them have pushed into the nearly $700­million­a­year market for federally required tests in public schools, offering the SAT and the ACT even to students who do not plan to go to college. Prompted by a recent change in federal education law, they are competing — and increasingly winning — against exams funded by the Obama administration to become mandatory high school tests, used for ranking school performance.

“The testing companies are making a land grab,” said Scott Marion, the executive director of the Center for Assessment, a nonprofit that helps states design and evaluate tests.

Long fierce rivals, the testing companies are seizing an opportunity created by political fights over the Common Core, and the exams based on it. But their moves are raising questions about how well the ACT and the SAT measure what students are supposed to be learning in high school, and about equity and fairness.

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

 


 

 

Opt-out movement aims to lure more African-American, Latino parents Politico

 

PHILADELPHIA — Wanted: African-American and Latino parents tired of testing.

White suburban parents were the driving force of an opt-out movement in which hundreds of thousands of students last year skipped state end-of-year assessments. But this year, local and national organizers are speaking candidly of their desire and efforts to broaden the crusade that some testing proponents have mocked on Twitter using #optoutsowhite. As this year’s testing season ramps up, they are tackling head on a key argument long backed by the civil rights establishment: Students who aren’t tested aren’t counted.

The movement “can’t be successful without the urban” parents’ involvement, said Shakeda Gaines, an African-American mother of four active in the Opt Out Philly group. She recently described her teen’s emotional problems related to testing at the Opt Out United National conference in February in her hometown of Philadelphia. Gaines said these parents are the ones “really getting trapped” by the burden of test policies and “they need to know what their rights are.”

In Colorado, a small billboard campaign features an African-American girl with this message: “When The Game is Rigged, Don’t Play! OPT OUT!” In New York, Betty Rosa, who is Latina and a longtime standardized testing critic, was recently elected chancellor of the state Board of Regents. New York is also home to organizers raising money to do robocalls in both English and Spanish for a second year with an anti-testing message.           And, on Long Island, four mobile billboard trucks with opt-out signs like “More Teaching, Less Testing” crisscross more than 100 public school communities.

The need to join forces is an about face from decades of public education history, in which white parents sometimes united to escape proximity to black and Latino families and worried about those students’ effects on their own children’s education.

Civil rights groups call the current push to recruit minority parents to opt their children out of testing misguided.

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

 


 

 

Will controversial new tests for teachers make the profession even more overwhelmingly white?

Race may play into how we judge good teaching Hechinger Report

 

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Most of the 50-plus teacher hopefuls who crowded into a small atrium at Clarkson University on a Saturday morning in January to hear a panel discussion about the teaching job market and new licensure requirements shared two traits: They were female. And white. About a third were people of color or males. There was one lone African-American man.

They are the picture of – and the problem with – America’s teacher pipeline.

The percentage of white teacher candidates enrolled in traditional preparation programs is nearly triple that of all other racial and ethnic groups combined, according to figures from the National Center for Education Statistics. Meanwhile, the number of students from minority groups has eclipsed the number of white students in the country’s public schools — creating a demographic mismatch between teachers and the students they serve.

Now some teacher educators worry that two new national tests that teachers must pass before they can be licensed will create another roadblock to diversifying the profession. Known as “performance tests,” they are now required in at least a dozen states and in use by more than 600 teacher preparation programs. They cost more money, take more time, and require the teacher aspirants to do more work — all of which could deter low-income and minority teacher candidates who were already faring worse, on average, on the less rigorous state-administered certification tests.

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

 


 

 

Push in Connecticut to Exclude State Tests From Teacher Evaluations Teachers unions push for legislation; education commissioner opposes Wall Street Journal

 

Connecticut is poised to postpone linking teacher evaluations to state student test scores, but lobbying efforts are under way to eliminate that part of educator reviews altogether.

Starting next year, teacher evaluations are slated to reflect student improvement on state tests for the first time. In March, a state panel recommended a postponement until the 2017-2018 school year. The Connecticut Board of Education is scheduled to vote Wednesday on that recommendation and is expected to approve it.

But the Connecticut Education Association and AFT Connecticut, unions that represent teachers, are working to persuade Connecticut lawmakers to pass legislation to bar administrators from using state test scores to evaluate educators. Opponents say state tests aren’t reliable indicators of the strengths and weaknesses of teachers.

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

 


 

 

In poor neighborhoods, does ZIP code have to equal economic destiny?

Fixing Inequality: Research shows you can change a child’s future by changing address, but that’s not a solution for everyone. One Atlanta neighborhood is trying to chart another way forward.

Christian Science Monitor

 

ATLANTA — Sitting on the front stoop of her apartment building, the peeling paint of a front door behind her and concrete all around, Timantha Gaither says she thinks the whole thing should be knocked to the ground.

“They should raze it and start over,” says the mother of two.

Perhaps surprisingly, it is her sister, Raven Hicks, who has three children of her own and lives in a comfortable suburban home, who defends the Forest Cove apartment complex in the Thomasville Heights neighborhood of Atlanta.

Yes, it’s seedy, she acknowledges. Children on their stoops watch prisoners exercising in the razor-wired federal prison across the street. The whole neighborhood is jammed between an old landfill and the penitentiary. But apartment complexes like Forest Cove are important to ensuring housing for all, Ms. Hicks says.

It is an argument taking place with increasing frequency across the United States, at kitchen tables and in city halls and statehouses: Is it better to move out of low-income neighborhoods like Thomasville Heights or to try to fix them?

http://gousoe.uen.org/6z9

 


 

 

Federal agencies review funding to N.C. in wake of new LGBT law Washington Post

 

At least five federal agencies are weighing whether to withhold funds from North Carolina in response to a recently enacted state law that blocks protections for gay, lesbians and bisexuals, and prohibits transgender individuals from using bathrooms that are not the same as the gender they were assigned at birth.

The ongoing reviews at the Education, Transportation, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services departments are not yet complete, and it is unclear how much federal money might be involved. But the Obama administration’s decision to scrutinize what White House press secretary Josh Earnest described as “both policy and legal questions that are raised by the passage of this law” suggests that the measure signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) last month could have major implications for his state.

Earnest said that “individual agencies are undertaking” the review, and the White House had not issued specific guidance on how to proceed. But he emphasized that President Obama said that “ensuring that individual Americans are not discriminated against because of who they love is something that the president feels strongly about,” and he was not surprised that North Carolina officials “are feeling some pressure” on the issue.

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

 


 

 

The strange seasonality of violence: Why April is ‘the beginning of the killing season’

Washington Post

 

Mass-murder researchers and terrorism experts do not like turning their calendars to April. For them, it marks the beginning of what one calls “the killing season.”

Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City in April of 1995. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people at Columbine High School in April of 1999. Seung Hui Cho killed 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech in April of 2007.

Waco. The Boston Marathon bombing. A mass stabbing in Pennsylvania.

Over the past two decades, April’s significance has become a source of concern for those who monitor hate groups and fascination for academics who study the seasonality of violence.

Aggravated assaults spike in summer — people are outside more and the heat agitates. Burglars take the winter off because people hibernate in their homes. But why would April, with its cheerful tulips and spring sunshine, trigger so much extreme violence?

“It’s a question we talk about all the time,” said Heidi Beirich, a domestic terrorism expert at the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of two groups that have issued April-related violence alerts. “It’s a really strange phenomenon. We sometimes refer to April as the beginning of killing season.”

One of the factors that makes April particularly significant to threat assessment professionals, researchers and others is the desire of killers to pay homage to Columbine, other violent anniversaries and even Hitler’s birthday (April 20) by acting on the same date.

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

 


 

 

Health Scare at Malibu School Sets Off Media War New York Times

 

MALIBU, Calif. — The high school here is ranked among the best in the country, with students each year moving on to Ivy League colleges. The location, on a hill down the block from the beach where “Baywatch” was filmed, offers a multimillion­dollar view of the Pacific Ocean.

Yet parents here have been yanking their children out of Malibu High School, concerned about PCBs, the highly toxic chemical compounds, that have been found in caulking of the school’s windows.

A battle over how to handle the PCBs, which were first discovered three years ago, is now convulsing this famously wealthy beach community, with parents, television stars and a supermodel pitted against one of the most elite public school districts in the country.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6z6

 


 

 

Charter school grads stay in college, earn more money: study Vanderbilt University

 

Students who attend charter high schools are more likely to graduate, go to college and stay in college than students who attend traditional public high schools.

This is according to the first large-scale study of the effects of charter schools on earnings in adulthood, conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development, Georgia State University and Mathematica Policy Research. The full results were published today in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

“Maximum annual earnings were approximately $2,300 higher for 23- to 25-year-olds who attended charter high schools versus conventional public schools across the state of Florida,” said Ron Zimmer, associate professor of public policy and education and director of graduate studies at Peabody.

“We also found that students who attended charter high schools were more likely to attend a two- or four-year college by an estimated nine percentage points.”

Research in this area has focused primarily on the short-term effects of student test scores, which may not capture the full impact of charter schools on students, according to Tim Sass, Distinguished University Professor at Florida State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://gousoe.uen.org/6zc (Journal of Policy Analysis and Management $)

 


 

 

Judge’s order allows religious school scholarships Great Falls (MT) Tribune

 

HELENA — A Flathead County judge has issued a preliminary injunction that allows students at religious schools to receive scholarships in a new tax credit program despite a state law saying otherwise.

Judge David M. Ortley of the 11th Judicial District Court issued the ruling Thursday, saying the injunction will remain “until further order of this court.”

In December, the Montana Department of Revenue filed its new rules with the Secretary of State’s office that prohibited religious schools from participating in the new scholarship tax credit program, slightly more than a month after a public hearing in which groups on both sides vowed any decision contrary to theirs would end up in court. The law went into effect Jan. 1.

Senate Bill 410, a school choice bill passed by the 2015 Legislature, allows tax credits for donations of up to $150 to private school scholarships or to innovative educational programs in public schools, up to $3 million in the first year. The DOR excluded religious schools from the rule on the grounds that the Montana Constitution bars appropriations to sectarian schools, organizations or affiliated groups.

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

 


 

 

Is the PARCC exam mandatory or not?

Albuquerque (NM) Journal

 

Many New Mexico students will begin their second year of PARCC testing today, but a basic question remains: Is the controversial exam mandatory?

Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, is asking Attorney General Hector Balderas to address that issue, citing inconsistent information about opting out of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

“This is a big issue around the state,” Morales said. “I want to make sure that there is clarification, especially for parents who may be confused about whether they have options or not.”

Those options do seem very different from one school district to another.

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

 


 

 

Lawmakers back bill on drug-money seizures, despite opposition from law enforcement Omaha (NE) World-Herald

 

LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers gave strong support Monday to a measure that would change how authorities seize suspected drug money despite similarly strong opposition from the attorney general and Omaha police.

Local and state authorities now can take cash from drug traffickers without having to first obtain a conviction or even write a ticket.

But senators voted 36-0 Monday to give first-round approval to a bill that would first require a criminal conviction before assets could be forfeited. Sen. Tommy Garrett of Bellevue, who introduced the Legislative Bill 1106, said the current system gives authorities an incentive to take cash and property from potentially innocent people.

The Omaha Police Department and police union officials, along with some prosecutors, also oppose the bill, as does Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning. A provision of the bill requires that seized assets of less than $50,000 go through a state process that splits the cash between public school funding and law enforcement drug education efforts. That could hurt the budgets of some agencies.

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

 


 

 

2nd Student from New York School Repeats Ivy League Sweep Associated Press

 

ELMONT, N.Y. — For the second time in as many years, a student at suburban New York’s Elmont Memorial High School has been accepted at all eight Ivy League universities.

Valedictorian Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna (OO’-wah mahn-ZOO’-nuh) has until May 1 to decide whether she’ll attend one of the prestigious northeastern universities.

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

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

http://www.schools.utah.gov/main/CALENDAR.aspx

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

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/Agenda.aspx

 

 

April 22:

USBE Superintendent Selection Committee meeting

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

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

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