Education News Roundup: Jan. 4, 2017

Photo by Utah.gov

Today’s Top Picks:

Gov. Herbert publicly sworn in (not at) today. Education will again be a priority
http://gousoe.uen.org/8F9 (KSL)

Newly minted Trib columunist Robert Gehrke urges the Governor to spend some political capital on education funding.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EE (SLT)

Alpine School District swears in (not at) new Board Members.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EH (PDH)

Education Week’s annual Quality Counts issue is out. There’s no change nationally and no change for Utah from last year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8ET (Ed Week)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EU (Ed Week)
or a copy of the Utah report
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EW (Ed Week)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Gov. Herbert to map plans for next 4 years at inauguration

Alpine School District swears in two new board of education members

Utah Symphony musicians bring music to students in Haiti
Fundraiser will be held at Susan Swartz Studios

Construction continues as Logan High celebrates a centennial year

Utah teen’s YouTube science channel reaches over 60K subscribers

Cottonwood High teacher charged with abusing student ‘just wanted to have sex,’ warrant states

Cache Schools announce 2-hour bus delay

Notable 2017 LDS Church dates and anniversaries

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Jordynn Green

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Kayla Grover

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Time for Herbert to step away from manager role to take political capital out for a spin

Education spending and student results

The War on Public Schools
Charters, vouchers, and disposable teachers are Trump’s targets.

NATION

Nation’s Schools Get Middling Grade on Quality Counts Report Card
Overall, the nation’s schools earn a C on the latest Quality Counts report card, with variations among some states.

More Than 600 Head Start Programs to Lengthen Hours Under New Funding

What will be Obama’s lasting education legacy?

Standardized science standoff: California, feds at odds again over a statewide test

Relics Of The Space Race, School Planetariums Are An Endangered Species

Bill Would Require Students Wear Uniforms At All SC Public Schools

First Lady to Laud School Counselors in Final Public Remarks

More Chinese Are Sending Younger Children to Schools in U.S.
Trend follows surging Chinese enrollment in U.S. colleges; a Jiangxi father says, ‘U.S. education is better’

Twitter Video Shows North Carolina Officer Slamming Student

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UTAH NEWS
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Gov. Herbert to map plans for next 4 years at inauguration

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert is expected to set the tone for his next four years in office during a speech Wednesday at his inauguration ceremony.
Herbert, a Republican who’s been in office since 2009, is set to be publicly sworn in for another term at the state Capitol, along with Utah’s other constitutional officers, including Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, Attorney General Sean Reyes.
Herbert has said he wants to spend his next term improving education in Utah, including by boosting test scores and graduation rates.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8F9 (KSL)

 

Alpine School District swears in two new board of education members

There are officially two new faces on the Alpine School District Board of Education.
Mark Clement and Sara Hacken, along with Scott Carlson, who was re-elected in November, were sworn in to the board Tuesday evening at the board’s meeting.
They take the seats vacated by Brian Halladay and Deborah Taylor, who did not run for re-election. Halladay, and now Clement, represent the Pleasant Grove High School Cluster. Taylor, and now Hacken, represented the Orem and Timpanogos high school clusters. Carlson represents the Lehi High School cluster.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EH (PDH)

 

Utah Symphony musicians bring music to students in Haiti
Fundraiser will be held at Susan Swartz Studios

Throughout the past 75 years, the Utah Symphony has brought music, culture and joy to audiences all around the world.
This year, members the Grammy Award-nominated and International Gustav Mahler Society award-winning orchestra will travel to Jacmel, Haiti, from March 26 to April 2, and teach more than 100 Haitian-bred musicians during a week-long workshop for the First Haitian National Orchestra Institute held at the Dessaix-Baptiste Music School.
The workshop is the result of partnership with BLUME Haiti, a nonprofit based in Wisconsin that is dedicated to strengthening Haiti’s socio-economic fabric through classical music.
BLUME is an acronym that stands for Building Leaders Using Music Education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8F6 (PR)

 

Construction continues as Logan High celebrates a centennial year

As Logan High celebrates its centennial year it continues to get a face lift. An expansion and upgrade of the 100-year-old school is on track and on budget, according to Logan City School District Superintendent Frank Schofield.
“We are on track for our July completion date,” he explains. “So the building will be ready for occupancy, full school, for next school year. Phase 1 opened the start of the school year but there have been a few little tweaks here and there. The auditorium, for example, has been one where it’s been an ongoing process with the sound system.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EK (CVD)

 

Utah teen’s YouTube science channel reaches over 60K subscribers

OREM — YouTube is often seen as a time waster, but for 17-year-old Nathan Stone, the video website is a place for him to share his personal science projects.
The “Keystone Science” YouTube channel, created by Stone in early 2016, has accumulated over 60,000 subscribers and far over 1 million video views. And it continues to grow steadily.
Stone, a high school student and resident of Orem, has been interested in science since his childhood. His favorite fields are physics, chemistry, and biology. All three of these interests are reflected in his homemade “laboratory”: a shed filled with wires and magnets, beakers and chemicals and several potted plants in the windowsill.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Fa (KSL)

 

Cottonwood High teacher charged with abusing student ‘just wanted to have sex,’ warrant states

MURRAY — A 15-year-old girl told her high school teacher “they could not have a relationship” because he was married and had children, according to a recently released search warrant.
Corbin Vance Robinson, 38, of Holladay, replied “that he just wanted to have sex with her,” according to the warrant.
Robinson, a teacher at Cottonwood High School at the time, is charged with nine counts of sexual abuse of a minor, a third-degree felony.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EG (DN)

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

 

Cache Schools announce 2-hour bus delay

Due to heavy snow, The Cache County School District has announced a 2-hour delay for bus pick-ups this morning. http://gousoe.uen.org/8EJ (LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8F7 (PR)

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

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

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

 

Notable 2017 LDS Church dates and anniversaries

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will mark several notable dates in 2017, including the 175th anniversary of the organization of the Relief Society, the 125th anniversary of the dedication of a building that has become a Utah County landmark, and several milestones in LDS Church missionary work, among others.

Seminary
In September 1912 — 105 years ago — the church’s first seminary class took roll at Granite High School in Salt Lake City, marking the beginning of a released-time weekday education program for young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As the seminary program grew, church leaders phased out church involvement in academies (church-sponsored high schools or junior colleges).
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Fb (DN)

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Jordynn Green

Jordynn Green is a fourth-grade teacher at Windsor Elementary in Orem. She was chosen by the Alpine School District as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Educator of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8F8 (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Kayla Grover

Kayla Grover, a fourth-grade student at Windsor Elementary in Orem was chosen by the Alpine School District as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Student of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EI (PDH)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Time for Herbert to step away from manager role to take political capital out for a spin
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist ROBERT GEHRKE

As Gary Herbert takes the oath of office — at least ceremonially — in an elaborate, pomp-filled spectacle at the Capitol on Wednesday, he’s essentially being handed the keys to a souped-up monster truck.
He can take this thing barreling around anywhere he wants. But so far he only seems interested in taking it out of the garage to run the same mundane errands he has for the last 7½ years. Like a trip to the grocery. For boring stuff. Like milk and maybe kale.

It’s manifest in the last three years as groups stymied by inaction turn to ballot initiatives as the only option for change — first the Count My Vote election reform, now the bid to raise taxes to fund education and the likely push to legalize medical marijuana.
The governor can seize this opportunity to go beyond being the manager and lead on a few fronts where he would have overwhelming public support:
• Herbert says he wants Utah schools to be the best in the nation, but that talk is torpedoed by classroom funding that is the absolute worst. He hopes Utah can grow out of last place, but acknowledges it will take years, attributing the problem to big families — not to the $1.2 billion that the Utah Foundation recently reported has been diverted from education by years of tax cutting.
It’s so bad that the state’s most prominent business leaders have formed Our Schools Now seeking a ballot initiative to hike taxes to pump $750 million into education. The public supports it by a wide margin. Herbert opposes it, but there is room for the governor to find middle ground, either backing a smaller increase or focusing it on those making more than $200,000 who benefited most from Utah’s flat tax and economic growth.
The Our Schools Now initiative is giving the governor an opportunity to throw his support behind what could be a generational shift in Utah’s public education system, if he chooses to take it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EE

 

Education spending and student results
Deseret News op-ed by Jeffrey L. Novak, a retired USAF major

Recently, Mr. Dalton Johnson penned a “My View” article (“Why we shouldn’t spend more on education,” Dec. 23) that substantiated his position as a member of BYU’s Divine Comedy group — his comments were indeed comedic but certainly not divine.
Mr. Johnson’s attempt at using sarcasm to support his view of possible misspending on education was inappropriate and demeaning to teachers and administrators.
While it is true that there should be accountability in the spending of our tax dollars on education, Mr. Johnson gave no substantiation that we fail to do so other than test scores and opinion. While bemoaning who holds the purse strings at the lower levels of the education system, he ignored the results our system obtains.
I am not a teacher — at least not a certified, product of the college education degree teacher that we are accustomed to in our schools. I have been a volunteer for five years and serve as a substitute teacher for music. I cannot accurately deduce from his article, but I would suggest that Mr. Johnson has not spent as much time in the trenches getting a firsthand “education” on how the money is spent and the impact that it has on our kids.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EF

 

The War on Public Schools
Charters, vouchers, and disposable teachers are Trump’s targets.
The American Prospect commentary by columnist Rachel M. Cohen

On November 8, 2016, the man who vowed to be “the nation’s biggest cheerleader for school choice” won the presidential contest. About two weeks later he announced that Betsy DeVos, a billionaire Republican donor who has aggressively lobbied for private-school vouchers, online education, and for-profit charter schools, would serve as his education secretary. In early December, Jeb Bush told an audience of more than 1,000 education reformers in Washington, D.C., that he hoped “there’s an earthquake” in the next few years with respect to education funding and policy. “Be big, be bold, or go home,” he urged the crowd.
To say education conservatives are ecstatic about their new political opportunities would be an understatement. With Republicans controlling the House and Senate, a politically savvy conservative ideologue leading the federal education department, a vice president who earned notoriety in his home state for expanding vouchers, charters, and battling teacher unions, not to mention a president-elect who initially asked creationist Jerry Falwell Jr. to head up his Department of Education, the stars have aligned for market-driven education advocates.
Donald Trump neither prioritized education on the campaign trail, nor unveiled detailed policy proposals, but the ideas he did put forth, in addition to his selection of Betsy DeVos, make clear where public education may be headed on his watch. And with a GOP Congress freed from a Democratic presidential veto, conservative lawmakers have already begun eyeing new legislation that just a few months ago seemed like political pipedreams.
The next few years may well bring about radical change to education.
Many aspects of education policy are handled at the state and local level, of course, but Republicans will govern in 33 states, and Trump will have substantial latitude to influence their agenda. The next few years may well bring about radical change to education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8F1

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Nation’s Schools Get Middling Grade on Quality Counts Report Card
Overall, the nation’s schools earn a C on the latest Quality Counts report card, with variations among some states.
Education Week

As a new political and policy era dawns in Washington, the status of the nation’s schools remains stable, though still earning a grade of C from Quality Counts 2017, the 21st annual report card issued by the Education Week Research Center.
The C corresponds to a score of 74.2, which is nearly identical to the 74.4 the nation posted in 2016, when it also received a C. The steadiness of national results, notwithstanding, a handful of states saw their scores increase or decline by a full point or more.
Quality Counts grades the states and the nation on educational performance across a range of key indicators, issuing overall A-F grades based on a traditional 100-point scale.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8ET

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EU (Ed Week)

A copy of the Utah report
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EW (Ed Week)

 

More Than 600 Head Start Programs to Lengthen Hours Under New Funding
Education Week

The Office of Head Start announced Tuesday that it will distribute $290 million to 665 Head Start and Early Head Start programs around the country that they can use to expand their full school day and year offerings.
Congress appropriated the supplemental funding in a fiscal 2016 budget bill for the federal preschool program for children from low-income families, and the money is now part of Head Start’s base funding, subject to congressional approval.
The $290 million adds up to about a third of the $1 billion increase Head Start has estimated that it needs to provide full-day, full-year programs for all the children currently enrolled, which Head Start defines as 1,020 hours per year. For center-based Early Head Start programs serving children from infancy through age 3, the minimum hours are 1,380 per year. Before adopting the standards in September, Head Start programs were required to operate for a minimum of 3 1/2 hours per day and 128 days per year, or 448 hours per year. Thestandards would create a nearly six-hour day over standard 180-day school year for preschool students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EX

 

What will be Obama’s lasting education legacy?
NewsHour

President Obama and his former education secretary Arne Duncan exercised more power and influence over education policy than many predecessors. The administration placed a focus on testing, trying it to federal funding. In higher education, he emphasized the importance of college and reducing student debt.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EY

 

Standardized science standoff: California, feds at odds again over a statewide test
(Pasadena, CA) KPCC

There’s a standoff brewing between education officials in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., over what standardized science test California students should take this spring.
It bears striking resemblance to a very similar 2014 impasse between the California and U.S. departments of education, and if that history is any indication, California’s federal school funding could again be in jeopardy if this year’s dispute escalates.
California Department of Education officials want to administer a new statewide science test to all fifth, eighth and tenth graders this spring; a test tailor-made to match the new science standards teachers are following this year.
But so far, the new test only exists in a shortened, pilot form; California would need an exemption from federal laws that require the state to report the scores of a benchmark science test every year.
U.S. Department of Education officials don’t want to grant that exemption, saying California can’t ignore the federal requirement to measure students’ progress in science annually. Until the new exam is ready, the feds said the state’s schools must at least continue administering the old test.
The catch? The old test is based on an old set of science standards, written in 1998, that California teachers no longer follow. California teachers are in their first full year using the new Next Generation Science Standards, which been rolling out since 2013.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EZ

 

Relics Of The Space Race, School Planetariums Are An Endangered Species
NPR

The 24 juniors and seniors in the astronomy class at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Va., sink into plush red theater seats. They’re in a big half-circle around what looks like a giant telescope with a globe on the end. Their teacher, Lee Ann Hennig, stands at a wooden control panel which has enough buttons and dials to launch a rocket.
Above this whole room is a large white dome. It’s lit up right now — like daytime — but with the turn of a dial, Hennig makes the sun set. As the light fades, stars appear. Just a few at first, and then all of a sudden it’s like a night sky, way out in the country.
Each little star — thousands of them — shining through a pinhole plotted carefully on that globe in the center of the room.
“It’s like the sky meeting a movie theater,” says 17-year-old Sahaj Sharda, a senior in Hennig’s advanced astronomy class. “When you first sit down and the lights turn off and you just look up, it seems so realistic.”
Once there were more than 350 planetariums like this on in schools around the country. But now their numbers are shrinking. They’re getting old, and so schools have a choice: Keep the stars shining, or turn the lights out for good.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EO

 

Critics prepare for battle over Christie’s charter school overhaul
Newark (NJ) Star Ledger

TRENTON — Charter school opponents are planning a show of force in Trenton Wednesday as the state Board of Education considers loosening regulations to free charter schools from red tape.
Gov. Chris Christie’s administration unveiled a plan in October that would help charter schools get better access to facilities, get faster renewals and gain more flexibility in hiring teachers.
Christie said the new rules would remove some of the bureaucracy holding back the state’s 88 charter schools, which serve about 3 percent of the state’s public school students.
But, opponents say the new rules will lead to an expansion of charter schools that will draw money away from traditional public schools and lead to more segregation in school districts.
The most controversial part of the charter school overhaul proposal calls for the state to create new certificates for teachers and administrators to teach only in charter schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8F2

 

Bill Would Require Students Wear Uniforms At All SC Public Schools
(Spartanburg, SC) WSPA

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A bill prefiled in the South Carolina House would require all public school students in the state to start wearing uniforms, starting with the 2017-18 school year. The bill says the state Department of Education would create a statewide dress code and authorize schools to require students to wear uniforms.
The bill was prefiled by Rep. Cezar McKnight, D-Lake City. The wording of the bill says uniforms prevent students’ clothing from becoming a distraction, and says, “… peer pressure causes students to ask their parents to spend large sums of money to ensure that they can wear designer clothes to school on a regular basis.”
It also states, “… students have, regrettably, used particular articles of clothing on occasion to identify themselves as members of certain gangs, to the detriment of discipline and safety at their schools.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8F5

 

First Lady to Laud School Counselors in Final Public Remarks
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — When Michelle Obama helps recognize the school counselor of the year later this week, it will also mark her final White House event as first lady, aides said Tuesday.
Mrs. Obama has presided over a White House ceremony each January since 2015 honoring school counselors, who she says are often the “deciding factor” in whether a student attends college. She joked last year that Friday’s ceremony might be one of the last White House events “before they kick us out in January of 2017.”
President Barack Obama’s term ends at noon on Jan. 20, exactly two weeks after Friday’s ceremony.
School counselors from across the country are meeting at the White House at the end of the week to be recognized and to help honor Terri Tchorzynski, the 2017 School Counselor of the Year. She is a counselor at the Calhoun Area Career Center in Battle Creek, Michigan, according to the website of the American School Counselor Association.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8EQ

 

More Chinese Are Sending Younger Children to Schools in U.S.
Trend follows surging Chinese enrollment in U.S. colleges; a Jiangxi father says, ‘U.S. education is better’
Wall Street Journal

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif.—When Ken Yan’s parents were contemplating his future, they decided the best option for the 11-year-old was to send him 7,000 miles away from his home in China to Southern California.
Ken didn’t speak English, and he would need to live with a host family in the U.S. he had never met. But the Yans felt it was all worth it.
In their quest for a U.S. education, more Chinese families are sending their children to America—and at younger ages.
The number of Chinese students at elementary schools surged from 500 in 2011 to 2,450 in 2015, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Over the same period, the number of Chinese nationals attending secondary schools in the U.S. jumped from 17,914 to 46,028. Those numbers pale compared with the tens of thousands of Chinese students enrolled at U.S. universities, but are expected to soar in the next few years.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8F0

 

Twitter Video Shows North Carolina Officer Slamming Student
Associated Press

ROLESVILLE, N.C. — North Carolina authorities are investigating after an eight-second video posted Tuesday on Twitter shows a male police officer slamming a female high school student to the floor before pulling her to her feet and leading her away.
Wake County schools spokeswoman Lisa Luten said she’s working with the Rolesville Police Department to get more details. The video shows an officer, surrounded by shouting students at Rolesville High School, lifting and then dropping the girl to the floor.
The video itself doesn’t show what led up to or followed this scene. Rolesville Police Chief Bobby Langston, who didn’t immediately return a message from The Associated Press, told other media that he’s reviewing the case. A subsequent statement said Langston has asked the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation to look into the incident.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8ER

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ES (Charlotte [NC] Observer)

 

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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

January 12:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
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
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

January 13:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

January 23:
First day of the Utah Legislature
State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/

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