Education News Roundup: Nov. 01 -2016

 

 

"I Voted Sticker" by Bill.Roehl/CC/flickr

“I Voted Sticker” by Bill.Roehl/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Deseret News looks at the upcoming expansion of the Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fH (DNews)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fJ (KSL)

 

Geneva gets a facelift courtesy of volunteers.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fL (DH)

 

Study: How A Happy School Can Help Students Succeed.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fV (NPR)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fZ(S (RER)

 

The Need to Validate Vocational Interests Assuming college is always the best option turns career-minded students away from true learning.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8g4 (TA)

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Utah adolescents with autism get own ‘high school,’ prevocational education

 

Real Salt Lake players help give kids a head start at reading

 

Three Utah State Board of Education races on Utah County ballots

 

Geneva Elementary gets a facelift courtesy of volunteers, Fidelity Investments

 

Advocates: Program may help more kids get school breakfasts

 

Local principal, teachers transform school into Hogwarts this Halloween

 

14-Year-Old Charged in Connection With Middle School Shooting

 

American Fork’s marching band comes to the rescue of Lone Peak’s band

 

Prosecutors Drop Sexual Exploitation Charges Against Former Hurricane Teacher

 

NEA president shares ideas, insights with educators

 


OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

My view: Young people need and deserve our best vote

 

A whiz in the classroom … but so much more

 

Nelson: Local bond requests are not reasonable

 

Teacher Education “Reforms” Hurt Children and Learning

 

The Need to Validate Vocational Interests Assuming college is always the best option turns career-minded students away from true learning.

 


NATION

 

Minecraft: Education Edition launches today for $5 per user This version of the blockbuster game includes a “Classroom Mode” companion app for educators.

 

How A Happy School Can Help Students Succeed

 

Policy Prescriptions: Clinton and Trump on education

 

Changing school start times stirs controversy in St. Paul

 

Number of home-schooled students has doubled since 1999, new data shows

 

Is Attending the ‘Best’ High School Academically Irrelevant?

A new study shows that the competition to get into selective-enrollment schools may not be worth it.

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Utah adolescents with autism get own ‘high school,’ prevocational education

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Graduating from high school can be momentous for any teenager, but for many with special needs, specifically autism, the milestone is called “the cliff” for a reason.

“It’s what parents call that time when their special-needs kids age out of school, leaving all the supportive services families have come to rely on,” said Julia Hood, director at the Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning.

The uprooting used to happen at the end of elementary school, Hood said, but available services and resources have come a long way.

“And there’s still a long way to go,” she said, adding that the long-term plan is to provide services for people with autism “from birth to death.”

Pingree soon will open an expansion to assist more adolescents with autism — tripling enrollment to serve up to 30 students ages 13 to 18.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fH (DNews)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fJ (KSL)

 


Real Salt Lake players help give kids a head start at reading

 

Phillip and Charlotte listen as Real Salt Lake’s Chris Schuler reads to preschool students at Head Start for National Family Literacy Day in South Salt Lake on Monday. National Family Literacy Day, which is observed each year on Nov. 1, focuses on special activities and events that showcase the importance of family literacy programs. The event, first held in 1994, is a kickoff of National Literacy Month.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fI (DNews)

 


Three Utah State Board of Education races on Utah County ballots

 

Six candidates, two of whom are incumbents, may appear on Utah County residents’ ballots for the Utah State Board of Education.

Below, candidates are grouped together by district, in numerical order, and then by alphabetical order by last name within that race.

District 11 — Cedar Fort, Fairfield, Salt Lake County Lisa Cummins, of Herriman, has named Common Core as her biggest issue in her campaign after being a vocal opponent of it for six years. She also stands for the right to school choice, parents’ rights and teachers’ authority. Cummins said she is against federal intrusion and for increased local control.

“The more centralized power a community has, the better,” Cummins said. “They can solve problems quicker, easier, with less money and less intrusion.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fK (DH)

 


Geneva Elementary gets a facelift courtesy of volunteers, Fidelity Investments

 

Volunteers transformed Geneva Elementary on Saturday with each swing of a hammer, stroke of a paintbrush and shovelful of woodchips.

Nearly 150 volunteers from the school and Fidelity Investments came together for the company’s transformation day.

Kris Liacopoulos, general manager at Fidelity in Salt Lake City, said the local Fidelity employees were at the school to help because they know how having a nice school can impact the students attending.

“We want these kids to grow up, have great lives, help the economy and make stronger communities,” Liacopoulos said.

Some volunteers painted portables, a mural, door frames and the playground equipment while others made a patio for the kids to sit on and made displays inside the school.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fL (DH)

 


Advocates: Program may help more kids get school breakfasts

 

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Too few children from low-income families take advantage of free breakfasts offered at schools, but child nutrition advocates hope a new grant program will help turn that around.

Children who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch are also eligible for free breakfasts at school, but many of those kids don’t take the breakfast.

Advocates say that’s because the meals are served very early before classes start, and their parents are already coping with busy schedules.

Child nutrition groups are instead pushing for more schools to serve breakfast during class time to all students.

Marti Woolford with Utahns Against Hunger said that when meals were served during class time to all students, poor children won’t feel singled out and miss time otherwise spent socializing or preparing for class.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fN (CVD)

 


Local principal, teachers transform school into Hogwarts this Halloween

 

HERRIMAN, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Providence Hall Junior High School seems to have vanished over the weekend!  In its place now stands Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadary from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series (at least for the week).

Good 4 Utah’s Ali Monsen took a tour of the enchanted campus this Halloween.  There, she found magic spells filling the hallways of Hogwarts, as young pupils tried to find their way to class.

“First years this way!” pointed Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.

She also found Harry Potter himself — also known as Principal Brian Fauver — who says he and his teachers have conjured up ideas all year long to make their plan a reality for students.

“It started as a seed and just grew out of control,” Fauver smiled.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fO (ABC4UT)

 


14-Year-Old Charged in Connection With Middle School Shooting

 

SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office officially charged a 14-year-old boy in connection with a shooting at a Sandy middle school.

Police say the 14-year-old Union Middle School student shot a 16-year-old male high school student Tuesday, October 25.

The 16-year-old student was shot twice and he is expected to recover from his injuries.

The 14-year-old was charged with attempted murder and possession of a firearm on school premises along with other gun charges.

The names of the boys involved have not been released because they are juveniles http://gousoe.uen.org/8fP (ABC4UT) http://gousoe.uen.org/8fR (FOX13) http://gousoe.uen.org/8fS (MUR)

 


American Fork’s marching band comes to the rescue of Lone Peak’s band

 

  1. GEORGE — Imagine what you would think being at the biggest marching band competition of the season, to find out you didn’t have a uniform to compete in.

The band was competing in St. George over the weekend but their uniforms were forgotten and left back at the school four hours away.

“So overloaded with emotions already anyway, I was kind of not knowing how to react and so it was half panic and half blank,” said Lone Peak marching band member Kirsten Hamilton.

But as word got around among the Lone Peak band moms through text messages, band moms from American Fork high had a solution.

“We took apart the sashes and gauntlets and pinned those on their uniforms,” said American Fork band mom Mati Mayfield. “We took everything we could to cover that red so when they went out there on the field, they looked like their band and they felt like their band.”

Shorten

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fQ (KSL)

 


Prosecutors Drop Sexual Exploitation Charges Against Former Hurricane Teacher

 

Prosecutors have dropped charges against a former Hurricane school teacher accused of having child porn.

The Spectrum in St. George reported Friday that the state dismissed three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor against Jessica Huntsman earlier this month because of insufficient evidence.

Iron County Attorney Scott Garrett says his office believes the 26-year-old’s possession of three pornographic images on her phone was unintentional.

Huntsman and her husband, Chad Huntsman, were both previously teachers at Diamond Ranch Academy and were arrested in October 2015.

Chad Huntsman pleaded guilty to one count each of production of child pornography and possession of child pornography in federal court in August. He still has a case pending in state court.

School officials say none of the victims were students.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fT (MUR)

 


NEA president shares ideas, insights with educators

 

SALT LAKE CITY—“There is no longer a federal law hanging over our heads,” said Lily Eskelson Garcia, president of the National Education Association. “This is not just an opportunity, it is a responsibility to get this right.”

Eskelsen Garcia was in Utah last week for the convention of the Utah Education Association. During her address at the opening session, she spoke about the end of the No Child Left Behind act and the signing of the new Every Student Succeeds Act.

She said NCLB was “the most idiotic piece of legislation” ever written and called it the “No Child Left Untested” act.

She told of meeting with President Barack Obama and answering his questions about education, then standing in the room with others as he signed the new act.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fW (TDC)

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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My view: Young people need and deserve our best vote Deseret News column by McKell Withers, former superintendent of Salt Lake City School District.

 

Having worked directly with young people, parents and caring professionals for many years, it is clear we have a responsibility to be civically engaged and to help the next generation become wise voters, thoughtful leaders and engaged mentors. With the apparent lack of high-quality candidates with integrity to choose from in many races, what can we do to inspire the next generation to be more engaged and better informed and to exercise their right to vote?

It is not hard to find current candidates who offer few, if any qualities, ideas or actions that will actually benefit society at large, let alone our neighborhoods and communities. Whether it is the local school board candidate who practices hatred, discrimination and a lack of concern for students or the state senator who declares unfunded mandates as the perfect political tool for an elected official to use, we can no longer waste our precious votes on those who only want to promote themselves by hiding behind convenient promises and parroted sound bites.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fF

 


A whiz in the classroom … but so much more Deseret News commentary by Doug Robinson

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Kathy Liu is a 17-year-old whiz kid at West High School, and introductions are definitely in order.

In May, she won a $50,000 science-fair prize for inventing a better battery. She sports a weighted grade-point average of 4.7 with a heavy load of AP classes. She scored a perfect 36 on the ACT. In her free time, she follows tech and science pages on Facebook and enjoys watching TED talks. Ask her about her aspirations, she says: “I’m into interdisciplinary studies. I like technology. I’m leaning toward applied science. I want to see the technologies we develop get into the market. If it just sits there, it’s useless. It should help people.”

You probably think you’ve got her pegged now, but you don’t. She was once a budding gymnast. She ran cross-country until she injured a knee. She is a varsity tennis player, an all-state debate student, a National Merit Finalist and a student body officer. She has begun to study photography. She studied piano until she was in seventh grade and announced that she wanted to switch to the violin, which she had never attempted. Now she plays in the Utah Youth Symphony.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fG

 


Local bond requests are not reasonable

Daily Herald letter to the editor by Mike Nelson

 

We recently received information about bond issues facing Lehi voters.

The city wants a parks bond of $50 million passed. For our home that amounts to about $240 yearly.

We are also in the Alpine School District, which wants a school bond of $387 million passed, which amounts to about $280 yearly.

If passed they will cost us about $520 yearly, a 21 percent increase in our property taxes.

Increase in area population is behind the bond requests and additional money needs to be raised for our parks and schools. But it brings to mind the recent attempt by Jordan School District to pass a bond issue, which the voters defeated citing the extravagance of the buildings. This year Jordan is proposing a bond issue which is more in line with economy and functionality.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fM

 


Teacher Education “Reforms” Hurt Children and Learning Huffington Post Blog post by Alan Singer.

 

This month the United States Department of Education published new regulations that are supposed to ensure “new teachers are ready to succeed in the classroom and that every student is taught by a great educator.” Is every baseball player great? How about every doctor? But somehow these regulations will ensure that the United States only has great teachers.

To ensure “great educators,” states will be required to track teacher education program effectiveness. How? By looking at the test scores of K-12 students that graduates of their programs are teaching. Which means increased pressure on everyone on every level to push test prep over real teaching and learning.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fY

 


The Need to Validate Vocational Interests Assuming college is always the best option turns career-minded students away from true learning.

The Atlantic commentary by Ashley Lamb-Sinclair

 

At a recent conference, I listened to a university president boast about a program she had developed in partnership with several local high schools. She told the story of one teenager who lived in a rural area and worked full time on his family’s farm in addition to attending high school. The university president explained that the young man had little promise for attending college because of his circumstances. But through the dual-credit program, he was able to gain college credit while still in high school, which gave him the confidence to seek an associate’s degree in agriculture and return home to work on his family farm. I listened as she proudly told this young man’s story and the audience cheered for both of them, and all I could think was: What an extraordinary waste of time.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8g4

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Minecraft: Education Edition launches today for $5 per user This version of the blockbuster game includes a “Classroom Mode” companion app for educators.

 

The blockbuster game Minecraft is heading to a school near you.

Microsoft on Tuesday launched Minecraft: Education Edition to more than 50 countries around the world. This version of the game costs $5 per user.

While Minecraft started out as a simple world-building game employing the digital equivalent of Legos, educators and parents quickly discovered that it also helps kids learn everything from programming to science and art.

While Minecraft: Education Edition launched with an early access version in June, but the full version gets a companion app called “Classroom Mode.” The app helps educators manage world settings, communicate with students, dole out items and teleport students into the Minecraft world. There are also resources like Minecraft Mentors.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fX (CNET)

 


How A Happy School Can Help Students Succeed

 

Every day at Weiner Elementary School starts with a dance party, usually to Best Day Of My Life by American Authors — and that’s before the 7:50 a.m. bell even rings.

Then comes the morning assembly, where all 121 students and the staff gather for 20 minutes in the cafeteria of the school in Weiner, Ark. They sing songs and learn about an artist, a musician and an international city of the week.

They celebrate birthdays. A lucky student is crowned Student of the Day. And Pam Hogue makes it her goal to be an educator instead of a principal.

That assembly — and the many other things this school does to create a sense of community and happiness — is part of what experts call school climate.

“It’s a feeling in a building,” Hogue explains. “When you walk in here, it just feels right. It looks like a place where learning is happening.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fV (NPR)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8fZ(S (RER)

 


Policy Prescriptions: Clinton and Trump on education

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — A quality education for all students, especially young children, is something Hillary Clinton has been talking about for decades. It’s mostly new territory for Donald Trump, who more recently has been touting his education ideas beyond his oft-repeated criticism of Common Core.

The Republican presidential nominee added plans for education to his still relatively thin roster of policy proposals last month, unveiling an effort to spend $20 billion during his first year in office to help states expand school choice programs.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8g0 (AP)

 


Changing school start times stirs controversy in St. Paul

 

St. Paul middle and high schoolers may soon be sleeping later in the morning, while some young students may have to roll out of bed early.

The St. Paul school district has a plan to move most middle and high schools to an 8:30 a.m. start time, after shelving a time change in 2015.

Supporters of moving high school and middle school start times point to research showing teens are biologically programmed to fall asleep and wake later than younger children.

“I have a hard time waking up, and so my brain usually doesn’t start working until about 8, 8:30,” said Highland Park senior Davina Newman.

Davina said she has more control over her schedule this year because she’s taking college classes. “My earliest class is 8, but next semester I won’t have any classes that start before 9 because I feel like my brain really starts working around 9,” she said.

With school start times of 8:35 a.m. or later, most students at eight schools in a 2014 University of Minnesota study got at least eight hours of sleep.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8g1 (MPR)

 


Number of home-schooled students has doubled since 1999, new data shows

 

Approximately 1.8 million U.S. children were home-schooled in 2012, more than double the number that were home-schooled in 1999, when the federal government began gathering data on national home-schooling trends, according to estimates released Tuesday. The estimated number of home-schooled children represents 3.4 percent of the U.S. student population between the ages of 5 and 17.

The increase was fastest between 1999 and 2007, then slowed between 2007 and 2012, according to the estimates from the National Center for Education Statistics.

The figures show that most home-schoolers were white and living above the poverty line in 2012. An estimated 4 in 10 home-schoolers had parents who graduated from college, while about 1 in 10 had parents whose formal education ended before they graduated from high school.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8g2 (WAPo)

 


Is Attending the ‘Best’ High School Academically Irrelevant?

A new study shows that the competition to get into selective-enrollment schools may not be worth it.

 

It’s a rite of passage for parents in many parts of the country: Try to get your kids into the “right” high school. Parents of means move to leafy suburbs known for their great public schools, which are open to all children of families who can afford hefty mortgages. Wealthy families who remain in cities often choose private schools or else hope for a spot at an elite selective school. These slots are cherished, and families who can afford them often hire tutors to prepare their kids for a grueling admissions test.

And who can blame them? In New York City, specialized schools, like Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Latin, earn top spots in national rankings. In Chicago, Walter Payton High School—which is also nationally renowned—accepted only about one in four students of the more than 16,000 who applied in 2014.

But what if the high-school rat race is largely for naught?

http://gousoe.uen.org/8g3 (TA)

 

 

 

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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

 

 

November 3:

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

2:15 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

November 4:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

8 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

November 10:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

November 15:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

 

November 16:

Education Interim Committee meeting

1:15 p.m., 30 House Building

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

 

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