Education News Roundup: Feb, 13, 2017

Utah State Capitol

Utah State Capitol

Today’s Top Picks:

House Speaker Hughes says there is no appetite on the Hill for increasing taxes to fund education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93U (UP)

The Our Schools Now ballot initiative could have a significant wording change if this House bill passes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94f (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/94U (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/94z (KSL)

Utah State Board of Education holds off on educator license fee increase for further study.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93X (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/94A (KSL)

The State Board and Rep. Chaffetz discuss Chaffetz’s co-sponsored bill on abolishing the U.S. Department of Education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93W (DN)

Single mom in St. George dressed up as a man for her son’s “Dads and Donuts” Day at school.
http://gousoe.uen.org/954 (Good Housekeeping)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/955 (Fox)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/956 (Inside Edition)

Rep. Poulson speaks up against school grading.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93V (SLT)

The Trump administration drops the defense of Obama Administration guidelines on transgender students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/941 (NYT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/943 (WSJ)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/942 (WaPo)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/94M (Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/94L (AP)

Secretary DeVos tells state chiefs to keep moving forward on ESSA implementation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94O (Ed Week)
or a copy of the letter
http://gousoe.uen.org/94P (ED)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

House GOP has ‘no appetite’ for a tax hike to hike taxes to fund schools

House panel passes bill to prevent ‘gamesmanship’ in tax increase initiatives

Cache legislators discuss civil liberties, funding priorities at constituent meeting

Sweeping reforms proposed for Utah’s juvenile justice system
Justice lapses » Study finds system often fails “low-risk” offenders.

There are 95 free social events paid for by groups seeking to influence Utah Legislature
Influence? » Most agree events improve access to lawmakers for well-financed special interests.

Bills To Streamline Vaccination Process Introduced In Legislature

Bill would allow sunscreen use at public schools

Utah lawmakers nix comprehensive sex ed, so porn site steps in
Users of xHamster in Utah are redirected to an educational series after legislators nixed program.

State School Board adopts new teacher license fees but tells staff to hold off imposing increases

Chaffetz reaches out to State School Board over bill to ‘terminate’ Department of Education

3 Questions with Bob Evans: Rep. Chaffetz on President Trump, Bears Ears and DeVos

Nearly 30% of Utah school districts, charters lack bullying policies

Weber School District completes boundary proposals ahead of public open houses

‘Thug Thursday’ draws apology from Utah high school principal
Spirit Week event was “culturally insensitive,” says Olympus High administrator.

East Elementary moves to Legacy for new ‘first day’

Ira Glass and ‘This American Life’ visit Payson High School on new episode

Millcreek Junior High band instructor receives Music Educator of the Year award

2 honored as Utah’s top youth volunteers

Springville Museum of Art hosts collection of works by talented teens

Utah students get education in air quality by making monitors

Single Mom Dressed Up as a Man for Her Son’s “Dads and Donuts” Day at School
“I made a promise with myself that I would do anything I could … to give my kids a ‘normal’ life.”

Woman helps Utah County’s kids build healthy teeth habits with puppets

Local organization forms to train dyslexia tutors

Experts share advice on preventing suicide with local parents

Health officials encourage vaccinations in wake of measles outbreak

2 teens arrested in stolen guns case after Bingham High is put on alert

Weber School District accepting applications for Board of Education opening

Summer won’t get shorter: State board approves snow day leniency waiver

Box Elder School District cancels snow day make-up days

Renowned mime to perform at ‘Silent Weekend’ for deaf, ASL students

Record-break donations for Souper Bowl of Caring

Nonprofit organization seeking host families for high school exchange students

OPINION & COMMENTARY

School grading system is a failure of the state, not schools

Utah delegation should represent us or let someone else do the job

My Son Is Autistic, and I’m Terrified of What Betsy DeVos’s Confirmation Will Mean for Him
The world is often a hostile place for children with disabilities. Now I’m worried it’s about to get worse.

Utah schools at mercy of Republican legislators

Partisanship hurts public education

School board non-partisan

School board politics

Utah’s rubber-stamp senators

The Birds and the Bees in the Beehive State

‘Don’t do it’ won’t do it

If students are tired, they should go to bed earlier

How to Stop Betsy DeVos
A Congressman suggests the nuclear option for Education.

How both Democrats and Republicans blindsided our best low-income students

NATION

Trump Drops Defense of Obama Guidelines on Transgender Students

Why Laverne Cox told you to Google ‘Gavin Grimm’

Betsy DeVos to State Chiefs: Full Speed Ahead on the Every Student Succeeds Act

Senators Want Answers On IDEA Website Outage

Advocates of Disabled Students closely Watching New Ed Chief

Did Betsy DeVos Make You Want To Run For School Board?

Social Media Mocks Education Dept for Misspelled Tweets

Governors, State Lawmakers Roll Out School Choice Proposals
Proponents hoping for receptive climate

Which States Pay Teachers the Most (and Least)?

These teens are working to cure cancer and solve the mysteries of the universe

The New Civics Course in Schools: How to Avoid Fake News

 

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UTAH NEWS
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House GOP has ‘no appetite’ for a tax hike to hike taxes to fund schools

While some on Capitol Hill may be talking about a compromise with Our Schools Now – the petition drive aimed at raising $750 million more for public education – don’t count House GOP leadership in that group.
Friday, House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, told UtahPolicy “there is no appetite” in his 52-member caucus to raise any tax for public education.
There may be some tax reform, added Hughes. And it could be coming in the next week or two (there are only three-and-a-half weeks left in the 2017 general session).
But he doesn’t consider that in any way a salve to OSN.
“And it won’t be a tax increase,” Hughes said.
However, these as-of-now-unnamed reforms could, over time, lead to more money for schools, he said.
Hughes declined to name the reforms; declined to say how much they could bring to public schools over the next few years.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93U (UP)

 

House panel passes bill to prevent ‘gamesmanship’ in tax increase initiatives

SALT LAKE CITY – A bill aimed at making the percentage of a proposed tax increase by ballot initiative more transparent won approval from a House committee Monday.
Under HB255, the proposed tax rate must be divided by the current tax rate to calculate the percentage difference. The proposed percentage increase would have to appear on the initiative petition, public hearing notice, fiscal impact statement, voter information pamphlet and ballot title.
“It prevents, what I believe, is the gamesmanship by showing either a decimal place or a fraction that may not tell the whole story of what the tax increase is,” said bill sponsor Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton.
There has been some controversy over the size of the Our Schools Now proposal to raise personal income tax to generate money for public schools.
McCay said the legislation doesn’t have anything do to with the initiative specifically, but would apply if it passes. However, McCay, co-chairman of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee, said school funding should be left to lawmakers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94f (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/94U (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/94z (KSL)

Cache legislators discuss civil liberties, funding priorities at constituent meeting

Budgets and funding are in the minds of Cache County’s representatives as the Utah State Legislature approaches the fourth week of its 2017 general session, but each legislator made it clear their sympathies also stood with protecting the constitutional rights of legal immigrants and refugees.

“One of the real concerns is, like it or not, we’re done after 45 days,” Hillyard said. “I don’t mind voting yes on a resolution, but as I look at things that have a direct bearing on you, Utah’s citizens, I would rather make sure we’re passing bills that will make sure our kids who come to Kindergarten are ready to learn than spending an hour talking about a resolution that will make less of an impact.”
The state budget weighed heavily on the minds of the legislators, all of whom opened the meeting discussing the challenges they’ve faced in their respective appropriations subcommittees. Webb, who serves as House chairman of the Business, Economic Development and Labor Appropriations Subcommittee, said he has been a popular member to meet with as the time comes closer to submit funding recommendations to the Executive Appropriations Committee.
“The problem with moving around money between two things that both sound good is there will always be a winner and a loser,” Webb said. “If you move funds to one program, another program will have to lose funding.”

Hillyard, Senate chairman of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee, said his committee is still waiting on final revenue projects before making their recommendations of how to apply their funds.
“It doesn’t take very long to sit in those committees to wonder where the money we need will have to come from,” Hillyard said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93Z (LHJ)

 

Sweeping reforms proposed for Utah’s juvenile justice system
Justice lapses » Study finds system often fails “low-risk” offenders.

The full House will consider a plan to make sweeping changes in how youth are treated in the state’s juvenile justice system.
Despite questions about the more than $9 million estimated cost and opposition from some Utah youth prosecutors, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved HB239, advancing it to a floor debate.
The bill would emphasize early intervention, with the goal of keeping low-risk youth offenders in their homes instead of detention centers. The bill would also limit the amount of time youth can spend in detention centers, put a cap on fees and service hours that a juvenile judge can order and require that lawyers be provided to all juveniles charged criminally.
Rep. Lowry Snow, R-St. George, the bill sponsor, told the committee the legislation was drafted after six months of study by the Utah Juvenile Justice Working Group, which was composed of juvenile judges, attorneys, legislators and others.

Several parents who were in support of the bill told the committee the current system mixes truant youth with more serious offenders.
Sabita Bastakoti, a West High School senior, told the committee the system punishes minority youths and those in poverty who can’t afford to pay fines. She participates in a youth court, she said, and sees many of the low-level offenders the bill would address.
One teen, she said, was reported for being truant, but the peer court later found out he had missed school to care for his younger siblings while his parents worked.
“If not for peer court,” she said, “he would probably have faced detention and never been given the chance to work towards his dream. We don’t need to have youths who commit minor misdemeanors to stand in front of a judge.”
HB239 includes a “tiered response to school-based behavior,” so students who are truant or commit other minor crimes are dealt with by a team of crisis intervention professionals and a solution can be reached without involving the juvenile court system. It also proposes that every case filed to a judge be screened by a prosecutor – something that is currently being handled frequently by probation officers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/959 (SLT)

 

There are 95 free social events paid for by groups seeking to influence Utah Legislature
Influence? » Most agree events improve access to lawmakers for well-financed special interests.

Utah’s part-time lawmakers work long hours during the 45-day legislative session. But scattered throughout those long days, they do take time out to eat and socialize, and plenty of groups are lined up to feed or entertain them.
The Legislature’s social calendars are packed with events, group meals, receptions and snack breaks paid by outside groups seeking to influence a variety of bills and appropriations.
This year, at least 95 such events have been scheduled over the session – which actually has only 34 working days not counting weekends.
Members receive reminders about the meals and receptions daily on the floors of both chambers from lawmakers appointed to oversee the “Third House,” social arms of the House and Senate that schedule the events with lobbyists and others.
This year that includes 15 lunches, 14 dinners, 10 breakfasts, 17 receptions, six family events (mostly museum visits or movie nights) and 32 sponsored snack breaks (with food usually available just off the floor of each chamber).
At least 86 different groups sponsored those events, sometimes jointly, and sometimes they fund multiple events. (A full list of events on social calendars and their sponsors is available above.)
Sponsors almost always have business before the Legislature.
Health care groups and insurance companies sponsored at least 15 events for legislators. At least 26 bills on health care have been introduced so far this year.
A variety of education and higher education groups sponsored 14 events for lawmakers. More than 100 bills in those areas have been introduced so far.
http://gousoe.uen.org/948 (SLT)

 

Bills To Streamline Vaccination Process Introduced In Legislature

A Utah lawmaker has introduced three bills that would attempt to streamline and clarify the process for vaccinating kids in Utah.
The way Representative Norm Thurston of Provo sees it there are three camps of parents when it comes to deciding whether or not to get their kids vaccinated. There are parents who intentionally don’t get their kids vaccinated for personal, medical, or religious reasons. There are parents who believe vaccines are important for the greater public health. And then there’s a third group.
“There’s a third type of parent that’s kind of in the middle.You have parents who don’t have a particular objection to their children getting vaccinated but they don’t maybe have the time or resources to get the job done,” Thurston says.
Thurston says right now, inconsistencies in the way vaccinations are given at health departments causes parents to opt-out of vaccinations out of convenience rather than an intentional choice.
These three bills would make sure vaccines are affordable for all kids, create an online education program for parents whose kids haven’t been vaccinated, maintain rules that say kids can’t attend school unless they’ve been vaccinated or chosen to be exempt, and create a confidential record of kids’ vaccination status to be shared between schools and health departments.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94F (KUER)

Bill would allow sunscreen use at public schools

SALT LAKE CITY – Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, is hoping to reduce the risks of skin cancer by allow students to bring sunscreen to school.
“I know everyone’s first reaction to this bill is probably, ‘What? Seriously? We have to have a bill to let kids bring sunscreen to school?'” Hall said.
Under current Utah law, students are prohibited from taking to school any medication – even over-the-counter items – unless they have a doctor’s note and parental permission. The same restriction applies to sunscreen, which is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and is classified as an over-the-counter product.
HB288 aims to circumvent the issue by permitting students to bring sunscreen to school without a doctor’s note. The House Political Subdivisions Committee unanimously voted Monday to send the bill to the full House with a favorable recommendation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94V (DN)

 

Utah lawmakers nix comprehensive sex ed, so porn site steps in
Users of xHamster in Utah are redirected to an educational series after legislators nixed program.

The Utah Legislature recently rejected the idea of adopting a comprehensive sexual education program – instead of the state’s existing abstinence-only curriculum – so porn site xHamster has decided to take matters into its own hands.
This week, the website began redirecting web traffic originating from Utah to a non-explicit sub-site featuring sex-ed videos.
“Utahns consume the most porn per capita of any state, but have some of the lowest levels of sexual education,” xHamster says in a pop-up to the site. “We’re here to change that.”
Members of Utah’s House Education Committee acknowledged on Monday that the abstinence-based approach currently used in schools is having little effect in lessening rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94a (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/94y (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/94X (Slate)

 

State School Board adopts new teacher license fees but tells staff to hold off imposing increases

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Board of Education voted Friday to adopt a new schedule of teacher license fees but directed the staff to hold off imposing increases until the board can determine if changes to fees or other requirements could blunt impacts to teachers.
Under the schedule, renewing a teacher license could increase from $25 to $50. The cost of a new teacher license could go from $40 to $60.
However, board members said they want to examine the schedule to determine if there are other ways to protect new and the least compensated teachers from increases. Another option suggested by a board member was to charge higher fees for Alternative Routes to Certification applicants.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93X (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/94A (KSL)

 

Chaffetz reaches out to State School Board over bill to ‘terminate’ Department of Education

SALT LAKE CITY – The night after a raucous town hall meeting at Brighton High School, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, received “a better welcome” Friday when he sat down with the Utah State Board of Education.
The meeting comes just days after Chaffetz announced he is a co-sponsor of legislation intended to do away with the U.S. Department of Education. The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., says simply: “The Department of Education shall terminate on Dec. 31, 2018.”
“My passion for that, my commitment to that is borne of the fact that I trust you and I trust the teachers. I trust the school boards and the administrators, the parents. I don’t know that we need a federal administration to maximize the education our kids get right here,” Chaffetz said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93W (DN)

 

3 Questions with Bob Evans: Rep. Chaffetz on President Trump, Bears Ears and DeVos

SALT LAKE CITY — It was the most hostile political crowd Utah has seen in years.
About 1,000 people packed the Brighton High School auditorium for a town hall meeting Thursday night with Congressman Jason Chaffetz, a Republican representing Utah’s Third District, and the hostility often drowned out the dialogue.
Chaffetz chairs the House Oversight Committee, which is in charge of investigating improprieties in the federal government. During the presidential campaign he was an outspoken critic of then-candidate Donald Trump.
Prior to Thursday’s town hall meeting, Rep. Chaffetz sat down with Fox 13 News’ Bob Evans to answer 3 Questions:
2- What are your thoughts on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos?
http://gousoe.uen.org/94D (KSTU, video)

 

Nearly 30% of Utah school districts, charters lack bullying policies

SALT LAKE CITY – Possibly 30 percent of Utah school districts and charter schools do not have policies on bullying and hazing, state officials told members of the Utah State Board of Education.
State officials, in the process of updating the state’s policies, asked school districts and charter schools to submit to the state board copies of their respective policies.
“Only about 50 percent had submitted their policies and many of them said they did not have policies. For people to assume that the charters and districts have policies – unless we go out and actually ask them for it and verify it – they don’t even know they have the requirement to do it until we ask them to do it,” said Angela Stallings, deputy state superintendent, addressing the state board’s law and licensing committee Thursday night.
As the state has further worked with school districts and charter schools, the number complying with the request has climbed to about 70 percent, said Lillian Tsosie-Jensen, who oversees student advocacy services for the state.
“The speculation would be, is that they don’t have something in place or they’re currently working on it,” she said.
State law requires school districts and charter schools to implement bullying, cyberbullying, hazing and harassment policies. It further requires “regular and meaningful training” of school employees and students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93Y (DN)

 

Weber School District completes boundary proposals ahead of public open houses

OGDEN – The groups developing Weber School District boundary adjustments to address overcrowding at Fremont High School said it’s their preference to move students now than do another boundary study in a couple of years.
The groups met at a meeting Wednesday led by Executive Director of Secondary Education Art Hansen. Representatives from the schools affected did not change the plans they created at a meeting in late January, but they were asked to present second, less-favored plans to the Weber Board of Education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94p (OSE)

 

‘Thug Thursday’ draws apology from Utah high school principal
Spirit Week event was “culturally insensitive,” says Olympus High administrator.

A day after students dressed up for “Thug Thursday” at a Utah high school, the principal has apologized to parents and students for the “very inappropriate” Spirit Week celebration.
This week at Olympus High School, students have been encouraged to dress according to themes, such as ” ‘Merica Monday,” “Tropical Tuesday” and “Workout Wednesday.”
But Thursday’s event, where students were encouraged to dress like “thugs,” was met with controversy. In a written apology addressed to the Olympus High Community, Principal Steve Perschon apologized for the “culturally insensitive” activity, which he said promoted negative and inaccurate stereotypes.
“This activity does not reflect the feelings or values of our school and community,” Perschon wrote. “… My apologies to any member of our school and community who were made to feel unsafe, unvalued or denigrated in any way, shape or form.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/949 (SLT)

 

East Elementary moves to Legacy for new ‘first day’

East Elementary students will move west – northwest, actually – to Legacy Elementary on Monday, so their teachers have been working extra long hours with school staff and administration to ready the facility for the influx of newcomers at a mid-year “first day” of classes.
“It’s been a little bit crazy because I’ve been putting in 13-hour days, pretty much, the last week just to box up and get ready so the movers could move it. And then, now we’re hustling, bustling to get it all ready for the students to start Monday because we haven’t had any extra time,” first grade teacher Annie Pondoyo said Saturday.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94w (SGS)

 

Ira Glass and ‘This American Life’ visit Payson High School on new episode

Max Bennion, a junior at Payson High School, can count on one hand – half of one hand, actually – the school’s brushes with fame.
“I’d say the two major things now is like, ‘Footloose,’ and now Ira Glass came,” he said.
As Bennion speaks, Ira Glass, host of the popular radio program “This American Life,” meanders in the background. Glass’s show, which has been nationally broadcast on public radio for more than 20 years, visited Payson High on Jan. 27 to record interviews for a new Valentine’s Day episode. That episode, which focuses on the concept of grand gestures, premieres locally (90.1 FM KUER) on Feb. 18, and online the following day.
What do students at Payson High know about grand gestures? As it turns out, quite a lot.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94Y (PDH)

Millcreek Junior High band instructor receives Music Educator of the Year award

BOUNTIFUL – Millcreek Junior High School band instructor Chad King has been named Outstanding Music Educator of the Year.
The award, given by the Utah Music Educators Association on Friday, Feb. 3, honors longtime music teachers with successful programs who mentor and are involved in their community.
King has been teaching at Millcreek for 25 years and said being nominated for and receiving the award was humbling and validating.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94n (OSE)

 

2 honored as Utah’s top youth volunteers

SALT LAKE CITY – Rebekah Reno, 16, of Orem, and Kara Hughes, 13, of Bountiful, have been named Utah’s top two youth volunteers of 2017 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
As state honorees, the pair will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C., where they will join the top two honorees from each of the other states and the District of Columbia for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2017.
Rebekah, a senior at Freedom Preparatory Academy in Provo, was honored for mentoring five younger girls last summer as a counselor at the Utah Valley University’s “LeadHERship” Conference.
Kara, an eighth-grader at Bountiful Junior High School, was honored for arranging for a group of musicians and actors with special needs to perform monthly at a local convalescent hospital.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94h (DN)

 

Springville Museum of Art hosts collection of works by talented teens

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — The Springville Museum of Art has a permanent collection of artwork, but it is also currently featuring a collection of pieces from students across the state.
Todd Tanner takes a look at the exhibit in this week’s edition of Uniquely Utah. The Springville Museum of Art is located at 126 East and 400 South in Springville, and admission is free.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94C (KSTU)

 

Utah students get education in air quality by making monitors

SALT LAKE CITY- Students in northern Utah are getting a chance to build air quality monitors out of toy building blocks to help the University of Utah get readings from the schools.
These students are sometimes kept indoors for recess because of poor air quality, and this program allows them to learn more about the issue, KSL-TV reported.
“(It furthers) our knowledge of what can be done about air pollution, especially because ours is so bad,” said Alexandra Feliz, a junior at the school.
“The pollution downtown is very, very bad,” said Mason Henrie, a senior at East High School. “You can just feel it with heavy breathing.”
University of Utah chemical engineering professors Kerry Kelly and Tony Butterfield intend to bring the lesson to 50 Salt Lake Valley schools. “I think it can help you take a little bit more ownership of what’s going on in your school, what’s going on around your school,” Kelly said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94o (OSE)

Single Mom Dressed Up as a Man for Her Son’s “Dads and Donuts” Day at School
“I made a promise with myself that I would do anything I could … to give my kids a ‘normal’ life.”

When Whitney Kittrell of St. George, Utah, became a single mother three years ago, she made a special vow to herself and her two children.
“I made a promise with myself that I would do anything I could, even if it meant going out of my comfort zone, to give my kids a ‘normal’ life and the same experiences as other kids,” she wrote on Facebook.
So when her kindergartener came home with a note about a “Dads and Donuts” Day at his school, her “heart kinda sank.”
“I finally sat him down and asked if he wanted to ask his grandpa to go,” she wrote. “He just smiled and said ‘No. I want you to go. You’re my mom and dad.'”
So, on Wednesday, she painted on some facial hair, donned her best dad outfit, and went to school with her proud son.
http://gousoe.uen.org/954 (Good Housekeeping)

http://gousoe.uen.org/955 (Fox)

http://gousoe.uen.org/956 (Inside Edition)

 

Woman helps Utah County’s kids build healthy teeth habits with puppets

While Utah County’s youngest elementary students are learning the alphabet and how to read, Sharon Wiest is helping them learn how to take good care of their teeth, too.
Wiest has been organizing assemblies and using marionettes to teach important dental lessons, including brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting the dentist, at schools from Alpine to Cedar Valley each February for the past 25 years.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94W (PDH)

 

Local organization forms to train dyslexia tutors

ST. GEORGE- Two years ago, 10-year-old Olivia McKay was diagnosed with dyslexia. Five months ago, 9-year-old Audrey Miller received the same diagnosis.
To help them deal with the challenges presented by this learning disability, their parents have hired independent tutors who study with the girls outside of the classroom twice a week. Audrey works with a local tutor while Olivia uses an iPad to communicate with her tutor, who is based in Las Vegas.
“I feel like after two years, I’ve been doing really good and stuff,” Olivia says. “I feel like me and Audrey can now conquer dyslexia.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/94g (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/94s (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/957 (Ed Week)

 

Experts share advice on preventing suicide with local parents

Suicide Prevention Educator Becky Austad used a dartboard to illustrate how to talk to teenagers about a very difficult subject.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94t (LHJ)

 

Health officials encourage vaccinations in wake of measles outbreak

New information from Salt Lake County officials warns a measles outbreak could be around the corner.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94x (KUTV)

 

2 teens arrested in stolen guns case after Bingham High is put on alert

SOUTH JORDAN – Bingham High School was temporarily put in a lockout 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.
The investigation began when police were notified about 11:30 p.m. Thursday of a burglary at a home near 5000 West and 14000 South in Riverton. The homeowner arrived at his house and discovered several handguns, rifles and ammunition were missing, said Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke.
The man believed his son, in his late teens, was responsible, Lohrke said. That teen goes to school in the South Jordan area.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94j (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/94B (KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/953 (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/94G (KNRS)

 

Weber School District accepting applications for Board of Education opening

OGDEN – The Weber School District is accepting applications to fill an opening on its Board of Education.
Board member Richard Favero died unexpectedly in January and the board has begun accepting applications to fill his seat.
The position is open to anyone registered to vote in Precinct 4, which represents the western part of the county including parts of Plain City, Hooper and Marriott-Slaterville. Employees of Weber School District are not eligible, according to the district’s public notice.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94r (OSE)

Summer won’t get shorter: State board approves snow day leniency waiver

Local school districts won’t need to add days onto the end of their years to make up for snow days after all.
The Utah State Board of Education has approved a snow day leniency waiver for four school districts and two charter schools, allowing schools to ignore the 180-school-day requirement and focus solely on meeting the required 990 instructional hours.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94u (LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/958 (CVD)

 

Box Elder School District cancels snow day make-up days

The Box Elder School District has canceled school on two days meant to make up for snow days.
School will not be held at any district schools on Monday, Feb. 20 or on Friday, March 3, according to a post on the district’s Facebook page.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94q (OSE)

 

Renowned mime to perform at ‘Silent Weekend’ for deaf, ASL students

ST. GEORGE – The seventh annual “American Sign Language Silent Weekend” in Southern Utah, recognizing the local deaf and hard-of-hearing community will be held Friday and Saturday in St. George.
Friday, attendees will have the opportunity to watch the performance of JJ Jones a world-renowned deaf mime who has performed across the nation and internationally. His performance begins at 7 p.m. at Dixie State University’s Gardner Center Ballroom, 225 S. University Ave. This will be his first time performing at the university.
Saturday, games, workshops and mingling through a “Harry Potter: the Boy Who Signed” theme day will be held at Desert Hills High School, 828 E. Desert Hills Drive, St. George, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
With more than 300 participants anticipated this year, the weekend helps American Sign Language students further their education within the deaf community by providing educational workshops and social interactions. In addition, it brings together high school and college students, deaf and hard-of-hearing residents and their families, ASL interpreters and those interested in ASL and the deaf community.
http://gousoe.uen.org/950 (SGN)

 

Record-break donations for Souper Bowl of Caring

Schools, churches and businesses are reporting record breaking totals for the Souper Bowl of Caring in Utah.
People are skipping one Super Bowl treat and donating money and food to help feed some of the thousands of hungry students across the state. More than 170,000 Utah students qualify for free breakfast and lunch at school but many of them don’t eat well on the weekends and over the holidays and summer break. Money raised for the Super Bowl of Caring is going to the Utah Food Bank and regional food pantries to feed hungry students.
Copper Hills students raised $5,000 and are helping fill the pantry in their school. Cottonwood raised $15,800 to start a pantry in their school and Northridge raised $4,232 to start a pantry. Northridge draws many students whose parents are in the military or who work at Hill Air Force Base.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94Z (KUTV)

 

Nonprofit organization seeking host families for high school exchange students

SALT LAKE CITY – ASSE International Student Exchange Programs, in cooperation with local high schools, is looking for families to host boys and girls between the ages of 15 and 18 from a variety of countries.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94i (DN)

 

————————————————————
OPINION & COMMENTARY
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School grading system is a failure of the state, not schools
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed b Rep. Marie Poulson

Senate Bill 59, Utah’s School Grading Act, passed in 2011, was controversial. At the time, many expressed concern that grading might accurately represent the affluence or poverty of a community, but not a true accountability of a school.
Now, several years later, those fears are realized. School grading has become the public shaming of hard working schools and educators who must work with impoverished populations where there is a high incidence of language difficulties, and need for special education.
Because of this, it is almost impossible to recruit teachers to teach in areas of special needs. The Ds and Fs these schools receive are a far cry from the value of the education received. For this reason and several others, we must re-evaluate the decision to assign schools a letter grade.
http://gousoe.uen.org/93V

 

Utah delegation should represent us or let someone else do the job
Deseret News op-ed by Jeff Swift, who serves on the board of Alliance for a Better Utah

I was incredibly proud of my friends and neighbors in Utah during the recent presidential election. We made national headlines for opposing Donald Trump’s antics and ethics even when so many other Republican states embraced him with open arms.
These headlines weren’t about policy or politics. We Utahns were getting attention not because we were Democrats or independents or Republicans. All the attention was because of what we stood for. Decency. Humility. Integrity. Compassion.

Since the election, though, I’ve been quite disappointed: our elected officials didn’t seem to get the message.
As its first item of business, our entire congressional delegation voted to hobble the Office of Congressional Ethics. Rep. Jason Chaffetz has announced that he has no interest looking into Trump’s conflicts of interest or his relationship with Russian operatives. He has plenty of time to harass the Office of Government Ethics and draft a bill to turn public land over to private interests, but can’t be bothered with what may be the biggest conflicts of interest the White House has ever seen.
And when thousands and thousands of Utahns called Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch last week, expressing sincere opinions about Betsy DeVos, the Muslim ban and Steven Bannon’s unprecedented service on the National Security Committee, our good senators dismissed them as “out of state robocalls.” No, it was us, senators. We called and, being the kind souls that we so often are, had to resort to sending you free pizza with the hopes that you’d finally listen.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94l

 

My Son Is Autistic, and I’m Terrified of What Betsy DeVos’s Confirmation Will Mean for Him
The world is often a hostile place for children with disabilities. Now I’m worried it’s about to get worse.
Cosmopolitan commentary by columnist Nish Weiseth

My son is 7 years old and in the first grade. We spend a lot of time sounding out words in his reading homework, practicing tricks for doing subtraction, and singing songs about the planets to help him remember their order from the sun.
Rowan is autistic. He’s joyful and compassionate, empathetic and brilliant, hilarious and unbelievably kind. But none of those things seem to matter much in our society – a society that doesn’t accept him for who he is but pegs him as “weird,” “quirky,” a caricature. The world is often a hostile place for my kid, and with the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary, I’m worried it’s about to get worse.
Our society is not built with people like Rowan in mind. We live in a verbal and conversational world, and have you noticed that everything is always so loud? I didn’t, until Rowan came into our lives. There are certain courtesies we teach our kids – look someone in the eye when you shake their hand, make sure you say good-bye when you leave – that Rowan can’t practice. He explains his emotions using movie quotes and character voices, which is not seen as socially acceptable behavior. He might flap his hands or lick his palms when he’s anxious in a new environment, which many people would rather not see. “How can we get him to stop doing that?” we ask, as if the deficiency is in the child, instead of our own intolerance for difference.
At his public school in Utah, where we live, Rowan receives services and interventions that help him navigate and operate in this world. Rather than try to change him (because there’s nothing wrong with being autistic), his teachers and administrators give him the tools he’ll need to reach his full potential. This is because federal law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA) guarantees he receives a free and appropriate education; because of his diagnosis, he has a right to necessary services like speech therapy, occupational therapy, and group activities for developing social skills, all funded by both federal and state dollars.
http://gousoe.uen.org/951

Utah schools at mercy of Republican legislators
(St. George) Spectrum commentary by columnist Brent Holloway

I was delighted when local resident Karl Tippets responded to my recent column about Utah’s damagingly inadequate public school funding. Mr. Tippets thoughtfully investigated my claims. He then came up with some solutions:
http://gousoe.uen.org/94v

 

Partisanship hurts public education
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Amber Bonner

Polls have consistently shown that Utahns prefer their school board elections, both local and state, to be nonpartisan. The Legislature changed the state school board elections last year to partisan elections, starting in 2018.
Rep. Raymond Ward has proposed a bill, HB151, that would change this to better reflect the will of the people by making these elections nonpartisan. Unfortunately, the House Rules Committee has denied Ward – and the residents of Utah – the opportunity to have this change debated on the House floor by refusing to pass the bill to the House for debate there.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94e

 

School board non-partisan
Deseret News letter from Barbara Smith

Utahns want State School members that want the best education for our children, based on research and best practices, not on political pressure. Our legislature disagrees. In the last hours of the 2016 Legislative session, the Legislature voted to change State School Board elections to partisan beginning in 2018. Rep. Ray Ward had introduced H.B. 151 that would change the elections back to non-partisan. Legislative leadership is holding it up in the Rules Committee, saying that the decision was made last year and they don’t want to talk about it this year.
The problem with this is that the citizens of Utah have time and time again said they do not want their State Board of Education, or any school board to be driven by party politics.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94k

 

School board politics
Deseret News letter from Breck England

In 2018, for the first time, Utah State School Board members will be chosen in a partisan election. Until now, we have had a nonpartisan, independent board because we Utah parents do not want politics to taint the education of our children. Last year, the Legislature quietly changed the law so that political parties will control future board elections.
Rep. Ray Ward is courageously sponsoring HB 151, which would restore nonpartisan elections for the board. But the bill is stalled in the Legislature. If you don’t want your children to be learning in a politicized school system under the thumb of political party bosses, HB 151 needs your support now! Please call your legislators and say NO to party politics in our schools. Please support HB 151.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94m

 

Utah’s rubber-stamp senators
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Bob Klarich

Thanks in part to our two Utah senators, we have Betsy DeVos as the secretary of education. Supposedly, Donald Trump was going to drain the swamp of all the rich people to rid us of people with special interests. DeVos is a billionaire who for decades has funded the swamp creatures so many voted to get rid of. She bought her way into a job she isn’t qualified to do.
Our senators talk like they are independent of Trump and will speak up when they disagree with his policies. I’ve seen nothing but rubber-stamping everything the new president wants, no matter how bizarre or poor the executive order or nominee or outrageous tweet.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94d

 

The Birds and the Bees in the Beehive State
Daily Utah Chronicle letter from Bailey Shelden

Sex education is certainly a topic no one really loves talking about. The “birds and the bees” conversation with your parents is so incredibly awkward that you hope the topic never comes up again. Talking with your parents about sex is something almost no one wants to do, but that doesn’t mean that the conversation should never take place. It just means the conversation must come from somewhere else. For most people, that means sex education in school. Some people have their first sex ed. day in middle school, but others don’t receive any sex education until high school. Yes, sex is something that needs to be taught.
However, in Utah, the laws don’t exactly allow for a full education about sex, and all that comes with it. Sex ed. is a part of the Health Education Core Curriculum (HECC) which means there are rules about what can be taught. HECC says that sexual education “usually occupies four to six hours of instruction.” The choices young adults make regarding sex could affect them for the rest of their lives, and four to six hours doesn’t seem like enough time to teach students that. But what are the students being taught in those four to six hours?
Well, first the students and their families have to opt-in. Utah is one of only three states that requires a signed permission slip a minimum of two weeks before instruction for the student to receive sex ed.
http://gousoe.uen.org/952

 

‘Don’t do it’ won’t do it
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Aharon D. Shulimson

Abstinence-base http://gousoe.uen.org/94cd sex education is like driver education without instruction in how to use the brake pedal. The outcome of both is predictable.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94c

 

If students are tired, they should go to bed earlier
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Vicki Dimond

Regarding the problem of high school students being sleepy and tired in the morning due to lack of sleep, it seems there is a very simple solution.
This answer does not require a later start time for high school, nor do we need more money, more buses and changes in the scheduling for elementary and junior high schools. The simple logical solution is that high school students go to bed half an hour or one hour earlier. Their parents could find out what is keeping them up so late and work with their children.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94b

 

How to Stop Betsy DeVos
A Congressman suggests the nuclear option for Education.
Wall Street Journal editorial

Right on cue, a visit Friday to a Washington, D.C., public school by new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was met by protesters blocking her entrance and shouting, “Shame, shame!” At the least, it maintains the current standard of tolerance and civility for the new progressive Democratic Party.
Perhaps catching the new shut-it-down spirit these days, Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican, this week introduced a bill to eliminate the Education Department. His bill has one sentence: “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.” Well, that would be one way to stop Betsy DeVos.
http://gousoe.uen.org/940

 

How both Democrats and Republicans blindsided our best low-income students
Washington Post commentary by columnist Jay Mathews

Now that the intense media coverage of new U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is over, could we please turn our attention to a little-noticed threat to our most effective high school classes?
Congress congratulated itself last year when it passed the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). But its Republican and Democratic sponsors failed to say they were blindsiding teachers and students responsible for a remarkable surge of academic depth in high schools.
The most challenging courses in American public education have been expanding rapidly since the federal government in 1998 began subsidizing disadvantaged students’ exam fees in college-level courses, particularly the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. In 2016, 941,557 AP exams were taken by students from low-income families.
At that moment of startling success, the congressional sponsors of ESSA killed the program. Nobody knows yet what will happen as the students scramble to find money for those tough exams in May.
Many people know how prized AP and IB courses are in suburban schools. Students who want to attend selective colleges essentially have to take them. Most of their parents and schools can afford the fees, $93 for the three-hour AP exams and about $116 for what are often five-hour IB exams.
But few people have witnessed the transformation that comes from bringing AP and IB into disadvantaged schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94I

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Trump Drops Defense of Obama Guidelines on Transgender Students
New York Times

A nationwide injunction that has kept transgender students from using school bathrooms and other facilities that correspond with their gender identity will remain in place after the Trump administration decided not to challenge it in court. The move, announced Friday, ended an effort mounted by the Obama administration after the order was announced last year.
The injunction was issued in August by Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas as part of a lawsuit filed by more than a dozen states over the Obama administration’s position that Title IX, the federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools, protects transgender students.
Under that interpretation, transgender students have access to facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, a proposition to which social conservatives strongly object. They argue that allowing transgender students to use those facilities poses a threat to the privacy and safety of other students.
The Obama administration appealed the injunction and requested that it apply only to states involved in the lawsuit and not nationwide. Oral arguments in that case were scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but on Friday, the Justice Department withdrew the previous administration’s challenge
http://gousoe.uen.org/941

http://gousoe.uen.org/943 (WSJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/942 (WaPo)

http://gousoe.uen.org/94M (Ed Week)

http://gousoe.uen.org/94L (AP)

 

Why Laverne Cox told you to Google ‘Gavin Grimm’
Washington Post

A few years ago, Gavin Grimm was an unknown student at a high school in Gloucester, Va., pleading with school officials to be able to use the boys’ bathroom. The teen, who came out as transgender his sophomore year, had begun using the boys’ bathroom when the school board decided to pass a policy banning him from it, forcing him to use a unisex bathroom instead.
Sunday night, millions more people learned his name after Laverne Cox, an actress and transgender activist, gave him a shout-out while introducing Metallica and Lady Gaga at the Grammys.
“Everyone, please Google ‘Gavin Grimm.’ He’s going to the Supreme Court in March. Hashtag stand with Gavin,” Cox told the audience. Cox signed off her introduction by referring to “Ladies and gentlemen and all my gender non-binary peeps tonight.”
Grimm sued the Gloucester County School Board in 2015 in federal court, arguing that the board’s policy barring him from the boys’ bathroom violated Title IX, the federal law against sex discrimination in schools. The case is now headed for the Supreme Court, with oral arguments scheduled for late March, and the case could impact how public schools accommodate transgender students across the nation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94H

 

Betsy DeVos to State Chiefs: Full Speed Ahead on the Every Student Succeeds Act
Education Week

The Obama administration’s accountability regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act have been paused by the Trump administration, and they’re on thin ice in Congress. But U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wants states to keep going on their ESSA plans.
And she’s keeping in place the Obama administration’s timeline for submitting the plans, which includes one early bird deadline on April 3 and one later deadline, on September 18. (That’s not a huge surprise, DeVos said as much during her confirmation hearing.) So far, seventeen states plus the District of Columbia have told the department that they are shooting to have their plans ready in time for the April date.
There’s one twist though: The Obama administration’s accountability regulations-which Congress appears likely to toss-include a template for states to use as they build their ESSA plans. DeVos and company have said they are reviewing that template to make sure that it doesn’t ask for any information that isn’t “absolutely necessary.” DeVos’ department may release a new template for states by mid-March.
And DeVos said the department may also consider allowing a state or group of states to work together to craft their own template through the Council of Chief State School Officers, as long as such a template meets the requirements in the law.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94O

A copy of the letter
http://gousoe.uen.org/94P (ED)

 

Senators Want Answers On IDEA Website Outage
Disability Scoop

Lawmakers are demanding answers from the U.S. Department of Education after a key government special education website went down.
In a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said they want a “detailed explanation” about the failure of a federal website housing comprehensive information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
“We are deeply concerned that prior to your confirmation and arrival at the department the centralized resource website for the IDEA (“https://www.idea.ed.gov”) became inaccessible to the public for more than a week, and is now redirecting people to a site for the Office of Special Education Programs (“OSEP”). The OSEP website lacks much of the information previously available,” the senators wrote in the correspondence sent Friday.
Officials at the Education Department first acknowledged the crashed website last week, the day after DeVos was confirmed despite deep opposition from special education advocates.
However, the technical problems appear to have first emerged weeks earlier.
Initially, the IDEA site failed to load altogether, but it now redirects to a page on the Education Department’s main website with special education information that’s been appended with a note about the glitch.
“The servers hosting our idea.ed.gov website are experiencing technical issues. As we work to resolve this issue, information regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act can be found below,” the note reads.
An Education Department spokesman told Disability Scoop last week that the redirect is a “short term fix” and the agency is “looking at long term solutions.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/93R

http://gousoe.uen.org/94Q (Ed Week)

http://gousoe.uen.org/93S (New York Daily News)

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

 

Advocates of Disabled Students closely Watching New Ed Chief
Associated Press

Betsy DeVos got off to a rocky start with families of disabled children when she acknowledged being confused by a question at her confirmation hearing about a federal law that has governed special education since 1975.
Now that DeVos is on the job at the U.S. Education Department, advocacy groups say they will be watching closely to see how much the billionaire school choice champion has learned and how her philosophy will affect the more than 6.5 million public school students who need special support in class.
“It’s fair to say that there’s a high level of anxiety from our members,” said Denise Stile Marshall, executive director of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, which opposed DeVos’ nomination.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94J

 

Did Betsy DeVos Make You Want To Run For School Board?
NPR

Early one morning, the week before Betsy DeVos’ confirmation as education secretary, 23-year-old Allison Kruk was dropping her boyfriend off at the Philadelphia airport when she decided to swing by the office of her U.S. senator and give him a piece of her mind.
Kruk was a Hillary Clinton supporter, and the nomination of DeVos “just felt like a low blow,” she says. “I had been calling and emailing and writing letters about how I thought she was incredibly incompetent, regardless of your position on school choice.”
Kruk spent 2 1/2 hours in the office of Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., before she was finally escorted out by security, but not without an official audience scheduled on the Monday before the vote.
Over the weekend, she collected 11,000 signatures on a petition from educators all over the state, plus letters from parents and teachers, all of which she hand-delivered.
When Toomey nevertheless cast his vote for DeVos, Kruk’s reaction was immediate: She decided to run for school board.
By all accounts, the election has sparked a surge of political interest among young Democrats and progressives. Similar upwellings have happened after other presidential campaigns, such as the Tea Party movement’s surge after Barack Obama’s election in 2008.
“Since Betsy DeVos’ confirmation, we’ve had a flood of people come and say specifically, ‘I want to run for school board to protect the schools in my hometown,’ ” says Amanda Litman, co-founder of Run for Something, a newly launched progressive political action committee dedicated to drafting Millennials for down-ballot races from state legislatures on down. Run for Something offers advice, introductions and, for some candidates, help with fundraising.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94E

 

Social Media Mocks Education Dept for Misspelled Tweets
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Education Department is getting social media criticism after misspelling the name of a prominent African-American sociologist – and then mistyping again when apologizing for the error.
In a tweet Sunday morning from its official account, the department attributed a quotation to W.E.B. DeBois (doo-BOYZ’), incorrectly spelling the last name with an “E.”
It immediately drew hundreds of responses mocking the department’s misspelling of the sociologist’s last name, which is correctly spelled D-U B-O-I-S.
By midday, the department had posted a new tweet with the correct spelling and an apology. “Post updated – our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo,” it tweeted, drawing a wave of fresh responses noting a second typo. Soon after, the department corrected the word to “apologies.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/94K

http://gousoe.uen.org/94R (Politico)

 

Governors, State Lawmakers Roll Out School Choice Proposals
Proponents hoping for receptive climate
Education Week

As the Trump administration appears poised to make school choice the centerpiece of its education agenda, Republican-led legislatures in Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, and elsewhere are rolling out charter school and voucher bills in what could be a more receptive environment.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos-now the nation’s most visible school choice advocate-takes the helm at a time when Republicans control the governor’s house or the state legislature in 44 states and have full control of the executive and legislative branches in 25 states.
That GOP dominance of state-level politics could set the stage for a nationwide shift on school choice legislation, even more so than DeVos’ confirmation, said Kenneth Wong, an education policy and politics professor at Brown University, in Providence, R.I.
“When you combine the federal leadership change with the shift in state leadership, we will be seeing a growth and expansion of state involvement in school choice issues,” Wong predicted.
DeVos played a significant role in shaping Michigan’s charter school sector as a longtime philanthropic backer of school choice in the state. During her confirmation hearing, DeVos declared that it’s time to “shift the debate from what the system thinks is best for kids to what moms and dads want, expect, and deserve.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/94N

 

Which States Pay Teachers the Most (and Least)?
Education Week

Alaska and New York pay teachers nearly double the salaries of those working in Mississippi and Oklahoma, says a new study by GoBankingRates.
According to the finance website, teachers in Alaska and New York are paid each year on average $77,843 and $76,953, respectively. By contrast, the averages in Mississippi and Oklahoma are $42,043 and $42,647, respectively. To be fair, many of the states with higher teacher pay also have higher costs of living. (You can use this tool to compare costs of living in different cities and states across the country.)
And a salary on the high end doesn’t necessarily mean easy living. The authors show, for instance, that the average salary in California of $72,050 “is just a tad under the amount of money needed to live comfortably in [the state].” What’s more, a starting teacher’s salary would be much less, closer to $40,000 per year, according to the California Department of Education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/94S

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/94T (GOBankingRates.com)

 

These teens are working to cure cancer and solve the mysteries of the universe
Washington Post

They are digging into the structure of the genes behind cancer, studying the mysterious forces of the cosmos and developing software to read emotions.
The 40 finalists of the Regeneron Science Talent Search who arrive in the District next month represent the pinnacle of science research among teens. Their projects could translate into important developments in science and medicine.
Four are from the Washington area: Prathik Naidu, of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria; David Rekhtman, of Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda; and Sambuddha Chattopadhyay and Rohan Dalvi, both of Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring.
The contest, previously known as the Intel Science Talent Search, has a new name and a new principal sponsor. Regeneron, a biotechnology company, was started by two talent-search finalists. The contest’s aim is the same.
http://gousoe.uen.org/944

More information
http://gousoe.uen.org/945 (Regeneron)

 

The New Civics Course in Schools: How to Avoid Fake News
Associated Press

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. — Teachers from elementary school through college are telling students how to distinguish between factual and fictional news – and why they should care that there’s a difference.
As Facebook works with The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and other organizations to curb the spread of fake and misleading news on its influential network, teachers say classroom instruction can play a role in deflating the kind of “Pope endorses Trump ” headlines that muddied the waters during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I think only education can solve this problem,” said Pat Winters Lauro, a professor at Kean University in New Jersey who began teaching a course on news literacy this semester.
http://gousoe.uen.org/946

Sidebar: How to distinguish between fake and real news
http://gousoe.uen.org/947 (AP)

 

————————————————————
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 13:

Senate Education Committee meeting
8 a.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/SEDU0213.ag.htm

House Political Subdivisions Committee meeting
8 a.m., 450 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HPOL0213.ag.htm

House Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting
8 am., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HREV0213.ag.htm

Senate Health and Human Services Committee meeting
8 a.m., 250 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/SHHS0213.ag.htm

House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee meeting
9 a.m., 20 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HEDW0213.ag.htm

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/~2017/agenda/HEDU0213.ag.htm

Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee meeting
2 p.m., 215 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/STPT0213.ag.htm

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
4 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00001610.htm

February 14:

House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HNAE0214.ag.htm

Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 250 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/SREV0214.ag.htm

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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