Education News Roundup: May 17, 2016

2016 Sorenson Legacy Awards for Excellence in Arts Education.

2016 Sorenson Legacy Awards for Excellence in Arts Education.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Legislature will take up Gov. Herbert’s education line-item vetoes in special session on Wednesday.

http://gousoe.uen.org/739 (DN)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/73A (KSL)

 

How are Utah’s schools dealing with transgender students and bathrooms?

http://gousoe.uen.org/73r (SLT)

 

Three Alpine Board members write in opposition to ED’s guidance letter on transgender students.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73y (PDH)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/73O ([Reston, VA] Media Research Center TV)

 

Corner Canyon softball team pays tribute to fallen soldiers.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73t (SLT)

 

Girls perform better than boys on the first NAEP engineering and technology test.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73d (USN&WR)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/73e (Ed Week)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/73f (WSJ)

or a copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/73g (NAEP)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Education funding, monument discussion on the agenda for special session this week

 

Many local schools are unfazed by Obama’s transgender bathroom order, though one Utah County board is threatening action Gender identity » Educators say schools were already required to comply with Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex.

 

Alpine School District board members send letter opposing federal bathroom mandate

 

Trib Talk: Utah schools and transgender bathroom access

 

22 Complaints Filed Under Utah’s New LGBT Discrimination Law

 

Utah Votes To ‘Review’ Common Core Rather Than Kill It Entirely

 

Canyons board tentatively OKs educator contracts

 

Nebo School District students show off robotics skills

 

2016 Sorenson Legacy Award recipients honored

 

Teen Council at Park City High devotes week to safety amid rape culture Students will learn about consent and the dangers they face on college campuses

 

Corner Canyon team pays tribute to fallen military personnel Prep softball » Every player on the roster wears a jersey bearing the name of someone who died in service.

 

Report: Park City school violated diabetic student’s rights

 

Utah Finds Computer-Based Early-Learning Program Offers Literacy Boost

 

Ogden School District throwing celebration for Dee Elementary closure

 

When Does Your Teen’s Stress Become Destructive?

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Utah sputters and spins on SAGE and Common Core

 

Obama won’t be happy until he forces people to have sex in public places

 

Obama’s Transgender ‘Guidance’

The White House starts another culture war to drive liberal turnout.

 

Why There’s an Uproar Over Trying to Increase Funding for Poor Schools

 

Learning to be Watched: Surveillance Culture at School The Eighteenth Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercializing Trends 2014-2015

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Girls Trump Boys on Engineering, Technology Test The results have surprised education experts.

 

2016 U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index Shows Uptick in Hiring, Education The overall index inched upward, in part because of an influx of foreign students and workers.

 

Trump: Rescind Obama’s transgender directives, but ‘protect everybody’

 

Duval Schools sued over gender-identity bathroom policy

 

A transgender 9-year-old tells her story

 

Ahead of Prop. 123 vote, worries and doubts

 

State Senator Scott Hammond on the Rise of Nevada’s ESA Program — and the Challenges Ahead

 

As oil boom goes bust, Oklahoma protects drillers and squeezes schools

 

Computer science added to Virginia SOLs

 

Supreme Court outlaws ‘separate but equal’ schools, May 17, 1954

 

On the anniversary of Brown v. Board, new evidence that U.S. schools are resegregating

 

Tennessee contracts with Pearson to score TNReady high school tests

 

L.A. school district reaches $88-million settlement in sex misconduct cases at two campuses

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Education funding, monument discussion on the agenda for special session this week

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers will meet this week in a special legislative session to vote on restoring more than $4.7 million for several education programs and whether to formally oppose the creation of a national monument in Utah by President Barack Obama.

It’s been almost two months since Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed the line item funding, which was intended to provide supplemental money for a public preschool program called UPSTART, an intervention program for struggling readers in elementary school and a televised culinary arts program.

But the funding is expected to be fully restored Wednesday.

“The governor views that particular item as a relatively straightforward piece of the special session and expects the funding to be restored,” said the governor’s spokesman, Jon Cox.

The veto caught lawmakers and education leaders off guard as there was little indication of disagreement from the governor on those items during the general legislative session.

http://gousoe.uen.org/739 (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/73A (KSL)

 


 

 

Many local schools are unfazed by Obama’s transgender bathroom order, though one Utah County board is threatening action Gender identity » Educators say schools were already required to comply with Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex.

 

Public school representatives along the Wasatch Front see little cause for concern after new nondiscrimination guidelines were released by the federal government last week.

But board members in at least one school district are urging Utah’s governor, lawmakers and state school board to reject the guidelines, which call for equal treatment of transgender students.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter released Friday by the U.S. departments of justice and education, schools are instructed to allow students to use restrooms and locker rooms that are consistent with their gender identity, rather than the sex assigned at the student’s birth.

Schools may offer single-occupancy or unisex options for students who voluntarily seek additional privacy, according to the letter. But transgender students cannot be prohibited from using traditional restrooms if they choose to do so.

“As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases,” the letter states, “the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.”

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Friday the state “will not hesitate” to fight the executive order.

Heather Bennett, board president for Salt Lake City School District, said the letter’s instructions are consistent with nondiscrimination policies that already exist in hers and many other Utah school districts.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73r (SLT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/73B (KCSG)

 


 

 

Alpine School District board members send letter opposing federal bathroom mandate

 

Three members of the Alpine School District’s Board of Education have sent a letter to state leaders opposing a federal declaration that transgender students should use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

The letter was signed by members Paula Hill, Wendy Hart and Brian Halladay.

The letter did not come from the school district, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday morning.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73y (PDH)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/73O ([Reston, VA] Media Research Center TV)

 


 

 

Trib Talk: Utah schools and transgender bathroom access

 

Gov. Gary Herbert said he would fight if necessary an executive order issued by President Obama requiring schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice.

On Tuesday at 12:15 p.m., Salt Lake City School Superintendent McKell Withers, University of Utah LGBT Resource Center director Kai Medina-Martinez, Bill Duncan of the Sutherland Institute and University of Utah law professor Cliff Rosky join Jennifer Napier-Pearce to talk about gender identity and politics in education.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73s (SLT)

 


 

 

22 Complaints Filed Under Utah’s New LGBT Discrimination Law

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah public school teacher Art Rice used to put on four shirts every day before work last year so no one would notice that he was becoming a woman.

“I cried near every morning, putting my man clothes on, because that was the last real piece of my life where I was hiding who I was and I hated it,” said Rice, who now lives as Angie Rice.

Rice said she finally had the courage to come out to administrators and students when Utah passed an anti-discrimination law last year protecting gay and transgender people from being fired or denied housing.

In the year since the law took effect, 22 complaints have been filed with the state Labor Commission- far fewer than the annual number of race or religious-based discrimination complaints lodged in the state.

But proponents of the landmark measure, which received a rare public endorsement from the Mormon church, say its impact isn’t measured just by complaints, but by people like Rice, who says the law freed her from a self-imposed prison.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73Q (AP)

 


 

 

Utah Votes To ‘Review’ Common Core Rather Than Kill It Entirely

 

Utah will continue using Common Core for the time being but eliminated a related standardized test, despite Gov. Gary Herbert’s urging to terminate both completely.

After spending years defending Common Core from critics, Herbert suddenly changed course two weeks ago and called it to be replaced, saying the standards simply became too divisive to maintain. He said Utah’s board of education should cancel the use of the state’s SAGE standardized test for high school students and consider canceling the test for other grades too.

Utah’s state board of education voted 13-2 to subject Common Core to a review, which may recommend a wholesale replacement, minor tweaks, or no changes at all. Carrying out that review will require cooperation from the Utah legislature, which will have to appropriate funds for the process. Those funds may not arrive for a while, as Utah’s legislative session ended in March and won’t reconvene until 2017 unless Herbert calls a special session.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73K ([Washington, DC] Daily Caller)

 


 

 

Canyons board tentatively OKs educator contracts

 

SANDY — The Canyons School District Board of Education has unanimously approved tentative negotiated agreements with the Canyons Education Association, the Canyons Association of Education Support Professionals and district administrators for the 2016-17 school year.

The agreement with the education association will give certificated employees a .59 percent increase in the cost of living. Additionally, teachers with 25 or more years of local experience will receive $1,500. Teachers who have between 20 and 24 years of local experience will receive $1,000. The agreement also stipulates that a $4,200 educators salary adjustment will not be withheld from educators who do not pass evaluations. The employee association and district also agreed to share the cost of a 7 percent increase in health insurance premiums.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73R (DN)

 


 

 

Nebo School District students show off robotics skills

 

One robot could climb stairs, another was given a specific set of tasks and another bot was programmed to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

On Monday night, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students in Nebo School District showed off their own robotics skills they gained through after-school programs.

For the first year, the district has contracted with Learning Through Robotics, a STEM program that teaches robotics in addition to basic problem solving.

The program allowed more than 1,000 students in 23 of the district’s 28 elementary schools to participate in after-school programs focusing on robotics.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73x (PDH)

 


 

 

2016 Sorenson Legacy Award recipients honored

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Office of Education recently honored recipients of the 2016 Sorenson Legacy Awards for Excellence in Arts Education at the Salt Lake Marriott City Center.

This year’s recipients are:

http://gousoe.uen.org/73S

 


 

 

Teen Council at Park City High devotes week to safety amid rape culture Students will learn about consent and the dangers they face on college campuses

 

Olivia Andreini and Jackson Kelly don’t want their friends to be the next victim — or perpetrator — of sexual assault.

As campus rape has become a well-publicized problem across the country, including at Utah’s two largest universities, the startling reality about college sexual assault has become clear: It happens all the time. In fact, one in five students will be victimized during their college careers, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Andreini and Kelly, seniors at Park City High School, are among those who believe the education system in Utah doesn’t do enough to inform students about the dangers they face. They are on the Summit County Teen Council, a Planned Parenthood organization dedicated to having students teach their peers about sexual health and safety.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73P (PR)

 


 

Corner Canyon team pays tribute to fallen military personnel Prep softball » Every player on the roster wears a jersey bearing the name of someone who died in service.

 

The chance to have last names on their jerseys isn’t an honor every high school softball player gets to have.

But the names on the Corner Canyon uniforms don’t actually match the ones on the lineup card that Chargers coach Garrett Hone hands to the umpires at the beginning of each game.

Instead of Opheiken, Dale, Parker, Healy or Wansel, what spectators see instead are Ssgt. Parker, Sgt. Parr, Cpl. Griggs, 2Lt. Alley and Maj. Funk.

Corner Canyon senior Madalin Healy, for example, has on her back the name of one John Alley.

The two are not related, however. Alley, an Air Force second lieutenant from Bountiful, died at age 26 in 2008 while training in Florida.

Up until the very beginning of this season, Healy had never heard of Alley. But, as part of a project through TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), she and her teammates have been honoring military members from Utah who have died while serving.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73t (SLT)

 


 

 

Report: Park City school violated diabetic student’s rights

 

PARK CITY, Utah— A Park City school district discriminated against a diabetic kindergartner for not ensuring a nurse was available to give her insulin, federal education officials concluded in a recent report.

The civil rights office at the U.S. Department of Education began investigating in November after parent Bridget Llewellyn filed several complaints over the care her 6-year-old daughter received at Parley’s Park Elementary School.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73u (SLT)

 


 

 

Utah Finds Computer-Based Early-Learning Program Offers Literacy Boost

 

Utah preschoolers who participated in UPSTART, a state-funded home-education program created by the Waterford Institute, entered kindergarten with more literacy skills than nonparticipants, and those effects continued as the children moved through elementary school, according to a state study of the program. (UPSTART is short for Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow.)

The Utah Department of Education UPSTART evaluation, released April 14, showed that children who participated in the program scored significantly higher than control-group peers on two tests of early literacy. Researchers used the Brigance Inventory of Educational Development, which measures vocabulary and syntax, preliteracy discrimination, letter knowledge, and decoding, and the Bader Reading and Language Inventory, which measures phonological awareness.

Through 4th grade, the state report also found that students in UPSTART continued to outperform their peers on Utah’s standardized Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence, or SAGE.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73M (Ed Week)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/73N (Education Dive)

 


 

 

Ogden School District throwing celebration for Dee Elementary closure

 

OGDEN — Wednesday brings the chance to say a final goodbye to an elementary school in the heart of Ogden.

Dee Elementary, which is completing its 46th year, will host a reception at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, to celebrate the school’s place in the community.

Former students (high school age or older), past staff and community members are invited to the celebration, according to an announcement from Ogden School District.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73v (OSE)

 


 

 

When Does Your Teen’s Stress Become Destructive?

 

Martial arts, lacrosse, modeling, pageants, homework…today’s kids are expected to do it all.

Stress is something most of us complain about every single day. It’s tough enough for adults to handle, but even tougher on our teens.

Youth Advocate Jessie Funk says stress is the “gateway” to dangerous teen behaviors like bullying, cutting, and even suicide.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73z (KTVX)

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Utah sputters and spins on SAGE and Common Core Salt Lake Tribune editorial

 

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has failed a big test. So suggesting that a lot of other people around the state be excused from tests they were facing is the least he could do.

The governor took a break from his busy fund-raising schedule Friday to suggest to the Utah Board of Education that it should stop using the state’s own SAGE test to review the progress of high school students. And that it should, like him, give up trying to explain to parents and activists what the Common Core education standards really are and abandon those, too.

In so doing, Herbert basically gave himself a failing grade in leadership. After six years in office, neither he nor anyone else in state government has been able to adequately explain to enough parents and politicians that the Common Core is not a federal mandate, not an attempt to warp young minds or make them all into Bernie Sanders voters.

So the governor surrendered Friday. “It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong,” he told the board. “We’re past that.”

Not the first time that someone has tried to convince educators that it would be unfair to expect a student to get the right answer on a test.

Board members were not at all averse to the idea of coming up with newer, better tests and standards. They pointed out, correctly, that such things should and do go through a constant process of study, revision and, hopefully, improvement.

But, some members wisely noted, all that work isn’t cheap. And it doesn’t happen overnight.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73a

 


 

 

Obama won’t be happy until he forces people to have sex in public places

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Phil Johnson

 

I come from an era of respect for others and modest behavior. The Obama administration is committing yet another act against morality and the will of God by forcing schools to enact a policy where one sex can watch the other use the bathroom.

Shame shame on you, President Obama, for this disgraceful behavior. Where does it all end? Perhaps when you force people to have sex in public places you will be happy. Is there no decency left at all in our government?

If I had children in a school that forced them to be subject to these perverted acts, I would withdraw them from school.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73w

 


 

 

Obama’s Transgender ‘Guidance’

The White House starts another culture war to drive liberal turnout.

Wall Street Journal editorial

 

The directive on bathroom facilities for transgender students, sent last Friday by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education to every public school district in the country, is not the first time the Obama Administration has swept American institutions under its administrative control.

In April 2011 Education, backed by Justice, sent every institution of higher learning what has come to be known in academia as the “Dear Colleague” letter. They don’t mean that in a friendly way. That 19-page letter described how the feds wanted every college and university to comply with the Administration’s expanding definition of Title IX requirements on sexual harassment. The letter wasn’t a law or even a regulation. It was described as “guidance.” As the nation’s public schools learned Friday, this gives “guidance” new meaning.

That meaning is that the Obama Administration intends to obliterate what is left of federalism, the principle that states retain powers not delegated to the national government. How else can one interpret Friday’s “guidance” on bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams to public grade schools and high schools, long considered a symbol of local control?

http://gousoe.uen.org/73c

 


 

 

Why There’s an Uproar Over Trying to Increase Funding for Poor Schools New York Times commentary by Kevin Carey, who directs the education policy program at New America

 

On April 4, a terse letter signed by the heads of the major education lobbying organizations in Washington — teachers unions, school boards, superintendents, principals and governors — landed on the desk of John King Jr., the secretary of education.

It had been less than three weeks since the Senate had confirmed Mr. King, a former high school teacher and education commissioner in New York. Yet as the letter showed, he had already managed to irk the entire school establishment, as well as the Republican majority in Congress. His offense? Trying to make good on a long­unkept promise to the nation’s low­income schoolchildren that they should receive as much education funding as everyone else.

A few months before this clash, Congress had finished renewing the omnibus federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), after years of difficult negotiation. The next move was for the Education Department to issue regulations detailing how provisions of the law were to be put in place. The department proposed a rule that would require local school districts to give schools enrolling large numbers of poor children at least as much state and local money as other schools — thus prompting the letter.

Equal funding doesn’t sound too crazy, yet many districts currently fall short. Nationwide, districts with high levels of poverty receive $1,200 less per pupil from state and local sources than districts with low levels of poverty.

Marguerite Roza, a Georgetown University scholar, has found that many districts spend up to a third less per pupil in poor schools compared with others. This can happen for various reasons: because wealthy parents unduly influence budget allocations, for example. It can also happen because most teachers are paid using collectively bargained salary schedules that reward longevity. Senior teachers tend to cluster in wealthy schools, while schools where many children are poor often churn through large numbers of novice, badly paid teachers.

But fixing such funding inequities can be expensive, as well as disruptive to longstanding arrangements of which teachers get to be in which schools. That’s why the unions, districts and state leaders wrote the letter urging Mr. King to “refrain from defining terms and aspects of the new law” — that is, to simply not regulate at all — “especially as it relates to the ‘supplement, notsupplant’ provision.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/73C

 


 

 

Learning to be Watched: Surveillance Culture at School The Eighteenth Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercializing Trends 2014-2015 National Education Policy Center analysis

 

Schools now routinely direct children online to do their schoolwork, thereby exposing them to tracking of their online behavior and subsequent targeted marketing. This is part of the evolution of how marketing companies use digital marketing, ensuring that children and adolescents are constantly connected and available to them. Moreover, because digital technologies enable extensive personalization, they amplify opportunities for marketers to control what children see in the private world of their digital devices as well as what they see in public spaces. This year’s annual report on schoolhouse commercialism trends considers how schools facilitate the work of digital marketers and examines the consequent threats to children’s privacy, their physical and psychological well-being, and the integrity of the education they receive. Constant digital surveillance and marketing at school combine to normalize for children the unquestioned role that corporations play in their education and in their lives more generally.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73p

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Girls Trump Boys on Engineering, Technology Test The results have surprised education experts.

U.S. News & World Report

 

In nearly every category, female students outperformed male students on a national technology and engineering test – the first of its kind administered under the purview of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Overall, female students outscored their male counterparts by 3 points. But on questions dealing with communication and collaboration, they outscored male students by 5 points, and on questions about information and communication technology, they outscored them by 6 points.

“We did not expect this pattern and the pattern does seem to be pretty clear from the data,” said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, a data arm of the Department of Education that evaluated the test results. “Overall it looks like girls have the ability and critical thinking skills to succeed in the fields of technology and engineering, and that’s worth noting.”

The difference in performance between female and male students was especially surprising, Carr said, because female students tend to perform equal to or worse than male students on math and science achievement exams.

The findings also are striking considering male students expressed far more interest in pursuing engineering and technology than females, according to the 2016 U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73d

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/73e (Ed Week)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/73f (WSJ)

 

A copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/73g (NAEP)

 

 


 

 

2016 U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index Shows Uptick in Hiring, Education The overall index inched upward, in part because of an influx of foreign students and workers.

U.S. News & World Report

 

Like shoes and smartphones, America is importing more and more of its future STEM workforce.

The 2016 U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index recorded a slight rise in hiring, education and general interest in technology and engineering over last year, while math education and general interest in science declined. The biggest growth occurred at the graduate level, but despite years of investment in attracting more American students to STEM, that expansion was not homegrown.

While the number of graduates who earned masters’ and doctorate degrees in STEM rose by 6 percent in 2015, the Index found, the number of science and engineering graduates holding U.S. passports and green cards fell from 2008 to 2014, according to survey data from the National Science Foundation.

By contrast, the number of graduates on temporary student visas – many of whom take their skills home after graduating rather than remain in the U.S. – rose by 35 percent in the same period.

“The U.S. is in fact producing more STEM graduates, but they’re not necessarily to the benefit of the U.S.,” says Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News & World Report.

Gaps between men and women, and between whites and minorities, also remained entrenched. As the number of white students who earned STEM degrees grew 15 percent in the last five years, the number of black students fell by roughly the same margin, the index found.

Women’s interest in STEM also decreased slightly since last year.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73i

 


 

 

Trump: Rescind Obama’s transgender directives, but ‘protect everybody’

Washington Post

 

NEW YORK — Donald Trump vowed Monday that if elected president he would rescind the Obama administration’s new directives aimed at protecting transgender people against discrimination in schools and health-care coverage.

But even as Trump accused the administration of federal overreach and argued that such matters should be addressed by the states, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee also sounded a more compassionate tone and offered a more nuanced outlook than many of his party’s elected leaders.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73o

 


 

 

Duval Schools sued over gender-identity bathroom policy

(Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union

 

A new lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks to stop Duval County Public Schools from allowing students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identities.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti and all seven members of the school board are named in the suit, filed by Republican candidate for State Attorney Wes White on behalf of Wryshona Isaac, the mother of four public school kids, ages 8 to 15.

The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief against the district for “adopting and establishing a policy of allowing students an unfettered right to use the bathroom or changing facility of their choice based on ‘gender identity.’ ”

The suit alleges the district is no longer providing Isaac’s children a “safe and supportive environment that would allow them to thrive and grow, and deprives them the right to bodily privacy.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/73G

 


 

 

A transgender 9-year-old tells her story Los Angeles Times

 

The 9-year-old is growing up. She used to play with Barbies. Now she’s the class treasurer of her West L.A. elementary school. She plays girls volleyball, paints her nails and likes to challenge herself on Minecraft.

She’s also transgender.

The girl, as well as her parents and school administrators, agreed to share her story to show how they are grappling with a situation that more and more schools are facing.

The U.S. Department of Education released guidelines Friday to help schools understand how federal law protects the treatment of transgender students on matters such as bathroom use.

The experience of the girl, identified using her first initial, “T,” to protect her privacy, provides a number of lessons, among them: how to train staffers and designate “safe” people on whom a student can depend. Teachers and principals will want to know how to deal with notes like the one that slipped out of T’s homework folder one day: “You’re a boy not a girl get it throu (sic) your head.”

California law reinforces the rights of transgender students to be treated as the gender they identify with, whether in bathrooms or on sports teams. A few other states, including North Carolina, are battling the federal government in an effort to restrict both transgender students’ and adults’ access to these spaces.

There is no official count of the number of transgender children in the Los Angeles Unified School District. But there is a clear sense among those who study gender issues that, nationwide, people are coming out as transgender earlier than in the past.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles saw about 40 transgender and “gender nonconforming” youths a decade ago, says Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, medical director of the Center for Transyouth Health and Development. Now, she says, the center sees about 600 transgender patients between the ages of 3 and 25, T included.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73q

 


 

 

Ahead of Prop. 123 vote, worries and doubts

(Phoenix) Arizona Republic

 

For months, Proposition 123 enjoyed broad, visible support as a nearly tax-free way to settle a festering school-funding lawsuit and improve public education.

In the final days before voters make their decision, activists on both sides of the issue are debating something once seen as unlikely: What if the measure fails?

Supporters of Prop. 123 say teachers would miss out on immediate pay raises and head into an uncertain future. Opponents agree teachers would lose in the short-term, but say growing budget surpluses and increased political pressure would eventually deliver a better long-term deal for schools.

These are anxious times for all involved in a measure that would provide public schools about $3.5 billion over 10 years, largely from increased payouts from the state’s land trust fund.

“I don’t think it’s a great deal, but I think it’s the lesser of two evils,” said Christine Marsh, the 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year, who teaches high school English in the Scottsdale Unified School District. “I think what (people) don’t grasp is that this is a settlement. No, we’re not entirely happy with it, but when has anyone compromised and been thrilled?”

http://gousoe.uen.org/73m

 


 

 

State Senator Scott Hammond on the Rise of Nevada’s ESA Program — and the Challenges Ahead The 74

 

Washington, D.C. — Ideas for new legislation can hatch in many places – in an advocacy group, among concerned citizens, or at think tanks. In the case of Nevada’s landmark education savings account bill, some of it happened entirely by chance.

The story began when state Sen. Scott Hammond’s wife, Tonya, described an article she had read about the nation’s first ESA program, in Arizona, which serves children with disabilities, those in failing schools and others who may need specialized schooling. Hammond, a Republican, taught for many years before becoming a lawmaker and currently serves as assistant principal in a Las Vegas charter school in addition to performing his legislative duties.

The Arizona story inspired him, he said, and he resolved to bring ESAs to Nevada.

“We’ve always had these discussions around the dinner table, in front of our kids,” he told The 74 following an American Enterprise Institute conference about the future of ESAs, an increasingly common form of school choice in which parents can direct their children’s state school dollars to other education choices.

Last year, Hammond proposed an ESA law for Nevada that allowed parents to use their children’s per-pupil state funding allotment for private school, homeschool materials, private tutoring, or other services. Children with disabilities or lower-income families were entitled to 100 percent of their state per-pupil funding; other children got 90 percent, with the additional ten percent staying at their assigned public school.

The proposal passed but is currently on hold pending litigation.

At a charter school conference in Las Vegas in 2014, he ran into Elissa Wahl, a member of the state’s charter school authority. Near the end of the conference, Wahl introduced him to Michael Chartier, the government relations director at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

Chartier was packing up to leave, but invited Hammond to a Salt Lake City briefing for state legislators later in the summer. Coincidentally, Hammond planned to be in the Utah capital at the same time to visit his wife’s family. He and Tonya left their four children with her family and headed to the briefing along with several of Hammond’s colleagues from the Nevada legislature.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73L

 


 

 

As oil boom goes bust, Oklahoma protects drillers and squeezes schools Reuters

 

NEWCASTLE, OKLA. | After intense lobbying, Oklahoma’s oilmen scored a victory two years ago. State lawmakers voted to keep in place some of the lowest taxes on oil and gas production in the United States – a break worth $470 million in fiscal year 2015 alone.

The state’s schools haven’t been so fortunate. In Newcastle, 23 miles from the capital of Oklahoma City, John Cerny recently learned that the school attended by his five-year-old granddaughter, Adelynn, will open just four days a week next year. The Bridge Creek school district will slash spending because of a projected $1.3 billion state budget shortfall next year.

Beth Lawton teaches first grade at Broadmoore Elementary in Moore, a city of 59,000 bordering the capital. In April, she and several colleagues were told their contracts won’t be renewed because of funding cuts. Broadmoore’s class sizes are expected to rise next year as a result.

“I think our lawmakers have failed us, and I don’t understand how little they value education,” Lawton said.

Oklahoma’s school-funding crisis is part of the pain inflicted by falling oil prices on energy-rich states across America that rely on natural-resources taxes to pay their governments’ bills. But the crisis in Oklahoma is especially dire, exacerbated by a legacy of large tax breaks bestowed upon oil companies.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73D

 


 

 

Computer science added to Virginia SOLs

Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch

 

RICHMOND — Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation Monday that calls for the state’s board of education to incorporate computer science, computational thinking and computer coding into Standards of Learning curriculum.

The measure, signed at Franklin Military Academy in Richmond, was passed unanimously by both the Virginia Senate and the House of Delegates earlier this year and is designed to help prepare students for technology jobs.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73I

 


 

 

Supreme Court outlaws ‘separate but equal’ schools, May 17, 1954 Politico

 

In 1951, 13 parents in Topeka, Kansas, filed a class-action suit on behalf of their 20 children against the city’s Board of Education. The suit asked the school district to reverse its policy of racial segregation. It sought to overturn an 1879 Kansas law that allowed, but did not require, districts to maintain separate elementary schools for black and white students.

The named plaintiff, Oliver Brown, worked as a welder for the Santa Fe railroad and was studying for the ministry. He was persuaded to join the lawsuit by Charles Scott, a local NAACP counsel and childhood friend. The federal district court ruled in favor of the board, citing a U.S. Supreme Court precedent set in 1896 by Plessy v. Ferguson that upheld a state law mandating “separate but equal” segregated facilities in railway cars.

When the case came to the Supreme Court on appeal, Thurgood Marshall, then the NAACP’s chief counsel, represented the parents, and Paul Wilson, the state’s assistant attorney general, defended Kansas, appearing in his first appellate trial.

On this day in 1954, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that since “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” and therefore a racially segregated school system violates the U.S. Constitution.

In an opinion written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the court asked itself whether segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other “tangible” factors may be equal, deprives the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities.

The unanimous answer was “we believe that it does.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/73j

 


 

 

On the anniversary of Brown v. Board, new evidence that U.S. schools are resegregating Washington Post

 

Poor, black and Hispanic children are becoming increasingly isolated from their white, affluent peers in the nation’s public schools, according to new federal data released Tuesday, 62 years after the Supreme Court decided that segregated schools are “inherently unequal” and therefore unconstitutional.

That landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education began the dismantling of the dual school systems – one for white kids, one for black students – that characterized so many communities across the country. It also became a touchstone for the ideal of public education as a great equalizer, an American birthright meant to give every child a fair shot at success.

But that ideal appears to be unraveling, according to Tuesday’s report from the Government Accountability Office.

The number of high-poverty schools that serve primarily black and brown students more than doubled between 2001 and 2014, the GAO found. The proportion of such schools — where more than 75 percent of children receive free or reduced-price lunch, and more than 75 percent are black or Hispanic — climbed from 9 percent to 16 percent during the same period.

The problem is not just that students are more isolated, according to the GAO, but that minority students who are concentrated in high-poverty schools don’t have the same access to opportunities as students in other schools.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73n

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/73F (AP)

 

A copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/73l (GAO)

 


 

 

Tennessee contracts with Pearson to score TNReady high school tests Nashville Tennessean

 

Pearson Education will score TNReady assessments this year, but the state is still working on who will administer the state’s standardized tests next year after the Tennessee Department of Education fired its last vendor.

Pearson landed the $18.5 million job with the state after the education department took advantage of a law that says the state can enter into non-competitive bidding in cases of emergencies arising from any unforeseen cause.

“After we terminated the contract with Measurement Inc. on April 27, we began quickly collaborating with state central procurement in securing an emergency vendor,” said Education Commissioner Candice McQueen. “It is usually done with someone that has prior experience in the state.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/73J

 


 

 

L.A. school district reaches $88-million settlement in sex misconduct cases at two campuses Los Angeles Times

 

The Los Angeles school district will pay $88 million to settle sexual abuse cases at two elementary schools where complaints about the teachers behavior had surfaced long before their arrest, officials confirmed Monday.

The settlement with 30 children and their families, finalized over the weekend, is the second largest in district history, and brings a dark chapter to an apparent close.

The cases at De La Torre Elementary in Wilmington and Telfair Avenue Elementary in Pacoima, emerged in the aftermath of better-known sexual misconduct at Miramonte Elementary, south of downtown. Altogether, a spate of prosecutions and lawsuits led to huge settlements and spurred the district to announce a raft of reforms at the nation’s second-largest school system.

http://gousoe.uen.org/73E

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

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

 

 

June 9:

Utah State Board of Education study session, USDB and committee meetings

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

June 10:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

July 14:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

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