Education News Roundup: May 9, 2016

 

"Graduation Caps" by JMaz Photo/CC/flickr

“Graduation Caps” by JMaz Photo/CC/flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Rod Decker looks at what role education savings accounts might play in the gubernatorial race.

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

 

The STEM Action Center has a new director.

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

 

New Grad Nation report looks at the impact of charter and alternative schools on high school graduation rates.

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

or a copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Wy (Grad Nation)

 

The bathroom wars continue.

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

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6WD (Politico)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6Xo (USAT)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6Xr (Reuters)

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

TODAY’S HEADLINES

————————————————————

 

 

UTAH

 

Fight over ‘Education Savings Accounts’ brewing

 

STEM Foundation Aims to Bring Industry Resources to Utah Schools

 

Rep. Jason Chaffetz teaches Lehi fifth-graders how a bill becomes a law

 

Fulfilling a mission: Guadalupe School marks 50 years of transforming lives

 

This Early Childhood Education Technology Is Helping Low-Income Kids In Utah. Can Philanthropy Expand It?

 

Students get peek at Mercury’s transit across the sun

 

Utah’s dual immersion program to expand by fall

 

Junior high runner with cerebral palsy inspires Weber County community

 

‘Things happen:’ Corner Canyon football player battling cancer with community’s help

 

‘Miss Shirley,’ cafeteria worker who dumped lunches at Utah school, dies at age 63

 

Weber School district selects music teacher and plumber as top employees

 

‘Be a lone wolf’: Wellsville Elementary fifth-graders graduate NOVA program

 

16-year-old killed, fellow student injured in Payson collision

 

Ex-teacher who faked cancer ordered to apologize, pay back donations

 

Petition claims substitute teacher banned from teaching at Lehi High

 

Do charter schools work? On their 25th anniversary, results remain a work in progress

 

New online testing glitches leaving states flummoxed around the country

 

Despite poverty and teen pregnancy, new National Teacher of the Year overcame challenges

 

Utah Hosts National Superintendents Conference on Personalized Learning

District Superintendents from Around the Country Are Meeting in Salt Lake City to Explore the Transition from Traditional Learning to Personalized Learning, a Shift That Promises to Reshape K-12 Education in the US

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Why the outgoing president of the UEA won’t return to teaching

 

Common Core, SAGE testing now a big issue in GOP gubernatorial race

 

New Feature: Utah ‘Genius Panel’ Focuses on Education

 

“Glory,” a history class and a racial slur — a controversy in South Ogden

 

Why I will continue to show ‘Glory’ in my classroom

 

Ogden NAACP to investigate teacher’s use of racial slur, screening of ‘Glory’

 

Grievance industry responsible for shutting down South Ogden teacher

 

Students deserve something unhealthy with their lunch once in a while

 

In search of the surest Common Core exit route

 

Is the nation’s math instruction in crisis?

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Charter, Alternative, Virtual Schools Account for Most Low-Grad-Rate Schools, Study Finds

 

Yes, the feds could pull North Carolina’s education funding for violating transgender civil rights

 

Many GOP K-12 Policy Vets Cool to Idea of Working for Donald Trump

 

Coalition Pushes for Reauthorization of Timber Funds Program

 

High failure rates spur universities to overhaul math class

It’s not Common Core, but reforms were born from the same ideas

 

New Jersey Changes Names of Common Core Standards, Makes Few Changes

 

School counselors face changing roles, growing need

 

Detroit teacher: I donated a kidney to my student. And politicians call me selfish.

 

Detroit Students’ Education Takes Back Seat in Funding Talks

 

Nevada hiring army of social workers to fight school bullying

 

Alaska has one of country’s loosest home-schooling laws

 

Why thousands of students are seeing Broadway smash ‘Hamilton’

 

High school yearbook misidentifies Muslim student as ‘Isis Phillips’

 

Three Delaware teenagers charged in fatal school beating of classmate

 

Chinle ROTC student drops from zip line into Winslow creek, drowns

 

12,000-seat High School Stadium Going Forward in North Texas

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

UTAH NEWS

————————————————————

 

Fight over ‘Education Savings Accounts’ brewing

 

Republican candidate for Governor Jonathan Johnson and his running-mate Robyn Bagley want to bring an Arizona style education law to Utah.

They want to start Education Savings Accounts. The plan would allow parents to take money from the state school fund and use it to finance their child’s education.

Parents could spend the money on a private school, or home schooling.

“We’re looking to localize and personalize education,” Bagley said. “A vote for us is a vote for more power for parents.”

Governor Gary Herbert and Democratic candidate for governor Mike Weinhotlz both oppose those accounts.

“I think they are education vouchers by another name, and the people of Utah rejected education vouchers,” Weinholtz said.

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

 


 

 

STEM Foundation Aims to Bring Industry Resources to Utah Schools

 

The Utah STEM Action Center has filed for the creation of a foundation and appointed a director. The foundation will support the center’s mission to promote science, technology, engineering, and math by connecting industry resources to students.

The Director of the new Utah STEM Foundation is Allison Spencer, former Foundation Director for Canyons School District. In her previous position, Spencer worked with state lawmakers and corporations to raise awareness and funds for STEM-related programs throughout the district.

“We bought robotic kits as part of their STEM course, so every 6th and 7th grader in Canyons takes a STEM course,” Spencer says. “It was amazing to see the companies jump on board and see that kids were more engaged when they had these hands-on experiences.”

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

 


 

 

Rep. Jason Chaffetz teaches Lehi fifth-graders how a bill becomes a law

 

“Shorter school hours!”

“No more homework!”

“Ban smoking!”

These were just a few of the ideas shouted out by fifth-graders at Traverse Mountain Elementary School when asked what laws they would pass if they were in Congress.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, visited the Lehi elementary school Friday morning to teach the kids about how a bill becomes a law at the national level.

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

 


 

 

Fulfilling a mission: Guadalupe School marks 50 years of transforming lives

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Decades before people used jargon like “wrap-around services,” an idealistic Catholic priest who served a predominately Latino mission on the city’s west side recognized a need for educational programs to give people in poverty a better shot in life.

The Rev. Jerald Merrill, who taught science at Judge Memorial Catholic High School and provided pastoral care to the people of the Salt Lake Diocese’s Guadalupe Mission, was somehow able to secure the use of a shuttered LDS Church ward house to start the Guadalupe Center.

John Florez, a parishioner, community organizer and friend, recalls the first time he and Merrill entered the building near 700 W. North Temple.

“We walked in and there was dust in there. The appliances were broken. It was musty. I guess there was mold in there,” he said.

But Father Merrill saw only possibilities, Florez said.

“He said ‘We can start adult education in here, maybe some classes for the kids,’ ” Florez said. “That was his dream.”

That was in 1966. Many volunteers supported the effort, among them a young woman named Suzanne Weiss, who partnered with Merrill to also create an early education program for children experiencing poverty.

Over the years, the Guadalupe Center became a gathering place for city’s Latino community. It offered a food bank, help with low-income housing, programs for migrant farm workers, a place for teens to hang out, a credit union, a cafe and a bilingual preschool.

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

 


 

 

This Early Childhood Education Technology Is Helping Low-Income Kids In Utah. Can Philanthropy Expand It?

 

A new report from nonprofit consulting and research firm The Bridgespan Group identifies early childhood education technology as one avenue that philanthropists could pursue to help lift poor children into the middle class. A program in Utah shows one way this might work.

About a decade ago, Utah legislators realized that more and more young children were starting kindergarten unprepared to learn. Some couldn’t sit still. Some didn’t speak English. Many had not attended preschool, often because their parents couldn’t afford it. At the time, Utah was one of ten states in the U.S. that didn’t have state funding for preschool.

Where people reside in Utah made establishing conveniently-located preschools difficult. In the sparsely populated southeastern part of the state, there were just 220 four-year-olds living in an area that covers 7,500 square miles. So the legislature turned to technology. It tasked a nonprofit research center called the Waterford Institute with creating a software program for 4-year-olds that would work to close the kindergarten-readiness gap. Waterford specializes in creating curriculum for children from pre-K through 2nd grade, and had won awards for its programs.

The result, a software program called UPSTART, was launched 7 years ago, funded by the state of Utah. A parent or caregiver and the 4-year-old are asked to spend 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week using the software, which teaches things like the alphabet, how to spell your name, and has songs and games for the children to play.  The state paid for a computer and Internet connectivity for families who didn’t have those things already.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Xy (Forbes)

 


 

 

Students get peek at Mercury’s transit across the sun

 

HERRIMAN — Students at Herriman High School got a peek of perspective with a look at Mercury during its leisurely transit across Earth’s view of the sun Monday.

“The students are kind of surprised by how small it looks compared to the sun,” said physics and astronomy teacher Matthew Lund. “A couple of students asked how many Murcurys would fit in the sun, and we calculated it at like 23.2 billion.”

The solar system’s smallest planet was visible as a tiny dot making its way across the sun from about 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Lund said.

Mercury’s transit happens only 13 times in a century, the last event taking place in 2006, according to NASA.

Students in the class used two 8-inch telescopes and a 4 ½-inch telescope, which were filtered to block the rays of the sun. Students also saw two sunspots during the observation.

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

 


 

 

Utah’s dual immersion program to expand by fall

 

LAYTON, Utah— The students in Utah’s pilot program for dual language immersion are now teenagers with the potential to earn college language credit.

The program has grown from two groups of students to 138 Utah schools, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Students spend part of the school day learning in a non-native language.

Layton High School sophomore Mikelle Argyle has been in the program since first grade.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6X8 (CVD)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6X9 (LHJ)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


 

 

Junior high runner with cerebral palsy inspires Weber County community

 

PLAIN CITY — In a girls 800 meter race at Fremont High on Thursday, Emma Tenney of Rocky Mountain Junior High came in last place.

But accompanied by three of her teammates who were beside her from start to finish, she crossed the finish line to applause and cheering fit for a champion from spectators and fellow athletes.

Tenney was born with cerebral palsy after losing most of her blood due to complications during her delivery. Doctors were able to save her life, but weren’t optimistic about her future.

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

 


 

 

‘Things happen:’ Corner Canyon football player battling cancer with community’s help

 

DRAPER — Corner Canyon’s Cameron Forte broke his femur in the Chargers’ season-opener last August, an injury that cost him his senior year.

Several months later, the Forte family is dealing with a challenge no teenager ever wants to hear: cancer.

But with the help of friends, family and the Corner Canyon community, Cameron is determined to win the fight and help others who are fighting the same battle.

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

 


 

 

‘Miss Shirley,’ cafeteria worker who dumped lunches at Utah school, dies at age 63

 

The cafeteria worker blamed by the Salt Lake City School District for fallout after 17 students’ school lunches were thrown away at Uintah Elementary School two years ago has died at age 63.

Shirley Canham, called “Miss Shirley” by the children at school, said she was “sickened” when she tossed out the lunches of students with negative account balances and gave the children milk and fruit instead, but she said her supervisor, Peggy Bjornn, was watching to see her follow through on the district’s policy.

Canham received death threats for her role in the story, which gained national attention.

After the incident, Canham and Bjornn were placed on administrative leave. Bjornn’s contract was not renewed for the following school year, and Canham declined an offer to return to the school.

Canham died on May 2, according to an online obituary. In a comment, her sister Penny Berry said Canham “fought for some time and then went peacefully.” She thanked the McKay Dee Hospital hospice nursing staff for giving her sister “such dignity with her passing.”

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

 


 

 

Weber School district selects music teacher and plumber as top employees

 

WASHINGTON TERRACE — Weber School District has named Nina Doxey its Teacher of the Year, and Justin Mock its Classified Employee of the Year.

Doxey and Mock were both honored during a meeting of the Weber School Board on Wednesday, May 4, and received checks for $1,000. Doxey will represent Weber School District in the State of Utah Teacher of the Year competition.

Nina Doxey has been at Roy High School for 16 years, where she teaches choir, performing arts, advanced placement music, and theater tech.

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

 

 


 

 

‘Be a lone wolf’: Wellsville Elementary fifth-graders graduate NOVA program

 

It’s not just graduation season for high school and college students but also for elementary students, as Wellsville Elementary School’s fifth-grade class successfully graduated from the life-skills program NOVA on Thursday afternoon.

An acronym standing for Nurturing, Opportunities, Values and Accountability, the 14-week program teaches young students a number of skills for positive life choices, including anger management, Internet safety and abstinence from drugs and alcohol, among other topics geared toward internalizing strong values.

“When you’re in school, you have all these great teachers who cover important subjects like math, English and science,” Cache County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Blake Hansen said to the assembled students. “Not many classes cover the same skills you learn from NOVA, but they’re some of the things that you can carry with you through your entire life.”

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

 


 

 

16-year-old killed, fellow student injured in Payson collision

 

PAYSON — A Payson community on Sunday grieved the death of 16-year-old Erica Montague, who was killed in a two-car crash Saturday night near 1500 West and Utah Avenue.

The driver of the car, a 16-year-old boy whose name was not released, remained hospitalized in critical condition Sunday, Payson police said.

Both teens are Salem Hills High School students. Montague played on the school’s softball team.

The Nebo School District plans to have additional counselors at the high school Monday to help teens cope with Montague’s death and their concerns for the teen boy in critical condition.

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

 

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6X6 (PDH)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


 

 

Ex-teacher who faked cancer ordered to apologize, pay back donations

 

VERNAL — A former Vernal elementary school teacher who faked having cancer and accepted community donations has been ordered to apologize and pay the money back.

Christina Lundblad, who turns 32 this month, was sentenced in 8th District Court this week to pay back the $7,000 in restitution to known donors and $500 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on behalf of donors who couldn’t be identified, according to court documents.

Lundblad was also ordered to write an apology letter to donors, as well as a community apology letter to be published in a Uinta Basin area newspaper by May 30. She must also complete 100 hours community service, a psychological evaluation and any prescribed medication regimens.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6WW (Vernal Express)

 

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

 


 

 

Petition claims substitute teacher banned from teaching at Lehi High

 

An online petition, asking that a substitute teacher be reinstated after being banned from teaching at Lehi High School, has collected more than 3,100 signatures in support as of Friday afternoon.

The petition claims RevaBeth Russell, who reportedly spent more than 30 years teaching at Lehi High School, was banned from substitute teaching at the high school after a student made a complaint that she used the words “boob” and “condom” during a math class.

Kimberly Bird, spokesperson for the Alpine School District, said the district does not comment on personnel issues. The district uses a company to fulfill substitute staffing needs and schools can provide feedback on the substitute teachers.

Bird said a petition would have no weight on if someone would go back to being a substitute teacher.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6X7 (PDH)

 

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

 


 

 

Do charter schools work? On their 25th anniversary, results remain a work in progress

 

It’s been 25 years since Minnesota launched the charter school movement in June of 1991, and after years of steady growth, charters are now a controversial but fixed piece of America’s educational landscape, according to a group of experts gathered at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., recently to mark the upcoming anniversary of the first charter law.

The charter movement as a whole got mixed grades from the group, which included recently retired Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The experts differed on the core purpose of the charter movement and on how well the schools are serving the needs of the communities they serve.

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

 


 

 

New online testing glitches leaving states flummoxed around the country

 

Tennessee last week became the latest state to cancel its standardized tests for the year, after glitches in the online testing system became unmanageable, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.

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

 


 

 

Despite poverty and teen pregnancy, new National Teacher of the Year overcame challenges

 

The new National Teacher of the Year announced last week came from humble beginnings and faced textbook challenges, including a teen pregnancy. Jahana Hayes, who has taught in her hometown of Waterbury, Connecticut, high school for the past decade, now tries to offer her students the same support she got.

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

 


 

 

Utah Hosts National Superintendents Conference on Personalized Learning

District Superintendents from Around the Country Are Meeting in Salt Lake City to Explore the Transition from Traditional Learning to Personalized Learning, a Shift That Promises to Reshape K-12 Education in the US

 

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — School Improvement Network, one of Utah’s longest standing education technology companies, today announced that it is hosting over 50 public school district superintendents from 30 states at its corporate headquarters in Salt Lake City from May 9 to 11. The superintendents will be meeting as part of the Superintendents Personalized Learning Cohort, an event that School Improvement Network is sponsoring with AASA, the School Superintendents Association.

One of the highlights of the event will be a tour of Weber Innovation High School in Ogden, a national leader in personalized and project based learning. This tour will show how Weber Innovations High School is making the transition to personalized learning and will provide a first-hand look at how educational needs are more fully met when learning is personalized.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6XA (PR Web)

 

 

 

————————————————————

OPINION & COMMENTARY

————————————————————

 

Why the outgoing president of the UEA won’t return to teaching

Deseret News commentary by columnist Doug Robinson

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh — the outgoing president of the Utah Education Association who spent 32 years in the classroom — was well aware the teaching profession had turned sour, resulting in a much-publicized teacher shortage. She has spent years addressing the problem of attracting and retaining teachers. So it was bitter irony that when it came time for her to return to the classroom, even she, of all people, couldn’t do it.

“It breaks my heart,” she says, choking back tears, “because I’m really good at it, and I know I could have an impact on students.”

She always had planned to return to teaching when she finished her second term as UEA president July 15 – “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” she says. If anyone should be in the classroom, you figure it is Mrs. G, as her old students still call her in the letters and phone calls she receives. In 2009, she was named Utah Teacher of the Year, and in 2010 the National Education Association awarded her its top honor for teachers — a $25,000 prize for “teaching excellence.” She’s a national board-certified teacher, which requires meeting a rigorous set of standards that relatively few teachers obtain.

Fishbaugh began her career as a teacher, and she planned to end it as a teacher. But last fall, while renewing her national board certification, she was working in a third-grade class that included a boy whom she describes as a “voracious” writer. He was eager to write about what interested him that day; instead, he was forced to take one of those government-mandated tests that teachers curse.

“You could see it crushed him,” she recalls. “He kept saying, ‘I want to write.’ The spark went out of him. He wasn’t interested. He just spun around in his chair, no matter how much I coaxed him. There are so many policies and regulations that were designed by people who are not teachers. It’s oppressive. The ability to light a fire under that kid was just extinguished.”

So was her enthusiasm for the teaching profession. “When the time came for me to decide to go back (to teaching), it was easy to say no,” she says, tearing up again.

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

 


 

 

Common Core, SAGE testing now a big issue in GOP gubernatorial race

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by columnist DOUG GIBSON

 

Common Core and SAGE testing have become major issues in the Utah Republican governor’s race. Surprisingly, it was Utah Gov. Gary Herbert who raised the bar when he called for eliminating Utah’s Common Core standards and some SAGE testing in Utah.

That got the notice of his Republican primary opponent, businessman Jonathan Johnson. He’s made the elimination of Common Core — called Utah Core here — and SAGE testing a major theme of his campaign. Herbert’s reversal on the issue followed more criticism of Common Core from Johnson.

The bigger question is why is Herbert changing his mind now. Is he learning that Utah Republican voters may be hostile to Common Core? The governor claims Johnson’s challenge did not prompt his switch. Hmm.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6X2

 


 

 

New Feature: Utah ‘Genius Panel’ Focuses on Education

Utah Policy commentary by columnist LaVarr Webb

 

Utah Policy Daily has convened a “Genius Panel” – a group of thoughtful Utah leaders who will respond to questions on important public policy topics. Each week a question will be sent to them. They can choose to respond, or not, depending on the question and whether they feel they have something insightful to say.

Responses will be published each Monday in UPD.

This week’s question:

Changes enabled by advanced technology have disrupted many businesses and industries, including communications, publishing, taxi services, television, telecommunications, and so forth. Are public education and higher education now being disrupted, and how should our education institutions and the Legislature respond?

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

 


 

 

“Glory,” a history class and a racial slur — a controversy in South Ogden

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by columnist GREG HALLING

 

Before showing “Glory,” the Academy Award-winning 1989 film about the nation’s first African-American Civil War regiment, Douglas Barker wanted to prepare his South Ogden Junior High students for what they were about to see and hear.

So he told the eighth-graders about a racial slur characters used frequently in the film. But he didn’t just describe it — he used it.

“In historical context, I was explaining the word and why we don’t use it,” Barker told Becky Wright, a reporter for the Standard-Examiner.

Holly Frye, whose 14-year-old son D.J. is part of Barker’s class, complained to school administrators.

The school district disciplined Barker, but Frye wants him fired.

She wants to teach Barker “that he cannot get away with using his classroom as a stance to preach his racist rhetoric,” Frye said in an interview with Associated Press reporter Hallie Golden.

Here’s how readers reacted to the story when we shared it on Facebook. All quotes are verbatim:

http://gousoe.uen.org/6X5

 


 

 

Why I will continue to show ‘Glory’ in my classroom

Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Nathaniel R. Ricks, an eighth grade U.S. history teacher in Canyons School District

 

As part of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, African American men — many of them former slaves — were finally granted permission to join the military during the Civil War. The experiences they endured — unfair pay, humiliating menial labor, brutalizing racism and the threat of enslavement if captured — are an important part of the history of the Civil War.

The movie “Glory” is an imperfect portrayal of these events (as any Hollywood production must necessarily be), though it does an excellent job of celebrating the black soldiers of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, the first black regiment organized in Massachusetts following the Emancipation Proclamation. The film has a long history of use in educational settings, the earliest edited version funded by Pepsi-Cola and sent to thousands of schools and other organizations to commemorate Black History Month in 1991.

Ogden teacher Douglas Barker is being punished for providing his students with an invaluable educational experience (“Official: Teacher’s use of racial slur violated policy,” May 5).

I wasn’t in Barker’s classroom on the day he introduced “Glory” to his students. I cannot comment on his particular use of the N-word, nor how he tried to contextualize it for his students. But I’ve had similar conversations with my own eighth graders as we’ve grappled with historical sources that use the word.

While I would never, ever want to make students feel unsafe, sometimes I absolutely need to make them feel uncomfortable intellectually so they can begin to formulate socially responsible opinions, in the safe environment of our classroom.

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

 


 

 

Ogden NAACP to investigate teacher’s use of racial slur, screening of ‘Glory’

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Stanley L. Ellington President, Ogden Branch of the NAACP

 

I am responding to the May 6 column “’Glory,’ a history class and a racial slur—a controversy in South Ogden.” First and foremost, the need to use the movie “Glory” as a history lesson raises several questions and concerns. I question teacher Douglas Barker’s decision, the South Ogden Junior High School administrators’ approval, and the district administrators’ acceptance of allowing the use of this R-rated movie as a teaching tool for this group of students. What is the history lesson to be learned from a movie with an excessive use of what was then a derogatory term and now deemed as a racial slur? What principles and practices were to be learned from this movie by hearing and seeing the use of this racial slur, derogatory term? Why was the proposed lesson-plan subject about this racial slur?

http://gousoe.uen.org/6X1

 


 

 

Grievance industry responsible for shutting down South Ogden teacher

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Merlin Deschamps

 

I read with interest “South Ogden Jr. High teacher violated policy by using racial slur” in the May 5 Standard-Examiner. Have we gotten so politically correct and sensitive that we can’t even teach history anymore?

It appears to me that the teacher, Douglas Barker, was trying to give a historical perspective on “Glory,” the film the class was about to see. History is not always pretty, but if we are not willing to look back at the mistakes that were made in the past we are likely to repeat them.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6X3

 


 

 

Students deserve something unhealthy with their lunch once in a while

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Andrew Nay

 

I am working on my Communications Merit Badge, and I need to send a letter to an editor of a newspaper or a magazine.

I think kids should have better school lunches

I think kids should have desserts with their lunches. You may ask why, and it’s because I think we deserve it. We already have lots of healthy foods to eat at school, so I think that we should get something unhealthy once in a while.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6X4

 


 

 

In search of the surest Common Core exit route

(Washington, DC) The Hill op-ed by Robert Holland, senior fellow for education policy with The Heartland Institute

 

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, has said flatly he would end Common Core, though he hasn’t yet said how.

The close-to-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, has said she continues to be a fan of Common Core. And why wouldn’t she be, given that she is the grandmother of the national education standards movement that was born in the early 1990s?

Sponsors of this fall’s presidential debates ought to devote one debate entirely to education, with Common Core being the primary topic.

Trump should be pinned down on how he believes a president could quickly end a program that is not a freestanding federal enactment. Clinton should be made to walk Americans through her game plan for ensuring Common Core’s permanence using a similar strategy as the one utilized by the Bill Clinton administration through the School-to-Work Act of 1994. And by all means, the Libertarian Party candidate, who will be selected Memorial Day weekend, should be included as well and asked to explain how he or she plans to extract the federal government from education entirely, root and branch.

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

 


 

 

Is the nation’s math instruction in crisis?

Washington Post commentary by columnist Jay Matthews

 

My recent column on the controversy over letting eighth-graders take algebra brought a torrent of anguished comments from parents and other experts who think math instruction is in crisis. This is a major frustration point in America. Many of these curriculum war veterans have interesting, and often contradictory, recommendations.

Many are puzzled about why the Common Core State Standards, the nation’s latest educational fashion, seem to advise against the popular policy of letting kids take algebra a year earlier than usual. It is all pretty confusing.

John Fourkas, both a parent and a University of Maryland chemistry professor, said much of the Common Core-based math curriculum seems to him “completely disjointed, focusing too much on specialized vocabulary.” He said there is “not enough repetition of key skills as new topics are introduced.”

“Our son has had the misfortune of being on the leading edge of the reform, and so every year there is a new curriculum with which the teachers are not familiar,” Fourkas said. “Our son is in Algebra 2 this year, and I give them great credit for learning from their mistakes and designing a curriculum that is far more coherent.”

The Common Core standards don’t suggest banning algebra in eighth grade, but they instead urge schools to use a Common Core eighth-grade math course designed to make everyone ready for high school math, including the traditional ninth-grade algebra course.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————-

NATIONAL NEWS

————————————————————-

 

Charter, Alternative, Virtual Schools Account for Most Low-Grad-Rate Schools, Study Finds

Education Week

 

Charter, virtual, and alternative schools account for a disproportionate share of U.S. high schools with low graduation rates, according to a study released Monday. Even though they enroll only a small slice of students, they account for more than half of the U.S. high schools that graduate 67 percent or less of their students in four years.

“Building a Grad Nation,” the seventh in an annual series of reports on U.S. graduation rates, concluded that regular district high schools make up 41 percent of those that didn’t surpass the 67-percent threshold in 2013-14. Charter, virtual, and alternative schools—a small sector, representing only 14 percent of the country’s high schools and 8 percent of its high school students—account for 52 percent of the schools that fell short of that mark. (The remaining 7 percent are vocational and special-education schools.)

The findings offer a challenge to a country that’s renewing its focus on graduation rates through the newly revised Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Known now as the Every Student Succeeds Act, the law requires states to report four-year graduation rates for schools that enroll 100 students or more, and districts to provide research-based help for schools that graduate fewer than 67 percent in four years.

With that new law in mind, the organizations that issue the “Grad Nation” reports annually—Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, the Alliance for Excellent Education and the America’s Promise Alliance—shifted their focus for this year’s report, from schools that enroll 300 or more students (about 13,400 schools) to those that enroll 100 or more (about 18,100 schools).

That change nearly tripled the scope of the study of schools with graduation rates of two-thirds or less: from 1,000 schools enrolling 924,000 students to 2,397 schools enrolling 1.23 million students. In a foreshadowing of the work that states face under ESSA, the Grad Nation researchers looked for patterns among the schools with low graduation rates.

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

 

A copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Wy (Grad Nation)

 


 

 

Yes, the feds could pull North Carolina’s education funding for violating transgender civil rights

Washington Post

 

North Carolina receives more than $4 billion in federal education funding each year. Now the federal government is considering withholding that money because, the Justice Department says, the state has passed a law that violates the civil rights of transgender individuals by forcing them to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates instead of their gender identity.

But would federal officials really withhold billions of dollars meant to help educate poor children, children with disabilities, and college students who can’t afford to go to school without federal aid?

They’ve done it before.

The federal government withheld funds in the 1960s from more than 100 school districts in the south that refused desegregation, according to Gary Orfield, an  education scholar and co-director of the Civil Rights Project at the University of California-Los Angeles.

“That was the first time in American history that there had been a massive cutoff of federal aid funds,” Orfield said. “And it worked dramatically.”

School districts adopted plans to integrate to turn the federal-funds spigot back on.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6WD (Politico)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Xo (USAT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Xr (Reuters)

 


 

 

Many GOP K-12 Policy Vets Cool to Idea of Working for Donald Trump

Education Week

 

Political pundits attribute much of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s success to his willingness to stand against the so-called “Washington establishment.” So where does that leave the folks who have advised Republican candidates on education policy for years? Will they go to work for him if he’s elected or help his campaign? We asked around, and here’s what we heard.

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

 


 

 

Coalition Pushes for Reauthorization of Timber Funds Program

Education Week

 

A bipartisan Senate coalition is calling for the reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act, which provides timber revenue for rural schools and communities located near national forest land.

More than 30 lawmakers sent a letter to Senate leaders in late April encouraging the reauthorization of the program, according to Montana’s Flathead Beacon. In the letter, lawmakers called the program a “critical safety-net” for communities near federally-owned forests because those communities are unable to tax that land. Money from the timber program is used to support many community services, including schools, transportation infrastructure, and local law enforcement agencies.

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

 


 

 

High failure rates spur universities to overhaul math class

It’s not Common Core, but reforms were born from the same ideas

Hechinger Report

 

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — When Chelsea Castilloadame left the Navy Medical Corps after five years to pursue her longtime plan of becoming a doctor, she knew her transition back to civilian life was going to be tough. But she wasn’t prepared to feel so unprepared for — of all things — math class.

“I would leave classes and exams literally in tears,” Castilloadame, 24, said. “I went to the bathroom and I cried after almost every math exam. It was very humbling to go into the professor and say, ‘I am so frustrated. I’m bawling my eyes out and I know this material.’ ”

She failed precalculus and decided to switch schools, from a university in Nevada to San Diego State University, rather than repeat and risk failing again.

Castilloadame is one of many students who experience mathematics as a roadblock to other fields — such as science, technology and engineering. In fact, about 50 percent of students don’t pass college algebra with a grade of C or above, as noted in a recent report, “Common Vision,” from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). The report called Americans’ struggle with math “the most significant barrier” to finishing a degree in both STEM and non-STEM fields. In the worst-case scenarios, students can get stuck in remedial classes and fall so far behind that they drop out of college all together.

“There’s going to be a need for a million more STEM graduates in the next decade than we’re currently producing,” said Chris Rasmussen, professor of mathematics education at San Diego State. “I think people started looking at their courses and saying, ‘We can probably do better.’ ”

San Diego State has joined a couple of dozen math departments across the country that are rethinking the way they teach math.

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

 


 

 

New Jersey Changes Names of Common Core Standards, Makes Few Changes

Education Week

 

After a year-long review of the Common Core State Standards, New Jersey’s board of education Thursday renamed its standards and made a few adjustments to them as well, according to NJ.com.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie ordered a point-by-point review last year shortly before announcing his bid for the presidency. At the time, Christie said the common-core standards confused parents and overwhelmed teachers.

Board president Mark Biedron told local media yesterday that after reviewing the standards, the board decided to make a few adjustments including changing when students are required to learn long versus short vowels and clarifying the language of other standards. The state’s standards will now be known as the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.

“We looked at everything to make sure that it was crystal clear, age appropriate,” Biedron told NJ.com. “Yes, there were some changes, but there were not major changes.”

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

 


 

 

School counselors face changing roles, growing need

St. Cloud (MN) Times

 

On a typical day, Rick Larson’s job duties can run the gamut from career counselor to bully buster to cheerleader to therapist.

Larson, a counselor at St. Cloud’s Apollo High School, is never sure what to expect.

“It depends on the hour,” he said. “I could be helping a student apply to Stanford one minute, and then the next minute be doing a child abuse report.”

The role of the school counselor has evolved dramatically over the years. Decades ago, they were primarily responsible for helping students choose a college and apply for scholarships. Now counselors are charged with supporting students with a wide range of needs, from forging academic and career paths to social and personal development.

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

 


 

 

Detroit teacher: I donated a kidney to my student. And politicians call me selfish.

Washington Post

 

When Detroit teacher Nadirah Muhammad learned that one of her students was in need of a kidney, she immediately offered to help.

Just before Christmas 2014, Muhammad checked into the hospital to donate a kidney to 18-year-old A’Ja Booth, who had been her dance student at West Side Academy, an alternative high school in Detroit.

The transplant was successful. Muhammad returned to work in January 2015, according to Detroit Public Schools. And when Booth came back to school a few months later, West Side students and staff celebrated both women with an emotional ceremony.

Booth went on to graduate from high school and is now studying to become a medical assistant, with plans to become a police officer and continue in school for nursing. In an interview this week, she said none of that would have been possible without Muhammad’s gift, which allowed her to stop dialysis that had required leaving school early three days a week for five years.

“It changed my whole life. I don’t have to be on dialysis anymore. I don’t have to worry about being sick,” Booth said. “She just did an incredible thing.”

Muhammad said she feels lucky to have been able to help another person live a healthier life. And she said that she’s no different from the many other teachers who go to extraordinary lengths to help their students. “Teachers go above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis for these children,” she said.

That’s why it rankled her this week when Michigan politicians criticized Detroit teachers for staging a sickout that closed city schools for two days, a protest against the possibility that the financially troubled school system might not be able to fully pay teachers for their work.

Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R) called it a “selfish and misguided plea for attention.”

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

 


 

 

Detroit Students’ Education Takes Back Seat in Funding Talks

Associated Press

 

DETROIT — Anthony Sawyers is a sophomore at Detroit’s pre-eminent public high school, Cass Tech, where textbooks aren’t allowed out of his classrooms – even to take home to study.

That, his mother Tomi Sawyers says, is a sign of how dire financial troubles are in the district, which other parents and educators say has had chronic shortages of books, paper and other supplies. Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski says it is moving toward using more technology, and that students also have access to Microsoft Office 365 for mobile and desktop computers at home.

But not everyone has home computers, and the question for Sawyers remains: “If the schools don’t have enough money now to buy textbooks, how will books get bought if the district runs out of money?”

Lost in the cacophony of Detroit teachers’ frequent protests over pay – including the possibility there might not be enough for payroll this summer – poor building conditions and being under state oversight is how the lack of money affects 46,000 students’ ability to learn. In the last week alone, teachers called off sick for two days, meaning kids in 94 schools missed precious instruction time.

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

 


 

 

Nevada hiring army of social workers to fight school bullying

Associated Press via Reno (NV) Gazette Journal

 

LAS VEGAS — A sweeping statewide initiative to curb bullying in Nevada schools has crossed a major milestone after the Clark County School District, the state’s largest, filled all of its more than 100 new social worker positions.

Statewide, 139 social workers and supervisors are in place as of early May, and 25 positions remain unfilled. Officials said the new staff members have so far led workshops on how to identify unhealthy relationships, taught anger management techniques and helped students who are returning to school after time in a mental health institution.

“I can’t imagine not having them now just because of the positive impact they’ve had,” said Robert Mars, principal at Silverado High School in Las Vegas, which brought on two social workers about two months ago. “It’s better than what I expected.”

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

 

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

 


 

 

Alaska has one of country’s loosest home-schooling laws

(Anchorage) Alaska Dispatch News

 

When it comes to independent home-schoolers, Alaska law has little to say.

Children don’t have to attend public school if their parent or legal guardian has decided to educate them, according to state law. Legislators added that provision in 1997.

Unless enrolled at a charter school or correspondence program, those families don’t receive state funding. No government agency keeps track of who they are or what they have learned. They don’t have to register with their local school district — or any school district.

Alaska’s hands-off approach to independent home schooling, among the most relaxed in the country, was suddenly in the spotlight last week amid news reports of two teenagers who showed up at the Covenant House on Christmas Eve 2015 and the filing of neglect charges against their parents.

The girls, then ages 16 and 17, said their parents had forced them to live in the basement without heat or water. They never attended public school and had very little home schooling from their mother, according to a charging document written by an Anchorage police detective. The detective said that when he interviewed the girls, they didn’t have the normal skills of children their age, which he attributed to their lack of “socialization and education.”

The Anchorage School District had no record of the teenagers. Unlike most states, Alaska doesn’t require parents to notify anyone if they opt to home-school their children outside of a charter school or correspondence program.

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

 


 

 

Why thousands of students are seeing Broadway smash ‘Hamilton’

NewsHour

 

This spring, 20,000 public high school students from low-income neighborhoods in New York City will get the opportunity to see “Hamilton,” the Broadway smash hit nominated this week for a record 16 Tony Awards. Students can see the show as part of a new classroom curriculum designed around the show to encourage creativity and foster student interest in history.

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

 


 

High school yearbook misidentifies Muslim student as ‘Isis Phillips’

Los Angeles Times

 

A high school yearbook is supposed to be a keepsake, but for a Muslim student in Rancho Cucamonga it will be a painful reminder of being misidentified as “Isis Phillips” in a photo that showed her smiling and wearing a hijab.

Bayan Zehlif, a student at Los Osos High School, posted a photo from one of the yearbook’s pages on Twitter and Facebook. The caption below the photo did not have her name but instead identified her as Isis Phillips.

Years ago, such a blunder might be dismissed as a simple misprint, but Isis — once a popular baby name — is today often associated with the acronym for the extremist group Islamic State.

“I am extremely saddened, disgusted, hurt and embarrassed that the Los Osos High School yearbook was able to get away with this,” Zehlif wrote on Facebook. “Apparently, I am ‘Isis’ in the yearbook. The school reached out to me and had the audacity to say that this was a typo. I beg to differ, let’s be real.”

Chaffey Joint Union High School District Supt. Mat Holton said Zehlif was incorrectly identified as another student named Isis. He said the school has contacted the families of both students and assured them that an investigation will be conducted.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Xk (CSM)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Xl (USAT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Xp (Reuters)

 


 

 

Three Delaware teenagers charged in fatal school beating of classmate

Reuters

 

Three high school girls in Delaware are facing criminal charges over the fatal beating of a classmate inside a school bathroom last month, authorities said on Monday.

Amy Joyner-Francis, a 16-year-old sophomore at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, Delaware, died following an early-morning fight on April 22, in an incident that drew national headlines.

The state Department of Justice said it had charged Trinity Carr, 16, with criminally negligent homicide and would seek to have her tried as an adult. She faces up to eight years in prison.

Carr was the only girl to strike Amy, though all three girls planned the confrontation, according to the department.

The other two girls, Zion Snow and Chakeira Wright, have been charged with criminal conspiracy, which carries up to one year in prison. They will be tried as juveniles.

An autopsy concluded that Joyner-Francis died from a “cardiac incident” that stemmed from a pre-existing heart condition but was brought on by the stress of the attack, according to the department.

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

 


 

 

Chinle ROTC student drops from zip line into Winslow creek, drowns

(Phoenix) Arizona Republic

 

A 17-year-old ROTC student died during a zip-line exercise in Winslow on Saturday after she released her safety clip and dropped into Clear Creek, according to the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office.

Marisa Trujillo, 17, of Chinle, was found about two hours later by the Winslow dive team.

Trujillo got about halfway across the creek about 11:30 a.m. before dropping 60 feet to the water below, according to the sheriff’s office. She did not resurface, authorities said. A safety diver was in the water at the time as a safety precaution. Within seconds, the diver was at the location where Trujillo went under but was unable to locate her, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Trujillo told other students of her intentions before the event and was advised not to jump into the water, the Sheriff’s Office said.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6X0 ([Flagstaff] Arizona Daily Sun)

 


 

 

12,000-seat High School Stadium Going Forward in North Texas

Associated Press

 

McKINNEY, Texas — Voters in a North Texas school district have approved a bond issue that includes $50 million to build a 12,000-seat high school football stadium.

Saturday’s vote came on a $220 million bond issue for the McKinney Independent School District, which is about 20 miles north of Dallas.

More than $11 million left from a 2000 bond election in the district will help fund site preparation, infrastructure upgrades and other work.

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

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

————————————————————

 

USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

May 12:

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 Administrative Rules Hearing

2:30 p.m., 250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda/May12HearingNotice.aspx

 

Utah State Board of Education study session and committee meetings

4:30 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

May 13:

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

 

 

May 17:

Education Interim Committee meeting

1:15 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2016&Com=INTEDU

 

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

 

Related posts:

Comments are closed.