Education News Roundup: May 11, 2016

 

 

2016 Prevention Dimensions Kids Day/Education News Roundup

2016 Prevention Dimensions Kids Day/Education News Roundup

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

Governor backs off on call for a special legislative session on SAGE testing.

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

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

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6Z2 (OSE)

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

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

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6Zq (MUR)

 

The recent moves on Common Core and SAGE are points of speculation in several opinion pieces.

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

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6Yw (UP)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6Yx (UP audio)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6Zr (Sutherland Institute)

 

D-News takes a deep look at SAGE opt-outs.

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

 

Utah Policy and the Trib take a look at the GOP gubernatorial primary race, not necessarily in light of the Common Core/SAGE hubbub, but still …

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

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

 

Sen. Hillyard discusses changes to State Board of Education elections.

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

 

Jordan School District considers a $245 million bond.

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

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

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

 

Teen suicide continues to be an issue in Utah schools.

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

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6Zo (KNRS)

 

Park City school was the subject of an OCR investigation.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6ZL (PR)

 

Congress is raising concerns about proposed ESSA rules.

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

or a copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/6YQ (Congress)

 

If you were Chelsea Handler and you were starting a brand new talk show on Netflix, who would you want on your first show to draw a crowd? Yes, of course. You’d want US Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6ZJ (Business Insider)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

After criticism, Herbert backs off push for SAGE on special session agenda

 

Opting out of SAGE test is on the rise

Impact on schools and teachers raises troubling questions

 

Poll: Republican Voters Favor Herbert Over Johnson 74-19%

 

Changes coming to the way state school board members are selected

 

Jordan School District proposes $245M bond for 6 new schools

 

Provo City School District adjusts budget for construction projects

 

New school complex in Washington County creating safety, financial concerns for residents

 

Brighton High administrators concerned after 2 student deaths in a week

 

Report: Bullying is a public health threat, not a rite of passage

 

Drug use on the rise among teens in Park City, officials say

 

Investigation: Park City School District discriminated against diabetic student

Office for Civil Rights says district failed to give student the proper care

 

Sens. Cassidy, Mikulski Urge More Action to Address Dyslexia in Ed. Committee

 

Funding gap between Utah charter, district schools closing, report shows

 

Center in Saratoga Springs launches two new children’s literacy programs

 

Weber School district selects music teacher and plumber as top employees

 

Ogden School District names Scott, Palmer, Wilkinson as top professionals

 

Provo School District Foundation honors 6 educators

 

State superintendent applications now accepted

 

What Would Happen If Kids Voted for the President?

 

NAACP investigates Utah teacher’s use of N-word with Civil War movie

 

Summit Academy violates recruiting rules; football ineligible for 2016 postseason

Preps » Punishment includes a postseason ban for football in 2016.

 

Deaf lacrosse player turns her inability to hear into an advantage on the field of play

 

Bear walks to school with students using innovative app

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Lindsey Smith

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Madeline Remkes

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

The political lightning rod that is Common Core

 

Opportunity Lost: The Importance of Campaign Momentum in Herbert vs. Johnson

 

‘The Spin Room’ – Playing Politics with Common Core

 

Put Common Core clamor aside: Let’s talk about educational standards

 

Reggie Miller and a strengths-based approach to education reform

 

Revise not overhaul

 

Say yes to America’s public school system

 

Don’t trust Herbert

 

Reader wonders how you can teach Southern history, Civil War without racial slur

 

Education system needs to look beyond letter grades

 

Student Poverty Isn’t an Excuse; It’s a Barrier

 

How Common Core Fulfills Hillary Clinton’s Education Dreams

If Hillary Clinton had never played a pivotal role in creating and accomplishing her husband’s education agenda in the ‘90s, we might well not have Common Core.

 

A St. Louis Desegregation Policy That Segregates

If La’Shieka White’s 9-year-old son weren’t African-American, next year he’d still be attending the school he likes.

 

25 hedge fund managers earned more last year than every kindergarten teacher in America

 

What Was Behind the Rise (and Subsequent Fall) in Teacher Turnover?

 

 



 

 

 

NATION

 

Congressional K-12 Leaders Urge Ed. Dept. to Ensure ‘Full Participation’ in ESSA Shift

 

NC Republicans want vow that feds won’t cut education money over HB2

GOP House members from NC ask Education Department to respond by Friday

 

N.C. school board caught up in ‘bathroom bill’ debate after voting to okay pepper spray, mace

 

All-gender bathroom bill passes California Assembly

Assembly Bill 1732 mandates single-occupancy bathrooms be ‘all-gender’

 

One-to-One Laptop Initiatives Boost Student Scores, Researchers Find

 

Teaching English-Language Learners: What Does the Research Tell Us?

 

Court Vacates Long Island Teacher’s Evaluation Tied to Test Scores

 

New Orleans tries to mix charter schools with democracy: Is this the district of the future?

 

Study: Teacher-Prep Programs Need to Deepen Educators’ Racial Awareness

 

Idaho school districts could be out another $2M, thanks to continuing fallout from failed broadband network

 

Should An Anonymous Donor Be Able To Save A Public School?

 

Do Genes Help Determine Your Education Level?

 

High schools try to make better use of something often wasted: Senior year

Instead of warehousing 12th-graders, some schools try to give them study and life skills

 

It’s a Tough Job Market for the Young Without College Degrees

 

Parents Turn to Doctors, Lawmakers to Save School Recess

 

Chelsea Handler got a pop quiz from the US Secretary of Education and did pretty well

 

U.S. Department of Education Launches $65 Million Grant Competition for Creating, Expanding High-Quality Public Charter Schools

 

Finalists in $225,000 Reach Higher Career App Challenge Announced by White House, U.S. Education Department

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

UTAH NEWS

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After criticism, Herbert backs off push for SAGE on special session agenda

 

SALT LAKE CITY — After drawing harsh criticism Tuesday, Gov. Gary Herbert backed off of an attempt to get lawmakers to address an issue related to the controversial Common Core standards in Utah at next week’s special session of the Legislature.

“The legislative branch has not been grafted into the governor’s re-election campaign,” House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, said in a statement after the Deseret News reported the issue may be added to the May 18 agenda.

The governor’s spokesman, Jon Cox, told the newspaper it would be considered if members of the State Board of Education agree to endorse Herbert’s new opposition to mandatory high school SAGE testing at their meeting later this week.

But Cox said Tuesday the governor can wait, although action would be needed before students return to school in the fall.

“If legislators would like more time to review this potential change, the governor is willing to accommodate that request,” Cox said. “A second special session in the summer is something he would consider.”

Herbert reversed his long-standing support for Common Core at the state GOP convention in late April but still lost 45 percent to 55 percent to his Republican challenger, Overstock.com Chairman Jonathan Johnson.

The two candidates will face each other in the June 28 primary.

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

 

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Z2 (OSE)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


 

 

Opting out of SAGE test is on the rise

Impact on schools and teachers raises troubling questions

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Every spring as year-end standardized testing begins, Wendy Hart stops by her kids’ schools to pick them up and take them home early.

It’s become a yearly routine for the Highland mother and her ninth- and 11th-grade students, while the majority of their classmates spend part of their final weeks of school taking the student assessment of growth and excellence, Utah’s computer-adaptive test known as SAGE.

Hart’s reasons for exempting her kids from the test are mostly philosophical, though she sees the hours her children would spend testing better invested elsewhere. But using SAGE to calculate school grades, to put schools in academic turnaround status, and until recently, to form part of teacher evaluations limit the flexibility of parents and teachers, she said.

“The biggest thing for me is the control of the education system,” said Hart, who is a member of the Board of Education for the Alpine School District. “Opting out is a way of pushing back against the lack of parental control and giving teachers more autonomy, more flexibility to do what they think is best instead of making them feel like they’re tied to the test.”

Hart’s is one side of an issue that is being felt on a growing scale in schools throughout the state as SAGE nears the end of its third administration. Since 2013, Utah has gone from having an average opt-out rate from standardized tests of 0.05 percent to a rate more than 60 times higher.

In some schools, the portion of students opting out represents more than half of the student body. Statewide, it represents more than 37,000 tests that went unfilled last year.

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

 


 

 

Poll: Republican Voters Favor Herbert Over Johnson 74-19%

 

If the June 28 primary election were held today, GOP Gov. Gary Herbert would sweep into the Utah Republican Party’s gubernatorial nomination, a just-completed UtahPolicy poll by Dan Jones & Associates finds.

Among all Utahns, Herbert leads his GOP challenger, Jonathan Johnson, 62 percent to 23 percent, with 15 percent undecided, the new poll shows.

The survey of 588 Utahns was completed Tuesday, indicating that so far Johnson has not been able to make inroads into Herbert’s popularity.

The numbers among all Utah residents are relevant because anyone over 18 years of age can still register as a Republican before the primary.

Only registered Republicans can vote in the party’s closed primary – even though it is paid for by all taxpayers.

Jones finds that among only Republicans, Herbert leads Johnson, 74-19 percent, with 8 percent still undecided.

Johnson picked a female lieutenant governor running mate, Robyn Bagley, a leader in the school voucher/alternative education movement.

But Bagley hasn’t yet proven to help Johnson among women voters, even women GOP voters.

Herbert is running with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.

There are some issues out there that Johnson is hammering on, including Herbert’s fundraising techniques, taxes, Herbert’s time in public office, and the governor’s recent switch on two education issues – Common Core public school standards and a state-wide high student testing program, which Herbert has supported in the past.

But Herbert still has high job approval ratings (more on that in soon-to-be-released UtahPolicy poll stories), the state’s economy is booming, the unemployment rate is low, and the state has had revenue surpluses in the hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years.

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

 

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

 


 

 

Changes coming to the way state school board members are selected

 

The Utah legislature, during its 2016 session, voted to change the way state school board members were elected. Utah State Senator Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, says the lawmakers decided the change would not be effective until next year.

Therefore, Hillyard says, nothing will be changed this year. He says the bill passed provided that this year anyone who wants to be on the state school board should just file for the office before the deadline date.

“It would be non-partisan,” Hillyard explains. “Then there would be a primary election at the end of June. At that primary election the two highest vote-getters would be on the ballot in November.

“It also provides that after the election in 2018 and beyond it will be partisan elections.”

Hillyard says he believes the new method of electing is best because it provides a way for the public to vet each of the candidates.

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

 


 

 

Jordan School District proposes $245M bond for 6 new schools

 

WEST JORDAN — Residents in the Jordan School District could see an increase in their annual property taxes if voters approve a new $245 million bond proposal set to go on the November ballot.

The bond, which was publicly announced Monday, would be used to build six new school buildings in the district, which is expected to take on more than 9,200 additional students in the next five years.

“The No. 1 concern that we have is that every student in Jordan District gets a great education, and we know that educational quality can suffer if you have overcrowded schools,” said Susan Pulsipher, president of the district’s Board of Education. “We want to make sure that we have adequate resources for students and teachers to maintain a high-quality education.”

Over the next five years, the average homeowner in the district — those with a home worth $287,000 — could expect a maximum increase in annual property taxes of $16.80, which would gradually go down as the bond is paid off over a 21-year period.

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

 

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

 

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

 


 

 

Provo City School District adjusts budget for construction projects

 

Construction project schedules caused a budget shakeup Tuesday evening at a Provo City School District Board of Education meeting.

“It is more of an adjustment, not a budget increase,” said Julie Rash, the board’s president.

The FY2016 budget was adjusted due to timelines for several projects. When the district created the budget, the construction on Provost and Edgemont elementary schools was not included because designing and planning hadn’t started on the projects yet.

The budgets for each school will add $322,000 to the budget.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Z6 (PDH)

 


 

 

New school complex in Washington County creating safety, financial concerns for residents

 

Washington County, Utah —A number of residents living in Washington County are furious about the construction of an approved high school and middle school complex that will be built near their homes.

Residents said the location will create a safety and financial concern.

2News followed up with this story at a school board meeting Tuesday that discussed and approved the bid for the future Crimson Middle School.

Before the decision was made, people had an opportunity to speak for and against this topic. Over a dozen people spoke against the bid.

Following the approval by the board was intense, heated banter between board members and residents that live near the property, and because of the strong opposition, board members have decided to hold another public hearing Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

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

 


 

 

Brighton High administrators concerned after 2 student deaths in a week

 

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Brighton High School administrators sent a letter to parents Tuesday letting them know about a second student death in the last week.

Students who knew both students were heartbroken over the news. It was believed that the two students committed suicide.

“This week has been traumatic. It’s been really hard I think for everyone that goes to Brighton High School,” student Cassie Geertsen said.

“When it happened, I didn’t want to believe it. I was like, both of them, I was like, ‘No’,” student Abbey Stowers said.

Canyons School District spokesman Jeff Haney said the school acted quickly, sending a team of licensed counselors to campus Tuesday.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Zo (KNRS)

 


 

 

Report: Bullying is a public health threat, not a rite of passage

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a book-length report outlining the problem of bullying and the best practices for preventing it, ultimately concluding that bullying is a serious public health problem.

The report, titled “Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy and Practice,” recommends continued study of the health effects experienced by those who are bullied and those who bully, and they suggest broad intervention focused on positive social and emotional skills rather than on “zero-tolerance” punishment models.

Sunset Ridge Middle School in West Jordan has been recognized as a model of intervention, helping students who might otherwise be victims or bullies.

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

 


 

 

Drug use on the rise among teens in Park City, officials say

 

PARK CITY, Utah — It’s the harsh reality of drug use among students in Park City and it has parents and teachers worried.

Tuesday night dozens turned out for a discussion at Treasure Mountain Junior High School looking at the spike in marijuana use among kids.

School officials say they’ve not only seen a spike in usage at and during school among the 12- to 15-year-olds, but that the kids are more open and accepting of the drugs, specifically marijuana.

“I think what surprised me is their perception of marijuana has changed since I was in high school,” said Robert Kunz.

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

 


 

 

Investigation: Park City School District discriminated against diabetic student

Office for Civil Rights says district failed to give student the proper care

 

The Park City School District discriminated against a diabetic student by forcing a parent to accompany her on field trips and also by failing to properly implement her disability accommodation plan, according to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

The investigation was opened in November when Bridgette Llewellyn, whose diabetic daughter is a kindergartner at Parley’s Park Elementary School, contacted the Office for Civil Rights with several complaints. Llewellyn told The Park Record in an interview that the district has demonstrated a pattern of being unable, or in many cases unwilling, to provide the proper care for her daughter.

“It’s the worst feeling in the world,” she said, adding that she filed the complaint, in part, to ensure other students with medical conditions or disabilities also receive proper care. “When you think of the Park City School District, you think of a progressive, educated group of people. You think of excellence, and a community of wonderful, supportive people. You don’t think of willful endangerment, of kids being put in dangerous situations on a daily basis. You don’t think of violations of civil rights.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/6ZL (PR)

 


 

 

Sens. Cassidy, Mikulski Urge More Action to Address Dyslexia in Ed. Committee

 

Advocates for children with dyslexia, senators, and researchers stressed during a U.S. Senate education committee hearing Tuesday that more must be done in schools to identify and support students with the condition, especially since students from low-income backgrounds are less likely to get the help they need.

The committee hearing, presided over by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., dealt with expert testimony about the condition, misperceptions attached to it, and how mandatory screening for children at a young age (in the 1st grade, for example) could dramatically improve their experiences in schools and educational outcomes. Roughly one in five Cassidy.PNGchildren has dyslexia, yet teachers and other educators often lack the tools or training to even identify, let alone help students who are showing signs of dyslexia, those testifying told the committee.

“If the family is less wealthy, it’s quite likely they cannot afford to have their child’s needs met” through actions like dyslexia screenings, Cassidy said.

Last year, Cassidy and Mikulski co-sponsored a Senate resolution designating October as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month,” and “recognizing that dyslexia has significant educational implications that must be addressed.” And Cassidy, who has a daughter with dyslexia, pushed through a bill signed by President Barack Obama earlier this year that will designate additional money for dyslexia research as well as associated learning disabilities.

And April Hanrath, a mother of a child who has dyslexia from Salt Lake City, Utah, discussed how she was largely isolated and without institutional support as she sought to have her daughter screened and treated. Her daughter Jocyeln, Hanrath said, was only identified with dyslexia in the 4th grade.

“These last 13 years taught me that while the educational system is not created with dyslexics in mind, with the right information, training and support students with dyslexia can thrive,” Hanrath told lawmakers.

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

 


 

 

Funding gap between Utah charter, district schools closing, report shows

 

An equity gap regarding academic funding between Utah’s charter schools and district schools is slowly closing, according to a recent report from the Utah Foundation.

The 2016 findings, the organization’s third research report focusing on charter schools, credits public funding and recent legislation, more specifically House Bill 444, for the improved per-pupil subsidy numbers throughout the state.

That specific legislation put in place a task force to work on issues related to charter school funding.

Utah Foundation officials expect the equity gap between charter and district schools to narrow even more with the passing of Senate Bill 38.

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

 


 

 

Center in Saratoga Springs launches two new children’s literacy programs

 

It’s a common occurrence: children struggle in school, they receive the one-on-one mentoring they need and BAM! — their test scores improve.

And that’s not all. Good grades are great, but what’s even better are children with confidence in their reading and writing abilities, children who go from needing tutoring to being the tutors themselves.

Nearly six years ago, Devon McPherson, a kindergarten teacher at Thunder Ridge Elementary in Saratoga Springs, took a look at her life. She was a teacher, she was happy, but she wanted to do more.

So with the help of family, friends and city staff who supported her, the Saratoga Springs Literacy Center was born. Operated out of the city’s library, for the past five years the center has offered tutoring to children ages five to 10.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Z8 (PDH)

 


 

 

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.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Z4 (OSE)

 

 

 

Ogden School District names Scott, Palmer, Wilkinson as top professionals

 

OGDEN — Ogden School District honored a social studies teacher, a custodial supervisor and a principal during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Katie Scott of Ogden High School was named the district’s Teacher of the Year during a ceremony held May 3 in Ogden. The district’s custodial specialist, Alma Palmer, was named Support Professional of the Year, and Ben Lomond High School Principal Dale Wilkinson was named Administrator of the Year.

Scott is Ogden School District’s nomination for Utah’s State Teacher of the Year award.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Z3 (OSE)

 


 

 

Provo School District Foundation honors 6 educators

 

PROVO — The Provo School District Foundation has six individuals with Outstanding Educator Awards, which recognizes their contribution to the education of students in the district.

The six are Tiffany Evans, Staci Hartline, Deniece Ord, Linda Seamons, Kirsti Kirkland and Kimberli Hawkins.

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

 


 

 

State superintendent applications now accepted

 

The Utah Board of Education is accepting applications for open state superintendent position.

According to a press release, the deadline to apply is May 25 at 5 p.m. Applicants can find the job listing on the Board’s website, schoolboard.utah.gov. “We invite qualified candidates who feel they can bring unique strengths to the table and positively benefit the students of Utah to consider applying for this position, said Mark Huntsman, chair of the Board’s selection committee. “We are excited to open the job and hope to see a large pool of applicants.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/6ZM (PR)

 


 

 

What Would Happen If Kids Voted for the President?

 

What would happen if kids voted for the president? That’s the question being answered by Studies Weekly with their Every Kid Votes! campaign.

They are inviting schools throughout the U.S. to participate in the largest 2016 student mock presidential election in history Nov. 1. The program educates students to learn civic responsibility and gain appreciation for the democratic process that governs our nation leading up to the mock election.

This is the 4th presidential campaign in which kids have “voted”. The students have correctly predicted the winning president in all three prior elections.

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

 


 

 

NAACP investigates Utah teacher’s use of N-word with Civil War movie

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The president of the NAACP Ogden branch says he’s troubled by a white teacher’s recent use of a racially charged word in his junior high class.

Rev. Stanley Ellington said Tuesday his organization is investigating whether this was an isolated incident or part of a pattern of behavior. Ellington says he may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education depending on what he learns.

Weber School District officials and history teacher Douglas Barker were not immediately available for comment.

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

 

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

 

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

 


 

 

Summit Academy violates recruiting rules; football ineligible for 2016 postseason

Preps » Punishment includes a postseason ban for football in 2016.

 

The Utah High School Activities Association Executive Committee levied severe sanctions against Summit Academy after finding the Draper-based charter school guilty of two specific incidents of undue recruiting influence and a fundamental lack of institutional control on Tuesday.

The panel imposed postseason ineligibility for the Summit Academy football program for the upcoming 2016 season, placed every athletic program at the school on probation for a two-year period, and forced the school to finance a compliance audit for this year and two years forward, which the UHSAA will monitor to ensure transferring students are not being recruited.

The panel also enforced the maximum fine of $1,500 for each undue influence offense, for a total of $3,000. Summit Academy, which began competing as member of the UHSAA in 2012, is expected to file an appeal with the Board of Trustees within the 30-day requirement.

Copper Hills principal Todd Quarnberg, assistant principal Kim Searle and athletic director Darby Cowles presented evidence at the UHSAA headquarters to the Executive Committee, including text messages from former Summit Academy assistant football coach Jeff Callahan to students currently enrolled and participating in athletics at Copper Hills which encouraged transfers for athletic purposes.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Z0 (DN)

 


 

 

Deaf lacrosse player turns her inability to hear into an advantage on the field of play

 

SANDY — When Mike Flavin learned his daughters were deaf, he wondered what life would hold for them.

“Our biggest fears were what would their lives be like, would they be accepted, probably very normal parent stuff,” said Flavin, whose two daughters were born deaf due to a genetic anomaly. “It’s very hard and overwhelming when you first find out. But then you kind of find your way, and it’s just like (raising) any other kid.”

Any fears Flavin had about his daughters, especially his youngest, Kennedy, dissipated as he watched them embrace opportunities he wasn’t even sure were possible. And just as reassuring for him and his wife was seeing the way the world embraced his daughters.

“Kennedy is very outgoing, very social,” Flavin said of the 17-year-old who is just finishing her junior year at Brighton High. “She’s fought really hard to fit in, and to be able to do anything that anyone else would do.”

Which is why it didn’t surprise him when his daughter came home from elementary school, just a year after switching from an all-deaf school to a regular public school, asking if she could try out for a lacrosse team. Little did he know just how the sport would become a centerpiece in his daughter’s life or how she would impact and inspire those around her.

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

 

 


 

 

Bear walks to school with students using innovative app

 

Altara Elementary students are entertained by the Utah Jazz Bear after walking with him to the Sandy school Tuesday. The students, who use the Utah Department of Transportation’s Walking School Bus app, were declared winners of the department’s Spring Walk ’n Win. In addition to getting to walk to school with the Bear, they got to have breakfast with him, and the school received $500. The app has tracked a record number of people walking and biking to school across Utah. During the 2015-16 school year, the app shows students and parents have walked 110,000 miles, reduced 145,000 car trips, eliminated 36 million grams of CO2 emissions and burned 11 million calories.

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

 

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

 


 

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Lindsey Smith

 

Lindsey Smith is a fifth-grade teacher at Westside Elementary School in Springville. She was chose as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Educator of the Week.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Z9 (PDH)

 


 

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Madeline Remkes

 

Madeline Remkes is a sixth-grader at Taylor Elementary School in Payson. She was chosen as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Student of the Week.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Z7 (PDH)

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

OPINION & COMMENTARY

————————————————————

 

The political lightning rod that is Common Core

Deseret News editorial

 

Two years ago, Gov. Gary Herbert said he wanted to “once and for all” settle the debate over Common Core. He asked the state attorney general’s office to study whether Washington forced standards on state schools and whether the state maintained control over how its children are taught.

That study conclusively demonstrated that the state continues to control its own academic standards free from funding or control by the federal government. Even local districts can decide on the curriculum and methods that are best to achieve those standards. And, as a matter of fact, the federal government did not create the Common Core. The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers were responsible.

Under the rules of the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act, it is expressly clear that states control what is taught in their own public schools.

Herbert also asked a committee of education experts to study Utah’s Common Core standards. The conclusion was that these were sound and sufficient to prepare children for college.

And yet the debate continues, fueled by ignorance and suspicion and prodded by politicians looking for advantage. Donald Trump has made an issue of opposing “education through Washington,” which is how he incorrectly describes Common Core.

So it was troubling to hear that Herbert now has changed his mind and is urging the state’s education leaders to abandon the Common Core and had contemplated making abondonment of the student assessment of growth and excellence tests, or SAGE, an expedited issue at this month’s special session of the legislature.

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

 


 

 

Opportunity Lost: The Importance of Campaign Momentum in Herbert vs. Johnson

Utah Policy commentary by columnist LaVarr Webb

 

The campaign this year is obviously a lot different. Jonathan Johnson faces a popular incumbent in Gov. Gary Herbert. Campaign communications methodology has dramatically changed with the fragmentation of the media industry and the rise of social media. It’s harder to reach the masses using traditional radio, TV, and billboards.

But I still think the Johnson campaign missed a nice opportunity coming out of the convention. He won the convention. He had great headlines, a nice convention bounce. He had swagger and momentum. Herbert was goofing around with Common Core and SAGE testing. But Johnson didn’t capitalize on it by moving aggressively with paid media into the primary campaign.

Herbert had got on the air before he did. Today’s poll shows Herbert has regained campaign momentum, and it’s going to be very difficult for Johnson to catch up in the short time remaining.

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

 


 

 

‘The Spin Room’ – Playing Politics with Common Core

Utah Policy commentary by columnist Bryan Schott

 

Many are scratching their heads over Gov. Gary Herbert’s sudden move to oppose Common Core.

Managing Editor Bryan Schott says it’s easy to understand Herbert’s motivation when you use a purely political lens.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Yx (audio)

 


 

 

Put Common Core clamor aside: Let’s talk about educational standards

Sutherland Institute commentary by President Boyd Matheson

 

Education, which represents two-thirds of our state budget and is vital to our future, continues to be front and center in Utah’s political and policy debates. It is worthy of our attention and our best efforts to engage in serious, meaningful dialogue. I am convinced that a marketplace of educational options and a culture that respects the unique, individual learning needs of students is critical.

In order to cut through the clamor of political rhetoric, I have invited Christine Cooke, Sutherland Institute’s education policy analyst, to share a few key insights on this issue of educational standards:

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

 


 

 

Reggie Miller and a strengths-based approach to education reform

Deseret News op-ed by Lyall Swim, managing partner of Junto Strategy, an organizational leadership and development firm based in American Fork

 

One of my childhood sports heroes who gave me hope I could make it to the pros was Reggie Miller. Miller was tall and skinny and at first glance didn’t look like an all-star-caliber basketball player. But Miller developed a unique set of strengths (namely becoming the top 3-point and free-throw shooter) that enabled him to create a hall-of-fame NBA career.

Today Miller’s career serves a much different purpose for me. His approach to developing as basketball player offers a potential road map for a more innovative and strengths-based approach to education reform.

The strengths-based approach to people development began initially in the corporate environment. This approach is probably best articulated in The New York Times best-selling books “Strengths Finder” and “Now Discover Your Strengths.”

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

 


 

 

Revise not overhaul

Deseret News letter from Kelly Jeppson

 

As I have taught my students this year in English, there is more than one side to every story. The recent announcement that Governor Herbert is calling for an end to SAGE testing and Common Core in Utah makes me wonder what the “other side” to this story would tell us. I have not seen any comments or interviews with teachers on this subject, only administrators and parents.

As my students were diligently finishing their SAGE testing this morning, I took a moment to review the Utah Core Standards at www.utah.schools.gov. Anyone needing a refresher on the relationship between Common Core and Utah Core would benefit from the information found there. The Utah Core Standards are well-thought out and sound guidelines that give teachers and administrators direction for skills taught, and choice in the curriculum assigned. SAGE provides data useful for placement, planning and teaching. The money spent on creating new standards and assessment could be better spent on improving and upgrading technology, purchasing books or training teachers how to implement Utah Core in their classrooms.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Z1

 


 

 

 

Say yes to America’s public school system

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Lindi Andreasen

 

Four words sum up what I have learned during my teacher preparation program: education is COMPLICATED! In the U.S., every child is offered an education through the public school system. Whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans are all invited to learn together. A teacher with a class of 30 students stands in front of 30 children with 30 unique backgrounds, 30 unique personalities, and 30 unique learning styles. But that is the beauty of public education! Its doors are closed to no one. Today few people dispute this ideal, but somehow our vision of the ideal often becomes clouded by other worthy but selfish interests.

For years now, charter schools and voucher systems have been suggested as a fix to the education system. Are we really so willing to turn our back on — as Linda Darling Hammond put it — the “genuinely ethical purposes of public education as a terrific American tradition”? The principal behind school choice is that parents decide where their child is educated (the local public school is not their only option). However, the truth of the matter is not all parents have the background and education to be aware of other options. Vouchers and charter schools simply will not reach the masses. Whether it be lack of knowledge, money or transportation, something will stand in the way of a vast number of children receiving the benefits of the school choice system. Instead of looking for ways to bail students out of our “failing” public schools, we should be focusing on what can make those schools more effective in educating the children of our country.

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

 


 

 

Don’t trust Herbert

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Evan Millsap

 

A vote for Gov. Gary Herbert is a vote for Donald Trump. Just last March, Herbert said that Republicans should absolutely “support the Republican candidate no matter who it is.” In other words: issues, principles, and integrity do not matter. Only party.

Yet we have come to expect nothing less from Herbert. He promised to only serve two terms as governor. He’s now running for his third. He championed Common Core and the SAGE test for years. Last week he announced his opposition to Common Core. He claims to be a champion of the free market, but a recent audit found cronyism: he was providing tax breaks and “special treatment for some companies.” It’s a good life if you’re a fat cat friend of Herbert.

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

 


 

 

Reader wonders how you can teach Southern history, Civil War without racial slur

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Wanda Miller

 

In reference to the May 4 story “South Ogden Jr. High teacher violated policy by using racial slur,”  I don’t know how you can teach Southern history or the Civil War without the “N word.”

After World War II, I lived in Oklahoma. Everybody used the “N word.” Kids used it because that’s what they heard. They didn’t live around you, because they lived in “N-town.”

I didn’t understand it, but that’s the way it was.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Z5

 


 

 

Education system needs to look beyond letter grades

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Trevor Butler

 

What are our education systems really looking for?

In our schools today, all the focus is on the letter grade. How much are students learning if all we look at is the final grade? Students spend all semester learning about all these different things, and in the end the learning itself isn’t what matters. Even if students know all the material and have perfect attendance, in the end of the semester, if they don’t write good papers or don’t pass a final, then they receive a bad letter grade.

What do these letter grades show if you can know all the material and still not finish with a 4.0 GPA? Is our focus really in the right place if our students are stressing too much about the letter grade to learn all that they really need to learn?

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

 


 

 

Student Poverty Isn’t an Excuse; It’s a Barrier

Education Week op-ed by Helen Ladd, professor of public policy at Duke University, Pedro Noguera, director of the Center for the Study of School Transformation at the University of California, Los Angeles, Paul Reville, professor of practice of educational policy and administration at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, & Joshua Starr, EO of Phi Delta Kappa

 

Education policy in the United States has taken a turn in a new direction, and anyone with a stake in public education should celebrate this. Policymakers increasingly recognize that stresses related to student poverty—hunger, chronic illness, and, in too many cases, trauma—are the key barriers to teaching and learning. And calls for tending not only to the academic but also the social, emotional, and physical needs of children are gaining ground across the country. Indeed, the inclusion of the whole-child perspective in the Every Student Succeeds Act shows that this mindset has moved from the margins to the mainstream.

This is a far cry from where we were as a country in June 2008, when a diverse array of education, health, economics, faith, and civil rights leaders—including two of us, Helen Ladd and Pedro Noguera—created the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education to advance an education policy agenda that addresses the barriers poverty poses to children’s educational success. Eight years ago, we urged policymakers to implement quality early-childhood-education programs, health and nutrition supports, and enriching after-school and summer options for students. Research shows that these supports are critical to boosting achievement and helping students graduate with the skills to succeed in college, careers, and life.

Although it was backed by substantial scholarly evidence, many dismissed the agenda as radical. An opposing camp led by civil rights organizations and high-profile district leaders called the initiative’s focus on mitigating the effects of poverty an “excuse” for weak accountability and bad teaching. Their perspective has largely driven education policy, resulting in more high-stakes testing and a “no excuses” mindset for most reform efforts.

But it is clearer every day that their strategy hasn’t worked.

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

 


 

 

How Common Core Fulfills Hillary Clinton’s Education Dreams

If Hillary Clinton had never played a pivotal role in creating and accomplishing her husband’s education agenda in the ‘90s, we might well not have Common Core.

The Federalist commentary by Joy Pullmann, education research fellow at The Heartland Institute, and author of the forthcoming “Coretastrophe: What Common Core Means for America’s Future”

 

Recently, Hillary Clinton interviewed with Newsday, a daily paper in her “home” state of New York that circulates where opposition to Common Core is among the most forceful in the country. In it, Clinton reiterated her support for Common Core, noting “I have always supported national standards.”

Early in her campaign, the long-time education nationalizer had stayed noticeably silent on this topic until a staged Iowa interaction with a teacher last year in which she called education a “non-family enterprise.”

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

 


 

 

A St. Louis Desegregation Policy That Segregates

If La’Shieka White’s 9-year-old son weren’t African-American, next year he’d still be attending the school he likes.

Wall Street Journal op-ed by JASON L. RILEY, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow

 

The landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education striking down state-sponsored racial segregation is now more than six decades old. But if you think that black children can no longer be turned away from a school because of their race, then you’re probably unfamiliar with La’Shieka White and her 9-year-old son Edmund.

Edmund is a third-grader at Gateway Science Academy, a charter school in south St. Louis that he has attended since kindergarten and where he maintains a 3.83 grade point average. Ms. White, who moved to St. Louis from Davenport, Iowa, five years ago, told me that she and her husband chose a charter school because the traditional public schools in the city were in such awful shape that they weren’t fully accredited by the state.

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

 


 

 

25 hedge fund managers earned more last year than every kindergarten teacher in America

Vox commentary by columnist Matthew Yglesias

 

The 25 highest-earning hedge fund managers in America brought home a collective $12.94 billion in 2015, according to the latest “rich list” from Institutional Investor’s Alpha.

This is, as I’ve written previously, more than the collective earnings of every kindergarten teacher in America combined (about $8.6 billion, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Five of the 25 people on the list earned above the $135 million threshold needed for inclusion even though the funds they managed lost money. This works because hedge fund managers are typically compensated on the basis of a “2 and 20” system, in which they earn a 20 percent share of the fund’s profits but also charge a management fee equal to 2 percent of the total assets under management. That 2 percent fee makes it possible to earn a hefty sum even if the fund loses money — though in the long run a fund that consistently loses money will presumably lose customers.

The hedge fund industry is often a subject of political controversy because some managers benefit from a tax loophole known as “carried interest” that lets them pay taxes at the preferential capital gains tax rate.

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

 


 

 

What Was Behind the Rise (and Subsequent Fall) in Teacher Turnover?

TeacherPensions.org analysis by Chad Aldeman

 

Despite the conventional wisdom, there’s very little evidence that current education policies are driving teacher turnover. In fact, although the teacher turnover* rate rose in the 1990s and 2000s, more recently it’s started to fall. This change can be traced to changing demographics of the teacher workforce as a whole.

To understand how these trends are shaping the teacher workforce, let’s start with the overall national data. The graph below comes from a post I wrote last fall showing national, longitudinal data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It tracks the percentage of teachers in a given year who leave the profession. As the arrows show, there was a general upward trend through most of the 1990s and 2000s, but that trend has reversed in more recent years.

What was behind the rise in teacher turnover in the first place? It can’t be blamed on policy changes like No Child Left Behind (NCLB) or Common Core or teacher evaluations, because the upward trend predates all of these policies. The conventional wisdom on NCLB in particular is contrary to what the evidence actually says. But what about more vague concepts like “respect” for teachers? That’s harder to pin down, but there’s no evidence there was ever some sort of golden era where America teachers received the respect or pay they deserved.

The simpler, more plausible explanations for the changes go back to human nature and demographics. After all, teachers are human, and they tend to behave like all other workers. Turnover tends to rise during economic expansions, when employers are hiring, and it falls during recessions, when hiring dries up. Worker life cycles matter as well. Inexperienced workers, including teachers, tend to have higher turnover rates, and so do older workers approaching retirement. All else equal, a less experienced, older workforce is likely to have higher turnover rates overall, even if retention rates for particular groups of workers stay exactly the same.

The teacher workforce has changed in exactly these ways. As Richard Ingersoll has documented, today’s teaching workforce is both “greener” and “grayer” than it was in the past. That is, the teacher workforce became both older and less-experienced than it had been. These alone are conditions that would cause overall turnover rates to rise.

But there’s even more going on underneath those broader trends.

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

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Report to Congress: Proposed Spending Rules Appear to Exceed ESSA Language

Education Week

 

A report from the Congressional Research Service states that spending regulations proposed earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Education appear to be outside what the statutory language of the Every Student Succeeds Act allows.

The report from the Congressional Research Service, published May 5, deals with regulatory language governing “supplement-not-supplant,” or SNS, a provision of ESSA that says federal Title I funds targeted at low-income students must be in addition to, and not take the place of, state and local spending on K-12. It concludes that  “a legal argument could be raised” that the Education Department’s proposal is beyond the bounds of the law.

The fight over this spending provision has been perhaps the most high-profile dispute about the law since it was signed by President Barack Obama last December. A team of negotiators tasked with crafting regulatory language to govern supplement-not-supplant failed to agree on that language, leaving it to the Education Department to come up with regulations of its own.

So what’s the CRS report talking about? Under language proposed by the Education Department to the negotiators last month for consideration, districts would be required to show that per-pupil spending in Title I schools (those with large shares of low-income students) is at least equal to average per-pupil spending levels in non-Title I schools.

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

 

A copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/6YQ (Congress)

 


 

 

Congressional K-12 Leaders Urge Ed. Dept. to Ensure ‘Full Participation’ in ESSA Shift

Education Week

 

The top Democrats on education committees in Congress are telling the U.S. Department of Education to help states gather an appropriately diverse level of feedback from civil rights advocates, teachers, and others, as states consider life under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The Wednesday letter from Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. and the ranking member of the Senate education committee, and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., who holds the same position on the House education committee, also expressed concern that there are roadblocks in the way of gathering important input from these groups. They said the Education Department must provide clear guidance as well as technical assistance to states and districts to help them get a full range of views about how to approach ESSA.

The letter to Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. fits into a broader pattern of Democrats urging the Education Department to take a proactive role in ESSA implementation, even as congressional Republicans have expressed concerns about the department’s role in the new law, which shifts key aspects of education policy decisionmaking to states. For example, last week, several Democratic senators told the department not to lose its spine over pending spending regulations covering Title I funds.

In their letter, Murray and Scott said that there must be “robust and multiple opportunities” for people to tell states how they should think about the new federal education law.

“Unfortunately, as states embark on plan development, there are early reports of systemic barriers impeding the participation of teachers, paraprofessionals, specialized instructional support personnel, parents, and other stakeholders in state and local plan development,” Murray and Scott wrote to King. “For example, lack of consideration for working parents and community members in scheduling meetings with stakeholders or the inability of teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school personnel to secure release time to enable full participation in plan development.”

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

 


 

 

NC Republicans want vow that feds won’t cut education money over HB2

GOP House members from NC ask Education Department to respond by Friday

Charlotte (NC) Observer

 

WASHINGTON — North Carolina’s Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives have given the Department of Education until Friday to say whether officials will punish the state for its controversial HB2 law by withholding federal funds from public schools and universities.

All 10 GOP representatives from the Tar Heel state signed a letter Monday to U.S. Secretary of Education John King, saying they are “troubled by the threat . . . (to) withhold federal funding from North Carolina in response to the enforcement of House Bill 2.”

North Carolina receives about $4.5 billion from the federal government annually in education funding.

Their letter asserts that North Carolina’s new law – which, among other things, prohibits transgender people from using bathrooms that don’t correspond to their birth sex – does not violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Title IX regulations, which aim to ensure equality in public schools.

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

 

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

 


 

 

N.C. school board caught up in ‘bathroom bill’ debate after voting to okay pepper spray, mace

Washington Post

 

Two members of a North Carolina school board are trying to untangle a board vote from the state’s divisive and controversial “bathroom law.”

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education on Monday voted to remove pepper spray and mace from the list of items banned in schools, citing concerns that students may need or want to carry them on the way to and from school or at school events.

In the process, one board member invoked HB2 — the new state law requiring individuals use only those bathrooms that align with the gender on their birth certificates.

Now, both that school board member and the board’s chairman are distancing themselves from his comment.

“Depending on how the courts rule on the bathroom issues, [sprays] may be a pretty valuable tool to have on the female students if they go to the bathroom, not knowing who may come in,” board member Chuck Hughes said Monday, according to the Salisbury Post.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Zv (Salisbury [NC] Post)

 

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

 


 

 

All-gender bathroom bill passes California Assembly

Assembly Bill 1732 mandates single-occupancy bathrooms be ‘all-gender’

Sacramento (CA) Bee

 

Breaking with Republican-led states and cities that have moved to restrict bathroom use, the California Assembly on Monday passed legislation requiring all single-stall bathrooms to be open to people of any gender.

As the plight of transgender people has opened a new front in civil rights fights, some elected officials have sought to require people to use bathrooms matching their sex assigned at birth. The U.S. Justice Department has said such a law in North Carolina violates the Civil Rights Act, prompting a lawsuit, and Houston voters defeated an ordinance barring discrimination against gays and transgender people after a campaign in which bathroom use featured heavily.

Things have gone differently in California. In 2013, legislators passed a law allowing students to use bathrooms or join teams corresponding to their gender identities. An effort to overturn that law failed.

Building on that, Assembly Bill 1732 would mandate that any single-occupancy restroom in any business, public place or government agency to be designated “all-gender.” Sponsored by Equality California and the California branch of the National Organization for Women, the measure drew no formal opposition from government or business groups. Its sole institutional critic was the California Right to Life Committee.

The measure passed on a 52-18 vote, with three Republicans voting in favor.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6YN (LAT)

 


 

 

One-to-One Laptop Initiatives Boost Student Scores, Researchers Find

Education Week

 

Efforts by K-12 schools to give every student a laptop computer increased student achievement and gave a modest boost to their “21st century skills,” according to a first-of-its-kind meta-analysis of 15 years’ worth of research studies.

“It’s not like just providing a laptop to every student will automatically increase student achievement, but we find that it’s the first step,” said Binbin Zheng, an assistant professor of counseling, educational psychology, and special education at Michigan State University.

Using statistical techniques to analyze already-completed studies, Zheng and her colleagues found that 1-to-1 laptop programs on average had a statistically significant positive impact on student test scores in English/language arts, writing, math and science. The limited number of rigorous quantitative studies available to analyze mean that those findings are not definitive, but they are clearly a good sign for 1-to-1 proponents and underscore the need for more study, Zheng said.

A further review of 86 additional papers by the researchers, meanwhile, found some modest evidence of other positive benefits associated with giving laptops to students, including increased student technology use; more student-centered and project-based instruction; greater student engagement; and better relationships between students and teachers.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://gousoe.uen.org/6YL (Review of Educational Research $)

 


 

 

Teaching English-Language Learners: What Does the Research Tell Us?

Education Week

 

Nearly 3 in 4 American classrooms now includes at least one English-language learner, and these students make up roughly 1 in 10 public school students.

While their numbers continue to rise quickly, the evidence on what works best to help non-native speakers become proficient in English—particularly the more formal academic language needed for school success—has been harder to come by.

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

 

Sidebar: ELL Statistics

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

 


 

 

Court Vacates Long Island Teacher’s Evaluation Tied to Test Scores

New York Times

 

A New York State court on Tuesday threw out a teacher’s evaluation for the 2013­14 school year, based on a controversial state rating system, saying that it had been “arbitrary and capricious.” But the court stopped short of ruling on the evaluation system more broadly because the state has already begun replacing it.

For the 2012­13 school year, Sheri G. Lederman, a longtime teacher in the high­performing Great Neck public school district, on Long Island, received what was known as a growth score of 14 points out of a possible 20; the score was meant to calculate student progress over time. Her students scored substantially higher than the state average on annual standardized tests in English and math, and her score put her in the “effective” range.

The next year, her students scored a bit better on the math test than they had the year before, and slightly lower on the English exam. But her growth score plummeted to one out of 20, or “ineffective.”

Ms. Lederman sued John B. King Jr., then the commissioner of the State Education Department, alleging that the growth­score portion of the state’s teacher evaluation system was biased against teachers whose students were consistently high scorers. Ms. Lederman was represented in the case by her husband, Bruce H. Lederman.

Mr. King is now the secretary of education for the United States Department of Education.

Justice Roger D. McDonough of State Supreme Court in Albany vacated Ms. Lederman’s 2013­14 growth score in part because of the difficulty in measuring growth for students who already perform above grade level on state tests.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6YE (WSJ)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6YF (Albany [NY] Times-Union)

 

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

 


 

 

New Orleans tries to mix charter schools with democracy: Is this the district of the future?

Washington Post

 

In the decade since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and swept away its public school system, the city has become a closely watched experiment in whether untethering schools from local politics could fix the problems that have long ailed urban education.

Louisiana seized control of most New Orleans schools and turned them into charter schools after the devastating storm in 2005. More than 90 percent of the city’s children now attend charters, which are publicly funded but privately run by unelected officials who have complete freedom to decide how to organize their programs, schedules, teachers and curriculum.

The schools, on the whole, are still far from excellent, and there are lingering questions about whether and how a bunch of independent schools — which are under pressure to meet academic targets to continue operating — can ensure access to education for all students, especially those with the greatest needs.

But test scores and graduation rates have risen. And now the state is poised to relinquish its oversight: The Louisiana legislature has passed a bill that would return the 52 schools it oversees to a measure of local control, testing whether independent charter schools and democracy can coexist.

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

 

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

 


 

 

Study: Teacher-Prep Programs Need to Deepen Educators’ Racial Awareness

Education Week

 

What responsibility do white teachers have to confront their own racial identity and potential privilege while teaching students of color?

A new study, conducted by four education researchers and published in the Current Issues in Education journal, seeks to answer that question by examining changes in white student-teachers’ racial understanding, as well as their perceptions of working with students of color, after a semester of teaching in diverse classrooms.

The question is particularly topical, since although the majority of U.S. public students are non-white, 82 percent of the nation’s teaching corps is white. And the teacher pipeline has been found to be filled with holes when it comes to increasing diversity in the profession.

The study finds that many prospective educators entered their student-teaching placements with biased expectations, but a majority said that after a semester working in a racially diverse, “high needs” school, they felt more confident about teaching diverse students and were more comfortable in a diverse setting. One-fifth of pre-service teachers surveyed said they became more cognizant of the need to be culturally aware of their students backgrounds. And 35 percent demonstrated an increased self-awareness of the disparity between themselves and their students’ backgrounds.

A caveat: The sample size for the study was small, with just 75 white pre-service teachers participating. The study only took place over the course of one semester in one private institution in the northeastern United States.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://gousoe.uen.org/6ZD (Current Issues in Education)

 


 

 

Idaho school districts could be out another $2M, thanks to continuing fallout from failed broadband network

Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review

 

Idaho school districts could be out close to $2 million, thanks to the continuing fallout from the failed Idaho Education Network, reports Kevin Richert of Idaho EdNews. Fifty-seven school districts and charter schools could stand to lose out on “e-rate” money – federally administered dollars collected from landline and cell phone bills. The districts were counting on the e-rate dollars to cover a share of their technology costs on purchases dating back to 2013 and 2014.

However, the Universal Service Administrative Company has written letters to the schools, saying they intend to deny payments. And that decision ties back to the contract for the ill-fated Idaho Education Network, a statewide high school broadband system. The network’s $60 million contract was overturned by courts that ruled the state issued it illegally.

This means the state did not have a valid agreement allowing the state to collect e-rate dollars to cover the bulk of Idaho Education Network costs. Citing the flaws in the network contract, and the lack of a legal mechanism to receive e-rate dollars, USAC turned down the districts’ funding requests as well. These funding requests appear to cover deals the districts made independently with Education Networks of America, the lead vendor on the Idaho Education Network project. The transactions in question involved services purchased in 2013 and 2014 from ENA, though they were beyond the scope of the Idaho Education Network broadband project itself.

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

 


 

 

Should An Anonymous Donor Be Able To Save A Public School?

NRP All Things Considered

 

The Traverse City Area Public Schools in northern Michigan have a saying: “Great Community, Great Schools.” The Washington Post agrees, ranking Traverse City high schools some of the most challenging in the country.

But the district of about 9,500 is losing enough students — 12 percent in the last 10 years — that last fall superintendent Paul Soma recommended closing three elementary schools.

Then came a surprise. At a school board meeting in March, when members had just voted to close two of the schools, Soma made an announcement about the third. “We are in the receipt of new information regarding a donor offering over $800,000 to keep Old Mission open.”

With just 168 students, Old Mission Peninsula School is costing the district too much money to keep the lights on, even though the school’s in an affluent area surrounded by some of the most expensive homes in northern Michigan.

The donor is anonymous, so who knows where the proposed money is coming from (the benefactor does have a spokesperson keeping in touch with the media), but this large sum has put Traverse City district officials in an uncomfortable position.

Leaders here have long demanded that Michigan’s support for public school kids not depend on where they live. Those same leaders say this is an offer they have to consider.

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

 


 

 

Do Genes Help Determine Your Education Level?

HealthDay via U.S. News & World Report

 

Your genes may influence how far you go in school, a new study suggests.

Scientists have found over 70 genetic variations that may play a role in how much formal education people end up getting.

But the researchers were quick to stress that genes have a fairly minor influence. Social and environmental factors are much more important, the study authors said.

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

 


 

 

High schools try to make better use of something often wasted: Senior year

Instead of warehousing 12th-graders, some schools try to give them study and life skills

Hechinger Report

 

High school senior Brody Ford is looking forward to the final weeks of the school year, but not for the reasons you might think.

At San Diego’s High Tech High School, Ford and his fellow 12th-graders take end-of-the-year courses in personal finance, cooking on a budget, even sewing. The charter school, which has five San Diego-area campuses, uses the classes not only to battle senioritis, but to make the last year of high school into something more than just a slack-off waiting period.

Ford, who goes to High Tech High’s Media Arts campus, is looking forward to learning how to be independent, something he’ll need to know when he goes to college in Chicago in the fall.

“It’s mostly life skills, the kinds of things most people learn about by messing up,” said Ford, 17, who added he’s particularly interested in personal finance. “I’m pretty stoked to learn that. It’s weird that in the school system they don’t teach something that everyone should know.”

Now, policymakers are urging schools to put the 12th grade to better use, teaching students skills that many haven’t learned, as a way of improving college enrollment and college graduation.

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

 


 

 

It’s a Tough Job Market for the Young Without College Degrees

New York Times

 

For seniors graduating from the University of Michigan this month, employers have been lining up since the fall to offer interviews and boast of their companies’ benefits. Recruiters would ask when their competitors were coming, said Geni Harclerode, the university’s assistant director of employer development, and then they’d say: “Well, we want to come the week before.”

“This has been one of our largest seasons of hiring,” she said. “The job market has been very good.”

The outlook for many high school graduates is more challenging, as Vynny Brown can attest. Now 20, he graduated two years ago from Waller High School in Texas, and has been working for nearly a year at Pappasito’s Cantina in Houston, part of a chain of Tex­Mex restaurants. He earns $7.25 an hour filling takeout orders or $2.13 an hour plus tips as a server, which rarely adds up to more than the minimum, he said. He would like to apply to be a manager, but those jobs require some college experience.

“That is something I don’t have,” said Mr. Brown, who says he cannot afford to go to college now. “It’s the biggest struggle I’ve had.”

Most young workers have the same problem as Mr. Brown. Only 10 percent of 17­ to 24­year­olds have a college or advanced degree, according to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute, although many more of them will eventually graduate.

And for young high school graduates, the unemployment rate is disturbingly high: 17.8 percent. Add in those who are underemployed, either because they would like a full­time job but can only find part­time work, or they are so discouraged that they’ve given up actively searching, and the share jumps to more than 33 percent.

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

 

A copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/6YU (Economic Policy Institute)

 


 

 

Parents Turn to Doctors, Lawmakers to Save School Recess

Associated Press

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — When parents tell Dr. Gregory Fox their boisterous child was stuck in a classroom all day, the Rhode Island pediatrician takes out his notepad and writes a doctor’s order to send to school.

“Please do not take away this child’s recess,” Fox writes.

So many kids are being deprived of unstructured play time during the school day that a note from the doctor is one way parents around the country have gone over the heads of principals and teachers who can’t find time in the school day for recess.

Parents from Amarillo, Texas, to Montclair, New Jersey, and Portland, Oregon, have petitioned their school districts to extend or mandate how much time kids get to roam free in the schoolyard. When school boards don’t listen, some have gone to their state Capitol buildings looking for help, armed with a growing body of research pointing to the cognitive, social and physical benefits of free play.

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

 


 

 

Chelsea Handler got a pop quiz from the US Secretary of Education and did pretty well

Business Insider

 

When Chelsea Handler wants to hammer home a message, the Netflix talk show host goes straight to the top.

On Wednesday morning, US Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. appeared on the first episode of Netflix’s “Chelsea” to administer a pop quiz for her.

Handler brought him on to help explain the premise of her new show, the premiere episode which is appropriately titled “Appetite for Instruction.”

“I believe we should never stop learning,” Handler began the show, which tapes in front of a studio audience. “And I recognize the irony of me saying that, since I accidentally missed a few days of high school, and then all of college. But I’ve still accomplished a lot since not finishing my education.”

She then jokingly listed her many accomplishments, which included appearing in movies, having her talk shows, passing a breathalyzer, failing a breathalyzer, and having been arrested.

As part of the overall episode theme, Handler had rapper Pitbull on to discuss the charter school he opened, and interviewed Drew Barrymore about being open to learning from even the toughest situations, such as her current divorce.

But Handler really wanted to drive home her theme by having the US Secretary of Education give her a pop quiz to find what she called her “baseline.”

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

 


 

 

U.S. Department of Education Launches $65 Million Grant Competition for Creating, Expanding High-Quality Public Charter Schools

U.S. Department of Education

 

The U.S. Department of Education today announced a competition to award $65 million in grants to as many as 20 Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) across the country to create and expand charter schools that support students from underserved communities.

Since the inception of the Charter Schools Program (CSP), the Department has awarded over $3 billion to schools across the country to provide students equitable educational opportunities.

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

 


 

 

Finalists in $225,000 Reach Higher Career App Challenge Announced by White House, U.S. Education Department

U.S. Department of Education

 

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative and the U.S. Department of Education today announced five finalists in the Reach Higher Career App Challenge, a prize competition to promote the development of mobile app solutions that will help students navigate education and career pathways, including career and technical education (CTE).

The challenge is aimed at inspiring the development of apps for middle and high school students that will help them learn about career options, while increasing the capacity of career counselors to assist students in planning for their futures. The apps will include integrated tools to assess student skills and interests, and offer information on occupations, education options, credentials, and career-seeking skills.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

May 11:

Legislative Management Audit Subcommittee meeting

4:30 p.m., 250 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2016/html/00002163.htm

 

 

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 USDB 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:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2016/html/00002170.htm

 

 

May 18:

Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee meeting

8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2016/html/00002142.htm

 

Education Interim Committee meeting

1:15 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2016/html/00002099.htm

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