Education News Roundup: Jan. 25, 2017

Utah Education Budget Meetings

Today’s Top Picks:

New Trib poll finds most Utahns would be OK with a tax increase to fund public schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rc (SLT)

Utah Senate looks at competency-based funding.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8R8 (SLT)

The pause button on ESSA rules is unlikely to affect state timelines.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rv (Ed Week)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Most Utahns support tax hike that would raise $750 million for schools, poll shows

Utah senator’s bill would allow schools to keep funding when students graduate early
Public education > SB34 easily clears Senate, moves to House for consideration.

Utah teacher turnover may be higher than previously reported

Solving Classroom Problems: Top preparation issues to watch during …

3 bills intended to better facilitate special education services head to Senate

Lawmakers hope to create Utah state parks at Hole-in-the-Rock, Little Sahara
HB63 directs state to buy federal land in Garfield County near Mormon heritage site.

Herbert expected to talk schools, taxes in State of State

Washington, other states eye school bus seat belts

Rally asks Sen. Lee to oppose Cabinet choices

Clarifying Common Core
“Common Core Revisions: What Are States Really Changing?”

Coral scientists caution and encourage Utah students after Sundance documentary screening

Slippery science: Elementary students raise trout in classrooms

Alpine School District changing calendar after thousands sign petition

Final phase complete

Everyday Learners: Remote tutoring is changing Utah County children’s lives

Ex-teacher up for parole says she took advantage of teens

Proactively preventing youth suicide

Cache County birth rate outpaces state and national averages

How to protect your children on bad air days

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Marianne Daniels

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Tyson Baxter

How to Talk to Your Kids About Politics

Lt. Governor Cox to Speak at Charter Day on the Hill

State Auditor John Dougall to Speak at Charter Day on the Hill, A Showcase of Diverse School Choice Options

OPINION & COMMENTARY

County doesn’t need two school districts

Teenagers and sleep

What Trump’s Education pick Betsy DeVos SHOULD have said

NATION

Trump’s Pause on ESSA Regs Unlikely to Affect State Timelines, Officials Say

What Does Trump’s Hiring Freeze Mean for the Education Department?

DeVos receives praise at ‘National School Choice Week’ rally

Early financial aid letters shake up college decisions

The Stomach Bug Norovirus Rips Through U.S. Schools
Highly contagious, it causes vomiting and flu-like symptoms; school systems closed

Parents need more help choosing schools in Los Angeles, report says

States Step Up to Help Districts With Ed-Tech Procurement

Black Students More Likely to Be Arrested at School

Man executed in front of Detroit school after dropping son off
Police say father had dropped off son at Southwest Detroit school when he was shot to death

Department of Education Creates New Evaluation Tool for K-12 Administrators
A simplified ed tech evaluation process is on the horizon.

Dell education laptops go both ways: Windows or Chrome
The PC maker is offering up 11- and 13-inch notebooks as well as a convertible laptop running on your choice of OS.

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Most Utahns support tax hike that would raise $750 million for schools, poll shows

Utahns won’t vote on a proposed income tax increase to fund schools until 2018 – if ever – but a new poll suggests organizers of the Our Schools Now ballot initiative are starting out in the lead.
A recent Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics survey of 605 registered voters found 55 percent in favor of the measure, which would raise $750 million for public schools by bumping Utah’s income tax rate up from 5 percent to 5.875 percent.
The initiative was opposed by 41 percent of respondents, with another 4 percent saying they were unsure if they would support or oppose the tax hike.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rc (SLT)

 

Utah senator’s bill would allow schools to keep funding when students graduate early
Public education > SB34 easily clears Senate, moves to House for consideration.

Utah senators voted unanimously on Tuesday for a bill that would allow public high schools to hold onto state funding when students graduate early.
The bill, SB34, creates a reimbursement program for schools that operate a competency-based education program, in which students advance based on content mastery instead of traditional academic calendars and grade levels.
Ogden Republican Sen. Ann Millner, the bill’s sponsor, said the state should celebrate when a school is able to help a student complete graduation requirements ahead of schedule.
But because school funding is based on daily attendance numbers, Miller said, school budgets are penalized by student success.
“This is kind of a short-term solution to some of the issues that some of our schools are facing,” Millner said.
Millner said the state should eventually move to a competency-based funding model, compensating schools for success rather than for the time children spend in a classroom.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8R8 (SLT)

Utah teacher turnover may be higher than previously reported

SALT LAKE CITY – Teacher turnover in Utah after eight years in the classroom could be as high as 56 percent, a soon-to-be-released report suggests.
The report indicates that teacher turnover is greater than previously understood, Sydnee Dickson, state superintendent of public instruction, told the Utah Legislature’s Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday.
“We’ve been saying about 48 percent of our teachers were leaving in the first five years. We think you’re going to see some numbers that are more like 58 percent,” Dickson said.
The turnover contributes to a teacher shortage and precious education dollars, she added.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8R9 (DN)

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

 

Solving Classroom Problems: Top preparation issues to watch during …

When Utahns were polled final Nov seeking them to arrange their legislative priorities, preparation came out on top. But a regulation were zero new or surprising-polls taken over a years have consistently reported that Utahns wish preparation to be a tip legislative priority. Yet a state’s education-related troubles persist. From worrisome clergyman influence rates to swarming classrooms to low (lowest in a country, actually) per-pupil funding, Utah’s preparation attention is not a splendid mark in a state’s differently unequivocally strong economy.
Each legislative session, Utah’s 104 legislators have an event to raise a state’s K-12 and aloft preparation classrooms, though a charge is easier pronounced than done. Similar questions sojourn year after year: Will preparation accept a financial boost? How can we attract and keep some-more teachers? How can record be reasonably used in a classroom, and can we find a bill for it? The list goes on and on.
As Utah’s 45-day legislative event opens on Monday, Jan. 23, there’s a lot for a state’s legislators to consider, and preparation is only one of many dire issues to debate-but it’s an critical one. Here Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, former Weber State University boss and member of a parliament preparation committee, shares what she thinks will be a tip 5 preparation issues adult for contention during this year’s session.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rb (Education News)

3 bills intended to better facilitate special education services head to Senate

SALT LAKE CITY – When Alyson Eddie wanted to transition her son from a private preschool to a public school kindergarten class, enrolling him in school was not as simple as filling out a few forms at the neighborhood school.
Holden, now 6 years old, was diagnosed with autism as a toddler and needed to be evaluated so that the school district could place him in the most appropriate educational setting for his needs.
So Eddie started the process, including signing a waiver for him to be evaluated by the Salt Lake City School District.
Then the family waited. They did not hear back until late summer, shortly before the school year was to begin.
“At that point, it was at a point we had waited so long for communication we felt we had to look for other options for school for our child,” she said.
Eddie shared her experiences with members of the Senate Education Committee Tuesday afternoon, which considered three pieces of legislation intended to improve communication with parents attempting to work through special education processes.
One bill, SB59, would require schools to meet with parents within 10 business days after they make a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the student has disabilities and develop the best course for their educational needs.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ra (DN)

 

Lawmakers hope to create Utah state parks at Hole-in-the-Rock, Little Sahara
HB63 directs state to buy federal land in Garfield County near Mormon heritage site.

Utah lawmakers are angling to create two new state parks on federal lands, one at Little Sahara in Juab County and the other at Hole-in-the-Rock, the famous cleft in a cliff over the Colorado River that was successfully traversed by Mormon pioneers.
The historic Hole-in-the-Rock site is in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a two-hour drive down the rugged Hole-in-the-Rock Road from Escalante.
Mormon heritage groups would like to expand trekking operations here, but these efforts are thwarted by federal land agencies’ 12-person limits on group sizes and a lack of camping and staging facilities. A new state park could solve these problems and promote economic development, according to bill sponsor Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem.
“There’s an opportunity to create a multi-use area in that historically significant area for our state,” Stratton said Tuesday at a hearing before the House Political Subdivisions Committee. “It would be revenue neutral for our state. This would all be consent by the Legislature.”
With its three Democratic members voting against, the committee advanced HB63.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rd (SLT)

 

Herbert expected to talk schools, taxes in State of State

SALT LAKE CITY- Gov. Gary Herbert will lay out his priorities for the year in his annual State of the State address at the Capitol Wednesday evening.
Herbert, a Republican who has been in office since 2009, has said he wants to work on improving education in Utah, including by boosting test scores and graduation rates.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RS (CVD)

 

Washington, other states eye school bus seat belts

OLYMPIA, Wash.- A bill that would require school buses to have seat belts is being considered by lawmakers in Washington, one of more than a dozen states where school seat belt measures are on the legislative agenda this year.
The Senate Transportation Committee held a public hearing Tuesday for Senate Bill 5054. It would mandate that all public and private school buses purchased after the bill takes effect have a safety belt for each rider.
California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Texas have existing variations of a seat belt law for school buses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. At least 17 states, including Washington, have introduced legislation regarding seat belts on school buses in the 2017 sessions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approximately 23.5 million children use school buses to get to and from school and school-related activities. On average, six school-age children die each year in school bus crashes as passengers.

The other states considering school seat belt legislation include: Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia and Utah.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RP (AP via Ed Week)

 

Rally asks Sen. Lee to oppose Cabinet choices

A group of people concerned about President Donald Trump’s administrative Cabinet choices met Tuesday with Sen. Mike Lee’s staff in St. George, hoping that their worries will be considered as the Senate works through the confirmation process.
“I just felt it was really important to carry on with the enthusiasm we had Saturday,” said St. George resident Dorothy Engelman, who organized the event that drew approximately three dozen visitors to Lee’s Tabernacle Street offices.
Engelman was referring to the global Women’s March on Washington movement that on Saturday mustered nearly 1,500 people in St. George for a non-partisan rally that began at City Hall and led down to St. George Boulevard and Main Street.
“I would like Donald Trump to hear our voices and soften his heart,” the march’s organizer, Eva Livingston, said Tuesday. “I think he was able to mobilize all the angry people in the world. We were able to mobilize all the women – the womb of the world.”
Livingston was not among the visitors to Lee’s office, fearing it might be too confrontational for her blood, she said. But Engelman worked with the director of Lee’s Southern Utah office, Bette Arial, to ensure the tone of Tuesday’s meeting was respectful.

“I am particularly concerned … about Betsy DeVos,” Bujold said, drawing approving comments from the group. “I was originally from Michigan. I know what she’s done to education in Michigan. She wants to put religion back in the schools. She wants a lot of public money to go to charter schools, which will greatly affect the quality of public schools. I’m very, very concerned about that.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rk (SGS)

 

Clarifying Common Core
“Common Core Revisions: What Are States Really Changing?”

Twenty-one of the 46 states that adopted the Common Core State Standards are revising the standards, but most are not making substantial changes, according to an analysis by the research firm Abt Associates.
As part of a report for the Massachusetts executive office of education, the group reviewed the types of changes states made to their own common-core-based standards.
Eight states so far have repealed or withdrawn the standards, 21 have made changes, and 17 have left the standards as adopted. In a more in-depth look at nine of the states that made changes-Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, and Utah-the researchers found more than three-quarters of the standards in math or English/language arts were left alone.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RQ (Ed Week)

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RR (Abt Associates)

 

Coral scientists caution and encourage Utah students after Sundance documentary screening

The documentary film “Chasing Coral,” part of the Sundance Film Festival, is filled with breathtaking and beautiful images of the world’s marine life.
But it is the film’s documentation of “bleaching,” in which coral structures die and deteriorate due to increases in water temperature, that Lone Peak High School student Emma Hansen said left her “kind of scared” after a screening on Tuesday.
Hansen said she knew coral reefs were affected by global climate change. But she did not fully comprehend the extent of the damage, or the threat it poses to marine life.
“It’s intimidating to think about what could happen in the future if we don’t change,” she said.
Hansen was part of a group of students from several Utah schools who watched “Chasing Coral” at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center on Tuesday.
Following the screening, several of the scientists featured in “Chasing Coral,” as well as members of the filmmaking team, took the stage and reiterated the documentary’s foreboding outlook on the future and significance of coral health.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RF (SLT)

 

Slippery science: Elementary students raise trout in classrooms

Tiffany Kinder is one of several teachers throughout Cache Valley who are raising trout in their classrooms from egg to fingerling to teach kids about water quality, life cycles and the scientific method.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rf (LHJ)

 

Alpine School District changing calendar after thousands sign petition

Students in Alpine School District will be getting a longer winter break for the next school year.
A few months after an online petition gathered more than 8,800 signatures to extend the winter break for the current school year in the district, the board of education plans to vote on a new calendar for the 2017-2018 school year.
“That’s what we’re hearing from parents, we want a longer break,” said John Burton, president of the Alpine School District Board of Education.
The discussion on alternative calendar options occurred during the board’s study session Tuesday at Suncrest Elementary School in Orem.
The calendar for the 2017-18 school year was approved in the fall of 2015. The existing calendar for next school year has school beginning on Aug. 22 and ending on May 31, with Christmas Break running from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2, giving students nine days off of school for the break.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RN (PDH)

 

Final phase complete

A journey that started with a vote in 2013 is ending as students, faculty and staff now occupy the entirety of the Richfield High School.
“There are still some punch list items, but for the most part it’s complete,” said Cade Douglas, Sevier School District superintendent.
The final phase of the school, its southeast wing, includes an auditorium with seating for more than 990 people, as well as a bank of science and math classrooms. The science classrooms are adjacent to labs designed for chemistry and other instruction.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RK (Richfield Reaper)

 

Everyday Learners: Remote tutoring is changing Utah County children’s lives

Remote tutoring is a practical way for employees to be able to volunteer regularly and for schools to get the extra help students need. Tutors do not need to even leave their desk to help a student.
“I really enjoy the relationship we are able to build with the students,” Rose Skinner said. “We are able to share with them our love of reading and education and in turn, help them to become better students.”
Skinner, an employee at Xactware, is one of many who participate in a remote tutoring program. Remote tutoring involves helping a student increase their literacy skills through the use of Google Hangouts. The online interaction is secure and can only be accessed during the tutoring session. This type of mentoring is one way some companies in Utah County are getting involved to help promote literacy.
Remote tutoring is a practical way for employees to be able to volunteer regularly and for schools to get the extra help students need. Employees use the Student Tutoring Achievement for Reading (STAR) model and curriculum developed by the Utah State Office of Education to help students develop literacy skills. In order for students to get one-on-one reading help, they need volunteers to tutor each week.
One company in Utah County that is passionate about remote tutoring is Jive Communications. Jive has been a part of the remote tutoring program for the past three years. Paul Thatcher, director of Human Resources at Jive, has been a part of the program since the beginning.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RG (PDH)

 

Ex-teacher up for parole says she took advantage of teens

DRAPER, Utah- A former Utah English teacher convicted of sexually abusing three students told a parole board member Tuesday that she took advantage of the boys as she dealt with her own low self-esteem.
Ex-Davis High School teacher Brianne Altice, 37, was convicted in 2015 of having sex with three teenage boys, including one relationship that continued while she was out on bail. Altice was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison after she agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. Her minimum sentence was set at 2 years.
The Board of Pardons and Parole will decide over the next month whether to set a release date.
“I had extreme self-esteem issues and they said things that made me feel good about myself,” a tearful Altice said. “I just started to justify it all, making myself believe it was OK.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rg (LHJ)

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

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

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

 

Proactively preventing youth suicide

Dr. Mark Foote of the Intermountain Healthcare Behavior Health Program and Linda Tranter of Riverton High school were in studio Tuesday to talk about youth suicide prevention.
For the last 10 years Riverton High has worked proactively to prevent suicide. Their mission is to reduce youth suicide through education, training, and peer to peer intervention.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RL (KUTV)

 

Cache County birth rate outpaces state and national averages

In the fastest growing state in the country, Utah County’s birth rate is the highest in the US, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
And Cache County isn’t far behind.
Nicole Stone, an epidemiologist in the Utah Health Department, said Cache County statistics are comparable to Utah County’s rate of 20.8 births per thousand people in 2015.
“Cache County comes in at 19.6 births per thousand,” said Stone.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rj (CVD)

 

How to protect your children on bad air days

Brittany Guerra, Health Program Specialist with the Utah Department of Health, and Christine Frandsen, a mother of children with asthma in Utah County, talk about the new recess guidelines when it comes to air quality and what parents need to know.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ro (KSTU)

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Marianne Daniels

Marianne Daniels, a teacher at Odyssey Charter School, was selected as the Daily Herald’s Educator of the Week. Born in Aurora, Colorado she graduated high school in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She came to Utah to study at Brigham Young University where she majored in Latin teaching and history.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RM (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Tyson Baxter

Tyson Baxter is a sixth-grade student at Odyssey Charter School and was chosen as the Daily Herald’s Student of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RO (PDH)

 

How to Talk to Your Kids About Politics

In recent light of the presidential debate and inauguration that have occurred during these past couple weeks, have your kids raised questions regarding politics?
Connor Boyack is the author of the Tuttle Twins series and as a father himself, was made aware that politics are not taught nor discussed in schools and that eventually, a conversation would need to be had.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RJ (KTVX)

Lt. Governor Cox to Speak at Charter Day on the Hill

SALT LAKE CITY–More than 500 students from 50 charter schools will join Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox at the Utah Capitol building to showcase the great charter school options available to parents in Utah.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RH (Business Wire)

State Auditor John Dougall to Speak at Charter Day on the Hill, A Showcase of Diverse School Choice Options

SALT LAKE CITY–More than 500 students from 50 charter schools will join Utah State Auditor John Dougall at the Utah Capitol building to showcase the great charter school options available to parents in Utah.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RI (Business Wire)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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County doesn’t need two school districts
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from B. Larry Allen

The “cost” of knowledge and what to do about it was the subject in Sunday’s paper as well as in a letter to the editor. What to do about it is partly at our finger tips. All it takes is someone with a voice and enough interest to make it a public cause.
We have two school districts in Cache Valley administering far fewer school entities than are found in many larger cities and counties through out the country.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ri

 

Teenagers and sleep
Deseret News letter from Laura Brown

As a pediatrician and a parent, I am alarmed by the epidemic of exhausted teenagers under my care. Middle and high school start times are a key modifiable contributor to insufficient sleep, and the evidence for delaying start times to 8:30 a.m. or later (in alignment with teens’ shifting biological rhythms) is compelling.
Adolescents who get sufficient sleep (between 8.5 and 9.5 hours) perform better academically; are less likely to suffer depression, anxiety, suicidality, migraines and obesity; have fewer automobile accidents and are less likely to try alcohol or cigarettes. Beyond the health implications for later start times, a report published by The Brookings Institution noted an estimated $17,500 per student lifetimes earning gain with a school system cost of $0-1,950 per student – an impressive benefits-to-costs ratio of 9:1.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Re

 

What Trump’s Education pick Betsy DeVos SHOULD have said
Fox commentary by columnist John Stossel

Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, probably survived the grilling she got from angry Democrats last week.
When Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) demanded she promise not “to privatize public schools,” DeVos replied, “Not all schools are working for the students.”
When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asked her to make “universities tuition free,” DeVos replied, “I think that’s a really interesting idea (but) there’s nothing in life that’s truly free.”
Those answers were fine. I suppose it’s important for a nominee to be polite.
But what I wish she’d said was: “No, Sen. Murray, I won’t promise not to privatize! Didn’t you notice the mess government schemes create? Many government-run schools are lousy! Private is better!”
“Sen. Sanders, how clueless can you be? Your ‘free’ stuff is already bankrupting America! Your ‘free’ health care plan was rejected by your own state — once your fellow Democrats did the math. Then your wife bankrupted Burlington College! You call yourself ‘socialist!’ Haven’t you noticed that socialism wrecks people’s lives? You should resign in shame!”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rx

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Trump’s Pause on ESSA Regs Unlikely to Affect State Timelines, Officials Say
Education Week

The pause that President Donald Trump placed on the implementation of the accountability regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act last week is not expected to have a significant effect on the pace at which states develop their plans required under the law, according to state officials and consultants.
On Friday, Trump put a hold on a wide range of Obama administration regulations that had yet to go into effect, delaying implementation of the ESSA accountability rules that were set to go into place on Jan. 30. The delay lasts for up to 60 days, and Congressional Republicans are contemplating whether to scrap the accountability regulations entirely through the rarely used Congressional Review Act.
The accountability portion of state ESSA plans dictate how states deal with how schools are rated, what strategies states use to turn around their most struggling schools, and schools with large portions of students who opt out of standardized tests. The rules also determine when states have to turn in and implement their state plans.
But many states already have been hard at work on ESSA accountability plans, using the law-rather than the regulations-as their template.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rv

 

What Does Trump’s Hiring Freeze Mean for the Education Department?
Education Week

President Donald Trump this week signed an executive order freezing hiring at many federal agencies, with the exception of military and public safety employees. So how might that effect the U.S. Department of Education’s work?
For one thing, it could mean longer hours for some of the department’s career staff and slower responses to department inquiries, said Zollie Stevenson, who served as a career staffer in the department under three presidents, including as the director of student achievement and school accountability programs.
“Existing staff in departments often have more work to do and often have to work longer,” said Stevenson, who is now the acting vice president for academic affairs at Philander Smith College, in Little Rock, Ark. “Sometimes the timeline for response to inquiries and program requests can slow down during hiring freezes in areas with lots of customers.”
But generally speaking, Stevenson said, if there aren’t many vacancies, the freeze shouldn’t have a major impact on the agency’s work.
Tom Corwin, who spent decades as a top career employee on K-12 budget issues and is now a senior advisor at Penn Hill Group, a government relations firm, said that the hiring freeze might mean that staff will be shifted around to help review state’s accountability plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act, which are due into the department beginning on April 3. But Corwin said that additional manpower might have been needed anyway.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rz

 

DeVos receives praise at ‘National School Choice Week’ rally
Washington Post

Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee for education secretary, has come under increasing fire since stumbling over basic education policy at her confirmation hearing last week. Democrats and civil rights groups are calling her unfit for the job, while late-night comics ridicule her statement that schools might need guns to protect against “potential grizzlies.”
And so National School Choice Week, a celebration of charter schools, private schools, home schooling and other education options, could not have fallen at a more opportune time for DeVos.
The annual effort, held this year between Jan. 22 and Jan. 28, includes thousands of events around the country that bring together people who largely see DeVos not as a threat to public education, as her critics have framed her, but as a champion of extending more choices to more parents.
“We finally have a president and a vice president who believe in school choice,” said House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), speaking Tuesday on Capitol Hill at a National School Choice Week rally. “We are about to have a secretary of education who not only believes in school choice but has been fighting for school choice.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rq

 

Early financial aid letters shake up college decisions
Reuters

NEW YORK | The road to college has turned into an autobahn for some high school seniors this year.
While the official deadline for making a college decision is May 1, thousands of students across the United States already have been admitted to the schools of their choice. Many also have received financial aid offers, thanks to a new timetable from the Department of Education, which moved up the start date for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to Oct. 1 from Jan. 1.
Yet making an educated decision about which school to attend is hard for admitted students because financial aid information is not available from all of them.
“My families are just freaking out. It’s almost too much time to be waiting,” says college financial aid consultant Jodi Okun.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rs

 

The Stomach Bug Norovirus Rips Through U.S. Schools
Highly contagious, it causes vomiting and flu-like symptoms; school systems closed
Wall Street Journal

They went down like dominoes in Aimee Romero’s household. First her 5-year-old daughter came home sick from school. Hours later her 8-year-old son started vomiting every 20 minutes for six hours. Next she started feeling sick. Two days later, it was her husband’s turn.
The Romero family in Greentown, Ind., caught norovirus. Among the most contagious of all viruses, it is striking hard this winter, immobilizing families and even prompting schools to shut down due to student absences.
The Eastern Howard School Corporation in Indiana, where Ms. Romero’s children go, closed on Tuesday after 27% of the elementary-school children had been out sick the prior Friday. One school nurse fell ill over the weekend and another had a child who came down with the virus, and the district couldn’t find substitute nurses.
St. Charles East High School near Chicago was closed for two days earlier this month after 800 out of its 2,500 students called in sick and county health department tests confirmed norovirus was to blame. And Globe Park Elementary School in Woonsocket, R.I., closed for two days last week due to an outbreak of a noro-like virus, according to its principal, after more than 100 of its 513 students were sick the previous Friday.
The increase in cases is pretty typical for winter, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its current data is preliminary and only includes outbreaks through Jan. 2.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RD

Norovirus tracking
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RE (CDC)

 

Parents need more help choosing schools in Los Angeles, report says
Los Angeles Times

Despite the school district’s promises and efforts to simplify its systems, choosing a public school for your child in Los Angeles is not for the faint of heart. Various campuses and programs have different deadlines, forms and application rules.
A new report from the local group Parent Revolution asserts that parents are dissatisfied and poorly served by a system that makes access to high-quality programs complicated and especially challenging for unsophisticated or low-income families.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RB

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RC (Parent Revolution)

 

States Step Up to Help Districts With Ed-Tech Procurement
Education Week

Orlando, Fla. — School districts can get help wading through many ed-tech options and gain negotiating power when states assist with procurement, according to state education officials who spoke at the Future of Education Technology Conference here Tuesday.
The conference, which is expected to attract 9,500 attendees from the U.S. and abroad this week, featured a session on school purchasing as one of many workshops and sessions on its opening day.
In Wisconsin, the state’s virtual school is emerging as a procurement agent for districts. “It’s becoming mainstream what they’re able to provide leverage on contracts” through the virtual school, said Janice Mertes, the assistant director for instructional media and tech/digital learning in the state’s department of instruction. Besides that, Wisconsin is working to help districts better understand interoperability, she said.
Tennessee will be releasing an RFP for learning management systems, and ultimately will sign contracts with a vetted panel of about five LMS options from which districts can choose. The state’s approach will be to identify what problem its educators are trying to solve with the ed-tech system, what their instructional goals are and then identify a suite of technologies that support those goals, said Cliff Lloyd, the chief information officer for the Tennessee education department.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rw

Black Students More Likely to Be Arrested at School
Education Week

In 43 states and the District of Columbia, black students are arrested at school at disproportionately high levels, an analysis of federal data by the Education Week Research Center finds.
And one reason may be that black students are more likely than students in any other racial or ethnic group to attend schools with police, according to the analysis of 2013-14 civil rights data, the most recent collected by the U.S. Department of Education.
In most of the jurisdictions with disproportionate arrests of black students, the disparities are significant. In 28 states, the share of arrested students who are black is at least 10 percentage points higher than their share of enrollment in schools with at least one arrest. In 10 of those states, that gap is at least 20 percentage points.
No other student racial or ethnic groups face such disparities in as many states.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rt

Sidebar: Which Students Are Arrested Most in School by State
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ru (Ed Week)

 

Man executed in front of Detroit school after dropping son off
Police say father had dropped off son at Southwest Detroit school when he was shot to death
Detroit Free Press

Detroit police are investigating the shooting death of a father who was executed in front of his son’s school in southwest Detroit this morning.
According to police, the man was shot in the head shortly after his son exited the vehicle and entered Mark Twain Elementary School to start his school day. The boy did not witness the shooting.
According to police, a suspect was sitting in the rear passenger seat of the car that the victim and his child were in. The suspect exited the vehicle — a black Nissan — and fled the scene after the shooting.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Rr

 

Department of Education Creates New Evaluation Tool for K-12 Administrators
A simplified ed tech evaluation process is on the horizon.
EdTech

With new mobile apps and technology tools popping up constantly, schools have a variety of options when it comes to picking something that might work in a class. But, is there an easy way to make sure the tool will be good for students?
Last year, the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology requested a better way to help schools evaluate ed tech tools.
“[We want to] establish a standard for low-cost, quick turnaround evaluations of apps, and field test rapid-cycle evaluations,” wrote the Education Department’s Richard Culatta and Katrina Stevens in a blog post.
Enter the Ed Tech Rapid Cycle Evaluation (RCE) Coach, which the department developed in partnership with the research organization Mathematica. Now available in beta, the RCE Coach is a free, online platform designed to make evaluation of educational tech tools more efficient.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8RA

 

Dell education laptops go both ways: Windows or Chrome
The PC maker is offering up 11- and 13-inch notebooks as well as a convertible laptop running on your choice of OS.
C/Net

Dell isn’t playing favorites with its education laptops: All three of its new systems are available to run on Microsoft Windows 1o or Google Chrome.
Both Microsoft and Google announced education initiatives this week and part of those was new low-cost laptops and convertibles made specifically for classroom use. For Dell that list includes the 11.6-inch Latitude 11 and Chromebook 11, the 13.3-inch Latitude 13 and Chromebook 13 and the 11.6-inch Latitude 11 Convertible and Chromebook 11 Convertible.
All of the new systems are reinforced for shock protection and have rubberized base trim so they can better withstand a drop off a desk. They also have fully sealed keyboards and touchpads to protect against spills. Dell is promising all-day battery life from them, too.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ry

 

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

USBE Legislative Tracking Sheet
http://www.schools.utah.gov/law/Legislative-Session.aspx

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

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

House Business and Labor Committee meeting
2 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HBUS0125.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/Interim/2017/html/00000422.htm

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/Interim/2017/html/00000118.htm

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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