Education News Roundup: Feb. 16, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

The Clipper looks at the nonpartisan State Board of Education bill.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97Y (DCC)

Sen. Hillyard discusses the education budget and available resources for teachers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/985 (CVD)

Gov. Herbert backs the proposal to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education. (Note: The stories are all the same AP story, but you’re still welcome to pick your favorite news site).
http://gousoe.uen.org/97b (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/97s (OSE)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/97u (LHJ)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/97J (KSL)

KUTV looks at the potential mine field of social media and student-teacher relationships.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97A (KUTV)

Ed Week reports fewer states are sticking with the testing consortia for Common Core tests.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97h (Ed Week)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Ward pushes nonpartisan school board elections bill

Hillyard would like to find ways to relieve pressure on teachers

Threshold for runoff elections could derail bill addressing plurality

Salary bonuses proposed for teachers in high-poverty schools

Peterson fielded broad range of questions at Wednesday’s town hall

2017 Legislative Update
Teachers, public land defenders and health care proponents converge on the hill.

The Halfway Point of the 2017 Utah Legislative Session

Herbert talks cutting U.S. Education Department, upcoming D.C. trip

Teachers, schools wrestle with challenges of social media, communicating with students

New K-8 school part of wish list for downtown SLC

New Leadership Learning Academy location to open in Ogden this fall

Board names new assistant superintendent

Ridgeline debate coach earns national honor

Students compete in diocesan science fair

Washington County School District employees to start paying for part of their own health insurance

Two people in Utah infected with mumps, one more infected with measles

Woods Cross High School baseball coach, teacher charged for showing pornography to minors

Unannounced active shooter drill in Herriman angers some parents

High schoolers crash Capitol to warn peers about addiction

Building Rockets to Get Kids Excited About STEM

Aerospace enthusiasts drop in for a visit to the Capitol

Students hope to make the cut in Sterling Scholar competition

Cedar High set to perform Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”

Mom who dressed as man for son’s school event talks struggles, joys of parenting

Utah teen gives chocolate to all 537 girls at his school for Valentine’s Day

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Weak sex education doesn’t give Utah kids better judgment

Another shining example of the magic of sports

Income tax hike would kill jobs

Is it cheating for students to use homework apps?

Shame on Hatch. Shame on Lee. Shame on us.

Go away, Common Core

Unusual, But Not Uncommon
Betsy DeVos isn’t the only education secretary with a lack of traditional public school experience.

Want to reform education? Break up the public school monopoly

NATION

State Solidarity Still Eroding on Common-Core Tests

DeVos: Protesters show hostility to change, new ideas in education

Provocative cartoon links Betsy DeVos and Ruby Bridges

Businesses across U.S. close, students skip school on ‘Day Without Immigrants’

Navajo official worries cuts under Trump will hurt tribal schools

The Certification Maze: Why Teachers Who Cross State Lines Can’t Find Their Way Back to the Classroom
Too many teachers leave the classroom when they move. But it doesn’t have to be that way

Online Charter Students in Ohio Perform Far Worse Than Peers, Study Finds

State Superintendent Candidate Says Opponent Made Offer

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Ward pushes nonpartisan school board elections bill

SALT LAKE CITY-A bill that has stalled in the Rules Committee could have an impact on how state school board elections are run in 2018. Last year, a bill passed putting into law that elections for state board members would become partisan. It allowed for one year in 2016 to be run nonpartisan, and then in 2018 the new law will take effect.
Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful, is sponsoring HB151 to change that law so that school board elections can stay nonpartisan. Currently the bill is being held in committee so the full legislative body can’t hear it yet.
Former representative Sheryl Allen, former Davis School District Board of Education member Barbara Smith and several other groups are calling on the public to help move it out of committee this session.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97Y (DCC)

 

Hillyard would like to find ways to relieve pressure on teachers

Unlike previous years when he was involved with budgeting, State Senator Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, now heads the committee on public education. Hillyard was a guest on KVNU’s For the People program Tuesday and he talked about the importance of preparing children to come to school and then keep them there.
He said a lot has been done by the legislature to help parents do that and he realizes it helps when you find ways to relieve pressures on teachers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/985 (CVD)

Threshold for runoff elections could derail bill addressing plurality

Many politicos believed the SB54 plurality fight was over with this legislative session after the Utah Republican Party’s Central Committee voted last Saturday to drop its federal lawsuit against the dual-pathway to the primary ballot law.
Not so fast.
House Republicans are talking about several changes to SB114, the Sen. Curt Bramble bill aimed at settling the primary plurality issue. The bill will be heard in the House Republican Caucus on Thursday. It passed the Senate, 23-6, a week ago.
Under SB114, if more than three candidates qualify for a party’s primary ballot, and none get at least 35 percent of the vote, then there is a special primary runoff election between the top two vote-getters in mid-August.
UtahPolicy is told that some House Republicans don’t like the 35 percent level – believing it was pulled out of thin air and should be changed.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97a (UP)

 

Salary bonuses proposed for teachers in high-poverty schools

SALT LAKE CITY – An initiative intended to stem high rates of teacher turnover in some the state’s most demanding schools is headed to the Utah House of Representatives.
The latest version of HB212, sponsored by Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City, was approved by the House Education Committee with a 6-4 vote Wednesday after more than an hour of intense discussion and debate.
“If you love your local school districts, rather than giving them more shackles, give them more tools,” Winder said of the proposal.
HB212 would provide to participating school districts partial funding for bonuses for teachers in high-poverty schools whose students demonstrate academic growth over a three-year period.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97c (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97y (UPC)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97K (KSL)

 

Peterson fielded broad range of questions at Wednesday’s town hall

ROY – The crowd of about 80 residents at Wednesday’s town hall session with Rep. Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden asked questions ranging from education funding to medical marijuana legislation, the opioid epidemic, sex education and his bill to roll back solar tax credits.

When asked his stance on expanding Utah’s abstinence-only sex education program, Peterson said he favored leaving that to parents rather than teachers. One person piped up with, “That doesn’t work.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/986 (OSE)

 

2017 Legislative Update
Teachers, public land defenders and health care proponents converge on the hill.

Underpaid teachers and opponents of Utah’s new national monument on Wednesday came together in a rare piece of legislation bridging the two groups.
The proposal from Rebecca Edwards, R-North Salt Lake, won support from the House Wednesday morning. It urges the state to set aside potential future sales of public lands to grow teacher’s starting salaries.
The House passed the measure onto the Senate in a 62-7 vote.
Utah lawmakers have long maintained that the state, which is covered by two-thirds federally-managed land, could better maintain its public lands and keep it open to a variety of uses, including energy development.
“This is an attempt to marry public lands with public education and address significant concerns with both in the state,” Edwards said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/983 (SLCW)

 

The Halfway Point of the 2017 Utah Legislative Session

The 2017 Utah Legislative session has officially passed the halfway mark, and Thursday we’re examining all the action so far on Capitol Hill. The fight over the Bears Ears National Monument continues, with a house resolution calling for its demise, to the dismay of outdoor retailers. Legislators are weighing tax increases. Education funding is once again a hot topic, as is the future of the “Zion Curtain,” and. A panel of guests joins us to discuss all of that and more.
http://gousoe.uen.org/982 (KUER Radio West, audio)

 

Herbert talks cutting U.S. Education Department, upcoming D.C. trip

SALT LAKE CITY – Gov. Gary Herbert says he supports a proposal to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education and hopes to use his trip to Washington next week to discuss states’ authority and the new Bears Ears National Monument with President Donald Trump’s administration.

Among the ideas percolating in Washington is a GOP proposal to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education, something Herbert said he supports.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is one of several members of Congress proposing to eliminate the department, which President Jimmy Carter created as a separate agency nearly four decades ago.
About $550 million in federal money funds Utah’s K-12 schools. That makes up about 9 percent of education spending in a state with a high birth rate and a growing number of kids enrolling in schools.
Herbert said local officials, educators and parents are better positioned to address their education needs than the federal government, and it would be best if the states received money coming from the U.S. Department of Education in a lump sum, without restrictions.
“We don’t get a lot of help out of Washington, D.C., with all the strings and the mandates and the one-size-fits-all approach,” he said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97b (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97s (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97u (LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97J (KSL)

 

Teachers, schools wrestle with challenges of social media, communicating with students

The State Board of Education recently adopted new rules and regulations to manage how educators use social media to interact with students this year.
Developments in technology have led to a gray area between how students and teachers interact online and in social media.
Recently, allegations of a Woods Cross High School teacher and baseball coach using social media to share and show boys he instructed sexually explicit images clearly crossed that line, according to the State Board of Education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97A (KUTV)

 

New K-8 school part of wish list for downtown SLC

SALT LAKE CITY – The effort to rejuvenate downtown is moving into a new phase, and this one envisions a more family-oriented urban landscape complete with a new grade school.
Local leaders Tuesday unveiled the 2017 Downtown Rising Action Plan during a news conference in the lobby of the Eccles Theater. The progress report and new goals outlined emerging trends and identified key objectives for continued downtown development that imagines a more family-friendly atmosphere with more community-minded amenities, explained Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance.
Among the various considerations, the long-term plan includes the development of a K-8 school that would cater to families desiring an urban lifestyle.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97G (KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97M (KSTU)

 

New Leadership Learning Academy location to open in Ogden this fall

OGDEN – The Leadership Learning Academy is opening a satellite campus in Ogden.
The free, public charter school is under construction at 1111 2nd Street in Ogden near Harrison Boulevard and is slated to open this fall.
The school first opened in Layton in August 2013, and the Ogden campus will be a replica, using the same Project CHILD teaching model.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97q (OSE)

 

Board names new assistant superintendent

BOUNTIFUL-Davis School District Superintendent Reid Newey announced the appointment of John Zurbuchen as Assistant Superintendent at a board meeting held last week.
Zurbuchen will replace outgoing Assistant Superintendent Craig Poll who is retiring at the end of February. Poll has been with the district for 39 years.
http://gousoe.uen.org/984 (DCC)

 

Ridgeline debate coach earns national honor

Ridgeline High School debate teacher Brad Gibbons recently won a national honor recently with a Diamond Coach Award.
The National Speech and Debate Association (formerly the National Forensics League) gives out 20 Diamond awards to coaches throughout the country every year based on team participation, student achievement, public service and leadership work.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97v (LHJ)

 

Students compete in diocesan science fair

DRAPER – The gymnasium of Juan Diego Catholic High School was packed with students and their projects, the polished floor hidden under hundreds of tables topped with poster boards for the Knights of Columbus Diocesan Science Fair on Feb. 11, which called young scientists together from all across the diocese to showcase their scientific talents.
This year, the science fair had two big changes: group projects from non-Catholic schools were allowed, and the judges included people with professional experience in math or science, rather than only members of the Utah Knights of Columbus, who had been the judges in the past, said Vicky Simpson, the fair’s co-coordinator.
http://gousoe.uen.org/981 (IC)

 

Washington County School District employees to start paying for part of their own health insurance

ST. GEORGE – Rising health care costs have hit the Washington County School District, the county’s largest employer, and as a result, over 3,000 school district employees will have to pay for a traditional health insurance plan out of their own pockets.
This is the first time that the employees will be required to pay for health insurance, said David Stirling, Washington County School Board of Education president.
“As far as I know, (employee health insurance) has always been district-funded,” Stirling said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97H (KSL)

 

Two people in Utah infected with mumps, one more infected with measles

Two people in Salt Lake County are infected with mumps, according to the Salt Lake County Health Department, and four more people are awaiting test results.
All four of the people awaiting test results had contact with one of the confirmed cases.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97B (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97E (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/987 (KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97L (KSTU)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97Z (Gephardt Daily)

 

Woods Cross High School baseball coach, teacher charged for showing pornography to minors

A Woods Cross High School baseball coach was recently charged with showing pornography to three teenage students, according to prosecutors.
Trevor J. Amicone, 29, was charged on Feb. 10 in 2nd District Court with three counts of dealing in harmful material to a minor by an adult, all third-degree felonies.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97C (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97O (KSTU)

 

Unannounced active shooter drill in Herriman angers some parents

HERRIMAN – An unannounced active shooter drill at Herriman High School and Copper Mountain Middle School Wednesday morning caused some panic and confusion.
It happened around 8:45 a.m. Students at Herriman High were in the middle of first period when they got an announcement on the intercom that the school was on lockdown and it was not a drill.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97N (KSTU)

 

High schoolers crash Capitol to warn peers about addiction

SALT LAKE CITY – A crowd of high school students cheered on their friends and peers who took the stage Wednesday at the Capitol to speak out against addiction to products such as alcohol, tobacco and e-cigarettes.
About 400 high schoolers from throughout the state gathered in the Hall of Governors for Youth Against Addiction Day. Several students joined Marc Watterson of the American Heart Association in speaking about health concerns related to substance abuse and addiction.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97l (DN)

 

Building Rockets to Get Kids Excited About STEM

Clay Rumsey, engineer with Northrup Grumman, goes around to elementary schools all year to help them build and launch rockets.
He and his daughter Keslyn demonstrate how to build and launch a rocket using simple materials.
Rumsey supports events like the upcoming Hill AFB Engineers Week.
The goal of Engineers Week is to celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world, increase public dialogue about the need for engineers and bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97F (KTVX)

 

Aerospace enthusiasts drop in for a visit to the Capitol

Jaycen Munoz tests his Mars Lander egg drop project – without the egg – during Aerospace Day on the Hill at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. During the event – which featured hands-on exhibits and demonstrations from more than 20 aerospace companies, industry associations and educational institutions – Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox announced the Utah Aerospace Pathways program would expand to the Ogden School District. The program, currently available in Granite, Davis and Iron County school districts, allows high school students to earn a certificate in aerospace manufacturing and prepares them for a high-paying job immediately upon graduation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97n (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97r (OSE)

 

Students hope to make the cut in Sterling Scholar competition

Anna DiSera, from Cyprus High School, practices before competing in the Deseret News/KSL Sterling Scholar semifinals in dance at Copper Hills High School in West Jordan on Wednesday. The semifinal competition will narrow down nearly 1,000 nominees from the Wasatch Front Region to 210 finalists. From that group, 14 winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony in the LDS Conference Center Little Theatre on March 9. Students from each high school are nominated in one of 14 categories – English, mathematics, social science, science, world languages, computer technology, skilled and technical sciences education, family and consumer sciences, business and marketing, speech/theater arts/forensics, visual arts, dance, instrumental music and vocal performance. Scholarships are awarded to the winner and two runners-up in each category.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97m (DN)

Cedar High set to perform Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”

Cedar High drama students perform “As You Like It” during a preview show on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97x (SGS)

Mom who dressed as man for son’s school event talks struggles, joys of parenting

A single mom in Southern Utah took her role as a mom — and dad — to a whole new level and got very creative for her son’s Donuts with Dad day at school.
Whitney Kittrell, mother of two kids who juggles school and work at the same time, has had full custody of her kids for three years now.
“It definitely is hard, there’s struggles being a single parent,” Kittrell said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97z (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97I (KSL)

Utah teen gives chocolate to all 537 girls at his school for Valentine’s Day

Utah teen Tryston Brown didn’t want the girls at his school feel unconfident on Valentine’s Day.
So, he handed out chocolate to all 537 girls at Rocky Mountain Junior High School in West Haven, hoping that the sugary treats would make the young girls at his school feel loved on the special holiday, ABC News reported.
Initially, he wanted to boost his female friend’s self-esteem. But the thought grew from there, according to ABC.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97p (DN)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Weak sex education doesn’t give Utah kids better judgment
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

For the second year running, a bill to update Utah’s curriculum to allow for comprehensive sex education died in committee at the Utah Legislature.
Utah instead will continue its strategy of keeping kids ignorant on the hope it keeps them chaste, even though that has never been shown to work – here or anywhere else.
The purported reason Rep. Brian King’s comprehensive sex-ed bills always die is that sex education is the parents’ role. The schools, it is said, cannot provide the moral framework needed to keep it from being just a how-to manual for all-too-eager teens who already face a slew of sexual encouragement from modern media. Instead, Utah and several other states rely on “abstinence-based” curricula that forbids teaching about forms of contraception, among other information.
There isn’t a shred of evidence that abstinence-based education is effective in reducing teen sex
http://gousoe.uen.org/97k

 

Another shining example of the magic of sports
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

The power of sports, and their ability to simultaneously tug at our heartstrings and teach us life lessons, was on full display once again Tuesday night at Springville High.
For those who may have missed it, senior Taylee Smith – a young lady with Down syndrome who serves as a team manager for the Red Devils girls basketball program – was inserted into the starting lineup, and swished a short jumper on the opening possession of Springville’s rivalry game with Maple Mountain High.
She left the court to a raucous ovation by her teammates, opponents, game officials and fans, and undoubtedly left more than a few wet eyes in the house.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97t

 

Income tax hike would kill jobs
Deseret News op-ed by Evelyn Everton, state director of Americans for Prosperity

Utahns know the importance of a strong public education system – and today our public schools rank 10 spots higher in the national rankings published by Education Week than they did five years ago. Unfortunately, a new organization would prefer to ignore this progress and raise taxes on all of us.
The group “Our Schools Now” is calling on the state to raise the personal income tax by 17.5 percent to increase government spending on education. And while they claim to have the backing of a majority of Utahns, a new survey shows that support evaporates when people understand the true cost of their proposal. When survey participants learned this tax would amount to about $900 per year for the average Utah family, 69 percent of respondents were less likely to support the measure.
There are other good reasons for voters to reject this initiative. The facts show that it is not only unnecessary, but would set our state back.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97d

 

Is it cheating for students to use homework apps?
Deseret News commentary by columnist Amy Iverson

Apps now exist in our digital world that can take nearly any homework question or problem and solve it instantly, leaving parents and students with the decision whether or not to use these apps. Some call it cheating; others call it learning.
Parents, think back to when you were in high school doing homework. I recall having complicated calculus assignments that my mom wouldn’t even attempt and that stumped my father, who was an engineer. He would spend the evening reading through my book to remember how to do the equations and then try to teach me.
Even now with my teenagers, I have to study before I can help them with their math homework. And I’ll admit that most often, I send them to my husband who has a better mind for such things. I can help them with any literature, English, or language, but math was never my forte. So, I started getting help for teaching my kids from an app I featured on my radio show years ago.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97o

 

Shame on Hatch. Shame on Lee. Shame on us.
Salt Lake Tribune letter form Lisa Foster

Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee:
Shame on you for voting to confirm Betsy DeVos for secretary of education.
Shame on you for not listening to your constituents and ignoring the tens of thousands of emails and calls that told you to vote no on DeVos.
Shame on you for spouting ALEC rhetoric that says more parent choice leads to better outcomes when the research doesn’t support this, and when schools in Michigan where DeVos bought her political influence leaves parents with a multitude of bad choices.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97j

 

Go away, Common Core
(St. George) Spectrum letter from Caleb Reusch

My name is Caleb. I am 11 years old and am working on the communications merit badge for Boy Scouts.
I would like to let the community know that Common Core is not good for your brain. Example: There are 15 horses on the roof. If there are 12 cows on the ground, how many times can you shoot a hoop? Five! Because purple aliens don’t wear hats.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97w

 

Unusual, But Not Uncommon
Betsy DeVos isn’t the only education secretary with a lack of traditional public school experience.
U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Gerard Robinson, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute

Earlier this month, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the 11th U.S. secretary of education, inheriting the management of a $69 billion, 4,200-employee agency at a historic period in American history. This period at the Department of Education is noteworthy for a few reasons. For starters, the department turns 150 years old on March 2, 2017. The first time the Education Department was a single agency was in 1867 when the nation was in the beginning of Reconstruction following our bloody Civil War. Before it became a single agency again in 1979, it was housed within the Department of Interior – as either an Office or a Bureau of Education – between 1868 and 1939, and in the Federal Security Agency or Department of Health, Education and Welfare between 1939 and 1979. The department’s 150th birthday marks an important time to re-examine what it has accomplished and what it might serve to do in the future.
Secondly, DeVos is responsible for the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which gives states and local districts regulatory flexibility to educate students in pre-K, public, private and virtual schools.
Lastly, advances in technology and social entrepreneurialism are redefining how DeVos can deliver teaching and learning to 21 million students at postsecondary institutions, many who are not the traditional 18-year-old college student we typically imagine.
But despite the important timing of her appointment, DeVos inherits the position at a moment when the approval process for cabinet posts is mired in hyper-partisan politics. It was not always like this: Every education secretary designee put forward by presidents Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama was approved for the job with 80 or more Senate votes, or confirmed by voice vote or unanimous consent between 1979 and 2015.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97W

 

Want to reform education? Break up the public school monopoly
(Washington, DC) The Hill op-ed by TERESA MULL, research fellow in education policy at The Heartland Institute

How much proof of its effectiveness does school choice need to show before it finally takes hold?
The answer should be “none”; parents and children ought to be free to choose whatever education system they want, regardless of how worthwhile other people perceive it to be. But in the super-regulated society we live in, we’re often forced to rely on our freedoms earning approval before they can become policy and we can go about exercising them.
School choice, though, seems as though it can’t do anything right. A new paper by researchers at the University of Arkansas’ (UArk) Department of Education Reform finds private school voucher programs improve student outcomes around the world. The study’s monumental findings seem to put a decisive exclamation point on the education debate, a “drop the mic” moment, so to speak, for school choice.
Yet researchers have produced similar studies before and still widespread school choice remains elusive. Why?
http://gousoe.uen.org/97X

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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State Solidarity Still Eroding on Common-Core Tests
Education Week

After seven years of tumult and transition fueled by the common core, state testing is settling down, with most states rejecting the federally funded PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments, and nearly one-quarter embracing the SAT or the ACT as their official high school test.
Education Week’s third annual survey of states’ tests found a landscape far more stable in 2016-17 than it was in 2014-15, when dozens of states had tossed aside their old assessments to try the new arrivals designed by two big consortia of states, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, to align with the Common Core State Standards. There was a flurry of interest in those tests in the first few years, with 45 states planning to use them. But by now, 28 have since opted for other tests.
The national survey also shows a steady increase-four more states than last year-in the number of states that require all students to take the ACT or SAT college-admissions exam in high school. A dozen of those states use those tests to measure achievement, the same number as last year, but a big jump from years ago, when only a handful used college-admissions tests for that purpose. The Every Student Succeeds Act, enacted a year ago, invites states to use college-admissions tests to measure achievement.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97h

 

DeVos: Protesters show hostility to change, new ideas in education
Washington Post

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Wednesday that the handful of protesters who briefly blocked her from entering a D.C. middle school last week demonstrated hostility to change in education.
“The protesters’ behavior is a reflection of the way some seek to treat our education system – by keeping kids in and new thinking out,” DeVos said during brief remarks to a conference of magnet-school leaders and advocates in Washington.
DeVos, a billionaire who advocates for private-school vouchers and has no professional experience in public education, has been one of President Trump’s most controversial Cabinet nominees. She was barely confirmed after an outpouring of opposition from teachers, parents and others who feared she would undermine public schools.
On Wednesday, DeVos praised public magnet schools as the oldest form of school choice and said she was committed to supporting their success. “You may not be tooting your horns enough,” she said. But she declined to commit to provide more federal funding for magnet schools, saying it would be premature to do so.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97e

http://gousoe.uen.org/97g (LAT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97U (Ed Week)

http://gousoe.uen.org/97f (AP)

 

Provocative cartoon links Betsy DeVos and Ruby Bridges
USA Today

A provocative editorial cartoon that appears to link embattled Education Secretary Betsy DeVos with civil rights hero Ruby Bridges is stirring up strong reactions on social media.
The image, by longtime cartoonist Glenn McCoy, appeared online Monday on the Andrews McMeel Universal GoComics website, as well as in newspapers. The Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat also published the cartoon on its website.
The cartoon shows a diminutive DeVos being escorted inside a school under heavy guard. It draws a direct visual connection between the iconic image of Bridges – the 6-year-old African-American girl escorted by federal marshals into an all-white New Orleans school in 1960 amid taunting crowds and barricades – and an incident last week in which protesters temporarily blocked DeVos’ entrance to a meeting at a Washington, D.C., middle school.
DeVos eventually entered the school and attended the event.
In an e-mail, McCoy, who also draws the popular comic strips The Duplex and The Flying McCoys, said, “I regret if anyone was offended by my choice of metaphors, but my intention was to focus on the protesters being hateful and to open up a dialogue on this point.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/97V

 

Businesses across U.S. close, students skip school on ‘Day Without Immigrants’
USA Today

Across the nation, thousands of protesters took part in a wide array of “Day Without Immigrants” events, ranging from marches, to boycotting jobs to keeping kids out of school to underscore how much migrants form the lifeblood of the country’s economy and social structure.

In Nashville, Amqui Elementary was almost devoid of its immigrant students. Kim Dean’s 3rd grade English language learner reading classroom contained just six students. Lisa Anderson’s 3rd grade English language learning math classroom had nine students. Between the two classes, over 40 students were missing. Other schools throughout the district reported seeing similar dips in its immigrant populations, including in East and South Nashville.
“We heard rumblings of it yesterday,” Dean said. “There has been a persistent fear about what if their parents disappear (due to Immigration and Customs Enforcement sweeps). Several have been talking about running away if they are placed in foster homes. They shouldn’t have to worry about that, they are only 8 and 9. They are babies.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/97P

Navajo official worries cuts under Trump will hurt tribal schools
(Phoenix, AZ) Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – The superintendent for Navajo schools said “alarming” calls for the Trump administration to eliminate Head Start funding could leave tribal children without preschool programs or the education resources they desperately need to succeed.
Diné Superintendent Tommy Lewis made the comments Wednesday during a wide-ranging interview in Washington that touched on his fears for education changes under President Donald Trump, from funding to school choice to tribal sovereignty.
But Lewis said the thing that worries him most is a Washington think tank’s call on the Trump administration to phase out Head Start, a federally funded preschool program that is worth $25 million a year on the Navajo Nation.

He dismissed the report’s suggestion that the Head Start programs could be replaced by privatized preschool programs.
With consistently high unemployment rates on the Navajo Nation, Lewis said it is unlikely that parents could afford to send their children to private preschools.
Even if they could, those schools do not currently exist on the reservation, he said. On a reservation sprawling across parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, he said there are only three or four private K-12 schools.
But Burke said that could change if Navajo parents had access to school vouchers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/980

 

The Certification Maze: Why Teachers Who Cross State Lines Can’t Find Their Way Back to the Classroom
Too many teachers leave the classroom when they move. But it doesn’t have to be that way
The 74

Kiersten Franz has a bachelor’s degree in math, a master’s in education, and several years’ teaching experience under her belt – excellent qualifications, presumably, for becoming a New York City high school statistics teacher.
But her record wasn’t quite good enough to meet New York state’s stringent licensure requirements.
Because her training was out-of-state and in statistics, it didn’t conform to the strictures for required math courses set out by the New York State Education Department. Franz was forced to pay out-of-pocket to attend night courses in math at a local college to maintain her license. She said the classes didn’t help her much as a teacher and were at a far lower level than the classes she took in Pennsylvania to earn her master’s.
The process was draining, both financially and time-wise, as she was also teaching full time and had personal obligations: “I was about six months pregnant at the time . It was horrible.”
The difficulty in transferring teacher certification is not limited to New York – as Franz learned when she subsequently moved to California and had to navigate that state’s process. Some states, including New York, have recently moved to ease the process.
The issue of teacher licensure reciprocity usually doesn’t draw big headlines or much political engagement, but research evidence, surveys, and interviews suggest that teachers are often limited in their ability to move between states – often for little good reason and to the detriment of student achievement.
http://gousoe.uen.org/97i

 

Online Charter Students in Ohio Perform Far Worse Than Peers, Study Finds
Education Week

Students in Ohio’s burgeoning full-time online charter schools perform far worse on state assessments than similar students in brick-and-mortar charter and regular schools, according to a new study from researchers at New York University and the RAND Corporation.
The schools, which deliver instruction entirely or primarily via the internet, tend to attract lower-income, lower-performing white students, then fail to provide those children with the supports they need, the study concluded.
“Students in Ohio e-schools are losing anywhere between 75 days and a full school year of learning compared to their peers in traditional public schools and brick-and-mortar charter schools,” Andrew McEachin, a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, said in an interview.
“If kids are in e-schools for a long time, they’re likely going to fall very far behind their peers.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/97S

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/97T (Educational Researcher)

 

State Superintendent Candidate Says Opponent Made Offer
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — A candidate for Wisconsin state superintendent accused an opponent Wednesday during a radio debate of offering him a three-year, $150,000 job in the department and a personal driver if he drops out of the race.
John Humphries made the allegation against Lowell Holtz during a debate on WISN-AM radio. They are both challenging incumbent state Superintendent Tony Evers. The top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary will advance to the April 4 general election.
Holtz called Humphries’ allegations a “bunch of liberal BS.” Holtz said unnamed business people asked him and Humphries to discuss options for working together and that ideas were thrown around but “there was no specific proposal.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/97Q

http://gousoe.uen.org/97R ([Madison] Wisconsin State Journal)

 

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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 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/~2017/agenda/sedu0216.ag.htm

House Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting
2 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/hrev0216.ag.htm

House Government Operations Committee meeting
3 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/hgoc0216.ag.htm

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
4:10 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00001665.htm

February 17:

House Education Committee meeting
8 a.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/hedu0217.ag.htm

House Business and Labor Committee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/hbus0217.ag.htm

House Health and Human Services Committee meeting
8 a.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/hhhs0217.ag.htm

Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee meeting
8 a.m., 415 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/snae0217.ag.htm

House Judiciary Committee meeting
4:10 p.m., 20 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HJUD0217.ag.htm

House Transportation Committee meeting
4:10 p.m., 450 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HTRA0217.ag.htm

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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