Education News Roundup: Jan. 24, 2017

Utah State Capitol

Utah State Capitol

Today’s Top Picks:

Utah lawmakers begin budget discussions up on the hill.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Q5 (UP)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qn (LHJ)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qp (SGS)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qv (KTVX)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qw (KSL)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/8QA (KUER)

And this should be another record year for bills being introduced.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Q6 (UP)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qz (KSTU)

There won’t be a second hearing for Education Secretary-nominee Betsy DeVos.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qd (USAT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/8QB (WaPo)

Where are the good jobs in the future? New study says: Tech.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QC (USAT)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QD (Glassdoor)

Ransomware attacks are showing up in school districts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QI (Ed Week)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Lawmakers Ready to Tackle Budget, Hope Trump Administration Can Boost Economy

Utah Lawmakers Propose Record Number of Bills…Again

Day 2: Help for students with disabilities and hope for affordable housing

Spanish Fork school moving to four-day school week

Weber School District talks boundary changes, bond initiative

Former Davis teacher admits responsibility for student sexual relationships

Parents advised to take child abuse course

School districts face decisions on making up snow days

A late start for some schools Tuesday morning

2 Salt Lake schools locked down as bomb threats investigated

Poor sportsmanship leads principal to ban football, soccer at recess

Governor, Enterprise declare National School Choice Week

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Address factors that can lead to suicide

Improving education with more than money key to Utah success

New approach needed to boost local schools

NATION

GOP Senate chair rejects Democrats’ bid for second hearing on Trump education nominee

The best of the best U.S. jobs are tech, tech and tech, again

Senate’s top Democrat blasts developer tax credits for infrastructure

Ransomware Attacks Force School Districts to Shore Up—or Pay Up

Barely Two R’s Are Taught at School That Led Tribe to Sue U.S.

Sandoval hopes to revive school choice with $60M proposal

Texas GOP Stars Push School choice, But Will It Be Enough?

America’s School Choice Map: 5 Hot Spots for Vouchers, Savings Accounts and Tuition Tax Breaks

Bill would ban corporal punishment in Colorado public schools
State law does not ban or allow inflicting pain as a form of punishment.

Skandera: Grade 3 retention will boost NM grad rate
NM Public Education Secretary urges lawmakers to pass governor’s third-grade retention proposal to keep future high school student from dropping out of school

Bill would amend Wyoming constitution in anticipation of ed cuts

California schools may face cuts amid skyrocketing pension costs

Education Lab IQ: How much do Washington schools spend testing students?
Last school year, Washington state spent more than $16.8 million on federally required reading and math tests, but that only scratches the surface of the full cost of testing students.

Incident Highlights Bullying Risk for Those With Disabilities

District’s social media guidelines updated after ‘tammarow’ Twitter thread

Ajit Pai, Net Neutrality Foe and Critic of E-Rate Policies, Named FCC Chair

Google says its G Suite for Education now has 70M users

Google Hits Back at Microsoft With New Chromebooks for Education

Microsoft launches Intune for Education to counter Google’s Chromebooks in schools

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Lawmakers Ready to Tackle Budget, Hope Trump Administration Can Boost Economy

Utah lawmakers hope to find a “chunk of change” to put toward other programs as they attack the base budget this week, looking for places they can cut…but not too much.
Senator Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, who also serves as the Senate Chair of the legislature’s top budgeting committee, says once again they’re tasking appropriations committees to come up with cuts for this budget year, but they aren’t targeting any particular threshold for the reductions. He said that hasn’t proven very useful in the past since those funds are often given back to the agencies when the final budgeting happens.
“We’re telling our staffers to get into this (the budgets) and see what they can find,” says Stevenson.
Lawmakers are struggling to find extra money for schools this year in the face of a possible ballot initiative in 2018 that would hike income taxes 7/8ths of one percent to boost public school budgets. Finding that money will be tough especially since Utah’s surplus revenue this year is not as massive as the past two years. But, don’t tell Senate President Wayne Niederhauser that this is a bad budget year just because the surplus is smaller.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Q5 (UP)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qn (LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qp (SGS)

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

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

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

 

Utah Lawmakers Propose Record Number of Bills…Again

Utah lawmakers are on pace to open 1,500 bill files in 2017, a record number to be sure. In fact, legislators seem to break that particular record every single year.
Ultimately, that many bills won’t be introduced, but lawmakers can bank on considering several hundred pieces of legislation before the final day of the 2017 session.
“That’s an incredible number of bills to consider during a 45-day session,” said Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe. “We did do a lot of work during the interim to prioritize many bills before the session.”
For his part, House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, says he’s told the House Rules Committee that they have to “vet some of these bills” — because there are just too many coming into the system.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Q6 (UP)

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

 

Day 2: Help for students with disabilities and hope for affordable housing

• Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, plans to present a series of bills related to school accommodations for students with disabilities, as well as communication between schools and the parents or guardians of students with disabilities.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qf (DN)

 

Spanish Fork school moving to four-day school week

The Utah State Board of Education has approved a proposal for American Leadership Academy to move to a four-day school week for the 2017-18 school year.
The public charter school, located in Spanish Fork, enrolls students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The state board approved the plan on Jan. 13 to waive the required 180 school days for the school if the school shows it provides 990 hours of instructional time a year and reports to the board annually on academic achievement. The waiver can be renewed in three years.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qm (PDH)

 

Weber School District talks boundary changes, bond initiative

OGDEN — Weber School District stakeholders are looking at several options for an ongoing boundary study.
At a committee meeting Jan. 19, school and district administrators presented plans developed by individual school committees consisting of parents, school officials and community members.
The group picked two tentative options regarding the boundary between Fremont High School and Weber High School. The first would encompass all of Harrisville and send those students to Weber High. The second plan includes Harrisville and Pleasant View on city boundary lines, sending those students to Weber High.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qj (OSE)

 

Former Davis teacher admits responsibility for student sexual relationships

DRAPER — A former Davis High School English teacher said Tuesday the sexual relationships she had with three former students was due to her decisions and no one else’s.
“I want to make this very, very clear. This was my doing. This was no one else’s fault. This was not my ex-husband’s fault. This was not the school’s fault. This was not my students’ fault,” Brianne Altice said Tuesday, Jan. 24, at her initial parole hearing.
“I regret my decisions that brought us here today,” said Altice, 37, of South Weber. “I am extremely remorseful. I took advantage of (the students’) care and concern. I hope they can get the help they need to live full and productive lives.”
Altice appeared before Robert S. Yeates, vice chairman for the Board of Pardons and Parole, at the Utah State Prison Draper facility. None of the victims, their family members or representatives attended the hearing.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qk (OSE)

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

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

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

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

 

Parents advised to take child abuse course

Last year The Utah Legislature passed a bill last year that requires all school personnel to have training on child sexual abuse. The administration, staff and teachers in Carbon School District are now taking an on-line course that is also offered to the public.
“We would like to see parents take this course so they understand the problems,” said Judy Mainord, the Secondary Supervisor for the district. “It would be valuable to them. For the school personnel, training focuses on four kinds of child abuse: physical, mental/emotional, sexual, and neglect.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QQ (Price Sun Advocate)

 

School districts face decisions on making up snow days

Students in Logan City and Cache County schools will soon learn that nothing is free, not even snow days.
Utah requires schools to meet for at least 180 days and 990 instructional hours. When one — or three so far this year, as of Monday — of those days are lost to inclement weather, they have to be rescheduled.
Cache County School District has announced Feb. 17, a teacher workday, and Feb. 20, President’s Day, would make up for the back-to-back snow days of Jan. 5 and 6. Jenda Nye, Cache County School District public information specialist, said the calendar committee will likely need to meet again to find a third make-up day.
“It’s always hard to make decisions based on everybody’s calendars,” Nye said. “We’ve got staff; we’ve got families.”
In Logan City School District, Superintendent Frank Schofield said the calendar committee was scheduled to meet Monday to propose makeup days. Instead, the meeting was cancelled, and now they have to find another day to make up.
Schofield said Logan schools are considering having school on Feb. 20 and adding a half-day on May 26, the day after school is supposed to end. He is not sure how this new snow day will be made up.
“We had a plan for two (make-up) days,” Schofield said. “With the third day, we’ve got to revisit some of the options that we decided against previously.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qo (LHJ)

 

A late start for some schools Tuesday morning

OGDEN — Ogden School District officials were among those who announced an hour delay for the start of classes due to weather conditions Tuesday.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qg (DN)

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

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

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

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

 

2 Salt Lake schools locked down as bomb threats investigated

SALT LAKE CITY — Two schools were placed on lockdowns Monday, one eventually being dismissed for the day, after receiving bomb threats.
No suspicious devices were found and no one was injured.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qh (DN)

Poor sportsmanship leads principal to ban football, soccer at recess

HERRIMAN — Students at Herriman Elementary were dismayed when their principal temporarily banned football and soccer at recess for what she called poor sportsmanship.
“If we ban football and soccer, then we may as well ban school altogether,” said sixth-grader Henry Watson.
The students knew principal Kim Gibson had their safety in mind, but they immediately took action.
“We wrote a petition and went around getting people to sign it,” said sixth-grader Ethan Probst.
They also launched a safety campaign.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qx (KSL)

Governor, Enterprise declare National School Choice Week

ST. GEORGE — It’s National School Choice Week in Utah and across the country.
The cities of Enterprise, Helper, Naples and Pleasant Grove, along with Gov. Herbert, have issued official proclamations recognizing Jan. 22-28 as “School Choice Week.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qr (SGN)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Address factors that can lead to suicide
Deseret News editorial

There will be a push in the upcoming legislative session to continue efforts to bring down a disturbingly high rate of suicide in Utah, particularly among teenagers. It’s an objective worthy of dedicated focus, and one in which there’s a lot of ground to cover and opportunity to cover it.
Utah has the nation’s eighth highest rate of teen suicide, and, among those ages 10 to 17, suicide has surpassed accidents as the leading cause of death. Now there needs to be a full-scale push to do more in several areas of public health and education policy.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qi

 

Improving education with more than money key to Utah success
Deseret News op-ed by Edson Barton, chief executive officer and founder of Precision Exams, LLC.

With the 2017 general legislative session just underway, already much of the buzz around education is centered on money — specifically, whether or not lawmakers, the governor or citizens themselves will support a tax increase for education funding. While a potential tax increase is a significant issue, and a good-old-fashioned political rumble will certainly dominate the headlines, Utahns must not be lulled into thinking money alone will make Utah education all that we want it to be.
In today’s dynamic marketplace, businesses no longer have the luxury of simply hoping the education system sufficiently prepares the needed workers. Additionally, schools can no longer prepare students for an ambiguously defined career. The two have to work together as true partners.
Ask any student what they don’t like about school and they routinely say they don’t think it applies to their future careers. When asked what they want from students graduating from both high school and college, business leaders emphatically indicate they want students who can apply what they’ve learned to real world situations. Career and technical education courses have proven to bridge that gap while improving overall core education results.
One proven successful way to align the workforce with the demands of industry is by increasing our focus on career and technical education (CTE).
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Q7

 

New approach needed to boost local schools
(St. George) Spectrum letter from Karl Tippets

I read with some skepticism the opinion article by Mr. Brent Holloway on public school funding (The Spectrum & Daily News, 11 Jan 2017).
Mr. Holloway referenced U.S. News (and World Report) figures that alarmed me. Current media outlets have a very poor reputation for accuracy, so I went to the Washington County School District website, www.washk12.org, and looked for accountability reports. The report that gave me the best bottomline data is titled Utah School Grades. It shows A-F grades, proficiency percentages in ELA, (English Language Arts), Math, and SC (Science), buried under several columns of growth data, for each school in the state.
With some gleaning, I found that there is cause for alarm. While Washington County schools have an average proficiency in all three areas slightly above the Utah state averages of 44 to 48 percent, I find our 48 to 53 percent proficiency to be unacceptable.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qq

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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GOP Senate chair rejects Democrats’ bid for second hearing on Trump education nominee
USA Today

The Republican chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Monday rejected a formal request from Democrats to hold a second confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s choice to head the U.S. Department of Education.
A vote on DeVos’ confirmation, originally scheduled for Tuesday, had already been delayed until Jan. 31 to allow her to answer lawmakers’ hundreds of questions, many about her financial disclosures.
In a letter sent on Monday to the panel’s chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R- Tenn.), Democrats said education is too important an issue — and the education secretary’s position too important a position — “to jam a nominee through without sufficient questioning and scrutiny.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qd

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

 

The best of the best U.S. jobs are tech, tech and tech, again
USA Today

SAN FRANCISCO — Hey kids, want to grow up to land the best job in the country?
Then keep poring over those math and science textbooks.
Jobs that require a range of STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math) claimed 14 spots in Glassdoor’s new “50 Best Jobs in America” survey, out Monday.
This includes the top-seeded position: data scientist, a job in which you employ considerable math and computer programming skills to wrestle huge amounts of raw data into intelligible and useful data sets.
That job took the crown with a leading Glassdoor score that reflected the number of openings for the position (currently 4,184), a top company satisfaction rating (reflective of culture and values) and a healthy median base salary ($110,000).
In fact, four of the top five jobs in the survey were for tech workers, including DevOps engineer (#2; 2,725 openings; $110,000), data engineer (#3; 2,599 openings; $106,000) and analytics manager (#5; 1,958 openings; $112,000). In fourth position was tax manager.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QC

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QD (Glassdoor)

 

Senate’s top Democrat blasts developer tax credits for infrastructure
Reuters

The U.S. Senate’s top Democrat on Tuesday vowed to oppose any infrastructure plan by President Donald Trump that would rely on “tax credits for developers” to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, airports and other such structures.
Senator Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer made the comments in a press conference to unveil a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that Democrats say would generate 15 million jobs. Trump earlier on Tuesday signed an executive action to expedite environmental approvals for high-priority infrastructure projects.
“We will not support tax credits for developers,” Schumer told reporters. He also warned that Democrats would work to include environmental protections in any infrastructure measure that moves through the Republican-controlled Senate.
Democrats argue that an investment plan relying on developer tax credits would fail to generate enough construction and would result in the creation of too many toll roads to finance costs over the long term.
Instead, Senate Democrats are seeking heavy investments by the government, including $210 billion to rebuild roads and bridges, $110 billion for water and sewage projects, $180 billion for rail and bus systems and $75 billion to rebuild schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QH

 

Ransomware Attacks Force School Districts to Shore Up—or Pay Up
Education Week

A big problem was waiting for Matt Jensen, the superintendent of the Bigfork public schools, as he arrived to work on a Monday in November.
His 900-student Montana district was under a cyberattack. A self-replicating computer virus had eaten its way through most of the schools’ servers—including the student-information system—and encrypted huge amounts of data, making it inaccessible to Bigfork employees.
The perpetrators of the breach had also left a disconcerting message for Jensen’s IT director: They were demanding a ransom in exchange for a decryption key that would immediately unlock the data. The alternative to paying up would be to rebuild the district’s data systems from backups or, in a worst-case scenario, from scratch.
Experts have seen a spike in “ransomware” attacks across all sectors of the economy in recent years. Criminals have hit all types of organizations, public and private, including K-12 districts. Multiple strains of the computer virus exist, but most versions of such malware behave much like the type that infected the Bigfork network.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QI

 

Barely Two R’s Are Taught at School That Led Tribe to Sue U.S.
New York Times

SUPAI, Ariz. — Students at Havasupai Elementary, the only school in this tribal village near Grand Canyon National Park, say they don’t have a regular schedule of science and social studies classes, or gym or art classes, either. Often there are not enough teachers, they say.
The children — in kindergarten through eighth grade — learn mostly reading and math, though barely. In the most recent evaluation made public, they tested at the first and third percentile, well below every other school on Indian reservations, already among the worst in the country.
The abysmal test scores are highlighted in a federal lawsuit filed this month against the government by the Havasupai Tribe on behalf of nine students at the school. The tribe, a dwindling nation of 730, says the United States has reneged on its legal duty to educate their children by, among other things, allowing a janitor and a secretary to fill in for absent teachers, and by failing to provide special­education services and enough books for all students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Q8

 

Sandoval hopes to revive school choice with $60M proposal

This week is National School Choice Week, bringing into focus a $60 million budget proposal set forth by Gov. Brian Sandoval during his State of the State speech last week to fund Nevada’s Education Savings Account program, which, potentially, could be the largest of its kind in the country.
Sandoval announced during his address that $60 million of the state’s budget over the next two years will be allocated to the controversial program, which makes $5,100 available to families for education expenses. The Nevada Supreme Court deemed funding for the program unconstitutional in September, but a lower court order the day after Sandoval’s address — which said the program cannot go forward without constitutional funding — gave hope to proponents, mostly Republicans, that the funding snag can be remedied.
Count the largest school district in America among the group opposing the program.
Chris Garvey, District B representative for the Clark County School District, argued that an ESA program would be damaging to Career and Technical Education programs, such as culinary, woodworking and automotive programs, that CCSD has implemented in rural high schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qe (SGS)

 

Texas GOP Stars Push School choice, But Will It Be Enough?
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas governor and the Bush family’s rising political star have added muscle to a rally supporting school vouchers – but such plans still may not pass the fiercely red state’s Legislature.
Marching bands and hundreds of students, many wearing scarfs marking “National School Choice Week,” converged on the Texas Capitol grounds Tuesday.
Gov. Greg Abbott called vouchers, which give families state money to help pay for private and religious schools, a “civil rights issue.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QE

 

America’s School Choice Map: 5 Hot Spots for Vouchers, Savings Accounts and Tuition Tax Breaks
The 74

“As your president, I will be the nation’s biggest cheerleader for school choice,” President Donald Trump said in September.
If, as promised, he dedicates $20 billion in federal funds to expand school vouchers for children living in poverty, he will be riding a wave of growing popularity for programs that help parents pay for private schools.
The number of private education choice programs around the country more than doubled between 2010 and 2016, according to research and advocacy organization EdChoice. Today, 27 states and Washington, D.C., have some sort of program, and some have more than one type, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QL

Bill would ban corporal punishment in Colorado public schools
State law does not ban or allow inflicting pain as a form of punishment.
Denver Post

A bill to ban corporal punishment in Colorado public schools and other child-care facilities that receive state funding cleared its first hurdle Monday, passing the House Education Committee with bipartisan support.
If it’s ultimately passed into law, House Bill 1038 would make Colorado the 32nd state to ban the practice in schools, and for the first time would establish a statewide definition of corporal punishment in the state: “the willful infliction of physical pain on a child.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Q9

 

Skandera: Grade 3 retention will boost NM grad rate
NM Public Education Secretary urges lawmakers to pass governor’s third-grade retention proposal to keep future high school student from dropping out of school
Associated Press via Farmington (NM) Daily Times

ALBUQUERQUE — Policies advocated by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez must be enacted, or the state’s high school graduation rates could fall after hitting record highs, Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera said in an interview.
Skandera told The Associated Press on Friday that lawmakers should pass the governor’s third-grade retention proposal to halt future high school students from dropping out.
The bill, which faces fierce opposition from Senate and House Democrats, would allow schools to require third-graders to repeat the third grade if they are not proficient in reading.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qb

 

Bill would amend Wyoming constitution in anticipation of ed cuts
Casper (WY) Star-Tribune

CHEYENNE – A handful of lawmakers are sponsoring a constitutional amendment bill that anticipates that cuts to education may spark a lawsuit — legislation that a teacher’s group warns would make it nearly impossible to sue the Wyoming Legislature over education funding.
Sen. Curt Meier, a LaGrange Republican who is sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 6, said he is working with the Wyoming Attorney General’s office to perfect the bill. He said the point of the measure is to provide instructions for the courts on how to approach education funding lawsuits.
Currently, Meier said, it’s ambiguous as to the questions the courts should ask when tackling complicated education funding litigation.
“The need for the bill is to make clear what the standards are in future for educational finance litigation,” he said.
The constitutional amendment bill comes as state lawmakers are discussing how to fill an education funding deficit that’s expected to reach $1.8 billion by 2022. Lawmakers have floated a number of proposals to fill the gap, from increasing class sizes to cutting transportation and special education.
SJ6 would require the courts to protect equality among school districts, as guaranteed in the Constitution, by using a standard of review known as strict scrutiny, said Meier.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qa

 

California schools may face cuts amid skyrocketing pension costs
San Francisco Chronicle

Public schools around California are bracing for a crisis driven by skyrocketing worker pension costs that are expected to force districts to divert billions of dollars from classrooms into retirement accounts, education officials said.
The depth of the funding gap became clear to district leaders when they returned from the holiday break: What they contribute to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as CalPERS, will likely double within six years, according to state estimates.
CalPERS, a public pension fund with $300 billion in assets that is the country’s largest, manages retirement benefits for 1.8 million current and former city, state and school district employees, though it does not cover teachers, who fall under a different pension system.
School district officials say that unless the situation changes, they will have to make cuts elsewhere, possibly leading to larger class sizes, stagnant worker pay, fewer counselors and librarians, and less art and music in schools. Insolvency and state takeover are not out of the question for some districts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QO

 

Education Lab IQ: How much do Washington schools spend testing students?
Last school year, Washington state spent more than $16.8 million on federally required reading and math tests, but that only scratches the surface of the full cost of testing students.
Seattle Times

The Education Lab team kicked off the new year answering reader questions about money and schools in a feature we call Education Lab IQ (short for Interesting Questions).
With the landmark McCleary case looming over the state Legislature, many of you had questions about Washington’s school-funding tangle. More than 260 readers voted in December on their favorite of six money-focused queries. In early January, we set the stage with a story examining the equity of Washington’s funding system. Last week, we answered the question of how we got into this mess.
Today’s question was the second-most popular: How much does standardized testing cost taxpayers at the state level? In Seattle, how much is spent per student on testing, and are there hidden costs for schools? (Thanks to Sandy Hunt for submitting it.)
The short answer:
The state last year spent more than $16.8 million on federally required reading and math tests in grades three through eight and once in high school. That amounts to about $30 per student.
For context, the entire budget for K-12 schools in 2015-16 was almost $10 billion, so standardized testing accounted for less than 1 percent of that total. However, $16.8 million also could pay the starting salary of about 500 new teachers.
And that price tag only covers what the state pays two contractors to deliver and score the reading and math tests. It doesn’t count other state-required tests such as those in writing and science.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Qc

 

Incident Highlights Bullying Risk for Those With Disabilities
Education Week

On Dec. 31, an 18-year-old man with a mental disability met up with a former classmate in suburban Chicago for what his family thought would be a sleepover.
Instead, police say, the man was driven around in a stolen van, then tied up, taunted, and abused for hours, with a portion of the attack streamed on the internet.
Four African-Americans have been arrested and face felony criminal charges of aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, and aggravated battery, among others, in connection with the attack on the victim, who is white. A spokesman for the Chicago police department said that the hate crimes charges were based on the suspects’ use of racial slurs, as well as references to his disability.
Neither the man nor the exact nature of his disability has been identified. But the attack—an example of both criminal assault and bullying—is a reminder that children and youth with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities are uniquely vulnerable, something federal education officials have aimed to address through repeated guidance.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QK

 

District’s social media guidelines updated after ‘tammarow’ Twitter thread
Frederick (MD) News-Post

Frederick County Public Schools’ social media guidelines were updated this month when a position handling the district accounts became vacant.
Katie Nash held the position of web experience coordinator for the school system from November until the beginning of this month. Nash said she was fired after a tweet she sent from the school’s account playfully correcting a student’s spelling went viral.
The student tweeted at the school system account, asking the district to close school “tammarow.”
Nash wrote in response from the district Twitter feed: “But then how would you learn how to spell ‘tomorrow’? :)”
She said she hadn’t received guidance regarding the tone of the account or how to interact with students. She said she received a single page of guidelines when she was hired.
FCPS spokesman Michael Doerrer wouldn’t speak directly about an individual employee, but said every new employee in that position, as well as seven other employees with access to the district’s social media accounts, are extensively trained and given guidance. He said all new school system employees also have a mandatory training session that talks about social media.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QF

 

Ajit Pai, Net Neutrality Foe and Critic of E-Rate Policies, Named FCC Chair
Education Week

President Donald Trump has appointed Ajit Pai, a determined critic of recent decisions to overhaul the E-rate program and protect “net neutrality,” to chair the Federal Communications Commission, an agency that wields sweeping powers over the telecommunications sector.
Pai, a Republican, has been a commissioner on the FCC since being appointed by then-President Barack Obama in 2012. Pai will replace Tom Wheeler, a Democrat who shepherded broad changes touching schools and libraries nationwide.
“I look forward to working with the new administration, my colleagues at the commission, members of Congress, and the American public to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans,” Pai said in a short statement issued following Trump’s decision.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QJ

 

Google says its G Suite for Education now has 70M users
Tech Crunch

Google announced that its G Suite for Education, which was previously known as Google Apps for Education, now has 70 million users worldwide. That’s up from 60 million a year ago and 50 million in October 2015. That’s a pretty steady growth rate for Google’s student/teacher-centric productivity suite.
Like all of Google’s productivity apps, G Suite for Education got its new name when Google launched the “G Suite” brand last September. It features all of the core Google tools (think Gmail, Docs, Drive, Hangouts, etc.), as well as Classroom, a tool that helps teachers and students communicate, share assignments and track their progress. Classroom is, in essence, the service that ties all of Google’s other tools together for teachers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QG

 

Google Hits Back at Microsoft With New Chromebooks for Education
PC Magazine

Google today announced two new Chromebooks for schools with support for Android apps, USB-C fast charging, and a stylus, among other things.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 and the Asus Chromebook C213 arrive this spring. They both come with a smart stylus that Google says resembles a No. 2 pencil “with a unique eraser for correcting mistakes” and no need for charging or pairing “so they can be shared and easily replaced if lost.”
Google also teased a “world-facing camera” so that kids can record things around them when the Chromebook is flipped. USB-C support, meanwhile, means “one Chromebook cart can charge any device quickly,” Google said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QM

 

Microsoft launches Intune for Education to counter Google’s Chromebooks in schools
Tech Crunch

Microsoft today announced Intune for Education, a new tier of its existing enterprise application and device management service that’s specifically meant for school. In addition, the company announced that a number of its partners will soon start shipping a wider variety of affordable Windows 10 PCs.
This move comes shortly after Google announced yet another push for its Chromebooks in schools and announced new devices from Acer and Asus that are geared toward students. Indeed, Microsoft specifically cites that it believes that these new devices “offer the power, performance and security schools need at the same price as Chromebooks, with none of the compromises.” That phrasing brings back memories of Microsoft’s anti-Google Scroogled campaign from a few years back. At the time, Microsoft enlisted the cast of Pawn Stars to make fun of Chrome OS’s limitations.
With Intune for Education, admin and teachers can more easily manage the PCs they use in their schools and classrooms — something that’s especially important because in many schools, teachers have to serve as their own tech support. While it’s easy to forget that Microsoft has its own app store for Windows, Intune for Education will allow admins to decide which apps from the Windows Store students and teacher will be able to see and install.
All of this is, of course, integrated with Office 365 for Education, which features all the classic Microsoft productivity tools, as well as its sleeper hit OneNote.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8QN

 

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CALENDAR
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USBE Calendar
http://www.schools.utah.gov/main/CALENDAR.aspx

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

January 24:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPPED

Senate Education Committee meeting
2 p.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/SEDU0124.ag.htm

January 25:
House Education Committee meeting
2 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HEDU0125.ag.htm

House Health and Human Services Committee meeting
2 p.m., 20 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HHHS0125.ag.htm

Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee meeting
2 p.m., 215 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/STPT0125.ag.htm

January 26:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPPED

Utah State Board of Education legislative meeting
Noon; 210 Senate Building
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
5 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPEXE

January 30:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPPED

February 1:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPPED

February 3:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPPED

February 9:
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

February 10:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

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