Education News Roundup: July 7, 2016

 

 

Education News Roundup

Education News Roundup

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

UPSTART is expanding.

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

 

Lt. Gov. Cox talks of Common Core.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7uN (DCC)

 

Which states spend more on incarceration than education?

http://gousoe.uen.org/7uF (WaPo)

or a copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/7uG (ED)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Online preschool program UPSTART expanding again via $2M Board of Education grant Board of Education funds will allow up to 10K kids to enroll, use the software program for free.

 

Cox speaks of state’s issues, successes

 

Finding answers to poverty

 

Maple Mountain welders take 3rd in SkillsUSA competition

 

S.L. teacher named Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow

 

Teen Suicide Rates Alarmingly Up

 

Rep. Stewart launches refugee back-to-school supply drive

 

S.L. County libraries offering STEM camps for teens

 

The newest rising star in education is a country you may have trouble finding on a map

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Utah’s Strong, Diverse Economy Needs More Qualified Workers

 

Hope for Education

 

Thanks, students, for all you taught me

 

The Teachers’ Candidate

How Hillary Clinton is changing the Democratic Party’s relationship with the school-reform movement.

 

Digging Deeper Into That New, Bipartisan Career and Tech. Ed. Bill in Congress

 

Proposed Block Grants for School Meals Trouble Child-Nutrition Groups

 

Why The Opt Out Movement Is Crucial For The Future Of Public Education

 

How States Can Advance Deeper Learning for All

 


 

 

NATION

 

The states that spend more money on prisoners than college students

 

Texas, other states ask judge for injunction in transgender lawsuit

 

Federal judge denies Gloucester School Board’s request to stop injunction

 

NYC public school overcrowding increases, with 80% of students in classes exceeding state-set class size limits

 

School’s Out, And For Many Students, So Is Lunch

 

Android Co-Founder To Lead Google’s New Education Project Rich Miner has spent the past seven years with Google Ventures.

 

Two Ooltewah High School administrators not returning after rape incident

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Online preschool program UPSTART expanding again via $2M Board of Education grant Board of Education funds will allow up to 10K kids to enroll, use the software program for free.

 

The UPSTART online preschool program is set to expand again after securing a $2 million grant from the Utah Board of Education.

That funding is in addition to a $2 million UPSTART expansion approved by lawmakers in January, vetoed by Gov. Gary Herbert in March and restored by lawmakers during a special session in May.

Waterford Institute, which administers UPSTART, announced the Board of Education grant on Wednesday, adding that its combined state funding will allow up to 10,000 Utah children to enroll and use the software program for free.

In a prepared statement, UPSTART Executive Director Claudia Miner said the program has proven to be one of the most successful kindergarten-readiness tools in the state.

“UPSTART is all about supporting the family in preparing young children for kindergarten and a love of learning,” she said.

With the Board of Education grant, UPSTART’s total annual funding from public sources is roughly $8.7 million, up from $4.7 million in 2015.

Students are expected to use the program for 15 minutes each day, five days a week, and some eligible families receive free computers and internet access.

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

 


 

 

Cox speaks of state’s issues, successes

 

NORTH SALT LAKE—On the eve of the primary election last week, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox spent an hour with interested voters at the home of Rep. Becky Edwards in North Salt Lake, answering questions about issues of concern ranging from education to Medicaid.

With each topic, he tried to clear the air and set straight some misconceptions.

Common Core, he said, was not a federal mandate. It was, in fact, initiated by Republican governors who wanted to raise the educational standards in their states and make them consistent between states.

“Our legislature passed a law saying the federal government will have no control over education in our state,” he said.

The governor’s office is not permitted control either, he said, due to a requirement implemented when Utah became a state that gives that responsibility to the State Board of Education.

“But we have the authority to review our standards,” he said, and changes were made after an exploratory committee reviewed them.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7uN (DCC)

 


 

 

Finding answers to poverty

 

Some 40 percent of Sevier County children who currently live in poverty are at risk of remaining so as adults, according to the Utah Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission’s annual report.

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox hosted a meeting in Richfield June 30 to discuss the causes of, and possible solutions to, intergenerational poverty. Approximately 60 people, including ecclesiastical, civic, education and business leaders attended.

“Government is not great at a lot of things government tries to do,” Cox said. “One thing government is good at is bringing people together.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/7uM (Richfield Reaper)

 


 

 

Maple Mountain welders take 3rd in SkillsUSA competition

 

SPANISH FORK — The Maple Mountain High School team of junior welding fabricators took third place in the nation at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Maple Mountain’s team consisted of Tyler Christmas, Ben Warnick and Tosh Davis, who were accompanied their teacher and coach, Jared Massic. During the competition, the students built an metal toolbox from scratch in 6.5 hours.

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

 


 

 

S.L. teacher named Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Nathan Auck, a teacher at the Salt Lake City School District’s Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, has been selected as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Auck was selected from a nationwide pool to participate in the program from Sept. 1 through July 31, 2017, in the Washington, D.C., area.

The program’s goal is to provide outstanding educators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics the opportunity to bring their insights, knowledge and practical experience to help inform the establishment and implementation of federal education programs.

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

 


 

 

Teen Suicide Rates Alarmingly Up

 

Prevention specialists are trying to determine why the teen suicide rate in Utah has tripled in recent years.

Suicide is now the leading cause of death for youths aged 10 to 17, and the numbers are twice the national average. 86 Utah youths took their lives from 2012 to 2014.

In 2007, 3 out of every 100,000 youths was the suicide rate, now that number sits at 8.5 out of 100,000.

Risk factors include the Western mentality of self reliance, where at risk teens are reluctant to seek help, and higher rates of gun ownership. 45 percent of Utah’s youth suicides were committed with a handgun.

http://gousoe.uen.org/7uL (Lake Powell Life)

 


 

 

Rep. Stewart launches refugee back-to-school supply drive

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, is launching a drive to collect school supplies to help refugee children living in Utah. The Reaching Out to Refugees back-to-school drive will run through Aug. 3.

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

 


 

 

S.L. County libraries offering STEM camps for teens

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Library system is offering several free science, technology, engineering and mathematics camps for teenagers in July and August.

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

 


 

 

The newest rising star in education is a country you may have trouble finding on a map

 

The rising star in education innovation may be Estonia. And according to the Hechinger report, it gets its momentum not by ignoring struggling students at the bottom of the curve but by pulling them along.

“We have been able to keep education very even,” Jürgen Ligi, the Estonian minister of education, told Hechinger. “It has worked.”

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Utah’s Strong, Diverse Economy Needs More Qualified Workers Utah Policy commentary by columnist LaVarr Webb

 

To repeat an overused cliché, Utah’s economic eggs aren’t all in one basket – and that’s a very good thing.

Utah’s widely diverse economy is a major reason the state is enjoying strong job growth and economic prosperity, say Utah’s top economic development officials.

Public and higher education remain a top economic development priority, said Hale, for two reasons. First, the education system must prepare workers for the high-tech jobs of the future. Second, companies and workers won’t come to Utah if executives and workers worry their children won’t receive a top-quality education.

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

 


 

 

Hope for Education

Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist Katharine Biele

 

Well, it looks like State School Board incumbent Leslie Castle is on her way out—that is, unless she somehow eeks enough votes to push out the second-highest vote-getter, Shelly Teuscher in a District 7 contest with odds-on favorite Carol Lear. Why is this significant? Castle is an enthusiastic supporter of a policy to dumb down teaching in Utah. The board recently voted to allow hiring college graduates without formal teaching credentials. “We’re not getting enough out of university programs—this is another route,” Castle said in a story in the Epoch Times. The Times is a publication with ties to the Chinese Falun Gong, and you know how the Chinese revere education. So, Utah is poised to have teachers teaching non-teachers how to teach while teaching kids in the classroom. Besides being a huge slap in the face to teachers, it’s going to be interesting to see if other graduates will opt for the low pay and long hours that go with a job they didn’t aspire to.

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

 


 

 

Thanks, students, for all you taught me

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Patricia Poulson Peleschka

 

This is a special thank you note to all the special, wonderful children I taught during my 30 years of having the distinct privilege of being their teacher.

Truly it was the other way around! I learned about life, love, compassion and empathy. These were the gifts you freely gave to me by letting me into your hearts through pictures, letters and hugs.

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

 


 

 

The Teachers’ Candidate

How Hillary Clinton is changing the Democratic Party’s relationship with the school-reform movement.

Slate commentary by Dana Goldstein

 

At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton had a huge smile on her face.

It wasn’t (only) because FBI Director James Comey had announced he would not recommend criminal charges against her. At the same moment that Comey was opening his press conference, Clinton was being received rapturously by a key Democratic Party interest group:  the National Education Association, America’s largest teachers’ union with 3 million members.

Clinton’s speech to the NEA was notable both for what she said and, perhaps even more so, for what she didn’t say. She promised to expand access to child care and pre-K, pay teachers more, forgive their college debt, construct new school buildings, and bring computer science courses into K-12 education. While a brief mention of successful charter schools (most of which are not unionized) was met with scattered boos, for the most part the audience of activist teachers greeted Clinton ecstatically, chanting “Hillary, Hillary!”

Following eight years of federally driven closures and turnarounds of schools with low test scores, which have put union jobs at risk, it was music to the NEA’s ears when the presumptive Democratic nominee promised to end “the education wars” and “stop focusing only on quote, ‘failing schools.’ Let’s focus on all our great schools, too.” And in a big departure from the school-reform rhetoric of President Barack Obama, the only time Clinton referenced “accountability” was to refer not to getting rid of bad teachers, but to giving unions a bigger voice in education policy. “Advise me and hold me accountable,” she said. “Keep advocating for your students and your profession.”

This speech, the first big moment for K-12 education in this general election, signals a potentially meaningful shift in Democratic Party education politics.

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

 


 

 

Digging Deeper Into That New, Bipartisan Career and Tech. Ed. Bill in Congress Education Week commentary by columnist Andrew Ujifusa

 

Could we see not one, but two reauthorizations of major federal education laws inside of one year?

If President Barack Obama gives his thumbs-up to a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act before mid-December, we’ll have two such bill signings inside of 365 days—remember, Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act on Dec. 10, 2015. But what’s in the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act?

Late last month, I touched on some of the general themes and intentions of the legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa. But I rang up a couple of observers to see what else in the bill caught their attention, in advance of a House education committee markup on the legislation scheduled for Thursday.

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

 


 

 

Proposed Block Grants for School Meals Trouble Child-Nutrition Groups Education Week commentary by columnist Evie Blad

 

Child nutrition groups and Democrats in Congress say a proposal to offer blanket block grants to fund school meal programs in up to three states may threaten equity and lead to inadequate nutrition for low-income children who often rely on school food more than their wealthier peers.

The House plan to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, which sets rules for school meals, would offer the block grants in exchange for lifting federal meal program rules in participating states. In exchange, the states, which would have to apply to participate in the block grant option, would have to offer at least one “affordable” meal a day. Supporters of the plan, including sponsor Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), say it would allow for flexibility at the state and local level and allow for innovative use of federal funds to feed students.

But anti-poverty groups, House Democrats, and the School Nutrition Association have vowed to fight the proposal, which is not included in the Senate’s Child Nutrition Act bill. Here’s why.

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

 


 

 

Why The Opt Out Movement Is Crucial For The Future Of Public Education Huffington Post commentary by Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education, New York University

 

Many parents and educators are outraged by the over-testing and misuse of testing that has been embedded in federal policy since the enactment of No Child Left Behind in 2002. No high-performing nation in the world tests every child every year in grades 3-8, as we have since the passage of NCLB.

Young children sit for exams that last up to 15 hours over two weeks. The fate of their teachers rests on their performance. Parents remember taking tests in school that lasted no more than one class period for each subject. Their tests were made by their teachers, not by a multinational corporation. Parents can’t understand how testing became an endurance trial and the goal of education.

Politicians claim that the tests are necessary to inform parents and teachers and the public how children in one state are doing as compared to their peers in other states. But this information is already reported by the federal test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

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

 


 

 

How States Can Advance Deeper Learning for All National Association of State Boards of Education analysis

 

Problem solving, resilience, and self-reflection remain buzzwords in education. These skills and attributes—along with others that are often referred to as “deeper learning” skills—are key to students’ college, career, and civic success. Yet the barriers to deeper learning in schools serving large numbers of diverse and high-poverty student populations are significant. “How States Can Advance Deeper Learning for All,” explores how three domains: resources, rigor, and educational experiences, can be analyzed by states to ensure equitable access to deeper learning skills in the classroom.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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The states that spend more money on prisoners than college students Washington Post

 

Since 1990, state and local spending on prisons and jails has risen more than three times faster than spending on schools, according to a new Department of Education report released Thursday.

Driving that disparity is the unprecedented rise in the incarcerated population over that time period, due in large part to the drug war and mandatory minimum sentencing policies designed to lock people up for long periods of time. The United States is now home to less than 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of the world’s imprisoned people.

The Department of Education report traces how that shift has impacted state and local budgets. Prison spending is still a fraction of overall pre-K through 12 education spending: States spend $71 billion on prisons and $534 billion on schools each year. But that combined state and local prison budget is now over an eighth the size of the school budget. Back in 1990, prison spending was a sixteenth the size of education spending.

“Budgets reflect our values, and the trends revealed in this analysis are a reflection of our nation’s priorities that should be revisited,” said Education Secretary John B. King Jr. in a press release accompanying the report. “We need to invest more in prevention than in punishment, to invest more in schools, not prisons.”

While prison spending has risen three times as quickly as school spending nationally, in some states the disparities are far greater. In Colorado, prison spending rose five times faster than school spending. Prison spending grew six times more quickly in South Dakota and seven times in Wyoming. In Texas, where the disparity is greatest, prison spending grew at nearly eight times the rate as school spending.

The disparities between prisons and higher education spending are even starker. State spending on colleges and universities has remained roughly flat, in inflation-adjusted dollars, since 1990. But spending on prisons has nearly doubled. There are now 18 states where taxpayers spend more on jails and prisons than they do on colleges and universities.

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

 

A copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/7uG (ED)

 


 

 

Texas, other states ask judge for injunction in transgender lawsuit Wichita Falls (TX) Times Record News

 

Texas and other plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit over bathroom rights for transgender students now are asking a judge to order the federal government to cease directives for more inclusive bathroom policies.

Texas and its 14 co-plaintiffs filed an injunction against the U.S. departments of Justice and Education, among others, calling recent directives for schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice akin to putting “a gun to the head” of states. The lawsuit initially was filed May 25 in a Wichita Falls federal court.

Though the original complaint in the suit made clear the plaintiffs’ opposition to the federal directive, Wednesday’s injunction motion shone more light on the strategy Texas and other states are using in the case. The 39-page document argues that the Obama administration circumvented rules for notifying parties of rule changes, that inclusive bathrooms will cause “irreparable harm” and that the government is attempting to coerce states by threatening the loss of federal funds.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/7uw (Dallas Morning News)

 

 


 

 

Federal judge denies Gloucester School Board’s request to stop injunction Richmond (VA)Times-Dispatch

 

A federal judge has denied Gloucester County School Board’s request to hold off on a preliminary injunction allowing a transgender student to use the boys’ restroom.

U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar ruled Wednesday that the injunction will stay in place as the school district continues to appeal the decision to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and, if that appeal fails, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Doumar wrote that based on a prior appeals court ruling and “evidence submitted by declaration in this case, the preliminary injunction was warranted.”

“There are no grounds for a stay,” he wrote.

Gavin Grimm sued the school district last year for the right to use the boys’ restroom after the School Board enacted a policy limiting bathroom use to the one corresponding with a person’s biological sex rather than the gender with which one identifies. Grimm was born female but identifies as male.

The policy allows for unisex bathrooms.

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

 


 

 

NYC public school overcrowding increases, with 80% of students in classes exceeding state-set class size limits New York Daily News

 

Big Apple public school classes are bigger than ever — with younger students bearing the brunt of the overcrowding, a new analysis of city Education Department data shows.

A report issued Wednesday by the nonprofit Education Law Center shows that class sizes in city schools crept up again in the school year that ended in June and class sizes in all grades exceeded limits established by the city under 2007 state law.

The group’s analysis of preliminary city data found class sizes for city high school kids inched up from 26.6 students in 2015 to 26.7 students in 2016.

Likewise, average junior high class sizes bumped up from 27 to 27.1 kids.

Average elementary school class sizes increased from 26.1 kids to 26.2 kids for grades four and five, but were nearly flat at 24.6 kids per class on average for students in kindergarten through grade three.

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

 


 

 

School’s Out, And For Many Students, So Is Lunch NPR

 

Summer break for many students is a time to kick back, play outside, and hang out with friends. For a significant portion of public school students in the United States, however, the end of school also brings a familiar question—what’s for lunch?

During the school year, about 30.3 million children receive free or reduced-price lunches at their public schools. But in the summer, only 2.6 million of those students receive a free or reduced lunch. That’s fewer than 10 percent.

When school is out, free lunches are only offered at select locations through each school district, not at every school, so transportation is often the biggest barrier between kids and lunch.

Alexandria, Va., is one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. — its median annual income of $83,135 is the 23rd-highest in the country.

And yet, 76 percent of students at Francis C. Hammond Middle School in northwest Alexandria receive free and reduced-price lunches from the school during the year.

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

 


 

 

Android Co-Founder To Lead Google’s New Education Project Rich Miner has spent the past seven years with Google Ventures.

Fortune

 

Earlier this year I was in an elevator with Rich Miner, the Android co-founder who has been a general partner with Google Ventures since the corporate venture capital group was formed in 2009. We talked about our kids, and the difficulty in finding quality educational apps and other kid-focused Internet services that weren’t primarily either: (a) Babysitters; and/or (b) Ad delivery devices.

At the time, it just felt like idle elevator conversation. But that was my mistake, because Miner is now planning to launch an education-focused company within Google. This also means that he’ll be stepping down as a general partner with GV, transitioning into a venture partner role through which he’ll maintain some of his existing portfolio board seats.

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

 


 

 

Two Ooltewah High School administrators not returning after rape incident Chattanooga (TN) Times Free Press

 

In the wake of the 2015 rape of an Ooltewah High School freshman, allegedly by three of his basketball teammates, two of the school’s former top administrators will not return to Hamilton County schools this fall.

Former Ooltewah Principal Jim Jarvis was approved this week by the Hamilton County Department of Education for a leave of absence, after being assigned in May to an assistant principal position at East Hamilton Middle/High School.

Allard “Jesse” Nayadley also notified school officials this week of his intention to resign from the district.

Stacy Stewart, Hamilton County Schools’ assistant superintendent of human resources, said replacements for both Jarvis and Nayadley will be named by the school system’s department of operations.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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/Interim/2016/html/00003010.htm

 

 

July 13:

Education Interim Committee meeting

1:15 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2016/html/00002955.htm

 

 

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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