Education News Roundup: Sept. 30 – 2016

Utah educators participating in the Digital Teaching and Learning Bootcamp.

Utah educators participating in the Digital Teaching and Learning Bootcamp/ Sarah Young

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Gov. Gary Herbert to seek $400 million more for schools in next budget http://gousoe.uen.org/83C (SLTrib)

 

Former employee charged with defrauding Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind http://gousoe.uen.org/83j DNews) http://gousoe.uen.org/83A (SLTrib)

 

New U. research center seeking solutions for refugees http://gousoe.uen.org/83k (DNews)

 

On-time high school graduation rate in Virginia tops 91 percent http://gousoe.uen.org/83q (WaPo)

 

What the New Education Law Means for School Testing The Every Student Succeeds Act lets states set their own academic standards http://gousoe.uen.org/83x (WSJ)

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Gov. Gary Herbert to seek $400 million more for schools in next budget

 

Utahns are concerned about education but split on letting untrained educators teach, poll shows

 

Two Utah schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

 

Parents, Iron County School Board clash over bullying, suicide

 

Former employee charged with defrauding Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind

 

New U. research center seeking solutions for refugees

 

Roy Junior High hosts police, cupcake trucks, emergency vehicles at Career Day

 

Pingree Autism Center Expands Adolescents Program

 

Proposed $387 million bond would include funding for more security in Alpine School District

 

Utah schools on high alert in light of recent security threats

 


OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Why a judge’s ruling on education funding puts Connecticut at a crossroads A warning — and a chance at redemption

 

Understanding the Teacher Shortage Crisis and the Solutions to Fix it

 

Many Americans know nothing about their government. Here’s a bold way schools can fix that.

 


NATION

 

Girl, 8, Gets $10k Scholarship to North Texas After Video

 

On-time high school graduation rate in Virginia tops 91 percent

 

The Ticking Clock of Teacher Burnout

On average, American educators spend more hours with students than their international counterparts—and that may not be a good thing.

 

What the New Education Law Means for School Testing The Every Student Succeeds Act lets states set their own academic standards

 

California proposes pesticide buffer zones around schools and day cares

 

Questions Of Race And Charter Schools Divide Education Reformers


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UTAH NEWS

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Gov. Gary Herbert to seek $400 million more for schools in next budget

 

Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday he plans to seek as much as an additional $400 million in education money when he rolls out his proposed budget in December.

The infusion of new money would be on top of $1.8 billion in new money the state has already put toward education — both higher education and K-12 schools — in the past five years.

“We will end up putting more money into education,” Herbert told The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board, and if the trend continues, Utah will close its education-spending gap with the rest of the country.

Utah remains last in the nation in per-pupil spending on K-12 students. According to the most recent figures available, Utah spends $6,500 a year on each of the roughly 643,000 children attending school.

The national average is $11,009.

Despite the increased education spending that Herbert touts, Utah still spends $83 less per student than when he took office in 2009, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2014, the most recent year available.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83C (SLTrib)

 


Utahns are concerned about education but split on letting untrained educators teach, poll shows

 

Utahns are concerned about education, according to a new poll, but are divided on whether untrained educators should be allowed to teach.

A plurality of likely voters, 27 percent, identified education as the most important issue facing the state, ahead of topics like the economy (19 percent), public lands (6 percent), immigration (5 percent) and health care (4 percent).

But when asked about the new state school board rule allowing college graduates without teaching degrees to teach in public school classrooms, 50 percent of poll respondents disapproved of the policy, 46 percent approved and 4 percent either didn’t know or preferred not to answer.

The poll included 820 likely Utah voters, and was conducted between Sept. 12 and 19 by Dan Jones & Associates for The Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.42 percentage points.

“As with any new program,” school board Chairman David Crandall said, “it’s going to take awhile for everybody to understand the nuances.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/83g (SLTrib)

 


Two Utah schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

 

This year’s list of National Blue Ribbon Schools includes two northern Utah honorees, U.S. Secretary of Education John King announced Wednesday.

Those schools are Edith Bowen Laboratory School, located on Logan’s Utah State University campus, and Brigham City’s Discovery Elementary School.

In a video announcing this year’s award winners, King said the Blue Ribbon program is proof that every child can be prepared for college and careers.

“Your schools are on the cutting edge,” King said, “pioneering innovative educational practices — professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems — making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/83h (SLTrib)

 


Parents, Iron County School Board clash over bullying, suicide

 

CEDAR CITY — Emotions flared at an Iron County School Board meeting this week over the topic of bullying and suicide.

Tuesday’s meeting occurred as the community mourns the death of a 16-year-old Jason Dozier who took his own life on Sept. 14.

Things got so heated at Tuesday’s school board meeting and board members called for law enforcement to be present. Bryce Garant, Jason’s father, alleged that the school district didn’t do enough to protect his son from constant bullying.

“I don’t think we need to put everybody in this room through the verbal abuse, excuse me, that you just put our board through,” said one of the school board members.

Using sometimes graphic language, Garant spoke directly to the school board.

“You’re all negligent, and you’re all going to be held responsible,” he said, adding that years of bullying against his son went unanswered by school officials.

“We did everything we could. We notified you guys. He’d been bullied for six years. We called the police, the principals, the staff. Everybody knew it,” Garant said.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83i (DNews)

http://gousoe.uen.org/83n (KSL)

 


Former employee charged with defrauding Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind

 

OGDEN — A former financial analyst for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind was charged Thursday with stealing more than $67,000 from school accounts since 2011.

Leslie Sue White, 44, of Ogden, is charged in 2nd District Court with communications fraud and two counts of unlawful use of a financial transaction card, all second-degree felonies, as well as third-degree felony theft.

White’s alleged fraud was outlined in a report released by the Office of the Utah State Auditor in July, but she was named publicly for the first time Thursday.

It wasn’t until White’s job at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind ended in January that the fraud was discovered, court documents say. She was fired in April. Charges say she carried on a financial scheme beginning in November 2011 and continuing through early this year.

“Funds were misappropriated, reports were falsified, documents were missing, tax exemption was used improperly, and there were untimely deposits of cash receipts,” the charges state.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83j (DNews)

http://gousoe.uen.org/83A (SLTrib)

 


New U. research center seeking solutions for refugees

 

SALT LAKE CITY — As an increasing number of refugees and immigrants come to Utah, a new collaborative research initiative at the University of Utah will look for the best ways to help them succeed in their new home.

The Center for Research on Migration and Refugee Integration celebrated its official launch Wednesday, making it the first institution of its kind west of the Mississippi. Caren Frost, the center’s director, said that considering the welcoming climate Utah offers refugees and migrants, there is ample opportunity to research best integration practices and community needs here.

At a kickoff event at the U. on Wednesday, Fatima Dirie, a refugee from Somalia who now works as the refugee community liaison in the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office, said she wishes the university would have had the same kind of program when she was a student.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83k (DNews)

 

 

Roy Junior High hosts police, cupcake trucks, emergency vehicles at Career Day

 

ROY — The seventh grade students at Roy Junior High School stood in line Thursday in the hopes of being handcuffed.

In a chorus of other questions, one student asked how police officers are allowed to use the laptop inside the cruiser while driving.

“There’s an exception for us,” school resource officer Ryan Tesch said, clapping handcuffs on one excited student while another took a photo.

The police car was just one of several vehicles at the school’s career day. An ambulance, firetruck, waste management truck and cupcake food truck — painted pink and complete with a pair of eyelashes — were parked along the curb.

Shelby West, a seventh grader, said she likes to act and sing but doesn’t know what she wants to do when she grows up.

“I really like the ambulance because I like the thought of helping people out, but I also like the cupcakes just because it’s different,” she said.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83l (SE)

 


Pingree Autism Center Expands Adolescents Program

 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) Here’s some great news for the community! The Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning has expanded its adolescents program.

With the expansion, the center, can now allow up to 30 children in the program which is a 200 percent expansion over the previous 10 children maximum.

The addition not only includes an increase in capacity, but the program will now have more appropriate pre-vocational training space for adolescents to learn how to cook and prepare meals, do laundry and make a bed.

The center says this expansion has been a need of theirs for years and allows them to be able to educate a higher quality.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83m (ABC4)

 


Proposed $387 million bond would include funding for more security in Alpine School District

 

UTAH COUNTY — If voters in Utah county say ‘yes’ this November, security upgrades could be coming to many schools in the Alpine School District.

“We need to be sure that our kids are learning in a safe environment,” said David Stephenson, administrator of public relations for the Alpine School District.

The Alpine School District has proposed a $387 million bond, and it’s not just to build more schools. The district wants to improve safety measures everywhere.

“We want people to feel welcome here, but yet we want to keep their kids safe,” said Cami Larsen, Principal at Black Ridge Elementary School in Eagle Mountain.

Larsen said after the threat to Eagle Valley Elementary earlier this month, safety is on everyone’s mind.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83o (Fox13)

 


Utah schools on high alert in light of recent security threats

 

State, district, and school officials are making student safety a top priority always but especially right now.

Active shooters and people posing bomb threats are often unstable individuals who schools have no way of foreseeing.

“Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to deal with every possible situation,” explained David Stephenson with Alpine School District.

Still, in light of looming concerns, local districts are doing what they can to tighten up security and keep students safe.

“They have to run emergency drills for elementary schools every month, and for secondary schools every-other month,” explained Mark Peterson, Public Relations Director for the Utah State Board of Education.

Officials say there is also a fine line in protecting children’s emotional well-being.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83z (ABC4)

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Why a judge’s ruling on education funding puts Connecticut at a crossroads A warning — and a chance at redemption The Hechinger Report opinion piece by Mark Paige

 

In early September, just as thousands of children in Connecticut started their first week of school, a trial court judge declared that state’s school finance system unconstitutional.

In a wide-ranging opinion, Judge Moukawsher criticized the state legislature’s approach to educational policy on issues ranging from school construction spending to graduation standards. At each level of analysis, he concluded that the state legislature’s slap-hazard approach to education was “irrational”  and resulted in policies unrelated to “teaching children.”

The judge — to emphasize the significance of the moment — read his decision from the bench, a process that took approximately two hours. In a way, the scene resembled a principal scolding a group of misbehaving school children (in this case politicians) in the principal’s office. Of course, like any good principal, he gave the legislature a stern warning but, at the same time, gave them a chance at redemption. He ordered them to fix the system within 180 days.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83D

 


Understanding the Teacher Shortage Crisis and the Solutions to Fix it Education Week Blog post by Keith Lockwood

 

According to numerous sources, America is experiencing a nationwide teacher shortage that will undoubtedly escalate to a crisis within the next two years. Recent reports state that there are currently over 30,000 teacher vacancies this year that will increase to 70,000 over the next two years—a sobering thought indeed. The reasons for the decline in the number of teachers are correlated to teacher evaluation systems blended with high stakes standardized testing implemented over the past ten years, a shrinking student base in teacher education programs, a lack of respect for the teaching profession, and low …

http://gousoe.uen.org/83E

 


Many Americans know nothing about their government. Here’s a bold way schools can fix that.

Washington Post commentary by Valerie Strauss

 

You probably didn’t notice, but Sept. 17 was Constitution Day. What is that, you ask?

It’s a day that commemorates the signing of the final version of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, by 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention who created a new U.S. government — about which most Americans know embarrassingly little. Congress created Constitution Day in 2004, requiring all schools that receive federal funding to offer some type of “educational program” on the U.S. Constitution on or close to Sept. 17 every year.

A single day is not anywhere nearly enough — certainly not at a time when the country is facing ocean-deep political divisions and when the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has stoked racial fears and encouraged violence while displaying profound ignorance of how the government that he wants to lead works.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83F

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Girl, 8, Gets $10k Scholarship to North Texas After Video

 

GARLAND, Texas (AP) — An 8-year-old girl whose passionate speech about wanting to attend the University of North Texas when she grows up has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship.

Television station KDFW (http://bit.ly/2dwxnLn ) reports that Jordin Phipps was surprised with the scholarship during an assembly Thursday at her elementary school, the Watson Technology Center for Math and Science in Garland.

Jordin’s mother, Nichole Smith, recently posted the video online. It shows Jordin wearing a green University of North Texas T-shirt, talking about her enthusiasm for education, wanting to start her day in a positive way and her pledge to be respectful and study hard.

University officials took notice. They say the third-grade student was awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Leadership. She also was granted admittance, for whenever she wants to enroll.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83p (AP)

 


On-time high school graduation rate in Virginia tops 91 percent

 

More than 90 percent of Virginia’s high school Class of 2016 graduated on time, the highest rate recorded since the state changed how it tracks high school graduations nearly a decade ago.

The on-time graduation rate rose from 90.5 percent last year to 91.3 percent this year, continuing an upward trend since the state started keeping more accurate data in 2008, keeping closer tabs on transfer students and dropouts who were sometimes miscategorized in state data.

“The success demonstrated by our students is a testament to the resolve of teachers, administrators, parents, and community leaders across the Commonwealth to ensure that every individual gets the best possible education,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said in a statement.

The rise in Virginia’s graduation rate tracks with national and regional trends. This year, D.C. Public Schools posted record-high graduation rates, with 69 percent of high school seniors graduating on time. It was a five percentage-point gain over the previous year. The most recent national average was 82 percent.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83q (WaPo)

 


The Ticking Clock of Teacher Burnout

On average, American educators spend more hours with students than their international counterparts—and that may not be a good thing.

 

Would if I only taught part-time?

That was my favorite daydream question as an elementary-school teacher in Massachusetts. Just to be clear, I wasn’t exactly looking to work less than a standard 8- or 9-hour workday. More than anything else, I craved a different schedule, in which I’d teach less on a daily basis and have more time to study my craft, plan better lessons, assess student work, and collaborate with my colleagues. With an average school day of about seven hours, about 5.5 of which I’d spend with my students, I always felt squeezed for time as an educator in the Bay State.

But my teaching environment changed when I moved to Finland. (Long story short: I married a Finn, we purchased one-way tickets to Helsinki in 2013, and I found a classroom teaching job at a Finnish public school, where I taught for two years.) http://gousoe.uen.org/83r (TA)

 


What the New Education Law Means for School Testing The Every Student Succeeds Act lets states set their own academic standards

 

Educators say the new Every Student Succeeds Act is an improvement over the oft-criticized No Child Left Behind Act, started in 2002 with a promise that all American students would be proficient in reading and math by the 2013-14 school year. That didn’t happen.

NCLB was blamed for ushering in a climate of overtesting as districts sought to stay off the federal bad list and away from punitive action for not meeting adequate yearly progress. Some schools gave local assessments and had test prep throughout the year to prepare for the big exams.              Nontest subjects, such as in fine arts, and even recess, got pushed aside.

School leaders also criticized the old law for not being flexible in letting states decide different solutions for troubled schools.

Under the new law, states will set academic standards and determine consequences for not meeting them. States also will use their own systems to identify struggling schools.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83x (WSJ)

 


California proposes pesticide buffer zones around schools and day cares

 

Crop dusting and many other forms of pesticide spraying will be banned within a quarter of a mile of schools and child day-care centers during the bulk of daylight hours, under a rule proposed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

The proposed regulation, which would take effect next September, is the first statewide rule governing how pesticides can be applied in areas where farms lie close to facilities where children congregate. It would affect about 3,500 schools and day-care facilities and involve about 2,500 growers in California, according to the department.

“This regulation not only builds in additional layers of protection for students and school staff that are located in agricultural areas, but it also ensures meaningful communication between farmers and the schools and child day-care facilities that are their neighbors,” Brian Leahy, director of the state Department of Pesticide Regulation, said Thursday.

The department will seek further public comment until Nov. 17.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83y (LAT)

 


Questions Of Race And Charter Schools Divide Education Reformers

 

What does it mean to declare that #blacklivesmatter in education?

Last month the Movement for Black Lives, representing elements of the Black Lives Matter movement and related groups, issued a detailed policy platform denouncing what it called “corporate-backed,” “market driven” “privatization” in school reform, and helped set off a furor over this question.

Under the section labeled “community control,” M4BL called for an end to state and mayoral takeovers of school systems in favor of local, democratically elected boards, more equitable school funding and a de-emphasis on standardized testing. The group also demanded a moratorium on new charter schools, on school closures and on out-of-school suspensions, which they link to the school-to-prison pipeline.

The NAACP also backed a moratorium on charter school expansion in a preliminary resolution over the summer. It cited “weak oversight” of privately managed charters, instances of mismanagement of public funds, “exclusionary discipline” and “increased segregation” as a result of the expansion of charter schools.

http://gousoe.uen.org/83B (UPR)

 

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CALENDAR

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October 6:

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

 

 

October 7:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

October 13:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

October 18:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

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