Education News Roundup: Dec. 5 – 2016

 

 

A Venture Academy student admires a gingerbread replica of the Governor's Mansion.

A student admires a gingerbread replica of the Governor’s Mansion.

Today’s Top Picks:

Trib looks further into Utah charter schools and the state procurement code.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8sj (SLT)

 

Standard looks at the flip-side of graduation rates, dropout rates.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rX (OSE)

 

Dueling op-eds look at Utah education funding:

More needed from Dixie Huefner, John Bennion, Kim Burningham, M. Donald Thomas and Rickie McCandless http://gousoe.uen.org/8rG (SLT) Not so from Connor Boyack http://gousoe.uen.org/8rM (SLT)

 

Virginia parents sue a school counselor for not disclosing son’s suicidal thoughts to them.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8sd (WaPo)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Utah charter lobbyist says procurement code’s lease exception protects schools Education » Limited space could be bought out and tenant prices increased if potential locations disclosed in advance.

 

Utah’s dropout rate increases slightly to 13 percent

 

University of Utah developing plan to boost enrollment of Pacific Islander students

 

DATC president talks inclusive revamp of UCAT policies, appropriation model

 

Suicidal student had planned stabbing spree, affidavit says

 

Northern Utah Autism Program volunteer accused of stealing $5K in donations

 

Mueller Park overwhelmed by community support after gun was fired in school

 

Washington County School District reacts to violence in Utah schools

 

Psychologist discusses warning signs, following scare at Davis County school

 

Report outlines how to get more Utah students to eat school breakfast

 

District employees earn top state accolades

 

How one Utahn got hooked on helping homeless teens and how you can participate Support » About 2,000 people donate their time and energy at the center throughout the year.

 

Many Utah teachers work 2nd jobs to supplement low salaries

 

Davis taking open enrollment requests through Feb. 17

 

Spanish Fork High School students build and donate to Festival of Trees

 

Schools raising funds to help families in need for Christmas

 

Elementary Students Take Kindness Assignment to Heart, Raise Money for Local Charity

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Utah family structures and education achievements need reinforcing

 

One state school board race is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

 

Taxes, Trump, Romney, Hatch, Huntsman: hot politics in December

 

Public schools need more money, and Utahns know it

 

Higher taxes won’t improve our education outcomes

 

Solving real problems new public charter schools face

 

No need to reward teachers

 

Time to take education seriously in Utah

 

Educators are unified for tolerance

 

The national teacher shortage is a myth. Here’s what’s really happening.

 

Betsy DeVos and the twilight of public education

 

 


 

NATION

 

Republicans Gear Up for School Choice Legislation Under DeVos D.C. scholarship program could be easy starter

 

Trump’s education pick says reform can ‘advance God’s Kingdom’

 

How do you judge a school? Mass. looks to change the criteria

 

Do ‘Digital Natives’ Prefer Paper Books to E-Books?

 

Wyoming education funding crisis years in the making

 

Parents of Virginia teen who committed suicide sue school counselor

 

Immigrant Students Seek Place in Mainstream High Schools

 

Report: Company Sold Turf Product after Learning of Defects

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Utah charter lobbyist says procurement code’s lease exception protects schools Education » Limited space could be bought out and tenant prices increased if potential locations disclosed in advance.

 

When a Utah school district builds a new campus, administrators traditionally outsource construction after soliciting bids from private companies.

That process is outlined in Utah’s Procurement Code, which requires public entities to solicit bids for services in an effort to drive down taxpayer cost through competition.

But the sequence is sometimes reversed at charter schools — which are individual school districts under Utah law — with private firms independently building a facility and then leasing it to a public occupant.

Those leases are exempt from procurement, meaning the negotiation and price-setting that occur before a lease is signed can be conducted in private.

Royce Van Tassell, executive director of the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools, said the lease exemption protects schools from predatory landlords.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8sj (SLT)

 

 

 

Utah’s dropout rate increases slightly to 13 percent

 

The Ogden School District has the highest dropout rate as measured by the state and the lowest graduation rate in Utah.

A total of 5,848 students statewide were counted as high school dropouts this year, putting Utah’s dropout rate at 13 percent, an increase of 1 percent from the year prior according to Utah State Board of Education data.

But calling them dropouts is misleading.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rX (OSE)

 

 

 

University of Utah developing plan to boost enrollment of Pacific Islander students

 

SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah is known to produce top athletes who are part of what’s called, the ‘Polynesian Pipeline.’ Now there’s a movement on campus to use that same concept to attract high-performing Pacific Islander students.

Right now, there are about 300 Pacific Islanders attending the University of Utah.

Pacific Islanders migrated to Utah starting in the 1800s. Today, 43,000 call Utah home – that’s more than any state that is not made up of islands in the Pacific.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8sa (KSTU)

 

 

 

DATC president talks inclusive revamp of UCAT policies, appropriation model

 

KAYSVILLE — The new commissioner of Utah College of Applied Technology is already having a positive impact on Utah’s tech colleges, the Davis Applied Technology College president says.

At a DATC Board of Directors meeting Thursday, president Michael Bouwhuis said he and other college presidents in the UCAT system are working together under Commissioner Dave Woolstenhulme to reshape how money is distributed to schools, how presidents are hired and public image.

Bouwhuis said in the past, the Utah Legislature appropriated money to UCAT and each of its schools had to fight against each other for those dollars. The Legislature is now looking at implementing a system where appropriated funds will go directly from the state to a college.

He also noted money is tight this year, with a surge in Utah’s K-12 enrollment requiring millions in funding.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rY (OSE)

 

 

 

Suicidal student had planned stabbing spree, affidavit says

 

OREM — A Mountain View High School student charged with stabbing five of his classmates in a boys’ locker room had been having suicidal thoughts for some time, according to a newly unsealed search warrant affidavit.

The boy, who had just turned 16, went to Mountain View High School on Nov. 15 with five knives and wooden sticks, and randomly stabbed or cut five students in the boys locker room, according to police. He was cornered by a teacher and a school resource officer and stabbed himself before an officer deployed a Taser and took him into custody.

None of the injuries were life threatening.

The 16-year-old, whom the Deseret News has chosen not to identify at this time, is charged in juvenile court with five counts of attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and other charges.

A judge ordered the boy to undergo a competency evaluation. His next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 14.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8sn (DN)

 

 

 

Northern Utah Autism Program volunteer accused of stealing $5K in donations

 

OGDEN — Parent volunteers at a preschool for autistic children say they feel betrayed after one of their own allegedly stole more than $5,000 from the program.

Rebecca Irene Campos, 31, of Ogden, is accused of stealing money that was privately donated to the Northern Utah Autism Program at Canyon View School, court records say. She’s been charged with second-degree felony theft.

Meagan Leafty, a parent representative with the preschool, said Campos was chosen as their parent volunteer group’s president at the end of the 2015-16 school year. They became aware of the missing funds at the end of August, when another parent representative tried to buy supplies and saw there was just $600 in the account, she said.

Leafty said there should have been thousands in the account, and Campos had a debit card attached to it.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rH (OSE)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rJ (SLT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rS (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8s4 (KUTV)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8s7 (KSL)

 

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

 

 

 

Mueller Park overwhelmed by community support after gun was fired in school

 

BOUNTIFUL — On the day after a 15-year-old student allegedly fired a gun inside Mueller Park Junior High, students could have arrived to a grim atmosphere.

Instead, they were greeted by an outpouring of community support.

By the time the school’s principal arrived at 6 a.m. Friday, the building’s entrances, hallways and lockers were decorated with hundreds of colorful paper hearts. Each was adorned with an encouraging message: “You can do it.” “You’re all awesome.” “One smile can make a difference.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rI (OSE)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rR (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8s8 (KSL)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8s9 (KSTU)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8sb (KUER)

 

 

 

Washington County School District reacts to violence in Utah schools

 

St. George, Utah —Three incidents involving violence at Utah public schools have created concern about copycats in school districts around the state.

For years, educators have been at a heightened state of awareness within the classrooms. Following these incidents, administrators in Washington County School District are re-evaluating their plans of action and making sure all the students are well taken care of and receive the help they need.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8s3 (KUTV)

 

 

 

Psychologist discusses warning signs, following scare at Davis County school

 

Bountiful, Utah — School officials are trying to restore normalcy at Mueller Park Middle School after a scare Thursday morning had some students fearing for their lives.

Police have arrested a teenage student who entered the school with two loaded guns and fired a single shotgun blast into the ceiling at the entrance to a classroom. But questions remain over what could have happened and what can be done to avoid this in the future.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8s5 (KUTV)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8sk (KTVX)

 

 

 

Report outlines how to get more Utah students to eat school breakfast

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Many Utah schools have increased participation in school breakfast programs using tried-and-true methods employed across the United States.

But, the state ranks last in the number of children who qualify for the program but aren’t taking part.

A new report released this week recommends ways for the state to change the numbers and help more children start their school days ready to learn.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8s6 (KSL)

 

 

 

District employees earn top state accolades

 

FARMINGTON—Three Davis School District employees have been recognized for their successes in music, nursing and counseling.

School Band & Orchestra Magazine named Christine Wolf one of “50 Directors That Make a Difference.”

Lorill Solomon, a Davis School District school nurse, was named the Utah School Nurse of the Year for 2016.

Stephanie Skiba, a school psychology intern, received the Student of the Year Award from the Utah Association of School Psychologists.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8sm (DCC)

 

 

 

How one Utahn got hooked on helping homeless teens and how you can participate Support » About 2,000 people donate their time and energy at the center throughout the year.

 

Kathy Wagner’s heart has always been with the homeless, she said as she sat in a room surrounded by piles of community donations intended for transient teens.

She worked as a secretary in Granite School District for 34 years, the last 15 of which she spent in schools with teens who got into legal trouble. That experience left her with a soft spot for “youth with sad stories” and the realization that they could, and often did, overcome mistakes and misfortune.

She gets emotional when she thinks of the young people, ages 15 to 22, who utilize the Volunteers of America’s homeless youth shelter and resource center and what brought them there.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rK (SLT)

 

 

 

Many Utah teachers work 2nd jobs to supplement low salaries

 

LEHI, Utah— Many Utah public school teachers work second jobs to supplement low salaries that aren’t expected to rise substantially with enrollment numbers.

For third-grade teacher and Costco cashier David Cichoski, less than 3 miles separate his classroom and retail job.

“You have to really swallow your pride,” Cichoski said. “It just gives me that little extra edge to pay all the bills.”

Utah’s teacher shortage can be tied to pay and hours, Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley told the Salt Lake Tribune.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rW (OSE)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8s0 (CVD)

 

 

 

Davis taking open enrollment requests through Feb. 17

 

FARMINGTON — Students in the Davis School District wishing to attend a school other than their boundary school during the 2017-18 school year can now file a variance request through Friday, Feb. 17, 2017.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rT (DN)

 

 

 

Spanish Fork High School students build and donate to Festival of Trees

 

Two Spanish Fork High School groups built special tributes to donate to the Festival of Trees held in Sandy.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8rZ (PDH)

 

 

 

Schools raising funds to help families in need for Christmas

 

Students across Utah Valley are planning to fill in as Santa’s helpers this holiday season to aid families in need.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8sl (PDH)

 

 

 

Elementary Students Take Kindness Assignment to Heart, Raise Money for Local Charity

 

Weston Monnett, a student at Riverside Elementary, received an assignment to find ways to be kind to others. With the support of his friends and family he ran a cookie stand to raise money for the local Dove Center Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8s1 (SGS, video)

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Utah family structures and education achievements need reinforcing Deseret News editorial

 

As policy-makers digest the well-deserved recognition that Utah attracts for its economic progress, they must not forget that much of the state’s success is based on its unique demographics of family and education.

Policies that encourage stable families and increased educational and vocational training are vital to sustaining the state’s strong social and economic performance.

Policymakers as well as the rising generation will need to address the reality that Utahns are living longer and having fewer children — a demographic trend that could strain social safety nets, even in a state that boasts the nation’s youngest population. However, there are other concerning census trends related to family structure and education that merit immediate attention from community leaders.

The recently released U.S. Census Bureau 2015 American Community Survey reveals early signs of troubling demographic shifts. Relative to national family demographic changes, between 2010 and 2015, Utah’s portion of the population under 5 years of age declined at a rate four times faster than the national average.

The percent of divorced individuals in Utah rose from 8.8% to 9.4% as it increased only 0.1% nationally.

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

 

 

 

One state school board race is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist PAUL ROLLY

 

It’s a mystery that would make Agatha Christie proud.

The Utah Republican Party inadvertently seemed to endorse a campaign flier that blasted a Republican.

The opponent of the flier’s target, also a Republican, posted on her Facebook page that she knew nothing of the flier until after the fact, so some nice folks just decided to help her out without her knowledge.

The flier’s postage was paid by the state GOP because of the party’s discounted postage rate. But, said party Chairman James Evans, that didn’t mean an endorsement. The party does that for any Republican who asks.

The party was reimbursed for the postage cost through a contribution from a PAC that did not exist at the time of the contribution, according to the records of the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office.

So. Did you get all that?

The race in question was the Utah Board of Education’s District 11, which covers the southwest segment of Salt Lake County.

And while school board races are technically non-partisan, political parties were heavily involved, as well as Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, who endorsed several school board candidates, and his GOP primary opponent Jonathan Johnson.

The beneficiary of the mysterious flier was Lisa Cummins, a member of the fiercely anti-Common Core Utah Republican Women’s Liberty Caucus.

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

 

 

 

Taxes, Trump, Romney, Hatch, Huntsman: hot politics in December Deseret News commentary by columnists Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb

 

The election is over and cold winter weather is here, but politics in Utah continues to run hot. We explore holiday-season political issues.

Many of the state’s top business and community leaders (i.e. Gail Miller, Scott Anderson, Ron Jibson, Lane Beattie, Nolan Karras, etc.) announced a new 2018 ballot initiative to raise taxes for schools. Our Schools Now seeks to increase state income taxes to 5.875 percent from 5 percent to add almost $800 million a year to Utah public schools and colleges. With so much horsepower behind this effort, can it succeed?

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

 

 

 

Public schools need more money, and Utahns know it Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Dixie Huefner, John Bennion, Kim Burningham, M. Donald Thomas and Rickie McCandless

 

For years, Utah citizens have listed public education as one of their top concerns. Various polls have shown support for a tax increase, especially when targeted at areas of public education that can deliver effective long-term results. The Utah Citizens’ Counsel (UCC) — a group of nonpartisan retirees with significant public policy experience — has been following these developments.

We believe it is time for voters to support a major investment in our intellectual and social infrastructure — our public schools — just as we did for our physical infrastructure — our roads and highways — at the time of the 2002 Olympic Games. Utah leaders say they want to solve Utah’s problems with Utah initiatives. Targeted spending to improve the long-term quality of public education deserves to be high on the list of those initiatives.

Some commentators argue that no tax increase is necessary because Utah’s students are achieving at or above national averages and graduation rates. What these reported achievement levels do not explain is that when Utah student scores are broken out by ethnic group, every group, including whites, scores below that group’s national average in most areas, including graduation rates.

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

 

 

 

Higher taxes won’t improve our education outcomes Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute

 

A group of business owners and former politicians has announced a plan to pursue a ballot initiative that — were it to pass — would increase each Utahn’s income tax rate. The proposal, pitched as a way to help children, is saturated in misleading messaging and is ultimately unnecessary.

“Our Schools Now” is a new label for a group of politically connected insiders, led by Zions Bank CEO Scott Anderson, a behind-the-scenes influencer in Utah politics. They recently announced their initiative proposal, telling the public that they are seeking only a “7/8 of 1 percent increase” to the personal income tax.

This is misleading because it lacks context — it makes it seem like a numerically insignificant amount. In reality, that seemingly tiny amount constitutes a 17.5 percent increase on each Utahn’s income tax burden.

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

 

 

 

Solving real problems new public charter schools face Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by M. Royce Van Tassell

 

The Salt Lake Tribune recently editorialized that public charter schools “cherry-pick” their students. The claim that public charter schools “cherry-pick” students is not only false, but was fully addressed in statute many years ago. Charters accept anyone who walks through the door; when they reach capacity, state and federal law requires them to admit students via a random lottery. Raising tired, false claims against public charter schools is something I have come to expect from fringe special interests, not a reputable newspaper.

The Tribune’s concerns regarding lease-purchase agreements and the procurement code is equally revealing. A new public charter school’s only option is to lease a building from a private, for-profit entity. This is not the public charter school’s fault. The state of Utah wants public charter schools, but is unwilling to assume the risks associated with constructing their buildings. Thus, state policy pushes that construction risk onto developers, which means public charter schools spend more money on interest payments and less on learning in the classroom.

The Utah Taxpayers Association’s most recent school spending report illustrates this point. On a per-pupil basis, public school districts (whose bonds enjoy state backing) paid an average of $258 in interest, while public charter schools paid $526.

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

 

 

 

No need to reward teachers

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Karl Swan

 

Public school teachers must certainly feel uplifted, knowing the Sutherland Institute recognizes educators’ successful improvement of test scores, but at the same time confirms that their success negates any necessity for raising school taxes.

Sutherland’s spokesperson, Christine Cooke (The Tribune, Nov. 27) evidently sees no need to reward them for their efforts, should the Legislature provide means for adequate cost of living increases, to reward performance and to lower class sizes.

After all, they teach because of their love of teaching. Let’s not demean the nobility of their profession by providing higher pay. (As a former public school teacher, I shouldn’t be sarcastic.) http://gousoe.uen.org/8rN

 

 

 

Time to take education seriously in Utah Salt Lake Tribune letter from Ronald White

 

In her feel-good column in The Tribune (Nov. 27), Christine Cooke invites “a more informed and elevated debate” regarding funding for Utah schools. Perhaps she missed the irony that her column appeared in the same edition as Benjamin Wood’s piece “Working two jobs is simple math for teachers.” That article alluded to “the state’s teacher shortage,” which has reached crisis proportions (we can’t hire enough teachers). Utah spends less money per pupil than any state in the nation — although, good news, we are ahead of Guam!

As evidence for her position that additional funding is not needed, Cooke cites the recent NAEP data in which Utah’s students are improving their performance. She conveniently cites comparisons of Utah’s performance with the educationally backward United States. Had she chosen to look at our competitors abroad, she would have found in the PISA results very inconvenient comparisons.

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

 

 

 

Educators are unified for tolerance

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Beth Krensky

 

In the aftermath of our recent election, I have closely followed what has transpired, and continues to do so, in schools across the United States. I am deeply saddened to continually read about acts of intolerance that take place in elementary and secondary schools.

In preparation for a recent class with my art education students, I made copies of messages from heads of schools and superintendents that were sent to teachers immediately after the election. All of these visionary leaders, whether from Salt Lake City or Boston, stated in unequivocal terms that their schools were places of safety and tolerance that held an important and powerful place in the lives of youth.

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

 

 

 

The national teacher shortage is a myth. Here’s what’s really happening.

Washington Post op-ed by Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality

 

Here’s something I’ve been struggling to understand: What makes the prospect of a national teacher shortage such an immediately compelling narrative, capable of spreading with the speed of a brush fire?

With almost no real data — because neither states nor the federal government collects the information that would be needed to pronounce the onset of a true teacher shortage — we witness the press, school districts, state school boards and even Congress conclude that we are in the throes of a full-blown national crisis.

At the root of this crisis is a New York Times news article published two summers ago reporting on six school districts that were having a tough time filling positions (though all but two ultimately started the year just fine). Whoosh! Overnight the teacher shortage became real.

That early spark was then steadily fed by news articles reporting that teacher preparation programs were facing unprecedented enrollment drops.

Nobody thought it important to consider that teacher preparation programs had for years been graduating twice as many teachers as are needed.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8s2

 

 

 

Betsy DeVos and the twilight of public education Detroit Free Press commentary by columnist Stephen Henderson

 

In Detroit, parents of school-age children have plenty of choices, thanks to the nation’s largest urban network of charter schools.

What remains in short supply is quality.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Republicans Gear Up for School Choice Legislation Under DeVos D.C. scholarship program could be easy starter (Washington, DC) Roll Call

 

Republican-backed legislation giving parents more control over their children’s education is expected to get a boost in the next Congress if school choice advocate Betsy DeVos is confirmed as President-elect Donald Trump’s Education secretary.

Some proposals are expected to easily pass next year, such as the re-authorization of Washington, D.C.‘s unique scholarship program allowing students to use federal funds to attend private and charter schools.

But plans to expand school choice nationwide have in the past run into strong opposition from Democrats and some Republicans who see it as a threat to public schools, and hesitation by Republicans to push a federal school policy onto local and school officials, a concept many of them decry.

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

 

 

 

Trump’s education pick says reform can ‘advance God’s Kingdom’

Politico

 

The billionaire philanthropist whom Donald Trump has tapped to lead the Education Department once compared her work in education reform to a biblical battleground where she wants to “advance God’s Kingdom.”

Trump’s pick, Betsy DeVos, a national leader of the school choice movement, has pursued that work in large part by spending millions to promote the use of taxpayer dollars on private and religious schools.

Her comments came during a 2001 meeting of “The Gathering,” an annual conference of some of the country’s wealthiest Christians. DeVos and her husband, Dick, were interviewed a year after voters rejected a Michigan ballot initiative to change the state’s constitution to allow public money to be spent on private and religious schools, which the DeVoses had backed.

In the interview, an audio recording, which was obtained by POLITICO, the couple is candid about how their Christian faith drives their efforts to reform American education.

School choice, they say, leads to “greater Kingdom gain.” The two also lament that public schools have “displaced” the Church as the center of communities, and they cite school choice as a way to reverse that troubling trend.

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

 

 

 

How do you judge a school? Mass. looks to change the criteria Boston Globe

 

State officials are looking to broaden the way school performances are judged to comply with new federal standards, moving beyond test scores and graduation rates to other measures, such as the atmosphere a school creates and availability of art, music and college­level courses.

The goals is to provide the public with a more holistic view of the quality of education at each school in Massachusetts by shining light on areas that get overlooked in a state accountability system that maintains a laser­like focus on standardized test scores.

Mitchell Chester, the state commissioner of elementary and secondary education, said his agency has not yet decided how many new measures might be added.

“We want to make sure that collectively the indicators in the system provide more signals than noise,” Chester said.

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

 

 

 

Do ‘Digital Natives’ Prefer Paper Books to E-Books?

Education Week

 

As digital devices and access to e-books proliferated in schools and homes over the past several years, some ed-tech experts expected that print books would soon become relics—or at least fall out of favor with a generation growing up in an electronic world.

But, in a wrinkle in the digital revolution, that hasn’t transpired—at least not yet.

More children now know what it’s like to read an e-book—61 percent in 2014 compared with 25 percent in 2010, according to Scholastic’s 2015 Kids and Family Reading report.

But most students still opt to turn actual pages. In the Scholastic survey, 65 percent of children ages 6 to 17 agreed they would always want to read in print, up from 60 percent in 2012. And 77 percent who had tried e-reading said that the majority of the books they read were in print. That was especially true for younger readers when reading for pleasure: 84 percent of 6- to 8-year-olds read mostly on paper, compared with 62 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds.

Meanwhile, e-books haven’t markedly altered the collections of school libraries.

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

 

 

 

Wyoming education funding crisis years in the making Casper  (WY) Star-Tribune

 

When legislators gather next month in Cheyenne, they’ll be facing an unprecedented education funding crisis created by an economic downturn and fueled by years of generous spending.

The funding model that’s educated a generation of Wyoming students while largely keeping the state and its education system out of the courtroom for the past decade has hit a crisis point. State superintendent Jillian Balow said that historic spending levels are untenable. The funding shortfall could hit $1.8 billion by the 2022 fiscal year, according to a recent report.

“The truth of the matter is that we’re going to need to think about funding education as a Chevy rather than a Cadillac in the future,” Balow said.

The energy downturn, which is stretching into its second year, has struck school funding on a local and statewide level, education officials said. On Tuesday, Gov. Matt Mead said public school funding faces a “real crisis,” one Wyoming couldn’t cut its way out of. Instead, the state would likely have to find new revenue streams.

“We don’t have enough money to fund education at the levels that we have been funding,” Balow said. “And we don’t have the cuts to education to balance that sheet.”

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

 

 

 

Parents of Virginia teen who committed suicide sue school counselor Washington Post

 

Three weeks before 18-year-old Jay Gallagher took his own life, a worried friend who lived in Colorado sent an email to his school counselor at Potomac Falls High in Potomac Falls, Va., telling the counselor that Jay was saying things “with suicidal content,” according to a lawsuit filed in Loudoun County Circuit Court on Friday.

“He’s usually crying alone in his room because he doesn’t seem to have a good relationship with his parents,” the girl wrote.

The counselor, Richard Bader, met with Gallagher, sending the girl a reassuring response: “Talked with him today. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.”

But should Bader have notified Gallagher’s parents?

That question is at the center of a $5 million wrongful-death lawsuit Jay’s parents, Erin and Timothy Gallagher, filed against Bader. The lawsuit accuses the school counselor of negligence and ignoring school guidelines that direct counselors to notify parents if their children express suicidal thoughts.

But Julia Judkins, Bader’s attorney, said the lawsuit does not tell the full story. Judkins said that the teen told Bader not to talk to his parents about their meeting and denied he was suicidal.

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

 

 

 

Immigrant Students Seek Place in Mainstream High Schools Associated Press

 

PHILADELPHIA — A federal appeals court is set to decide whether a public school district in Pennsylvania can send older immigrant students to an alternative high school.

Civil rights lawyers complain the Lancaster School District is sending the 17- to 21-year-old students to a disciplinary school with fewer academic opportunities. Some of the students have been in refugee camps for years.

Several similar lawsuits have been filed around the country. The issue is set for arguments Monday afternoon in the Third U.S. Circuit Court in Philadelphia.

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

 

 

 

Report: Company Sold Turf Product after Learning of Defects Associated Press

 

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. — The country’s leading maker of artificial sports turf sold more than 1,000 fields to towns, schools and teams nationwide after its executives knew they were falling apart faster than expected and might not live up to lofty marketing claims, according to an investigation by a news organization.

Montreal-based FieldTurf said that the turf it began selling in 2005 was revolutionary for its “unmatched durability” and that it would last a decade or more. But records obtained by NJ Advance Media show that as early as 2006, key FieldTurf executives became aware the turf, known as Duraspine, was cracking, splitting and breaking apart long before it should, and long before the public had been promised.

FieldTurf – a division of publicly traded French flooring maker Tarkett – said it never misled or defrauded customers and called such claims “completely false.” The company stressed that the problem does not compromise player safety.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

December 8:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

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

http://www.schools.utah.gov/charterschools/State-Board.aspx

 

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

3:30 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

 

 

December 9:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

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

http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

 

 

December 13:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2:30 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

 

December 19:

Education Interim Committee meeting

8 a.m., 1575 S State Street, Salt Lake City

http://le.utah.gov/interim/2016/pdf/00004304.pdf

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