Education News Roundup: Jan. 30, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Will new teachers in Utah have to undergo a pedagogical assessment?
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TO (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/8Uh (KSL)

So … how does the online sales tax fight tie into education funding in Utah?
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Uy (SLT)

Educators nationwide consider how to handle the new U.S. refugee and travel ban in their classrooms.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ur (Ed Week)

Hechinger Report takes a look at remedial courses in U.S. colleges.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Uv (Hechinger Report)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Teachers would have to demonstrate ability to teach under bill headed to Utah Senate

Online sales tax fight set to resume in Utah Capitol, but this year with a wrinkle
Legislature > Income-tax plan to fund schools changes the equation, but critics still say internet sales surcharge is “taxation without representation.”

Lawmakers seek to put election law changes on fast track

Utah advances law to outfit new school buses with seat belts

Resolutions advance to erase Bears Ears, Grand Staircase
Monuments > No public opposition heard in hearings; only Democrats on committee oppose it.

‘Political insiders’ expect President Trump to take action on Bears Ears

Day 6: What happens when teachers are bullied at school?

Eight states censor LGBTQ topics in school. Now, a lawsuit is challenging that

Schofield: Hillcrest Portuguese program safe for next school year

Consider educational options during National School Choice Week

Nebo, Provo, Alpine educators named Utah Principals of the Year

Area schools receive grants to teach students where their food comes from

West Jordan Middle School using yoga to reduce student stress

Elementary students raise trout in classrooms

How a Utah Officer Serves Her City and Serves as a Role Model
Behind the Badge with Officer Lacy Miller-Turner

Flames gut Granite School District bus, no injuries reported

Assets at Utah Educational Savings Plan pass $10 billion

Women’s group awards $20K to programs for Utah women, girls

North Cache PTC rescheduled for Monday

OPINION & COMMENTARY

However we do it, we must invest more in education to grow Utah’s economy

SLC officials failed to consult schools in shelter site selection

First week of action: How did Trump and the Legislature do?

What we didn’t learn at DeVos’ confirmation hearing

Exhausted teenagers need later school start times

Scott Walker’s School Bonus
Act 10 let schools pay better teachers more, and learning increased

Here’s Why Betsy DeVos Will Likely Be Confirmed, Despite Pushback

Worldwide, School Choice Hasn’t Improved Performance
The experience of other countries suggests Betsy DeVos’ voucher vision falls flat.

NATION

Educators, Advocates React to Trump Administration’s Refugee and Travel Ban

Progressives launch last-minute push against Betsy DeVos, and conservatives counter with online ad campaign

Most colleges enroll many students who aren’t prepared for higher education
At more than 200 campuses, more than half of incoming students must take remedial courses

Union membership down nearly 40 percent since Act 10

Plans are underway to convert New Orleans’ five remaining traditional schools to charters

School Shootings Rise When Economy Struggles, Study Suggests

Cherry Hill: ‘N-word’ stays in play

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Teachers would have to demonstrate ability to teach under bill headed to Utah Senate

SALT LAKE CITY – The state of Utah would require educators who seek teaching licenses to pass a teacher pedagogical assessment under a bill unanimously approved Friday by the Utah Legislature’s Senate Education Committee.
SB78, sponsored by Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, would require the Utah State Board of Education to establish a performance-based assessment to determine whether an educator knows how to teach.
“I think this is really important step to ensure that every single teacher who steps into a classroom in Utah is a highly effective teacher that can best support our children,” said Millner, former president of Weber State University.
She likened the assessment to board exams for other professionals such as lawyers, people in medical professions, accounting and others.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TO (DN)

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

 

Online sales tax fight set to resume in Utah Capitol, but this year with a wrinkle
Legislature > Income-tax plan to fund schools changes the equation, but critics still say internet sales surcharge is “taxation without representation.”

After lively debates last year, battle lines have formed again over whether Utah should try to collect more tax on internet sales. Hundreds of millions of dollars could be at stake.
State Sens. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, and Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, just introduced the two main bills seeking to do that in different ways. Critics again are targeting both as unconstitutional attempts to create taxation without representation for out-of-state firms.
But the conflict is different this year in a major way because of the Our Schools Now initiative to put an annual $750 million income tax hike for education on the ballot.
“How can we have a discussion about raising taxes elsewhere for education when we’re not collecting everything that we are already entitled to collect?” asked Bramble.
It was the same message Gov. Gary Herbert used in proposing his 2017 budget and in his State of the State address.
Bramble and Harper say the education-funding debate vastly improves the chances of passing an online sales tax bill.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Uy (SLT)

 

Lawmakers seek to put election law changes on fast track

Utah lawmakers are putting a bill to establish a runoff election in some primary contests on the fast track ahead of next Saturday’s Republican Central Committee meeting.
Sources tell UtahPolicy.com that Republican leaders would like to see SB114 passed by the Legislature before next Saturday’s meeting. That may not be possible given that the legislation was just introduced on Friday, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, establishes a mail-only runoff election in certain primary contests where there are 4 or more candidates on the ballot. In those cases, if no candidate gets 35% or more of the vote, then the top two would advance to the runoff election.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TM (UP)

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

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

 

Utah advances law to outfit new school buses with seat belts

SALT LAKE CITY- New school buses in Utah would have to have seat belts for children under a bill advanced by a Utah legislative panel.
Republican Rep. Craig Hall of West Valley, the sponsor of the measure, told the House Transportation Committee on Thursday that he hopes people will think back one day with wonder about times when school buses didn’t have seat belts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Us (Associated Press via Education Week)

 

Resolutions advance to erase Bears Ears, Grand Staircase
Monuments > No public opposition heard in hearings; only Democrats on committee oppose it.

Utah lawmakers took a first step Friday to formally ask President Donald Trump to erase the new Bears Ears National Monument – and also to rescind large sections of the 20-year-old Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The House Rules Committee approved separate resolutions, HCR11 and HCR12, to proceed for floor debate with only the two Democrats on the committee opposing them.
The Rules Committee rarely holds hearings on legislation, and usually just assigns bills to other committees. But its chairman is Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, whose district includes the national monuments, and he is a leading opponent of them. To show the importance lawmakers give the Bears Ears resolution, House Speaker Greg Hughes is sponsoring it – even though speakers traditionally sponsor few bills.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TS (SLT)

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

 

‘Political insiders’ expect President Trump to take action on Bears Ears

Utah Republicans are mounting a full-court press on President Trump, asking him to either reduce the size of or eliminate entirely, the new Bears Ears National Monument in Southern Utah.
A clear majority of our “Political Insiders” expect President Trump to act on this request sometime soon.
73% of the Republicans on our panel, 80% of the Democrats and 69% of our readers say Trump will take steps to alter or eliminate the national monument established by President Obama in the final days of his presidency.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TN (UP)

 

Day 6: What happens when teachers are bullied at school?

* Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, is sponsoring a bill to address “abusive conduct toward school employees.” HB62 calls for school boards to update their policies related to bullying of school employees, including verbal and physical abuse from a student or parent. Stratton will present the bill to the House Education Committee at 2 p.m. Monday.

* A resolution may have been found in the legal battle between the Utah Republican Party and the state over the Count My Vote initiative. At 2 p.m. Monday, Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, plans to introduce SB114, would require a runoff election between the top two vote-getters in primary races of more than three candidates if no one receives at least 35 percent of the vote.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8U3 (DN)

 

Podcast: Utah Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis

Utah Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis speaks with Managing Editor Bryan Schott.
Davis says school funding is the biggest issue lawmakers will be facing during the 2017 Legislature. He says it will be a challenge to find more money for Utah’s schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8UA (UP, audio)

 

Eight states censor LGBTQ topics in school. Now, a lawsuit is challenging that

As a 16-year-old junior in high school, Harper McGee had to fight for the ability to say “gay” on campus.
At the time, McGee and a friend were trying to create a Gay-Straight Alliance group at Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah, in the fall of 2014. McGee wanted to have an organized place where students could talk about LGBTQ issues, but It wasn’t easy. School officials were concerned about the name because, as one of them said, it “include[d] a reference to human sexuality.”
Utah is one of eight states that has laws, sometimes called “no promo homo” laws, that limit how teachers can talk about LGBTQ issues with students, or forbid it altogether. While some teachers say the laws reflect parents’ concerns about discussing sex at school, some LGBTQ activists say they perpetuate a culture of fear among students who need support. And now, for the first time, a lawsuit is aiming to overturn one of them.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ux (NewsHour)

 

Schofield: Hillcrest Portuguese program safe for next school year

The Portuguese dual language immersion program at Hillcrest Elementary is not at risk of being axed for next school year, according to Logan City School District Superintendent Frank Schofield. A committee of parents and staff will be formed to address sustainability issues with the program.
A rumor that the district was considering cutting the program brought more than 60 supporters to speak out at an LCSD board meeting Tuesday.
Hillcrest Elementary has three grade levels with only one English-only classroom and several dual language immersion, or DLI, sections. This makes it difficult to manage when students move from one school to another – as there is only one class to place new students. Schofield said if an English-only class becomes too large, the school district has to hire more teachers and aides.
“Because we can’t spread non-DLI students across the DLI classes, in some cases it forces those non-DLI classes to get bigger than desirable,” Schofield said. “So we end up having to hire a new teacher.”
Having only one English-only class in a grade level creates additional stresses and workload on both the teacher and the class. He said there aren’t necessarily more behavior issues in English-only classes, just size management issues. Increasing the non-DLI enrollment at Hillcrest could be one solution.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ue (LHJ)

 

Consider educational options during National School Choice Week

WOODS CROSS-Education is very important in Utah. Funding and classroom size is an ongoing issue and there is sure to be plenty of discussion on the topic as the 2017 legislative session gets underway next week.
But not all parents realize there are many options when it comes to finding the right fit for their child. That is the purpose of National School Choice Week, Jan. 22 – Jan. 28.
“Parent choice has been the backbone to our culture and society,” said Utah Connections Academy Principal Jeffrey Herr. “School is very personal and emotional. Parents and students need to feel like they have the right to maximize their learning. This applies to educators as well. Sometimes they get pushed into the shadows but they’d love to have the shackles off as well.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8UB (DCC)

 

Nebo, Provo, Alpine educators named Utah Principals of the Year

SALT LAKE CITY – The principals of Salem Hills High School and Dixon Middle School, along with the assistant principal of American Fork High School, were named 2017 Utah Secondary Principals of the Year by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals.
The association will later determine whether Salem Hills High School Principal Bart Peery or Dixon Middle School Principal Jarod Sites will represent Utah in the national Secondary Principal of the Year competition. American Fork High School assistant Principal Ryan Nield will represent the state in the Assistant Principal of the Year competition.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8U8 (DN)

 

Area schools receive grants to teach students where their food comes from

The students at several area elementary schools are getting the chance to flex their green thumbs, thanks to a grant from Tractor Supply Co.
Eleven Utah elementary schools received a $500 grant, including Valley View Elementary School in Roy, Odyssey Elementary School in Woods Cross and River Heights Elementary School in Logan.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ua (OSE)

West Jordan Middle School using yoga to reduce student stress

WEST JORDAN – Some students are finding balance with the demands of middle school by trying out yoga during the school’s “pride time,” which is like a study hall hour.
Just walking into the room at West Jordan Middle School and students feel more relaxed. The group of students is doing yoga poses and different breathing techniques to music.
“Yoga can benefit people on many, many different levels, you know, starting with just the obvious physical level, going inward from there,” said Dr. Olin Levitt, the school’s psychologist who is also a certified yoga instructor.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8U4 (DN)

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

 

Elementary students raise trout in classrooms

LOGAN, Utah – 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.
Earlier in January Cache Anglers, with the help of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, delivered containers of 300 trout eggs to six elementary schools and Logan High. The program, called Trout in the Classroom, allows students to observe the eggs as they hatch and eventually grow to between 2 to 4 inches. The classes will keep the fish until May, when many of them will be stocked in Wellsville Pond or Skylar Pond in Willow Park, reported The Herald Journal.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Uc (PDH)

How a Utah Officer Serves Her City and Serves as a Role Model
Behind the Badge with Officer Lacy Miller-Turner

KAYSVILLE, UTAH — Officer Lacy Miller-Turner was recently recognized with a first responder award. She’s been D.A.R.E. officer. She works as a School Resource Officer. She performed lifesaving CPR two different times. And, she’s this week’s Behind the Badge police profile.
“You get what you put out. I don’t do this just to make myself feel good. I do it because I really have a passion to help people.” Officer Lacy’s desire to help is easy to see. The Kaysville cop has been a D.A.R.E. officer at a handful of schools. “You get to come into these little kids lives and teach them things that need to be taught and do it in a way that they see you as a friend.”
She spends 12 hours a week roaming the halls and interacting with students as a school resource officer.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Uz (KTVX)

Flames gut Granite School District bus, no injuries reported

A Granite School District bus erupted in flames early Friday afternoon, but there were no students on board and the driver escaped injury.
The bus burst into flame from its front, engine compartment about noon while in transit near 1300 East Spring Lane (about 4600 South).
District officials said that while the bus was likely a total loss, a replacement bus was soon dispatched to handle its route and no transportation disruptions were expected.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8U1 (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8U5 (DN)

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

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/8Um (Gephardt Daily)

Assets at Utah Educational Savings Plan pass $10 billion

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Educational Savings Plan has announced its assets under management topped $10 billion, a milestone capping 20 years as Utah’s official and only tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan.
The path to $10 billion began in 1996, when the Utah Legislature established the plan to help families save for higher education. In 2005, assets reached $1 billion in roughly 67,000 accounts. Today, the plan administers more than 330,000 accounts for college savers. Account owners live in all corners of the United States.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8U6 (DN)

 

Women’s group awards $20K to programs for Utah women, girls

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Women’s Giving Circle, a group formed in 2011 to benefit women and girls in Utah, awarded its sixth round of grants following the Women’s March at the state Capitol on Monday.
Pitches from nonprofit organizations targeted the topic of gender bias, the 2016 annual focus of the Giving Circle, and members voted to award $20,000 to seven groups:
http://gousoe.uen.org/8U7 (DN)

North Cache PTC rescheduled for Monday

Parent-teacher conferences at North Cache 8-9 Center will take place from 3-9 p.m. Monday at the school.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ud (LHJ)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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However we do it, we must invest more in education to grow Utah’s economy
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Gail Miller, Scott Anderson and Ron Jibson, co-chairs of Our Schools Now

Now is the time for our state to make a major investment in education. As co-chairs of Our Schools Now, we endorse raising the state income tax by 7/8 of a percent from 5 percent to 5.875 percent. The rate will still be a full percent less than it was 10 years ago before it was cut. It will raise $750 million to go directly to classrooms in every public school across the state. The increase in funding is to be accompanied by a plan to improve student outcomes in our schools.
As legislators begin this session, they are asking if we could or would support raising revenues in a different way or if we would settle for something less. We encourage the debate.
We aren’t locked into a specific revenue target. What is important is that Utah establish a revenue source for education that will cover the necessities – teacher salary equity and funding for projected enrollment growth – while also investing in the things that will drive improvements in outcomes for the next decade and beyond.
The drivers we are focused on are improvements in reading and math competencies, and the graduation of high school students who are college and career ready. Money is required for things like professional development, support staff, technology and early learning. The source of the funding or dollar amount isn’t as important as a commitment to fund a comprehensive plan to move the needle.
Just funding inflation and enrollment growth will not begin to address the need Utah schools and students have.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TR

 

SLC officials failed to consult schools in shelter site selection
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Aimee Bateman Horman, Ashley Anderson and Victoria Petro-Eschler, Salt Lake City School District parents and School Community Council (SCC) members or chairs

Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s claim that a Simpson Avenue homeless resource center will serve women and children pulls at heartstrings but sidesteps dialogue about the best ways to include children experiencing homelessness in Salt Lake City’s public schools. The mayor and her staff have taken no transparent steps to learn about the educational needs of children experiencing homelessness or the ways that the Salt Lake City School District currently serves them. Such steps are imperative for any successful shelter site, and any new claim they have already taken place runs counter to the recent public meeting on Jan. 18.
The district has the responsibility of educating all children residing in the city; they know where schools have room and resources. It’s nothing other than unacceptable that the superintendent and elected board were left out of the site selection conversation for a family shelter.
The Simpson Avenue site is within the boundaries of Nibley Park K-8 School. City materials and public comments reveal that the mayor’s office doesn’t even recognize that Nibley is not a traditional elementary model. This vital misunderstanding shows how little homework has been done, with other factors missed by the mayor’s staff including Nibley’s current lack of bus service, school boundaries lacking affordable transitional housing, and median incomes restricting the school from Title 1 funding typically used by schools that accommodate students living in the shelter.
Because of the evolving K-8 model, Nibley has a student-teacher ratio problem that results in some lower grade classrooms having as many as 36 students, making it unlikely that the school can adequately serve more students. While Deputy Chief of Staff David Litvack promises that the city will create fixes, this lip service does little to assuage families already doing the hard work of educating and advocating at Nibley.
There has also been no facilitation of dialogue between Nibley and Washington Elementary, which currently serves children bused from the Road Home.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TQ

First week of action: How did Trump and the Legislature do?
Deseret News commentary by columnists Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb


The Legislature convened last Monday and Gov. Gary Herbert delivered his State of the State on Wednesday. So how did Herbert and the Legislature do in the session’s first week?
Pignanelli: Herbert articulated the traditional values held by Utahns. But the mention of changes to alcohol policies and taxation on internet purchases reflect the changing dynamics in the state. In the response, Democrats urged greater action for clean air and education funding. The real obstacle to legislative efficiency, however, will not be partisan bickering but the record number of bills.
Webb: The first week of action showed that Utah’s governor and Legislature are almost giddy over the prospects of the Trump administration overturning Obama-era environmental regulations and land policies. However, I’m not sure Trump has any ideological sympathy for balanced federalism. He talks about returning power to the people, but I haven’t seen evidence he’s willing to give up power so states can have more.
On the key issue of education, I haven’t heard on Capitol Hill a true clarion-call, go-for-broke, game-changing effort to revitalize our schools and colleges with reform and funding. I heard, “We’re doing pretty darn good and we need to do better and we’re going to hunt around for more money.” Not exactly a rousing call to action. Clearly, the Our Schools Now ballot initiative needs to go forward.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8U9

 

What we didn’t learn at DeVos’ confirmation hearing
Deseret News op-ed by Christine Cooke, education policy analyst for Sutherland Institute

President Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of education underwent a public examination at her Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday. The questions – and sometimes diatribes – aimed at Betsy DeVos were what we would expect from the respective political parties in terms of support and opposition. Unfortunately, several substantive questions were left unasked and unanswered.
Republicans generally heralded DeVos’ passion for school choice – particularly for low-income students – and extended warm statements of confidence about her abilities as the next secretary of education.
Many Democrats used it as an opportunity to make a case against DeVos. They sought to highlight her inexperience with public school, financial aid, federal law (e.g., IDEA for children with disabilities) and a common policy debate over student proficiency versus growth.
Ironically, instead of asking as many substantive questions as possible, opponents spent much time decrying the fact that they wouldn’t get a second round to ask additional questions of DeVos.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TT

 

Exhausted teenagers need later school start times
Salt Lake Tribune 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 am or later (in alignment with teens’ shifting biological rhythms) is compelling.
Adolescents who get sufficient sleep (between 8.5-9.5 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 lifetime earning gain with a school system cost of $0-1950 per student, an impressive benefits-to-costs ratio of 9:1.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8U2

 

Scott Walker’s School Bonus
Act 10 let schools pay better teachers more, and learning increased
Wall Street Journal editorial

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s collective-bargaining reforms have saved taxpayers money, and now a study finds that by rewarding the best teachers they are also improving student learning.
The 2011 Wisconsin law, known as Act 10, limited collective bargaining to base wages while letting school districts negotiate pay with individual teachers based on criteria other than years on the job and education level.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TW

Here’s Why Betsy DeVos Will Likely Be Confirmed, Despite Pushback
Education Week commentary by columnist Alyson Klein

Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Education, is at the center of a social media maelstrom and has stirred more opposition than any other candidate for secretary in the department’s more than three decade history. Over the past couple of weeks, educators and activists concerned about her appointment have made thousands of calls to congressional offices and organized a spate of protests in Washington D.C., DeVos’ hometown of Holland, Michigan, and elsewhere.
Still, she’ll probably be the next secretary of education. DeVos only needs Republican support to be confirmed. And the GOP controlls the U.S. Senate 52 to 48. That means, if all the Democrats vote against DeVos as expected, three senators would need to flip to defeat her. And that doesn’t look likely, for reasons we explain further below.
There may be an upside to DeVos as education secretary for Democrats, who have already started fundraising off the controversial nominee.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Uq

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

 

Worldwide, School Choice Hasn’t Improved Performance
The experience of other countries suggests Betsy DeVos’ voucher vision falls flat.
U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Henry M. Levin, William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College

Worldwide, rising populism and identity politics are leading to increased demands from families seeking out specific types of schools that mirror their ideologies. In some countries, this has extended to replacing the public system of schools with government vouchers that can be used to pay for private schools – a priority of Betsy DeVos, the nominee for U.S. education secretary.
Advocates argue that school choice promotes competition that will improve performance and allow the freedom of choice that will best serve student educational needs and family preferences.
These are not new ideas. Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman designed an educational voucher plan some 60 years ago that was adopted by Sweden and Chile. Under his plan, families can use vouchers at any approved private school. Several states and cities in the U.S. sponsor voucher approaches for students from low-income families that are used mainly at religiously affiliated schools.
Education in most democratic countries was established primarily to prepare students for roles in the emerging industrial democracies of the 19th century. Democratic political participation requires access to information, engagement in discourse and electoral activity to be effective. Economic participation requires understanding of markets, prices, money, government intervention, employment relationships and economic responsibilities and opportunities.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Uw

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Educators, Advocates React to Trump Administration’s Refugee and Travel Ban
Education Week

Washington — Teachers, at least two former education secretaries, and others with links to education are speaking out about President Donald Trump’s executive order issued Friday that suspends refugee admissions into the U.S. for 120 days, bars all immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, and indefinitely bans refugees from Syria.
For Rachel Rowan, a high school social studies teacher in Prince George’s County schools in Maryland, the controversy happens to match up with her lessons: This week, Rowan told us, she’ll be discussing the U.S. Constitution’s Article II (the section governing the powers of the presidency) and what exactly executive orders are. And she said she’ll be emphasizing to them that “looking at different perspectives is often the most productive thing they can do with an issue” to learn about it and understand it. (We spoke with Rowan while she was on her way to attend a demonstration near the U.S. Capitol against the nomination of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick to be education secretary.)
Among other questions, she’ll be asking her students, “Do you think the people who support that policy think of themselves as racist?”
Rowan also said she has refugee students in her classroom, but that she doesn’t want to single them out in the current climate: “Some offer their experiences. Some of them I know because they have confided in me. … I don’t put students on the spot to talk about their personal experiences.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ur

 

Progressives launch last-minute push against Betsy DeVos, and conservatives counter with online ad campaign
Washington Post

More than 300 state lawmakers hailing from all 50 states have added their voices to the chorus objecting to President Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos as education secretary.
The lawmakers, who are overwhelmingly Democrats, voiced their opposition to DeVos in a joint letter that is expected to be delivered to U.S. Senators on Monday, the day before a Senate committee is scheduled to vote on her nomination.
They comprise a minority of the more than 7,300 state legislators nationwide, but their criticisms echo those that have been made in recent weeks by Democratic Senators, labor unions, civil rights groups and advocates for children with disabilities, as well as many parents and teachers.
The state lawmakers argue that DeVos, who has no professional experience in education, is unqualified for the job and that the charter schools and voucher programs she has worked to create and expand have undermined public schools, which they see as critical civic institutions that serve the majority of students.
As states embrace greater authority over education under the new Every Student Succeeds Act, the legislators wrote, “we are deeply concerned that Ms. DeVos will bring her lack of experience with public education, her failure to understand key federal laws, and her track record of undermining public education at the state level with her to Washington.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TY

 

Most colleges enroll many students who aren’t prepared for higher education
At more than 200 campuses, more than half of incoming students must take remedial courses
Hechinger Report

BALTIMORE – The vast majority of public two- and four-year colleges report enrolling students – more than half a million of them-who are not ready for college-level work, a Hechinger Report investigation of 44 states has found.
The numbers reveal a glaring gap in the nation’s education system: A high school diploma, no matter how recently earned, doesn’t guarantee that students are prepared for college courses. Higher education institutions across the country are forced to spend time, money and energy to solve this disconnect. They must determine who’s not ready for college and attempt to get those students up to speed as quickly as possible, or risk losing them altogether.
Most schools place students in what are called remedial courses in math or English before they can move on to a full load of college-level, credit-bearing courses – a process that is a financial drain on not only students, but also colleges and taxpayers, costing up to an estimated $7 billion a year.
Data from 911 two- and four-year colleges revealed that 96 percent of schools enrolled students who required remediation in the 2014-15 academic year, the most comprehensive recent numbers. At least 209 schools placed more than half of incoming students in at least one remedial course.
At least 569,751 students were enrolled in remedial classes that year. The true total is likely much higher because of inconsistencies in the way states track this data that may not capture adults returning to school or part-time students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Uv

 

Union membership down nearly 40 percent since Act 10
(Madison) Wisconsin State Journal

Union membership in Wisconsin is down nearly 40 percent since Republicans passed legislation known as Act 10 that all but eliminated collective bargaining for public workers, new federal data show.
In 2016, the percentage of public and private workers who were members of unions was 8.1 percent, or 219,000 union members. That’s down by 136,000 members, or 38.3 percent, since 2010 levels, the year before passage of Act 10, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Relentless attacks from right-wing politicians and corporate special interests have certainly taken a toll,” said Rick Badger executive director of state employee union AFSCME Council 32. “Today it’s much harder for working people to join together in a union and fight for fair wages and safer workplaces.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TX

 

Plans are underway to convert New Orleans’ five remaining traditional schools to charters
(New Orleans) The Lens

Principals at the last five schools operated by the local school district in New Orleans have asked to convert them to independent charters, all run by an organization created last week.
The plan has the implicit support of Orleans schools superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. In the past two weeks, Lewis has spoken to parents to advocate converting the schools to charters. At times he has appeared to speak in favor of the new charter network itself.
Last month, the Orleans Parish School Board asked for applications from groups that want to take over the five schools or create a new charter school. Lewis will decide, with the approval of the board, which nonprofit organization will be awarded the charters for these schools.
And although the district says it wants to see evidence that teachers and parents support the conversion to a charter, they will not be given an opportunity to vote on the matter.
Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ neighborhood-based schools gradually have been replaced by charters that are open to any child in the city.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Ut

 

School Shootings Rise When Economy Struggles, Study Suggests
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — School shootings rise when the economy tanks, according to a new study of U.S. schools, even as violent crime in general appears to be unaffected.
Researchers analyzed data from 379 shootings in schools between 1990 and 2013 and found a link between changes in national and local unemployment rates and the frequency of shootings.
Most were targeted attacks – often not fatal – and suicides, according to the study in Monday’s journal Nature Human Behaviour. Only six percent of the shootings studied were random mass shootings.
Using a complex statistical analyses, researchers found “with very, very high confidence” there are specific time periods when school shootings are higher than others, said study co-author and data scientist Luis Amaral, a physicist and co-director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Uo

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/8Up (Nature Human Behaviour)

Cherry Hill: ‘N-word’ stays in play
Cherry Hill (NJ) Courier-Post

CHERRY HILL – The school district announced an about-face Friday, saying it will not seek to remove the N-word and other slurs from an upcoming student play.
The controversial language will be heard at productions of Ragtime, the spring musical at Cherry Hill High School East, Superintendent Joseph Meloche said in a statement.
The district previously had said it would remove derogatory racial and ethnic slurs from the script, citing concerns from community members.
In announcing his decision Friday, Meloche said a contract with Ragtime’s distributor required the play “must be performed as written or not performed at all.”
He also said the district will seek to educate students about bigotry through the musical, which explores social divisions in America in the early 20th century.
“We will make it abundantly clear that we loathe the N-word, that we despise this most vile of words in our language,” Meloche said.
The reversal drew an unhappy response from Lloyd Henderson, president of the NAACP’s Camden County East chapter.
http://gousoe.uen.org/8TZ

http://gousoe.uen.org/8U0 ([Woodbury] South Jersey Times)

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

 

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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 30:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00000707.htm

House Education Committee meeting
2 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HEDU0130.ag.htm

House Business and Labor Committee meeting
2 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HBUS0130.ag.htm

House Health and Human Services Committee meeting
2 p.m., 20 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HHHS0130.ag.htm

House Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee meeting
2 p.m., 450 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HPUT0130.ag.htm

Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee meeting
2 p.m., 250 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/SJLC0130.ag.htm

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
5:15 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=APPEXE

January 31:

Senate Education Committee meeting
4 pm., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=SSTEDU

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

House Retirement and Independent Entities Committee meeting
12:45 p.m., 250 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HRIE0201.ag.htm

February 2:

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

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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