Education News Roundup: April 12, 2016

 

"Early Literacy @ Georgetown" by ACPL/CC/flickr

“Early Literacy @ Georgetown” by ACPL/CC/flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Education gets at least a small mention in the gubernatorial debate.

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

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

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

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

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

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6DZ (LHJ)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6E0 (SGS)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6DL (KUTV)

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

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6E6 (KSL)

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

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6Eo (KUER)

 

Standard looks at the State Superintendent search.

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

 

U.S. Senate hearing on ESSA gets a little … testy.

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

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

The First Johnson/Herbert Debate a Mostly Tepid Affair

 

Utah education board wants public input on hiring new state superintendent

 

Office of the Utah State Auditor Releases Washington County School District Report on Internal Control and Compliance Over Credit Card Use

 

Voices for Utah Children Receives W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grant for Quality and Access Expansion in Early Learning

 

Nibley Park student wins spelling bee

 

Macy’s invites Davis High School band to march in 2017 Thanksgiving parade

 

Middle school girl’s imaginative Reflections video goes to national contest

 

3 Utah sisters win prestigious national computer science award

 

Utah high school sends 5 students to military academies

 

School board meets at Cottonwood Elementary

 

Fannie Flagg, author of ‘Fried Green Tomatoes,’ booked for Fall Author Event

 

Prop gun initiates gun scare at Cedar High School

 

Utah teacher who had sex with three of her students claims one of the boy’s grades improved during their relationship

 

Weather School at Spectrum Academy in North Salt Lake

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Hillary Clinton wouldn’t opt out her granddaughter on Common Core tests

 

A Simple Cure For Education’s Jargonitis

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Sen. Alexander to John King: Rethink Your Draft ESSA Spending Rules, Or Else

 

Tennessee attorney general says transgender bathroom bill could be costly Federal funding at risk for public schools, colleges if measure becomes law

 

Governor Wants Parts of North Carolina Rights Law Changed

 

Denver Expands Choice and Charters

Elected school board employs portfolio strategy to lift achievement

 

Pearson’s Quest to Cover the Planet in Company-Run Schools

 

San Antonio school officer fired after video showed him slam 12-year-old girl onto concrete

 

Man threatened to ‘retaliate’ against school, teachers over sex-ed lesson, police say

 

Student in pro-Trump hat sets off taunting, dialogue at South Portland High Sophomore Connor Mullen expected classmates to hassle him, but when staff members joined in he decided to defend his free-speech rights.

 

Two arrested on charges of distributing drug-laced candy at Boca Ciega High

 

Does Driver Education Make Our Roads Safer? We Go Back to High School to Find Out

 

Puerto Rico Church Strips Teachers of Pension Amid Crisis

 

Why Nigeria is the world’s most dangerous place to be … a geography teacher

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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The First Johnson/Herbert Debate a Mostly Tepid Affair

 

No crazy statements, no great missteps, no fumbles in the first true debate Monday between GOP Gov. Gary Herbert and his Republican challenger, Jonathan Johnson.

But Johnson did take initial moves in subtly saying Herbert has not been an aggressive leader, but a governor who has basically let things come to him as Utah climbed itself out of the Great Recession.

And that – leadership — may be one of the few places Johnson can really go politically, as the governor ticked off achievement after achievement in job growth, economic performance, education spending versus better test scores – on and on.

The two Republicans debated for an hour in the Little America Hotel before the Utah Federation of Republican Women, a debate carried live on KSL Radio with host Doug Wright and Boyd Matheson, the new president of the conservative Sutherland Institute, as moderators.

Johnson pointed out several areas where Herbert should have taken the initiative in battling the federal government, or education reform, leading the Legislature.

Herbert said he has done his part, but that current law and court cases say other elected officials are legally responsible for many areas.

“Maybe you should run” for the Congress, the Legislature or the State School Board, Herbert said several times to Johnson.

“The governor has suggested I run for a number of other offices,” said Johnson, chairman of the Utah-based Overstock.com internet discount retail firm.

“But I’m running for governor,” countered Johnson. Adding that is the best place where he can make a difference for good in Utah.

Johnson says he would get the state out of any Common Core educational standards; Herbert says the AG confirms Utah controls its own education and student standards and testing and that the State Board makes those decisions, anyway.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6E0 (SGS)

 

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

 

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6E6 (KSL)

 

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

 

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

 


 

 

Utah education board wants public input on hiring new state superintendent

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah residents are being asked to weigh in on what they feel is most important when choosing the new State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Opinions can be voiced through through April 20, using a survey posted on the Utah State Board of Education website.

A Superintendent Selection Committee is looking for a replacement for Brad Smith, who resigned from the superintendent position on Feb. 16, just a little over a year after accepting the job. Sydnee Dickson, a deputy superintendent since 2014, is serving as Interim State Superintendent of Public Instruction until a replacement is named.

It is anticipated that the selection committee, made up of 10 members of the State Board of Education, will conduct their search for 60 to 90 days before appointing a new superintendent.

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

 


 

 

Office of the Utah State Auditor Releases Washington County School District Report on Internal Control and Compliance Over Credit Card Use

 

The Office of the Utah State Auditor today released its Washington County School District Report on Internal Control and Compliance Over Credit Card Use.

For the period May 2014 through May 2015, the Office reviewed both the District credit card account and an account held in the name of the Business Administrator that is used for District business and paid by the District.

The Office identified 3 findings during its review of the Washington County School District:

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

 

A copy of the audit

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Es (Utah State Auditor’s Office)

 


 

 

Voices for Utah Children Receives W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grant for Quality and Access Expansion in Early Learning

 

Over the last three years, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Utah Office of Child Care, Voices for Utah Children and the Granite School District Preschool Program have worked to implement a public-private partnership in early education, which included several private preschool providers within Salt Lake County. Voices is excited to announce a new Kellogg Foundation grant of $850,000, to continue expanding early learning opportunities for low-income children through enhanced early childhood systems.

Voices for Utah Children — in continued partnership with GSD and the private preschool providers — will use the grant to help enhance access and improve quality for the early childhood system in the county, with the additional goal of assisting The Governor’s Education Excellence Commission and the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) as they work toward greater educational outcomes for Utah’s kids.

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

 


 

 

Nibley Park student wins spelling bee

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Jasmina Frederico, an 11-year-old student at Nibley Park Elementary, was declared the winner of the local spelling bee March 19 at Viridian Library and Events Center in West Jordan. Her winning word was “perquisite.”

Jasmina will now compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be held in May in Washington, D.C.

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

 


 

 

Macy’s invites Davis High School band to march in 2017 Thanksgiving parade

 

Confetti flew at Davis High School on Monday morning as the school’s marching band was invited to participated in the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

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

 

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6E5 (KSL)

 


 

 

Middle school girl’s imaginative Reflections video goes to national contest

 

  1. GEORGE — It all started with a classroom art assignment: Create an entry for the National Parent Teacher Association Reflections contest. Now one Snow Canyon Middle School girl’s video submission is headed to the national stage.

The PTA Reflections is a nationally acclaimed student recognition program aimed at encouraging artistic creativity in the classroom and at home.

Students of all ages are invited to participate in a number of categories, and each school year, a new theme is chosen to spark the students’ imaginations. The theme for the 2015-16 contest was “Let Your Imagination Fly.”

And that is just what 14-year-old Preslee Gates did when she created a video submission for the annual contest.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6E2 (SGN)

 


 

3 Utah sisters win prestigious national computer science award

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Each year the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) accepts applications for its prestigious Aspirations in Computing Award.

There are thousands of applicants and less than 1 percent win. But Utah has the unusual distinction of having four winners in the last four years. What’s even more unusual is that three out of four of these winners were sisters from the same family.

Melissa Ivie, the oldest of the sisters, is currently studying computer science at Utah State University. The middle sister, Jessica, is a senior at Copper Hills High School and heading to USU when she graduates. The youngest, Cassandra, is a sophomore at Copper Hills High School and is heading to a world championship First Robotics competition soon.

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

 


 

 

Utah high school sends 5 students to military academies

 

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah— One high school in a Salt Lake City suburb will be sending five students to military academies this fall. The Deseret News reports that five members of South Jordan’s Bingham High School’s Class of 2016 are planning to attend a U.S. service academy. Each made it through a grueling selection process that requires the recommendation of a congressional representative and meeting strict academic and physical standards. Three Bingham students will go to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado; one will attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; and one will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York. Students don’t pay tuition or houses expenses while attending the academies in exchange for five years of active duty military service after graduation.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6E8 (MUR)

 


 

 

School board meets at Cottonwood Elementary

 

The April meeting of the Emery County School District Board of Education was held at Cottonwood Elementary School.

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

 


 

 

Fannie Flagg, author of ‘Fried Green Tomatoes,’ booked for Fall Author Event

 

OGDEN — The Ogden School Foundation has announced Fannie Flagg as the star of this year’s Fall Author Event.

Flagg, bestselling author of “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe,” “Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven” and “I Still Dream About You,” will speak about her work on Thursday, Nov. 10, during a dinner gala at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center.

“Almost everybody’s seen or read ‘Fried Green Tomatoes,’ ” said Renae Woods, program director for Ogden School Foundation, noting that Flagg was nominated for an Academy Award for the movie script.

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

 


 

 

Prop gun initiates gun scare at Cedar High School

 

CEDAR CITY — Cedar City High School had a scare Monday morning when a student reported to the office that another student was possibly in possession of a gun.

The gun turned out to be nothing more than a plastic toy that was brought to school by a student to be used as a prop in German class, Secondary Education Director Jennifer Wood said.

“(She) brought a little holster with a fake orange little plastic gun in it into a German class and was role playing for something in the German class,” Wood said. “A student went down to the office and said there was a student with a gun.”

The issue escalated from there. The school resource officer was contacted, Wood said, and Cedar City Police responded to the scene.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6E1 (SGN)

 


 

 

Utah teacher who had sex with three of her students claims one of the boy’s grades improved during their relationship

 

A former Utah high school teacher filed a handwritten response to a lawsuit over her sexual contact with underage students and claims one of the teen’s grades improved.

Brianne Altice, 37, of Salt Lake City, said in the document that she never meant to harm anyone and encouraged the teenage boy whose parents are suing to continue his education.

In addition, she denies that she was fired from a previous job for having inappropriate relationships with minors.

The ex-English teacher wrote in the federal court filing that the teen in question improved his grades during the year she had a relationship with him.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Et ([London] Daily Mail)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Eu ([Houston, TX] KPRC)

 


 

 

Weather School at Spectrum Academy in North Salt Lake

 

Dan Pope was live at Weather School at  Spectrum Academy in North Salt Lake.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6E4 (KTVX)

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Hillary Clinton wouldn’t opt out her granddaughter on Common Core tests (New York) Newsday commentary by columnist Lane Filler

 

Not surprisingly, the Wellesley Class of 1969 valedictorian doesn’t believe in skipping exams, and she probably wouldn’t opt out granddaughter Charlotte from New York’s standardized tests, if it were up to her. Hillary Clinton has never skipped a test in her life. Based on the knowledge level she displays on even the most arcane policy points, she’s probably never skipped a study session or glossed over the footnotes of a book.

But Clinton has serious reservations about how the Common Core rollout and testing have happened in New York, even as she supports tough national standards and standardized tests in general.

In her visit to Newsday’s editorial board Monday afternoon, the self-avowed policy wonk showed it’s a richly deserved designation. She also shared the most comprehensive take of her views on education in this campaign. In what was the lengthiest and perhaps the most impassioned segment of the interview, she touched on her history as an advocate for children, the long struggle to improve education for poor children, minorities and those with disabilities and outlined a broad set of initiatives she’d fight for.

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

 


 

 

A Simple Cure For Education’s Jargonitis NPR commentary by columnist ANYA KAMENETZ

 

Merriam-Webster defines jargon as “the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity, group, profession, or field of study.”

For journalists, covering education means fending off lots of jargon. Going to a conference, like the American Educational Research Association annual meeting this week, or reading a research or policy paper, requires wading through waist-deep abstract terms and buzzwords. Many have lost their meaning through overuse, becoming cliches or euphemisms. Others smuggle a whole lot of questionable assumptions in a seemingly innocuous package.

At NPR Ed we like to keep things simple. In fact it’s our mission as journalists to open up the discussion of education ideas beyond small closed groups or people with specialized knowledge in a field.

Plus, jargon is not good writing.

In the immortal words of William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White: “Do not be tempted by a twenty-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy, ready and able.”

So I asked folks on Twitter for their favorite examples of edujargon.

Then I set out to define these terms in language regular people could understand, using a text editor that restricts you to the thousand most common words in the English language.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6E7

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Sen. Alexander to John King: Rethink Your Draft ESSA Spending Rules, Or Else Education Week

 

Washington — The federal requirement that federal dollars supplement state and local spending on education is proving to be one of the thorniest issues under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

In a testy Senate education committee hearing Tuesday, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., told Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. that he believed the U.S. Department of Education’s proposal for regulating that spending requirement violates the language and spirit of ESSA.

“Not only is what you’re doing against the law, the way you’re trying to do it is against another provision in the law,” Alexander told King in his opening remarks.

And Alexander said he’d use every power available to him, including the federal appropriations process, to overrule the regulations King’s department comes up with. He also said he’d encourage a lawsuit against the Education Department if it does not reconsider its proposed language.

But King denied that his department was overstepping its authority. He said the agency is merely trying to ensure that districts are using an appropriate approach to following federal requirements for accessing federal funds.

“That methodology should ensure that at least as much in state and local spending is taking place in the Title I schools as in the average of non-Title I schools,” King told Alexander.

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

 


 

 

Tennessee attorney general says transgender bathroom bill could be costly Federal funding at risk for public schools, colleges if measure becomes law Chattanooga (TN) Times Free Press

 

NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s public schools and colleges risk losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding if a transgender bathroom bill becomes law, state Attorney General Herbert Slatery warned Monday.

Slatery’s comments came as gay rights advocates sought to amp up pressure on Tennessee Republican lawmakers and the country music industry by calling Monday on major labels to demand bills targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community be scratched.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart of Nashville said Slatery’s opinion should serve as the “final nail in the coffin” of the transgender bathroom bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, and Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet.

Proponents say the concern is privacy protection.

Slatery said the bathroom bill, which would require students to use bathrooms based on their gender at birth, risks being seen as violating the federal Education Amendments of 1972 if “the U.S. Department of Education, which is charged with enforcing Title IX, interprets Title IX to require that transgender students be given access to restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their ‘gender identity’ instead of their anatomical gender.”

He said federal officials’ interpretation and the U.S. Department of Education have already challenged some school districts’ implementations of policies mirroring the Tennessee bathroom bill.

Slatery also said if House Bill 2414 is enacted, a public school or college that “implements that law will be putting its Title IX funding at risk, because a recipient of federal funding that discriminates in violation of Title IX may lose its federal funding.”

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6DR (Memphis Commercial Appeal)

 

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

 


 

 

Governor Wants Parts of North Carolina Rights Law Changed Associated Press

 

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday he wants to change a new state law that prevents people from suing over discrimination in state court, but he’s not challenging a measure regarding bathroom access for transgender people.

His announcement comes as fallout widens over the law he signed last month that would limit protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people.

McCrory said he’s using an executive order to expand the equal employment policy for state employees to include sexual orientation and gender, as well as affirming private businesses’ rights to establish their own bathroom policies.

He also says he will ask lawmakers to file legislation later this month allowing people to sue in state court over discrimination. That right was wiped out by the law.

But he said his order will maintain gender-specific restroom and locker room access in government buildings and schools.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Ef (Raleigh News & Observer)

 


 

 

Denver Expands Choice and Charters

Elected school board employs portfolio strategy to lift achievement Education Next

 

Some of the most dramatic gains in urban education have come from school districts using what’s known as a “portfolio strategy.” Under this approach, districts negotiate performance agreements with public schools—traditional, charter, and hybrid models. The arrangement affords school leaders substantial autonomy to handcraft their schools to fit the needs of their students. Districts give parents choices among the schools while working to replicate successful schools and replace failing ones.

Many doubt such a strategy is possible with an elected board, because closing schools and laying off teachers triggers fierce resistance. Most cities pursuing the portfolio strategy, including New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Camden, New Jersey, have done so with insulation from local electoral politics. In New Orleans, the state board of education and its Recovery School District (RSD) oversee most of the schools; Congress created the appointed D.C. Public Charter School Board; and in Camden the state is in charge.

All of which explains why reformers are paying close attention to Denver, Colorado. With an elected board, Denver Public Schools (DPS) has embraced charter schools and created innovation schools, which it treats somewhat like charters. Since 2005 it has closed or replaced 48 schools and opened more than 70, the majority of them charters. In 2010 it signed a Collaboration Compact committing to equitable funding and a common enrollment system for charters and traditional schools, plus replication of the most effective schools, whether charter or traditional.

Of the 223 DPS schools today, 55 are charters, which educate 18 percent of its students, and 38 are innovation schools, which educate 19 percent. Soon DPS will take the next step, creating an Innovation Zone with an independent, nonprofit board, which will negotiate a performance contract with the district. Beginning with four innovation schools but able to expand, the zone could for the first time give district schools the autonomy charters enjoy.

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

 


 

 

Pearson’s Quest to Cover the Planet in Company-Run Schools Wired

 

FOR DECADES, THE major landmark of Balut, Tondo, a densely populated slum squeezed against Manila’s North Harbor, was a monumental pile of often-smoldering trash nicknamed Smokey Mountain. “It used to be sort of pretty, actually,” says Nellie Cruz, a lifelong resident. She points to the spot, now bulldozed, across a reeking, garbage-strewn canal from where we stand with her 13-year-old son, Aki.

The scene is humble, yes, but Nellie, a single mother, isn’t destitute or desperate. She’s a modern, upwardly mobile megacity dweller, the kind you’re equally likely to meet in Shanghai or São Paulo, except with better English skills—the legacy of the Philippines’ history as a US colony and one key to its current economic growth.

Both Nellie and Aki carry iPhones, for example, though the devices were given to them by Nellie’s sister, a nurse, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Cruzes’ immaculate, doll-size family compound has a caged rooster in the front yard, Christian inspirational wall decals, and a strong Wi-Fi signal. In contrast to the screen-time panic among US parents, Nellie is OK with her only child spending time in his attic bedroom, gaming and browsing science pages on Facebook, rather than out on the street exposed to the pounding sun, the omnipresent filth, and the drug gangs on the corner.

The same protective but ambitious impulses were at work when it came to choosing a school for Aki. He attended Catholic institutions when he was younger. Then Nellie lost her job in marketing. So for sixth grade, Aki went off to public school.

“There were 58 students in one classroom,” he tells me. “Only some of us, the Section 1s”—top performers—“got to sit in the classroom. The others studied in the corridor.” Nellie didn’t like her quiet, polite child having to mix it up with kids “from all walks of life,” as she puts it.

So for seventh grade they found a new option at the other end of the street from the public school, housed in a former umbrella factory. The sign outside reads “APEC Schools: Affordable World Class Education From Ayala and Pearson.”

APEC isn’t just new to Tondo or Manila. It’s a different kind of school altogether: one that’s part of a for-profit chain and relatively low-cost at $2 a day, what you might pay for a monthly smartphone bill here. The chain is a fast-growing joint venture between Ayala, one of the Philippines’ biggest conglomerates, and Pearson, the largest education company in the world.

In the US, Pearson is best known as a major crafter of the Common Core tests used in many states. It also markets learning software, powers online college programs, and runs computer-based exams like the GMAT and the GED. In fact, Nellie already knew the name Pearson from the tests and prep her sister took to get into nursing school.

But the company has its eye on much, much more. Investment firm GSV Advisors recently estimated the annual global outlay on education at $5.5 trillion and growing rapidly.

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

 


 

 

San Antonio school officer fired after video showed him slam 12-year-old girl onto concrete San Antonio (TX) Express News

 

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Independent School district on Monday fired a district police officer who became the subject of national scrutiny after a video surfaced on YouTube that appeared to show him body slamming a 12-year-old girl.

While investigations into Officer Joshua Kehm’s actions during the March 29 encounter at Rhodes Middle School are still ongoing, district officials announced his termination on Monday.

“We understand that situations can sometimes escalate to the point of requiring a physical response; however, in this situation we believe that the extent of the response was absolutely unwarranted,” said SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez in a statement.

In an interview with MySA.com, Martinez said the decision to terminate Kehm was the result what the district considered an unwarranted use of force and the officer’s failure to report the incident as required by district protocol.

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

 


 

 

Man threatened to ‘retaliate’ against school, teachers over sex-ed lesson, police say Washington Post

 

Authorities in northeast Iowa say they have arrested a man who prompted a multi-school lockdown after he sent an email to a teacher, threatening to “retaliate” over a sex education curriculum.

Bruce “Deano” Divers Jr. faces charges of harassment after he sent a message to a teacher expressing his concerns that his fourth-grade son had been taught about masturbation and nocturnal emissions, Decorah, Iowa, police said.

The Decorah Community School District shut down all schools Monday over what officials called a “credible threat” at Carrie Lee Elementary School, according to NBC affiliate KWWL.  “The manner in which the complaint was phrased caused the school district and the police department to be concerned,” police said in a statement.

Police said someone had become “angry” about a curriculum matter at the school and had sent a message that caused alarm.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6E9

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Ea (Waterloo, IA KWWL)

 


 

 

Student in pro-Trump hat sets off taunting, dialogue at South Portland High Sophomore Connor Mullen expected classmates to hassle him, but when staff members joined in he decided to defend his free-speech rights.

Portland (ME) Press Herald

 

SOUTH PORTLAND — When Connor Mullen started wearing a baseball cap bearing Donald Trump’s campaign slogan to South Portland High School three weeks ago, he expected other students to taunt him.

But when two adults who work in the school made fun of him, including a teacher who Mullen said blurted “Thank God you can’t vote,” he decided to speak out. Friday, he voiced his concerns to administrators and was told that while he was free to wear the hat, which reads “Make America Great Again,” he might want to consider leaving it at home to avoid further problems.

To Mullen, the advice seemed to contradict what he’d heard from teachers over the years, that Americans have a right to their own political opinions, and we must all respect that.

“I knew kids would pick on me about it, that’s just kids being kids, but when the adults started doing it I thought that’s problematic,” said Mullen, 16 and a sophomore. “This is a school that preaches equality.”

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

 

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

 


 

 

Two arrested on charges of distributing drug-laced candy at Boca Ciega High Tampa Bay (FL) Times

 

GULFPORT — The students taken to the hospital Monday from Boca Ciega High School after eating drug-laced gummy worms have all been released and two juveniles are in custody, according to the Gulfport Police Department.

The candies were mixed with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, said Chief Robert Vincent. One student brought the candies to school and gave them to two other students, who in turn distributed them to four more classmates.

A 15-year-old girl gave the candies to three students and a 16-year-old boy gave them to one student, police said. There’s a third arrest pending. The students are not being named because of their ages.

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

 


 

 

Does Driver Education Make Our Roads Safer? We Go Back to High School to Find Out Car and Driver

 

It’s 2:55 p.m. on a Monday when I pull up in front of [redacted] high school for my first day of driver education. School has just let out, and hundreds of kids are racing to their cars. Nobody looks when they back out of their spots. Stop signs? What stop signs? While those at the head of the exit line inch along, glancing at their cellphones, drivers jam up both lanes of traffic trying to queue. Others beeline across the lot to the other exit, darting between unoccupied spaces, dodging kids still on foot. Making my way to ­visitor parking is like navigating rush hour in Rome.

The situation is frightening. But then I remember, this is what the whole world seems like when you are 15 and learning to drive.

The first time I took driver’s ed was nearly 30 years ago, in an Oldsmobile powered by a Quad 4 engine. That’s what I remember about my first go at the wheel—a light-blue Cutlass Calais.

I spot the All Star Driver Education car, a silver Ford Focus, and park next to it. This will be my office, the perch from which I will observe the many misfires between the 15-year-old brain and 3300 pounds of metal, glass, and plastic. I want to figure out how kids actually learn to do that thing that so much of society takes for granted. But it will be a week of textbook lessons before I get the chance to even ride along in the car.

Heading into the classroom, it all feels familiar. ­Pictures of dead presidents hang on the wall alongside student projects on To Kill a Mockingbird. Except for their smartphones, even the kids look as we did in 1988: jeans, collegiate sweatshirts, Converse high-tops. Affordable clothes never go out of style.

Apparently neither does VHS. Over the next three weeks, mixed in among lectures based on our 235-page textbook and the All Star school’s own self-produced training DVDs, we watch a collection of driver’s-ed tapes from decades past. It’s a far cry from Lawrence of Arabia, but these kids eat it all up, even a series that Ford produced back when the original Taurus was new.

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

 


 

 

Puerto Rico Church Strips Teachers of Pension Amid Crisis Associated Press

 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — After 36 years teaching English at a Roman Catholic school near Puerto Rico’s capital, Norma Cardoza planned to retire with a modest pension she trusted she would get from the Archdiocese of San Juan.

Her faith was misplaced.

Archdiocese officials in recent weeks informed Cardoza and several hundred other current and retired teachers that their pensions will be eliminated because payouts exceeded contributions. Enrollment at Catholic schools in Puerto Rico has plunged with so many families leaving the island for the U.S. mainland amid the island’s economic crunch.

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

 


 

 

Why Nigeria is the world’s most dangerous place to be … a geography teacher

(London) Telegraph

 

Boko Haram is singling out geography teachers in its campaign of terror against Western education in Nigeria, it has been revealed.

Teachers of the subject have emerged as an unlikely top target for the group because their lessons contradict its bizarre worldview on how the Earth was created.

Boko Haram believes that the Earth is flat rather than spherical, and that rainfall is caused not by evaporation, but by God’s divine will.

As such, geography teachers are ranked  alongside Nigerian security chiefs and senior politicians as prime candidates for assassination.

The threats to geographers are outlined in an extensive new report by Human Rights Watch, which lays bare the devastating impact wreaked by Boko Haram on Nigeria’s school system.

It says that a total of 600 school staff have been murdered by Boko Haram since 2009, and that 19,000 have quit their jobs due to threats and attacks.

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

 

A copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Ek (Human Rights Watch)

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

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

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

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

 

Utah State Board of Education study session and committee meetings

3:30 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

April 15:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

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

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

 

 

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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