Education News Roundup: March 17, 2017

Rich Nye at New Bridge Elementary in Ogden.

Media outlets locally and nationally are trying to parse out what President Trump’s education budget means for programs moving forward.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qu (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9qZ (KSTU)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9qv (WaPo)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9qw (Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9qW (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9qx (Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9qy (Ed Week)

ENR sends his congratulations to Deputy Superintendent Nye as he doffs his deputy badge at our office to don the Superintendent moniker in Ogden.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qG (OSE)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9qL (KTVX)

OECD encourages the U.S. to spend more on infrastructure including education. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria wants “more focus on the type of education and the type of skills that you need that are being demanded by the productive sector, not merely more diplomas.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qQ (AP)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qR (OECD)

If ENR had to read “The Scarlet Letter” as a high school junior, then every high school junior should read something at least as difficult to get through … or maybe not anymore.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qT (Ed Week)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Here’s how President Trump’s proposed budget hikes and spending cuts might affect Utah
Spending plan > Hill Air Force Base may get more jets and more cash – but grant-dependent organizations such as schools and transit, wouldn’t fare as well.

Utah stations face big cuts under Trump plan to ‘zero out’ Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Subsidies > Trump’s plan to “zero out” funding for public broadcasting “defies the will of the American people,” public-television boss says.

Rich Nye to serve as next Ogden School District superintendent

Logan High School to present student-written musical, Echoes Never Die

Hill AFB, others give $1.7 million boost to Davis schools for STEM education

Employees settle with Utah school district and supervisors over alleged sexual harassment
Courts > Man at center of allegations remains a defendant.

BYU students team up with high school HOPE Squads to change conversation of mental health

Park City Students Paint Over Hateful Graffiti

USU’s Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services Ranked 26th in the Nation

Student leaders “Chalk the Walk” to promote quitting tobacco

Eccles to display Ogden, Weber student art this spring

University and high schools bring new concert, ‘From Classics to Chaos’

Prize patrol surprises 19 Jordan educators with $1,000

OPINION & COMMENTARY

What makes a good teacher?

Utah needs to reward all of its teachers

No Imagination for Education
President Trump’s proposed education budget is an exceptional missed opportunity.

Implications for K-12 Companies in Trump’s Big Proposed Cuts to Ed. Spending

Kids on winning robotics team told ‘Go back to Mexico’

NATION

Trump’s Education Budget ‘Falls Far Short,’ Education Groups Say

Trump’s Proposed Budget-Cut Targets Include Teacher Improvement

Trump Ed. Dept. Has Yet to Hit the Accelerator

US Urged to Spend More on Infrastructure

Four steps to improve US schools that (almost) everyone supports
Public school champions and school choice advocates agree that educators should prepare students for careers, intervene early, look beyond test scores, and focus on the neediest schools.

A Call to Abandon Whole-Class Novels

Nebraska drops suit over transgender bathroom policy

The Satanic Temple invites Texas students to fight corporal punishment by invoking religious rights

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Here’s how President Trump’s proposed budget hikes and spending cuts might affect Utah
Spending plan > Hill Air Force Base may get more jets and more cash – but grant-dependent organizations such as schools and transit, wouldn’t fare as well.

Washington * President Donald Trump unveiled a budget Thursday that would boost funding for the military, homeland security and veterans but cut deeply into education, health, environmental protection, housing, programs that help rural areas and the poor, as well as diplomacy and foreign aid.
Closer to home, the president’s budget would order up more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, housed at Hill Air Force Base, at the same time eliminating funding for a rural air service, community block grants and transportation money that has helped several Utah projects in the past.
The budget blueprint, a 64-page document that includes essentially talking points but few details, also would slash money for Amtrak service in the West, funding for land acquisition and a weatherization program for the needy. It also would zero out federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The White House pitched the budget as a tough-but-needed effort to rein in government spending while focusing efforts on defense and core federal programs. Three departments – Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs – would see big budget increases while 15 others face drastic cuts.

In other ways, though, the budget would divert federal money flows that directly impact Utah as Trump proposes eliminating many federal grant programs – a move that could starve subsidy-based initiatives for art, research and low-income housing. Education programs and transit projects could also take hits.
Margaret Peterson, who directs after-school programming for 23 public schools in West Valley City, cringes at the president’s call to kill the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports academic enrichment for primarily low-income students.
The West Valley City school programs that Peterson oversees have collectively received roughly $850,000 each year from the federal program since 2009, with the money going toward tutoring, parenting classes and juvenile-delinquency prevention workshops for the 5,000 students who participate. Without the funding, those after-school initiatives would evaporate and 350 employees, she said, would lose their jobs.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qu (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9qZ (KSTU)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9qv (WaPo)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9qw (Ed Week)

 

Utah stations face big cuts under Trump plan to ‘zero out’ Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Subsidies > Trump’s plan to “zero out” funding for public broadcasting “defies the will of the American people,” public-television boss says.

President Donald Trump wants to cut all public funding for public television and radio.
If he succeeds, KUED-Channel 7 would lose almost 19 percent of its revenue; KBYU-Channel 11 would be out more than $5 million; and radio stations in Utah like KUER FM-90.1 and KRCL FM-90.9 would be forced to make changes.
Or worse.

The loss of federal funds would result in “a big reduction in the services,” said Morgese. “And we’re more than just ‘Masterpiece’ and ‘Downton Abbey.’ We’re providing a lot of educational content 24 hours a day.”
KUED, in concert with PBS, recently launched a 24/7 kids educational channel, “and we’re not asking for any more to do that,” Morgese said.
The loss of federal funds would mean layoffs, cutbacks and reduced educational/children’s programming.
“If we go away, how will those services continue to be delivered to schools?” Morgese said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qW (SLT)

 

Rich Nye to serve as next Ogden School District superintendent

OGDEN — Rich Nye will be the next Ogden School District superintendent.
The announcement was made at a Board of Education meeting Thursday, March 16. Nye will take over the position on July 1.
“What an honor and privilege. I am truly humbled and am inspired by the dedication of the administrators, teachers, and students of the well-being of our district and community,” Nye said in a statement from the district.
He is the current deputy superintendent of student achievement for the Utah State Board of Education. He was also once the director of assessment, research and evaluation for Ogden School District and a Ben Lomond High School instructor, according to previous Standard-Examiner reporting.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qG (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9qL (KTVX)

 

Logan High School to present student-written musical, Echoes Never Die

Logan High senior Alex Lambert, the son of Dr. Greg and Julie Lambert, has always dreamed big. Currently the student body president of Logan High School, Lambert has played Grizzly baseball, served on the newspaper staff and sung with the “Crimson Colony” choir. He has also been actively involved in theater.
“Ever since I was in middle school, I’ve had the interesting, rather peculiar desire to write a musical,” he said. “I wrote a twenty-minute show for the one-acts last year and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to make it bigger.”
Bigger it is.
On March 23, 24, and 27, Logan High School will present Lambert’s original full-length production, Echoes Never Die, A Musical Tribute to Logan High School.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qI (CVD)

 

Hill AFB, others give $1.7 million boost to Davis schools for STEM education

LAYTON – The Davis School District just got almost $2 million richer.
The Department of Defense, Hill Air Force Base and the Northrup Grumman Foundation, are donating $1.7 million for STEM education at Northridge and Syracuse High Schools.
In a press release, Hill spokesman Micah Garbarino said the money will fund the schools’ participation in the National Math and Science Initiative College Readiness Program. The program is designed to help students from military families succeed in advanced coursework in math, science and English.
Hill and the defense department are contributing $1.2 million, with Northrup Grumann donating $250,000. The base is also investing an additional $250,000 in a partnership with the State of Utah STEM Action Center to expand STEM programs in the Davis County area.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qF (OSE)

 

Employees settle with Utah school district and supervisors over alleged sexual harassment
Courts > Man at center of allegations remains a defendant.

Eight female employees who sued the Iron County School District in federal court, claiming they were subjected to years of sexual harassment, have reached a $340,000 settlement with the state.
Beyond the financial aspect of the settlement, it requires the school district to hold annual sexual harassment training for employees and administrators, said attorney Peter Stirba, who represents the women.
“They were concerned all along with corrective changes and behavior within the district,” Stirba said Thursday of the women. “It’s in place now, and it’s a great credit to them that it is in place.”
The women – six teachers, a teacher’s aide and an office secretary – last year filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the school district, Cedar Middle School Principal Kendall Benson, Assistant Principal Trent Nielsen, and the man at the center of the allegations – Samuel Naim El-Halta.
The settlement includes district, Benson and Nielsen, but El-Halta remains a defendant.
El-Halta, now 41, counseled 7th and 8th graders at the middle school, where he began working in 2007, and held a supervisory position over the women.
According to the lawsuit, El-Halta talked to the women about their looks and attire – comments that became increasingly inappropriate and escalated to outright requests for sexual favors at least once to each plaintiff.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qB (SLT)

 

BYU students team up with high school HOPE Squads to change conversation of mental health

AMERICAN FORK – Brigham Young University public relations students have gone back to Utah County high schools in an effort to change the conversation about teen mental health.
It’s all in connection with a national program called the Campaign to Change Direction.
“Their goal is to promote positive mental health and to create a common dialogue about mental health and how we can address that problem,” said BYU senior McKann Thomas.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qY (KSL)

 

Park City Students Paint Over Hateful Graffiti

PARK CITY, Utah — Vandalism was found in Park City this week and it appears to be racially motivated.
The word “illegal” which was misspelled was spray painted on the siding of Aspen Villas Apartments right by the high school.
Tuesday morning a group of students came to the complex to paint over the graffiti.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qM (KTVX)

 

USU’s Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services Ranked 26th in the Nation

Logan-U.S. News and World Report magazine has again named the graduate programs in Utah State University’s Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services among the top tier of colleges of education in the nation.
In the 2018 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” the magazine ranked the college 26th in the nation overall against all graduate colleges of education. The college has moved up from 30th last year and is the only school of education in Utah to place in the top 50.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qX (Utah Business)

 

Student leaders “Chalk the Walk” to promote quitting tobacco

The sidewalks leading to the entrance doors of the Bear River Health Department were transformed on Thursday, becoming colorful message boards of encouragement for people who want to quit using tobacco.
The illustrations and quotations added to the walkway were created by members of the Bear River Governing Youth Council (GYC), comprised of 34 student leaders from 15 schools in Cache and Box Elder counties. Using sidewalk chalk as their medium, the group raised its collective voice in support of “Kick Butts Day,” a national rally sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qJ (CVD)

Eccles to display Ogden, Weber student art this spring

Junior high and high school student art will be on display at the Eccles Community Art Center throughout March and April.
Ogden School District student art will be up March 27 through April 12 while Weber School District student art will be displayed April 13-29.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qH (OSE)

 

University and high schools bring new concert, ‘From Classics to Chaos’

CEDAR CITY – For the first time in the history of Southern Utah University’s College of Performing and Visual Arts, its music department will be partnering with Cedar High School and Canyon View High School bands to present “From Classics to Chaos.”
The concert will be held in the Heritage Center Theater Monday at 7:30 p.m.
The Department of Music hopes to make this an annual event, the university’s news release said. It will join the Piano Monster Concert and High School Honor Band Concert in providing community members more opportunities to collaborate with the university.
“The concert will be a first for us, as we will be sharing the stage with bands from Cedar and Canyon View high schools,” SUU’s Director of Bands Adam Lambert said. “‘Fairest of the Fair’ by John Philip Sousa will be the grand finale. Both Cedar High School, under the direction of Steve Shirts, and Canyon View High School, directed by David Jordan, have excellent band programs. It will be a privilege to perform with them.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qK (SGN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9qN (KCSG)

 

Prize patrol surprises 19 Jordan educators with $1,000

Teacher Susan Locke is presented with an Educator of the Year award by Jim Bird, of the Jordan Education Foundation, at Columbia Elementary School in West Jordan on Thursday, March 16, 2017. The Jordan Education Foundation presented 19 educators with $1,000 in cash and an invitation to a banquet dinner.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qE (DN)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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What makes a good teacher?
Deseret News editorial

The annual designation of “Utah’s Teacher of the Year” invariably confers well-deserved recognition to an educator singled out for exceptional accomplishments, as is the case with this year’s honoree, West High School’s Valerie Gates. As with all who reach professional success in any endeavor, she has built a legacy of achievement premised on one motivational force – an uncommon passion for her work.
At a time when Utah struggles to recruit and retain qualified teachers and is striving to improve public education, Gates’ story raises an essential question – what can the state do to harness and encourage the kind of passion that drives her and others or, conversely, what can Utah do to remove those things that might suffocate a similar fervor among current or prospective teachers?
If schools choose to look at an individual teacher’s personal drive as an essential component of success in the classroom, we may begin to look at policies that affect the profession of teaching in a different light. For example, the current tendency is to construct salaries for teachers around quantitative measurements such as levels of education and experience in certain fields. Passion is a qualitative trait not easily measured in an aptitude test or licensing exam.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qD

Utah needs to reward all of its teachers
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Ron W. Smith

How can HB212 do less than cause far more problems than it solves? Handing $5,000 to a few teachers in a few subjects in a few grades in a few schools isn’t a good idea. It’s a horrible one. All teachers in Utah need that kind of encouragement. All of them – for putting up with core problems like crowded classrooms, difficult mixes of students, inadequate classroom and career support, meager reward for job importance.
The chronic underfunding of K-12 has created a situation where experienced teachers are often discouraged enough to leave. Younger ones, in their first five years, are in fact doing so in droves. And as for getting enough of the best and brightest prospects into teacher training programs – well, fat chance of that with legislators who keep telegraphing disrespect in myriad ways, saying some teachers are more important than others.
The failure again this year to come up with a dedicated and annually reliable stream of revenue to add adequately to the usual sources for funding public education was a big mistake. HB212 is just a compounding of it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qC

 

No Imagination for Education
President Trump’s proposed education budget is an exceptional missed opportunity.
U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Andrew J. Rotherham, cofounder and partner at Bellwether Education Partners

The presidential budget request is always a mash up of policy, politics, signaling and negotiation. Yet even with the caveat that any budget request is best taken seriously but not literally, President Trump’s first budget stands out as an exceptional missed opportunity in education and across a range of federal agencies. Ignore the theatrics about Trump’s new battle with Big Bird, he won’t win that one. And remember that some of the programs the president is putting on the chopping block are ones that President Obama sought to cut, too. Instead, what’s most tragic about this budget is how profoundly unimaginative it is at a time the country needs big ideas.
When it comes to the education budget, and the federal budget more generally, a strong case can certainly be made that cutting and reinvesting might help spur modernization and reform. Many education programs are an ossified grab bag of special interest priorities rather than real drivers of better outcomes for kids or genuine innovation. But some of these programs do provide essential support for students and contrary to popular wisdom it is quite possible to make things worse than they are now. So reform requires careful and thoughtful policymaking not blunt force trauma. Trump’s budget, by contrast, bludgeons rather than fixes. Worse, it doesn’t look forward, or even sideways, it looks down.
By proposing to cut more than $9 billion from the Department of Education, the president is sending a signal that making America “great again” doesn’t involve investments in her people. That’s a 13 percent cut – a staggering figure even for those who question some federal education spending.
The problem isn’t just cuts. Even the president’s own issues are handled unimaginatively in the budget blueprint. “School choice” is an avowed presidential priority (and an issue where bipartisan compromise is possible). The president wants $250 million for a private school choice program. Fair enough, he won the election and is entitled to a debate on that proposal. But Trump is also pushing for more than a billion dollars to test out ideas to make the federal Title I program more “portable” for students while arguably giving charter schools relatively short shrift.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qV

 

Implications for K-12 Companies in Trump’s Big Proposed Cuts to Ed. Spending
Education Week analysis by columnist Sean Cavanagh

One of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises was to bend the federal budget for education and other programs to his will, and on Thursday he released a spending blueprint that aims to carry through on his slash-the-government vision.
If his plans for the U.S. Department of Education come to pass, they would likely have a big impact on K-12 districts around the country-and in all probability, they would shape the work of companies trying to do business with schools in technology and other areas.
Trump’s proposed 2018 budget-only a rough outline of which was unveiled this week-would cut the department of education’s funding by 13 percent from the current year, or $9 billion, from $68 billion to $59 billion.
Because many of the administration’s plans have not yet been made public, it’s hard to know what the exact brunt of the cuts would be for K-12 businesses. But the magnitude of the proposed reductions means that if they were enacted, state and local officials would almost certainly have to scramble to fill holes in their budgets caused by the loss of federal money, diminishing their ability to spend money on technology and other needs.
The cuts would “cause school officials to reshuffle funding that would otherwise support educational technology,” said Reg Leichty, the founder of a Washington law firm, Foresight Law + Policy, who advises companies, districts, and others on federal policy. “It’s rough for education, generally, and it hits ed-tech, specifically, as well.”
But Leichty also believes Congress-even though it is controlled by members of Trump’s Republican party-is likely to reject many of the cuts, which could spare K-12 districts from some of the pain.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qU

Kids on winning robotics team told ‘Go back to Mexico’
Indianapolis Star commentary by columnist Suzette Hackney

It should have been a day of glory and celebration for five fourth graders from Pleasant Run Elementary. They had just won a robotics challenge at Plainfield High School, and the students – new to bot competition this year – were one step closer to the Vex IQ State Championship.
Then racism got in the way.
For the record, their race or ethnicity shouldn’t be a part of this story. But it is. The team is made up of 9- and 10-year-olds, two who are African American and three who are Latino.
As the group – called the Pleasant Run Panther Bots – and their parents left the challenge last month, competing students from other Indianapolis-area schools and their parents were waiting for them in the parking lot. “Go back to Mexico!” two or three kids screamed at their brown-skin peers and their parents.
This verbal attack had spilled over from the gymnasium, where while the children were competing, one or two parents disparaged the Pleasant Run kids with racist comments – and loud enough for the Pleasant Run families to hear.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qO

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Trump’s Education Budget ‘Falls Far Short,’ Education Groups Say
Education Week

The Council of the Great City Schools-which represents 70 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems-has panned President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, arguing that the spending plan lacks the clarity and funding schools need to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
Trump’s proposed budget seeks to cut the Education Department’s roughly $68 billion budget by $9 billion, a 13 percent drop.
Michael Casserly, the executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, panned the budget, arguing that it will hamstring preparation for the coming school year because there is no clarity about funding to help schools carry out the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the latest iteration of the K-12 education law.
“The bipartisan enthusiasm over the enactment of ESSA 15 months ago was not built on an expectation that federal education funding would be reduced,” Casserly said in a prepared statement. “Urban school districts across the country are working hard to make the new law a success and are willing to be held accountable for its results. But the new administration and Congress need to do their parts … to ensure that the promise of ESSA is made real.”
The proposal would set spending levels for federal fiscal 2018, which generally would affect the 2018-19 school year. The spending plan must still face congressional scrutiny-and it could take months for House and Senate lawmakers to decide what parts of the plan to accept or reject.
“A strong and productive nation requires a significant investment in its public schools and public school students, and this new funding proposal falls far short of that goal,” Casserly said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qx

 

Trump’s Proposed Budget-Cut Targets Include Teacher Improvement
Education Week

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, released today, calls for $9 billion in cuts to the U.S. Department of Education. On the chopping block are programs that provide districts with funding for professional development and improving teacher preparation programs.
The budget would eliminate $2.25 billion in Title II grants, money that states and districts use to hire and train teachers.
“These cuts, if enacted, will turn into real-life effects on kids,” American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said in a statement. “They do what we feared would happen when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was nominated: defund public schools with the aim of destabilizing and destroying them. By slashing community schools, professional development and class-size funding, they are cutting what works to help students succeed.”
Weingarten stressed the need for funding professional development to help teachers “refine their craft and move new ideas and curriculum in the classroom-just like any corporation would need to train people when implementing a new product or strategy.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qy

 

Trump Ed. Dept. Has Yet to Hit the Accelerator
Education Week

Under the last two presidents, the U.S. Department of Education was a mighty-and mighty well-funded-agency. But, all signs point to it being much sleepier under President Donald Trump.
For one thing, the department’s bottom line may be about to plummet. Trump has proposed a 13 percent cut in funding for the agency, to $59 billion for the coming fiscal year. That could mean serious reductions to the department’s current workforce of about 4,000 employees.
The Trump administration also has been slow to hire a support team-even though the department is about to face the mammoth task of reviewing dozens of state plans to implement the new Every Student Succeeds Act. Those plans are due to start rolling in the beginning of next month.
Some educators and advocates-and even a few career staffers working inside the agency-say that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ priorities remain hazy, beyond a push for school choice.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qS

 

US Urged to Spend More on Infrastructure
Associated Press

BADEN-BADEN, Germany — Governments need to do more to create growth that benefits everyone, and the U.S. should spend more on roads, highways, bridges and airports, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Friday.
The body, which includes the world’s better-off countries, said in a report that governments should focus on providing better access to high-quality education and supporting employment for women through measures like affordable child care. It also highlighted the need for more spending on infrastructure.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria called for an “upskilling of the workforce” to address worker anxiety about the future of their jobs amid technological change: “more focus on the type of education and the type of skills that you need that are being demanded by the productive sector, not merely more diplomas.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qQ

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qR (OECD)

 

Four steps to improve US schools that (almost) everyone supports
Public school champions and school choice advocates agree that educators should prepare students for careers, intervene early, look beyond test scores, and focus on the neediest schools.
Christian Science Monitor

The early days of the Trump administration have made clear that strong disagreements over school choice probably won’t be resolved anytime soon. But when it comes to setting an agenda for what public education should do to prepare the rising generation for the future, there are some broad areas of consensus.
The agreements don’t always extend to how to tackle that challenge, however. As experimentation continues and communities debate priorities, that how can get very contentious. That’s at least partly because many Americans are passionate about education and the change it can bring in children’s lives.
“Education has been the mechanism for upward mobility for a very long time in the US … and that promise provides a lot of the glue that has held our pluralistic democracy together,” says Richard Murnane, an economist at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Mass.
Even in the face of substantial income inequality, people aren’t too bothered if they feel their children have a decent chance to rise to the top, he says. As people start to doubt that opportunity is as widespread as it should be, however, it can be “deeply disturbing to a great many Americans.”
Yet there’s a lot of hope for what education can accomplish. Here are four areas where relative consensus is leading people forward:
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qz

 

A Call to Abandon Whole-Class Novels
Education Week

Long taken for granted as a solid literacy approach, the practice of having all students in a class read the same book has come under scrutiny in recent years.
Last month, school librarian and blogger Leigh Collazo, put the argument in the virtual spotlight once again. She wrote:
“I am so tired of seeing secondary school teachers still clinging to the whole-class novel. I’ve even seen a disturbing trend toward whole-school novels. Groan. I’m sure forcing students to read a book that someone else picked for them makes all the reluctant and non-readers out there just fall head-over-heels in love with reading. Who doesn’t love being force-fed something they don’t want? That doesn’t fit? That they don’t care two licks about? And we wonder why so many teens say they hate reading.”
Students’ maturity levels, reading levels, and interests vary greatly in secondary school, she wrote, making reading entire books together problematic. Classes can have deep, meaningful discussions by reading short stories, essays, and poems as a group-the “interminable whole-class novel units” aren’t necessary.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qT

 

Nebraska drops suit over transgender bathroom policy
Lincoln (NE) Journal Star

Nebraska has asked to drop a 10-state lawsuit it led challenging federal guidance the Obama administration gave to schools on locker room and bathroom use by transgender students.
In a motion filed Thursday, Nebraska Chief Deputy Attorney General David Bydalek said the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Education last month jointly withdrew the statements of policy and guidance that had been an issue.
The January 2015 and May 2016 letters had directed schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms according to their expressed gender or risk losing federal funding.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qP

 

The Satanic Temple invites Texas students to fight corporal punishment by invoking religious rights
Dallas Morning News

The Satanic Temple doesn’t like the paddling of schoolchildren, so it’s picking a fight with a small Fort Worth-area school district.
On Wednesday, it raised a billboard along State Highway 199 in Springtown with this message: “Never be hit in school again. Exercise your religious rights.”
Members of The Satanic Temple, an activist group that views Satan not as a deity but as an icon of rebellion, are criticizing Springtown ISD for allowing corporal punishment. The district made headlines in 2012 when a male assistant principal at Springtown High School paddled two female students.
The billboard displays the group’s logo, which features a pentagram framing a goat skull. It also highlights a website that invites students to fill out a form that would affirm “the inviolability of the human body” as one of their deeply held religious beliefs.
If a student registers on the site and later faces corporal punishment at school, The Satanic Temple will send a letter to the school board on the student’s behalf and even go to court to fight for the student’s right to free exercise of religion, said the group’s spokesman, Lucien Greaves.
Registering for the website won’t make the students members of The Satanic Temple, Greaves said, but it will align them with the group’s tenet that a person’s body is inviolable and subject only to his or her will.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9qA

 

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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

 

March 24:

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

May 4:

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

May 5:

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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