Education News Roundup: June 17, 2016

 

 

Utah PTA Reflections Contest artwork/ Education News Roundup

Utah PTA Reflections Contest artwork/
Education News Roundup

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Utah State Board of Education announces Taran Chun and Sydnee Dickson as finalists for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7o2 (SLT)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/7o4 (DN)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/7ok (KSL)

or http://gousoe.uen.org/7o3 (USBE)

 

West Jordan holds a reunification drill.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7oh (DN)

 

AP and Christian Science Monitor take a look at Kansas education funding issues.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7oo (AP)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/7or (CSM)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

School board picks 2 finalists for Utah’s next education boss Superintendent » Board moves closer to picking 4th top administrator in five years.

 

Patience is key during reunification drill at West Jordan school

 

Unified Police Officer Explains Why She Loves Working With Students In The DARE Program

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

A growing challenge in education: recruiting and retaining teachers

 

Chronic absenteeism in schools threatens the nation’s future

 

Giving Teachers Dirty Looks

 

Robyn Bagley: Let me introduce myself

 

How to attract and keep the best teachers

 

Introducing your state school board election homework

 

Utah Board of Ed seeks quantity over quality

 

State Strategies for Summer Nutrition

 

How Fathers Increasingly Are Getting Involved in Schools

 

5 Tips for Integrating Ed-Tech Into Students’ Daily Lives

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Education Ruling has Kansas Lawmaker Pondering Courts’ Power

 

Center for Education Reform Taps Businesses, Charter Schools for Innovation

 

Democrats gear-up for school lunch war

 

Judge upholds suspension of student who chewed pastry into the shape of a gun

 

Transgender teen talks about bullying in powerful video

 

Ex-EPISD administrators plead guilty in scheme

 

Copper River superintendent chosen as Alaska’s next education commissioner

 

Louisiana Student Denied Graduation Still Gets Celebration

 

Secretary King Announces Recipients of the 2016 President’s Education Awards Program

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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School board picks 2 finalists for Utah’s next education boss Superintendent » Board moves closer to picking 4th top administrator in five years.

 

Two finalists — one a familiar face — have been chosen for Utah’s top education post.

After conducting semifinalist interviews last week, the state Board of Education announced Taran Chun and Sydnee Dickson as the top two contenders.

The incoming leader will be the fourth superintendent in five years.

Brad Smith resigned Feb. 17 after a period of paid leave related to chronic health issues. Dickson took over when Smith’s leave of absence was announced in January.

Dickson, a veteran of the state Office of Education, has decades of experience in public education as a teacher and administrator.

Chun is a school administrator in Alpine School District. He received a Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education in 2012 when he was principal of Granite Park Junior High School.

The two will be interviewed publicly June 23 at the state Board of Education office, at 250 E. 500 South in Salt Lake City. The interviews will be available to watch live.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7o2 (SLT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/7o4 (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/7ok (KSL)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/7o3 (USBE)

 


 

 

Patience is key during reunification drill at West Jordan school

 

WEST JORDAN — An earthquake, power outage, criminal activity. These are just a few reasons for a school to release students early.

More than 1,000 students attend Fox Hollow Elementary School in West Jordan. Things could quickly turn into chaos during an emergency if all the parents showed up at the same time.

“Reunification is really what happens after the bad things are done,” West Jordan Deputy Fire Chief Reed Scharman said.

About 400 families, which is about 675 students, participated in a “reunification drill” Thursday at the school.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7oh (DN)

 


 

 

Unified Police Officer Explains Why She Loves Working With Students In The DARE Program

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds of fifth graders in Utah are now ready to resist drugs. The latest group to graduate from DARE or Drug Abuse Resistance Education the 5th graders at Foothills Elementary School in Riverton. They graduated on Thursday.

The class is one of seven being lead by Officer Dana Mudrock. And while the Unified Police Officer has nearly 20 years in police work – this is her first year in DARE. And Officer Mudrock is this week’s Behind the Badge police profile.

“It’s amazing. It’s a lot of fun, and I enjoy every minute of it.” After 17 years of working patrols and with the special victims unit for Unified Police – Dana Mudrock became a DARE officer.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7oj (KTVX)

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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A growing challenge in education: recruiting and retaining teachers Deseret News editorial

 

A high rate of attrition among teachers and a lower rate of admissions in college teaching programs are putting Utah’s education system in an untenable place. While state leaders are talking about solutions, talk must soon turn into definitive action, and that must include increasing teacher compensation in a way that can avert a trend that will otherwise certainly and quickly escalate into a crisis.

Better support for teachers emerged as a critical priority in a series of focus groups convened as part of an effort by the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Institute and the Hinckley Institute of Politics, in partnership with the Deseret News and KSL Broadcasting, to identify key issues related to education in preparation for the upcoming elections. Feedback from the “Informed Decisions 2016” focus groups clearly points to the need to create a better environment for teachers, which would include more public and institutional support, as well as better pay.

The State Board of Education recently moved to commission research on why teacher attrition has grown to extraordinary levels. There is little mystery in what research will show.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7o7

 


 

 

Chronic absenteeism in schools threatens the nation’s future Deseret News editorial

 

The U.S. Department of Education released a report last week detailing the extent of chronic absenteeism in the nation’s elementary, middle and high schools. The results are alarming, and the cure will take more than one approach.

The report showed that more than 6 million students, or 13.1 percent of the total, missed 15 days or more of school during the 2013-14 school year. The figures become more alarming when broken down by race. While only 6.9 percent of Asian students were chronically absent, 22.2 percent of Native American and 21.1 percent of Pacific Islander students fit that category, representing a huge threat to the future success of members of those ethnic demographics.

This ought to be of special interest to everyone in Utah, and especially among school districts in rural areas dominated by Native American populations. But it should concern everyone along the Wastach Front, as well.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7os

 


 

 

Giving Teachers Dirty Looks

Salt Lake Tribune editorial cartoon by Pat Bagley

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/7of

 


 

 

Robyn Bagley: Let me introduce myself

Deseret News op-ed by Robyn Bagley, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Utah

 

Utah voters may be wondering, who is Robyn Bagley? As lieutenant governor running mate to Republican candidate for governor Jonathan Johnson, let me introduce myself.

As it is for all moms, education is a top priority for me. I understand the challenges that many parents face finding the options that best meet their children’s needs. This has inspired much of my volunteerism and service to the community.

For the last decade I’ve served as board chairwoman of Parents for Choice in Education, where I’ve been very successful in advocating for policy that empowers both parents and students with more choice and options for a quality education. This position has given me the opportunity to collaborate with education leaders and members of the Legislature to affect positive change in education. I also served on the Governor’s Education Commission from February 2010 to May 2015.

I understand the education challenges facing our state. And I’ve never been one to sit on the sidelines. Rather, I actively seek to find solutions. Of particular importance to Jonathan and me is ending the Common Core mandate. We look forward to initiating local control with more parental involvement.

Most recently, I founded and now serve as principal of Career Path High, an early college high school partnered with the Davis Applied Technology College where students not only graduate with a diploma, but also leave career ready with the skills necessary to secure high-paying jobs.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7o5

 


 

 

How to attract and keep the best teachers Deseret News op-ed by Lynn Stoddard, author of ”Educating for Human Greatness”

 

The statistics are alarming. More than one-third of teachers leave at the end of their first year and four out of 10 quit within five years. We are headed toward a genuine crisis. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a sleeping giant solution waiting to be activated, if our culture can understand a different vision and summon the will to do it.

The problem started in 1983 when the federal government was motivated by a “Nation at Risk Report” to reform public education. National summits were called for governors and business executives to decide what needed to be done. Educators were not invited to the meetings.

These people introduced us to No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and Common Core, three efforts that failed to result in deep, comprehensive improvements but instead alienated teachers, shut out parents and failed to engage students.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7o6

 


 

 

Introducing your state school board election homework Utah PoliticoHub commentary by Stan Rasmussen, director of public affairs for Sutherland Institute

 

In less than two weeks, on Tuesday, June 28, the Utah 2016 primary election* cycle will conclude. Among the many important races, the list of candidates in seven of the Utah State Board of Education districts will be narrowed down to two candidates, who will appear on the November general election ballot.

Despite the handful of lawn signs and larger posters popping up along well-traveled roads, most voters have very little awareness about who is running to fill these critically important seats on the State Board. Even fewer citizens are aware of the candidates’ views about public education, what motivates their candidacy, or what their priorities would be as a board member.

To overcome this lack of awareness, and to provide a robust source of information about nearly everything voters need to know about the

* role of the State Board of Education,

* responsibilities of board members,

* issues the board addresses, and

* candidates running in the primary,

Sutherland Institute is pleased to include Homework on State School Board candidates on our website. A one-stop-shop hub of what voters need to know to make informed choices, it will stay on our homepage for the next two weeks.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7oi

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/7ol (Sutherland)

 


 

 

Utah Board of Ed seeks quantity over quality Salt Lake Tribune letter from Linda Moon

 

Perhaps the Utah State Board of Education does not understand the principle of supply and demand (“New hires may not need a teaching license,” June 15).

The reasons young people do not go into education or choose to drop out after five years are simple: the largest class sizes and lowest pay in the country, salaries frozen for years, then paltry, begrudging raises, retirement benefits cut in half or eliminated, a staggering workload, including after-hours committee and extra curricular work expected without remuneration, and a basic lack of respect for the teaching profession by the state’s legislators and the State Board of Education.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7og

 


 

 

State Strategies for Summer Nutrition

National Association of State Boards of Education analysis

 

Children with limited or uncertain access to meals experience more health-related behavioral and academic challenges than their peers. Federally funded summer nutrition programs are designed to ensure low-income students receive healthy meals all summer long. Yet more than 80 percent of the children who qualify for such summer meal programs do not participate. State boards can do two things to expand the reach of summer nutrition programs: They can support the adoption of state mandates for participation, and they can partner with other state organizations to improve community outreach.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7od

 


 

 

How Fathers Increasingly Are Getting Involved in Schools Education Week commentary by columnist Sarah Tully

 

With Father’s Day coming up, I thought I’d take a look at ways that fathers increasingly are getting involved in schools.

While women have traditionally been more active in schools, dad groups have been growing around the country, and the National Parent Teacher Association has been working on supporting that growth, along with other groups.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7o8

 


 

 

5 Tips for Integrating Ed-Tech Into Students’ Daily Lives Education Week commentary by columnist Ian Siegel

 

There’s been a lot of talk about whether ed-tech should be evolutionary or revolutionary. Should it build on existing systems and instructional philosophies, or completely revamp how we think about education? Although I personally believe the most effective solutions can draw on both approaches, it’s clear to me that software intended for students must be evolutionary as we consider the logistics of integrating technology in students’ daily lives. In this sense, influencing what students do with their time should be as revolutionary as is needed to be effective. However, influencing when and how students engage with ed-tech should follow a path of least resistance.

Here are five realities to consider when attempting to integrate education technology into students’ daily lives.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7o9

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Education Ruling has Kansas Lawmaker Pondering Courts’ Power Associated Press

 

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas legislators will consider proposals Friday to curb the power of the courts as they grapple with a recent state Supreme Court ruling on education funding.

The state House and Senate judiciary committees were to convene for a joint meeting to discuss proposed amendments to the state constitution to block the courts from threatening to close schools in education funding lawsuits. Lawmakers have two versions.

Meanwhile, top Democrats scheduled a news conference to outline their own proposal for increasing the state’s aid to poor school districts to satisfy the latest court order.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7oo

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/7or (CSM)

 


 

 

Center for Education Reform Taps Businesses, Charter Schools for Innovation Education Week

 

Washington, D.C. — The Center for Education Reform, a long-time charter school advocacy organization, says innovation and momentum within the sector of independent schools has slowed, and needs an infusion of new ideas that incorporate new strategies drawn from education technology and other areas.

At a forum held in the nation’s capital Wednesday, the center released a set of recommendations for how the charter school movement can, in the organization’s view, right the ship and develop new strategies for improvement. The center is emphasizing its priorities by incorporating a tagline: “Innovation + Opportunity = Results.”

But the promise of ed-tech, itself, is not a complete answer. The pressure to “go digital” is shocking to David Levin, president and CEO of McGraw-Hill Education, one of the panelists at the event, because “people don’t know what it means.” More important is the persistence and tenure needed by great leaders and teachers to create a school culture to support change and results, he said.

Attendees talked about how charters could take ideas from the business community, and from other constituencies, including parents and students.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7oc

 


 

 

Democrats gear-up for school lunch war

Politico

 

The school lunch war is back, but this time it’s the Democrats going on the offensive.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi vowed Thursday to do “whatever it takes” to ensure the GOP’s child nutrition bill “never sees the light of day on the floor of the House.”

Pelosi was one of six Democratic lawmakers to lead advocacy groups in a Capitol Hill rally against the reauthorization bill (H.R. 5003), which would open the door to making federal school meal programs into a block grant – a controversial move that anti-hunger groups believe would fundamentally threaten one of the federal government’s most successful nutrition programs.

“This is a moral issue. It isn’t even an issue – it’s a value,” Pelosi said. “We’re having a values debate right now with the Republicans. They want to give tax credits to their rich friends and then say, ‘We have to balance the budget, so let’s take food out of the mouths of babies to do it.’ It’s just plain wrong.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/7oa

 


 

 

Judge upholds suspension of student who chewed pastry into the shape of a gun Washington Post

 

A Maryland judge has upheld the suspension of an elementary school boy who chewed his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun and pretended to shoot classmates, supporting a finding that the boy disrupted his class and that his family was not denied due process as it appealed what has become known as the “Pop Tart case.”

Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Ronald A. Silkworth ruled that the school system could reasonably consider that the boy’s actions in March 2013 were disruptive and that “a suspension was appropriately used as a corrective tool to address this disruption, based on the student’s past history of escalating behavioral issues,” according to his 11-page ruling. He upheld an earlier ruling that supported the two-day suspension from the Maryland State Board of Education.

Silkworth’s opinion comes in a case that has attracted national attention and inspired legislative efforts to limit punishments for certain kinds of school misbehavior. Florida passed a bill in 2014 to limit zero-tolerance practices at schools, including discipline for “brandishing partially consumed pastry,” or other food items, to simulate a weapon.

The case started less than three months after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., at a time of heightened sensitivities about guns in schools. A string of D.C.-area children were suspended around the time for imaginary or toy guns.

The father of the suspended boy in Maryland said he is considering next steps but remains interested in clearing his son’s record. The boy, who was 7 at the time of the incident, is now 11 and is completing fifth grade this week.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7ob

 


 

 

Transgender teen talks about bullying in powerful video USA Today

 

The hashtag known as #IAmAMisfit is gaining traction on social after pop duo High Dive Heart teamed up with trans teen Corey Maison to help raise awareness on the severe impact of bullying.

The teen, who remains silent, holds up note cards to tell her story about not fitting in with the other kids. Maison writes: “I might look happy now, I haven’t always been. I’ve known I was different all my life.”

The bullying she received from boys her age was so bad, she writes, that she was reduced to tears daily. She was even told to kill herself and that no one would miss her.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7on

 


 

 

Ex-EPISD administrators plead guilty in scheme El Paso (TX) Times

 

Two former El Paso Independent School District administrators on Thursday formally pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States for their role in the district’s 2006-2013 cheating scheme.

Maria Flores and Vanessa Foreman appeared Thursday morning in U.S. District Court in El Paso, speaking only to enter their guilty pleas and to answer Senior Judge David Briones’ questions with, “Yes, your honor.”

They are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28, more than a month after the Aug. 15 trial of six other ex-administrators accused in the scheme is set to begin.

Flores and Foreman may be called to testify at the trial and any other court proceedings, according to their plea agreement. They could receive lighter sentences if they give “substantial assistance” to law enforcement and prosecutors, or the plea agreement could be “null and void” if they give false testimony, Briones told them.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7oq

 


 

 

Copper River superintendent chosen as Alaska’s next education commissioner

(Anchorage) Alaska Dispatch News

 

The Alaska Board of Education and Early Development on Thursday unanimously selected Michael Johnson of Glennallen, superintendent of the Copper River School District, as the state’s next education commissioner and Gov. Bill Walker approved the appointment.

“I’m very excited. It’s a huge honor,” Johnson said in a phone interview Thursday about his new job. “I can’t think of a better state to be called to be the commissioner for than the state of Alaska.”

Johnson, 47, will start as Alaska’s education commissioner July 1 with an annual salary of $141,156, said Eric Fry, spokesman for the education department. The salary is set by law, he said.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7oe

 


 

 

Louisiana Student Denied Graduation Still Gets Celebration Associated Press

 

NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana honors student and standout athlete who was blocked from participating in his graduation ceremony last month because of facial hair is getting the celebration he was denied.

Democratic state Rep. Katrina Jackson of Monroe and the Rev. Roosevelt Wright III of New Orleans are sponsoring a delayed ceremony for Andrew Jones. The new celebration is scheduled Friday at 7 p.m. at the African-American Heritage Museum in Hammond.

Tangipahoa Parish Schools Superintendent Mark Kolwe (KOHL-way) has defended the decision to prohibit Jones, a 4.0 student and his class’ valedictorian, from walking with his class at Amite (ay-MEET) High School, saying rules have to be enforced and Jones received enough warning before the ceremony to shave.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7op

 


 

 

Secretary King Announces Recipients of the 2016 President’s Education Awards Program

 

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the 2016 President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP) recipients, honoring nearly 3 million students from more than 30,000 public, private and military schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands  and the Virgin Islands.

Each year K-12 students from across the country are eligible to receive individual recognition from the President and the U.S. Secretary of Education for their educational excellence and academic growth in the classroom. The award includes a congratulatory letter and certificate signed by the current President, Secretary and school principal.

“I want to congratulate each and every one of the students and encourage them to continue to strive to do their very best, said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “Your hard work and dedication is what helped you to achieve this recognition. So stay focused and remember that a good education is an important key to your future success and to helping you achieve your goals in life.”

The program has two categories that honor students graduating from elementary, middle or high schools:

The President’s Award for Educational Excellence – This award recognizes academic success in the classroom. To be eligible, students must meet a few requirements, including grade point average or school-set criteria and choice of state tests or teacher recommendations.

The President’s Award for Educational Achievement – This award recognizes students that show outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment or intellectual development in their academic subjects but do not meet the criteria for the Educational Excellence Award.  Its purpose is to encourage and reward students who give their best effort, often in the face of special obstacles. Criteria for this award is developed at each school.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7om

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

July 12:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

 

July 13:

Education Interim Committee meeting

1:15 p.m., 30 House Building

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

 

 

July 14:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

August 11:

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

 

 

August 12:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

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