Education News Roundup: Feb. 10, 2017

Utah Legislature and Education

Utah Legislature and Education

Today’s Top Picks:

Our Schools Now continues to work with the Legislature to get more funding for public schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/932 (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/93B (UPR)

School bus seat belt bill dies.
http://gousoe.uen.org/92Z (SLT)

State Board of Education holds a public hearing on raising educator licensing fees.
http://gousoe.uen.org/92Y (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/93o (KSL)

AP looks at how Chromebooks conquered schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93s (AP)

Can teachers outsource grading?
http://gousoe.uen.org/93x (Ed Week)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Backers of initiative to raise taxes for schools say they want to work with lawmakers

House kills plan to require seat belts on Utah school buses
Adding the safety measure would cost too much, do too little to improve safety, critics say.

Bill to nix ‘no promo homo’ law introduced

Panel OKs later school start times
Getting up too early can contribute to obesity, depression, other issues in teens, says bill sponsor.

Photocop For School Bus Violations Advances

State School Board gets earful over proposed hike in teacher license fees

In advance of town hall, Jason Chaffetz discusses Trump’s tax returns, elimination of Department of Education

Utahns drown out Chaffetz with demand to ‘explain yourself’ while congressman rebuffs at tense town hall
Amid constant booing, the Republican has a hard time trying to answer questions about public lands, Trump and immigration.

When you call your senator, is he listening?

New Layton junior high will have large gym for city use

Navajo Code Talker treats local students to living lesson

USU group teaches tolerance to elementary, middle school students

App allows students to connect to crisis counselors

Bingham High placed on lockout as police search for known gang members

Report of Man With a Gun Prompts Lockdown at West Valley School

United Way of Salt Lake Announces 2017 Changemakers

Inside our schools

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Thumbs up, thumbs down

Here’s why Betsy DeVos will be a great Education Secretary

Americans must become better at cybersecurity

NATION

Can Betsy DeVos Make Shift From Divisive Nominee to Effective Leader?

Decoding the DeVos To-Do List
The new education secretary is a champion of school choice, but may need to take a piecemeal approach to expansion.

Protesters Greet DeVos in Her First Visit to a Public School

How Google Chromebooks Conquered Schools

Can Teachers Outsource Grading? Two Educators Explain What That Looks Like

More black and Latino students learn to code as Code.org classes swell

Math Achievement Gaps Set In Early for Latino Children

Republicans fast-track school-voucher bill in Arizona Legislature
In the state Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority, it’s unclear if the expansion legislation will muster enough votes to advance.

Senate passes heavily amended bill to cut education funding

Book Advising Indian Students to Kill Kittens Sparks Outrage

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Backers of initiative to raise taxes for schools say they want to work with lawmakers

SALT LAKE CITY — Supporters of the proposed Our Schools Now initiative that would raise the state income tax rate to bring in $750 million for schools told lawmakers Thursday they want to work with them to boost education funding.
Nolan Karras, a former House speaker and a member of the initiative’s executive committee, told members of the Public Education Appropriations Committee they hope to “help turn the public’s opinion” on a tax increase.
“We’ve organized Our Schools Now because we understand that raising taxes is a difficult thing for an elected body,” Karras said, something the business and community leaders behind the initiative can make easier.
He said the group, whose leaders include Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller and Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson, intends to secure public support “with a campaign we intend to push forward to 2018.”
That doesn’t have to be the seven-eighths of 1 percent hike in the state’s 5 percent income tax rate called for in what was clearly labeled a draft proposal circulated among the committee, Karras said.
“We want to work with the Legislature,” he said. “We really would rather have it done surgically” as opposed to what he termed the “very general” increase in the proposed initiative for next year’s ballot.
http://gousoe.uen.org/932 (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93B (UPR)

 

House kills plan to require seat belts on Utah school buses
Adding the safety measure would cost too much, do too little to improve safety, critics say.

Worries about money outweighed safety concerns as the House on Thursday voted down a bill that would have required seat belts on new school buses in Utah.
HB132 died on a 30-40 vote.
Critics complained that adding seat belts to new buses is estimated to cost about $10,000 per bus. Opponents argued that would lead school districts to buy fewer buses, which they said would worsen safety by forcing more children to walk.
“The science just isn’t there” to show seat belts significantly improve safety in school buses, which he said are among the safest vehicles on the road, Rep. Timothy Hawkes, R-Centerville, argued. He noted that federal transportation safety agencies have not mandated their use on school buses.
But Rep. Dixon Pitcher, R-Ogden, countered the issue is a common-sense one.
“To say that seat belts don’t help on a bus doesn’t pass the giggle test,” he said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/92Z (SLT)

 

Bill to nix ‘no promo homo’ law introduced

A Utah lawmaker is taking steps to undo a law that forbids discussion of homosexuality that could be seen as “advocacy” in sex education classes.
Senate Majority Whip Stuart Adams, R-Layton, is sponsoring SB196, which removes a prohibition “advocating” homosexuality in sex education in Utah. The official policy for Utah sex ed will be emphasizing abstinence, but the so-called “no promo homo” restrictions will be removed.
“We need to protect all of our kids,” explains Adams. “We want to make sure everybody is treated equally in our schools.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/93C (UP)

 

Panel OKs later school start times
Getting up too early can contribute to obesity, depression, other issues in teens, says bill sponsor.

A debate over the proper start time for Utah’s high schools is headed to the House floor.
Members of the House Education Committee voted 8-2 on Thursday in favor of a resolution that encourages high schools to postpone their morning bells until 8:30 am or later.
The resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, said there is a growing body of research suggesting that teenagers are naturally impeded from waking at early hours.
That can lead to inattention in class, she said, and contribute to deleterious health effects like obesity, depression and drowsy driving.
“There have been studies that show that later start times improve achievement and improve attendance,” Moss said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/92V (SLT)

 

Photocop For School Bus Violations Advances

A bill designed to help ferret out drivers who ignore school bus stop signs passed out of the House Transportation Committee Tuesday.
HB 235 – Automated Traffic Enforcement Safety Devices, which is sponsored by Representative Mike McKell (Republican – Spanish Fork), authorizes the use of automated traffic enforcement safety devices on school buses to help capture photographic or video images of possible traffic law violations. Under the bill, 20 percent of the fines collected would be given to the school district or private school that owns or contracts for the operation of the bus to help offset the cost of a camera.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93E (UPC)

 

State School Board gets earful over proposed hike in teacher license fees

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Board of Education got an earful Thursday from educators over a proposal to increase teacher licensure fees, some by double.
State officials say the schedule would reinstate 2014 fees, but educators say it will hamper teacher recruitment and retention.
Educators, most of them representatives of teacher associations, also took issue with the timing of a public hearing on the proposed fee changes, which was originally scheduled after school hours on Thursday but was changed to 1 p.m.
http://gousoe.uen.org/92Y (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93o (KSL)

 

In advance of town hall, Jason Chaffetz discusses Trump’s tax returns, elimination of Department of Education

Issuing a subpoena for President Donald Trump’s tax returns would be an “abuse of my power,” U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Alpine, said Thursday morning during a meeting with the Daily Herald Editorial Board.
It is not required by law for the president of the United States to hand over tax returns, though it has been customary for presidents to do so, and many Americans have called on Trump to release his.
As the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Chaffetz is one of few people who have the ability to demand the president’s full tax returns.

It came as a surprise to some when news broke Tuesday that Chaffetz is a co-sponsor on a bill that seeks to abolish the federal Department of Education.
But Chaffetz said it shouldn’t have. He signed on to a similar bill last year.
“This is not a new position for me,” Chaffetz said. “I campaigned for it before I was even elected in 2008.”
Despite thinking the bill is a good idea, he does not expect it to pass this year.
“I’m trying to make a very strong statement,” Chaffetz said. “And really try to push the envelope and educate people and try to get the principle right. This bill has a long, long way to go. It isn’t happening in April.”
He referenced the 4,500 employees who make up the staff at the department, saying that, while they are probably good people, he doesn’t see the benefit they and the federal department are bringing to Utah.
That doesn’t mean Utah should shun federal money, Chaffetz said, but that the money should be controlled on a local level.
http://gousoe.uen.org/933 (PDH)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93j (SGN)

 

Utahns drown out Chaffetz with demand to ‘explain yourself’ while congressman rebuffs at tense town hall
Amid constant booing, the Republican has a hard time trying to answer questions about public lands, Trump and immigration.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz tried to respond to questions, but many of his answers went unheard. The din of the hostile and harassing audience that filled the 1,000 seats of a high school auditorium Thursday night drowned him out.
“Explain yourself,” they roared over him.
When the congressman did get a chance to speak, the crowd often didn’t like what he had to say. And he knew it.
The town-hall meeting was 75 minutes of tense exchanges between Chaffetz and residents from across the state. They were frustrated by the Utah Republican’s refusal to investigate President Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest. They doggedly pursued him for his initiatives to transfer or sell public lands. They questioned his position on immigration and refugees.
And that was only half of the largely liberal crowd.

The congressman addressed 13 questions, three focused on public lands and four on investigating Trump. The other subjects jumped from Planned Parenthood to air quality to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
http://gousoe.uen.org/930 (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/931 (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/934 (PDH)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93c (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93e (LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93m (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93n (KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93q (KSTU)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93r (KUER)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93F (HuffPo)

 

When you call your senator, is he listening?

President Trump’s policies have led to some loud and opinionated voices being shouted from Utahns. There have been protests and rallies in the Beehive State, and on Thursday night, so many people wanted to hear-from/shout-at Rep. Jason Chaffetz that the auditorium at Brighton High School couldn’t accommodate the crowd.
Others are turning to their phones and computers to make their voices heard. Calls and emails have reportedly been swamping the offices of all members of Congress.
Last week, one constituent even sent Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch a pizza with a note asking him to vote, ‘no,’ on confirming Betsy Devos for education secretary.
It got us wondering: Just how many Utahns are speaking out and what are they saying? Short of a poll, it’s a question that, we found, is not easily confirmed. Emails, phone calls, letters, faxes and, yes, pizza deliveries to members of Congress are not public records.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93k (KUTV)

 

New Layton junior high will have large gym for city use

LAYTON — The Davis School District has released architectural renderings of what its new junior high school will look like.
The district’s 17th junior high school will be located at Weaver Lane and West Side Drive in Layton and feature an extra large gym with four basketball courts.
Director of Architectural Services Bryan Turner said pending good weather and a successful bid, construction will begin in April and the school will open in fall 2019.
Turner said the gym comes thanks to a partnership with the Layton City, which will pay a to-be-determined amount to use the gym after school hours for city recreation programs. Similar gymnasium partnerships are ongoing with Central Davis and Legacy junior high schools.
Including the monetary contribution from the city, about $40 million from a $298 million bond that passed in 2015 has been budgeted for the building. Other building projects funded by the bond include a new high school in Farmington and renovations at several schools including Woods Cross and Viewmont high schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93b (OSE)

 

Navajo Code Talker treats local students to living lesson

Samuel Tom Holiday, a Washington City resident and one of the fewer than 20 surviving Navajo Code Talkers who fought in World War II, turns 93 next year.
Showing the signs of old age, he’s hard of hearing and moves gingerly, admitting that some early signs of Alzheimer’s are starting to blur the memories that inform his lifetime’s worth of stories.
But as students at Riverside Elementary School learned Tuesday, the old man is still much more than just a breathing piece of history.
Holiday flashed an easy smile and quick wits during the school visit, coloring the facts and figures and historical accounts of the famed Code Talkers with his own bit of contagious humanity.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93i (SGS)

 

USU group teaches tolerance to elementary, middle school students

Jeisianne Rosario Colon, a psychology doctoral student at USU, presented role playing situations to teach civility and tolerance to eighth graders at South Cache Middle School on Wednesday.
In response to recent bullying incidents in Cache Valley, two local schools have reached out to Utah State University for help on educating students to handle issues like tolerance and inclusivity.
Representatives from Hillcrest Elementary and South Cache Middle School Librarian Jann Leishman contacted the university after recent incidents, including one during the presidential campaign where a group of middle-school students linked arms and formed a wall in the hallway, apparently with the goal of stopping Mexican students from passing. Leishman said the incident only lasted for about 10 seconds before a teacher shut it down.
“We’ve had an incident or two in our school, but it’s been that way in multiple schools and really the community in general, and so we we’re just trying to be proactive,” Leishman said.
The university brought the requests to a club that formed the day after the presidential election, called USU Inclusion. They responded by creating a “Teaching Tolerance” presentation that uses role-playing scenarios to show students the right way and the wrong way to deal with forms of discrimination.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93g (LHJ)

 

App allows students to connect to crisis counselors

Two Cache County high schools are recommending a smartphone app that allows students to easily contact licensed social workers or submit a confidential tip about a peer who may be at risk of harming themselves or others.
Last September, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes unveiled the app, called SafeUT, citing statistics that show suicide is the leading cause of death of Utah children aged 10 to 17. Utah also leads the nation in the teen suicide rate.
“Those in crisis can now access live trained professionals at any time the way they are used to communicating, through a smart app on their phones,” Reyes stated.
The anonymous app allows students to call or text directly with trained professionals at the University of Utah if they are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts. If a student has a concern about someone else, they can submit a tip with options to include the person involved, the date, time, location and an option to add a picture. The categories available in a drop-down menu include abuse, cutting, cyberbullying, drugs, gangs, planned school attack, suicide and weapons.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93f (LHJ)

 

2 teens arrested in stolen guns case after Bingham High is locked down

SOUTH JORDAN — Bingham High School was temporarily put in a lockdown situation Friday morning while police investigated an incident involving stolen guns.
The lockout was lifted just before 11 a.m. after police found two teenage boys they were looking for in South Jordan and took them into custody.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93H (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93J (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93I (KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93p (KSTU)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93G (Gephardt Daily)

 

Report of Man With a Gun Prompts Lockdown at West Valley School

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — American Preparatory Academy in West Valley City was put on lockdown Thursday evening.
Officers responded to the school, located at 1255 W 2590 S, to investigate reports of a man with a gun in the area.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93l (KTVX)

 

United Way of Salt Lake Announces 2017 Changemakers

SALT LAKE CITY – United Way of Salt Lake announced its United for Change Changemaker award honorees for 2017.
United Way will honor Kurt Micka, Executive Director of Utah Partners for Health, Utah State Senator F. Ann Millner, Kearns High School Principal Maile Loo, and Silicon Slopes’ Startup Santa as the 2017 Changemakers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93D (KCSG)

 

Inside our schools

Canyon View Middle
Iron Springs Elementary
Parowan Elementary
Parowan High
South Elementary
North Elementary
Three Peaks Elementary​
Arrowhead Elementary
Valley Academy Charter
http://gousoe.uen.org/93h (SGS)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Thumbs up, thumbs down
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial


To Jason Chaffetz for choosing to co-sponsor a bill effectively destroying the Department of Education. This is NOT how we make a good future for our children.

I’m in favor of high schoolers across the country being required to take auto shop. While there are many valuable things I learned in high school, I think there’s value in learning practical things that will help students out in the future. While it may not be something they are necessarily interested in (I definitely wasn’t interested in cars in high school), after seeing how much it could cost to maintain a vehicle, they may think differently. Knowing warning signs of car issues and when they need to take their vehicle in for routine maintenance could help them in the long run.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93d

 

Here’s why Betsy DeVos will be a great Education Secretary
Fox commentary by Michael J. Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute

The major charge against Betsy DeVos—and certainly the one that the writers at “Saturday Night Live” recently ran with—was that she doesn’t know enough about “school” to be Secretary of Education. She hasn’t been a teacher, a principal, or a superintendent. She doesn’t know how to pick a curriculum, evaluate an instructor, or write an Individual Education Plan for students with disabilities.
All true. And if she were seeking employment as a teacher, a principal, or a superintendent, that experience gap would be damning. But she’s not.
President Trump selected her to be the U.S. Secretary of Education. That person’s job is to do education politics and policy—to work with members of Congress and governors, to understand how a bill becomes a law, to provide moral support to reformers as they fight it out in the states and at the local level. With her decades of involvement in politics, with policy makers and in the trenches of the parental choice movement, DeVos is an inspired choice for the job that the Senate confirmed her for today.
Which isn’t to say the millions of teachers and parents who flooded social media and the Congressional switchboard to urge her rejection had nothing to worry about. Especially during the Bush 43 and Obama years, the Secretary of Education has occupied a powerful role, one that has sought to influence almost every nook and cranny of education policy and practice.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93A

 

Americans must become better at cybersecurity
(Washington, DC) The Hill op-ed by HAROLD RAVECHE, president of Innovation Strategies International, and MICHAEL WYNNE, who served as the 21st Secretary of the U.S Air Force

Making the U.S. “cyber safer” is a multidimensional, long-term challenge. Threats are varied, they are inexpensive to carry out and can originate from anywhere. The perpetrators can hide or camouflage their identities. Motivations vary from seeking classified military and intelligence data and intellectual property of businesses to theft of personal identities and executing illegal financial transactions or simple vandalism.
Prosecution of cyber criminals is difficult, as they are digitally elusive, often working their trade with near complete anonymity. Laws differ around the world, making a coherent effort against cyber criminals a complex problem. Hackers have proven to be increasingly successful in piercing current software-based security measures, with developing evidence pointing to the Advanced Persistent Threat. Some are state sponsored, while others operate alone and in rogue groups. WikiLeaks and the recent hacking of Secretary Clinton’s email serve as a reminder that hackers are also disruptively opportunistic.
The explosive global use of mobile apps, chat groups and social media offer hackers new gateways to obtain sensitive organizational as well as personal data. Suppliers of look-alike WiFi connections use their signals to gain entrance to mobile devices. Even technologically sophisticated companies such as Apple, Facebook and Twitter have been hacked. Last year, Yahoo announced that it had previously suffered attacks wherein one billion active user accounts were compromised. Also in 2016, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services reported to the US Navy that one of the company’s laptops was breached, revealing the personal identities of more than 134,000 current and previous sailors.

Educational policies are needed at the local, state and federal levels to inform, enlighten and convert anxiety to more careful use of the Internet.
With social media usage beginning as early as grammar school age, cyber education should start in the 6th grade. Just as driver’s ed prepares high school students for safer driving, “cyber ed” will better prepare them for safer use of the Internet. Community colleges should include cyber awareness courses for adult education in the evening.
http://gousoe.uen.org/937

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Can Betsy DeVos Make Shift From Divisive Nominee to Effective Leader?
Education Week

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos finally took the helm of her agency this week after a bitter and tumultuous confirmation process unlike any other in the U.S. Department of Education’s more than three-decade history.
Now, it’s an open question whether DeVos can make the transition from highly divisive nominee to effective leader.
Also unclear: whether the thousands of educators, advocates, and members of the general public who called their senators urging them to vote against DeVos will try to find common ground with her—or continue to make their case against her.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93w

 

Decoding the DeVos To-Do List
The new education secretary is a champion of school choice, but may need to take a piecemeal approach to expansion.
U.S. News & World Report

President Donald Trump pledged on the campaign trail to direct $20 billion in federal education spending to school choice policies. On Tuesday evening, he took a first step toward fulfilling that promise as Betsy DeVos, a billionaire school choice advocate, was sworn in as U.S. secretary of education.
The confirmation of the newly minted DeVos, whose nomination cleared the Senate by the slimmest of margins Tuesday with a tie-breaking vote cast by Vice President Mike Pence, effectively ushers in a new era in education policy. Officials are expected to move away from using federal funds to prod states into adopting certain education policies and toward loosening directives regarding how federal dollars are used.
Likely up first on that new agenda are efforts to expand school choice.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93a

 

Protesters Greet DeVos in Her First Visit to a Public School
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Several dozen protesters are gathered outside a public school where Betsy DeVos is paying her first visit as education secretary in a bid to mend fences with educators after a bruising confirmation battle.
DeVos visited Jefferson Middle School in southwest DC early Friday. About 50 protesters gathered outside the school, holding signs and shouting “We fight back!”
DeVos has previously worked to promote charter schools and school voucher programs, which her critics say would hurt public schools. She was confirmed for the job by the Senate on Tuesday by the narrowest possible margins, after two Republicans opposed her.
Journalists were prevented from entering the school to cover the event.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93u

http://gousoe.uen.org/93v (WaPo)

 

How Google Chromebooks Conquered Schools
Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Google Chromebook, a type of stripped-down laptop, isn’t a practical mobile device for many people – mostly because it basically turns into an expensive paperweight whenever it can’t find a Wi-Fi connection.
Yet Chromebooks have defied expectations and made major inroads in an unexpected environment – U.S. schools.
In retrospect, that shouldn’t be too surprising. Chromebooks are cheap and easy to manage, making them popular with budget-constrained schools with limited tech-support staff. And Wi-Fi is now common enough in U.S. schools and homes to make an internet-dependent device practical for students.
Google doesn’t want to stop there.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93s

 

Can Teachers Outsource Grading? Two Educators Explain What That Looks Like
Education Week

Several years ago, two public schools in Michigan became teacher-powered—meaning, teachers have the autonomy to make decisions about what goes on with school operations. After that transition, one of the main areas the educators reevaluated was grading.
Typically, teachers spend hours outside of school grading assignments. What would happen if that task was outsourced?
According to Sarah and Dan Giddings, two (married) teachers in Ann Arbor, Mich., who teach at two different teacher-powered schools within the Washtenaw Educational Options Consortium, removing grading from teachers’ list of responsibilities can free teachers up to focus on designing the curriculum and creating meaningful relationships with students.
The concept is not uncommon in higher education—in 2011, the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote about a handful of institutions that turned over their grading to independent assessors or even computers—but it’s rarely seen in K-12. Education Week Teacher spoke to Sarah and Dan about how and why their schools outsource grading.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93x

 

More black and Latino students learn to code as Code.org classes swell
USA Today

SAN FRANCISCO — Giovanna Munoz Ortiz is a 10th grader at Madison Park Academy, and every day, she learns to code.
Her public school in East Oakland, Calif., mirrors the neighborhood that surrounds it. It’s nearly entirely Latino and African American. Almost all the students qualify for free and reduced lunch. And, until 2015, it didn’t offer any computer science classes.
“I had never really thought about it much before,” Ortiz, 15, says. “Now that I am being exposed to it, I find it really interesting.”
Ortiz is one of a growing number of students from underrepresented backgrounds gaining access for the first time to curriculum from Code.org, which gives them the knowledge and skills to pursue an education and career in computer science.
http://gousoe.uen.org/939

 

Math Achievement Gaps Set In Early for Latino Children
Education Week

Achievement gaps in math between Latino students and their white counterparts set in before kindergarten, says a new report by Child Trends’ Hispanic Institute.
The study analyzed data from a longitudinal study by the National Center for Education Statistics that tracked nearly 10,400 students’ progress from kindergarten through 5th grade starting in 2010, among other sources. At the beginning of kindergarten, Latino students’ math skills already trail behind those of white students by the equivalent of three months of learning. This early gap sets students up to remain behind in math in the spring of their kindergarten year—which can affect future learning and success.
Latino children were more than twice as likely as white children to live in poverty, and those who began school with lower math skills also were less likely to attend center-based child care. But those students who attended full-day kindergarten showed more progress in math than those who only attended for a half day.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93y

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/93z (Child Trends)

 

Republicans fast-track school-voucher bill in Arizona Legislature
In the state Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority, it’s unclear if the expansion legislation will muster enough votes to advance.
(Phoenix) Arizona Republic

Republican lawmakers in the Arizona Legislature are attempting to fast-track a plan to eventually offer vouchers to every public-school student and, in separate legislation, privatize oversight of the public money given to parents to pay private-school tuition and other expenses.
The Legislature is training its sights on the plan to broaden eligibility for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, a school-choice program created six years ago for disabled children. Under the legislation, all of Arizona’s 1.1 million students would be eligible for the program by 2020.
Sen. Debbie Lesko, of Peoria, and Rep. John Allen, of Scottsdale, have introduced identical bills to expand the program in their chambers, a move intended to expedite passage. ESAs allow families to use public-school dollars on private-school tuition and other educational expenses.
ESAs would be offered to four grades in 2017-18 and incrementally to all public-school students by 2020-21.
http://gousoe.uen.org/935

 

Senate passes heavily amended bill to cut education funding
Casper (WY) Star-Tribune

Wyoming school districts would lose 5 percent of the money in their state-provided block grant by the end of the decade under a heavily amended bill that has passed the Senate and been received by the House.
The measure, Senate File 165, is a substitute bill that’s markedly different from its predecessor. It now would cut the block grant funding given to districts by 2.5 percent for the 2018-19 school year and 5 percent by the 2019-2020 school year, as well as freeze transportation and special education spending at 2011-12 and 2015-16 levels, respectively.
The bill represents one of the most wide-ranging attempts in the Legislature to address an education funding crisis that could hit $400 million annually in the coming years. The situation is the product of a prolonged downturn in the energy economy that’s also crippled Wyoming’s ability to pay for school construction and maintenance.
http://gousoe.uen.org/936

 

Book Advising Indian Students to Kill Kittens Sparks Outrage
Associated Press

NEW DELHI — A textbook has sparked outrage in India for instructing fourth-graders to suffocate a kitten to learn that living beings need air.
The experiment described in the environmental science textbook for 9-year-olds tells the students to place two kittens in separate boxes, one of them without air holes, and wait to see the result.
The textbook titled “Our Green World” was published by PP Publications, a New Delhi-based publisher of school textbooks. It had been used in hundreds of schools in the Indian capital and the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana since last April.
The first chapter titled “Living things breathe” reads: “No living thing can live without air for more than a few minutes. You can do an experiment. Take two wooden boxes. Make holes on the lid of one box. Put a small kitten in each box. Close the boxes. After some time open the boxes. What do you see? The kitten inside the box without holes has died.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/93t

 

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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

February 10:

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

Commission on Federalism meeting
12:30 p.m., 20 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00001547.htm

House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee meeting
3 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HLAW0210.ag.htm

Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee meeting
3 p.m., 215 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/SEDW0210.ag.htm

Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting
3 p.m., 250 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/SREV0210.ag.htm

February 13:

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

Senate Retirement and Independent Entities Committee meeting
12:30 p.m., 250 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/SRIE0213.ag.htm

House Education Committee meeting
2 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=HSTEDU

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

February 14:

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

February 15:

House Education Committee meeting
8 a.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=HSTEDU

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
4:10 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=APPEXE

February 16:

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

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

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
4:10 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=APPEXE

February 17:

House Education Committee meeting
8 a.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=HSTEDU

March 9:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/charterschools/State-Board.aspx

March 13:

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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