Education News Roundup: March 27, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

State Charter School Board

State Charter School Board steps back from the issue of eminent domain.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9ve (SLT)

State Charter School Board also follows up with Franklin Discovery Academy.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vf (SLT)

Park City Elementary works with students on coding.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vg (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9vy (DN via KSL)

Ed Tech magazine looks at UETN’s Unicast Reverse-Path Forwarding, which adds an extra layer of security against hackers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vW (Ed Tech magazine)

President Trump signs the measure to roll back Obama-era rules on ESSA.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vL (USN&WR)

Sure, USA Today offers all kinds of fashion tips for prom dresses for the prom season, but not a word about powder blue rental tuxedos.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vG (USAT)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah Charter School Board votes to stay out of Draper property dispute
Draper school had asked state panel to intervene in land dispute with industrial park.

New concerns surface as Vineyard charter school reports on probation status
Placed on probation, Franklin Discovery Academy has until June to resolve issues.

Starting in kindergarten, Park City schoolchildren learn computer coding under unique initiative

Growth brings change for JROTC youth programs

Mount Ogden Junior High gets approval for district’s first gay-straight alliance

SITLA board pondered “hardball” tactics in negotiations with city

School IT Leaders Share Strategies on Defending Against DDoS Attacks
When students create cybermischief to derail online testing, these schools fight back.

Feedback on Facebook: The state of charter schools in Utah County

Trump budget could end local afterschool programs, teacher development

Higher teacher salaries coming to Jordan School District

Program hopes to fill 40,000 Utah jobs that don’t require 4-year degrees

How do House Democrats view the session

Utah Military Academy moving location of its Lehi campus

From Nervous to Victorious – A School Resource Officer Shares Why He Loves His Job
Behind the Badge with Officer Jeff Porter

Students Battle in Robotics Competition

Cedar FIRST LEGO teams going national

Google Fiber hoping to inspire more interest in STEM subjects among girls, minorities

Utah school district considers later high school start time

Box Elder Superintendent Ron Tolman to retire after 3 years with district

FBI visits students at West High to discuss suicide, opiates, sex trafficking and more

USU’s college of education ranked No. 1 in Intermountain West

Utah youth entrepreneur students get chance to present ideas to investors

Utah Shakespeare Festival troupe to give free performance at Ben Lomond High

Chemistry demonstrations are a real gas

Singing and supping: Students treated pasta, meatballs and opera

Child and Adult Care Food Program

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Start a high school student’s day later in the morning

Park City School District should be lauded for taking action

Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Views on DUI law, homeless sites and education funding

LHS production well worth seeing

Six Ways to Improve High School Graduation Rates
Students are more likely to earn a diploma if they do well in 9th grade

Obama admin made schools more dangerous
The Trump administration can bring discipline back to schools and help students of color.

Mother’s fight to stop Bible class in public school resurrects a troubled history with religion

NATION

Trump Nixes Obama-era Rules for New Federal K-12 Law
The move is aimed at fulfilling pledges to rein in federal influence over education policy.

Betsy DeVos: States Should Decide How Much Testing Is “Actually Necessary”

Trump’s Education Cuts Would Squeeze Charter, Private Schools

Has opt-out movement peaked? Schools here wait to see

College Is the Goal. The Problem? Getting There.

Minneapolis schools study Chicago for lessons in ‘social-emotional learning’
Research shows that kids schooled in reading as well as responsibility and equations along with empathy do better in class and get into less trouble.

‘Open Schools’ Made Noise In The ’70s; Now They’re Just Noisy

Fifteen kids reported this pedophile. They left him in the classroom anyway.
Robert Keith Bryan was accused of touching students in 1985, 1992, 1994 and 2007. Complaints were buried, disbelieved, ignored and forgotten

5 must-have trends for prom 2017

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah Charter School Board votes to stay out of Draper property dispute
Draper school had asked state panel to intervene in land dispute with industrial park.

Utah’s state Charter School Board won’t take part in an ongoing legal dispute between Draper’s American Preparatory Academy and a neighboring industrial park.
The school’s governing board, Utah Charter Academies, had asked the state Charter School Board to intervene on its behalf and use the legal power of eminent domain to condemn and claim a narrow piece of land that blocks access to American Preparatory Academy’s parking lot.
But after more than an hour of closed-door debate, charter board members voted to delay consideration of any eminent domain actions until after Utah Charter Academy’s lawsuit against its neighbors is resolved.
“We want the school to know that we support you,” said state Charter School Board Chairwoman Kristin Elinkowski. “We’re terribly concerned about the safety of students. We would love to see this resolved and really wish it could have been resolved in some other way.”
The charter board’s decision perpetuates a lingering question over whether or not the board, an unelected advisory panel to the Utah Board of Education, possesses the statutory right to exercise eminent domain.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9ve (SLT)

 

New concerns surface as Vineyard charter school reports on probation status
Placed on probation, Franklin Discovery Academy has until June to resolve issues.

Representatives of Vineyard’s Franklin Discovery Academy drew additional scrutiny on Friday as they gave their first report since the school was placed on probation.
Last month, the state charter school questioned whether the school should continue to operate due to concerns of student safety, operational dysfunction and financial mismanagement, and gave Franklin Discovery administrators until June to resolve those concerns.
On Friday, the school’s monthly presentation sparked a debate over a potentially “awkward” requirement that members of its governing board also teach within the school. “It seems like that would lead to some very awkward structural problems,” state charter school board member Michelle Smith said. “You have board members as teachers and at the same time, being supervised by the teachers they evaluate.”
Jen Price, chairwoman of the school’s governing board, said she taught a yearbook class at Franklin Discovery, while other board members and the school’s former director taught subjects like gardening and bicycle safety.
Price said she does not have Utah educator credentials, but the teaching she and other board members do is part of Franklin Discovery Academy’s “engaged” courses, which she described as covering enrichment topics and not core academic areas.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vf (SLT)

 

Starting in kindergarten, Park City schoolchildren learn computer coding under unique initiative

PARK CITY — Remember the children’s song and story “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly?”
Odds are kindergartners at Parley’s Park Elementary School have it committed to memory after the story became the launching point for a technology lesson in their classroom Thursday.
No, they didn’t resolve the age-old question of “why she swallowed the fly,” but tech coach/coding instructor Tracy Fike used the story to guide the young students through a lesson on sequencing, a fundamental skill of computer coding.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vg (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9vy (DN via KSL)

 

Growth brings change for JROTC youth programs

Pine View High School’s JROTC cadets are nearing the end of their first year as a new organization after growth in the Dixie High School-based program and the geographical challenges of serving all of Washington County’s metropolitan area spawned the second unit on St. George’s east side.
The waning days of the school year also are a time for leadership changes at both Dixie’s and Pine View’s Air Force model youth leadership programs.
The first year since the JROTC wing divided into two groups is also the last for Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Glenn Whicker, the senior aerospace science instructor who has directed and built the JROTC program at Dixie since its inception over a decade ago.
The annual year-end awards ceremony May 5 at Dixie will also serve as a farewell to Whicker, who launched the program with 68 cadets in 2006. There are now about 152 cadets at Dixie after reaching a high of 270 prior to the Pine View split.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vs (SGS)

 

Mount Ogden Junior High gets approval for district’s first gay-straight alliance

OGDEN — Mount Ogden Junior High School received approval from the Ogden School District Board of Education to start the district’s only gay-straight alliance club.
The club’s application states its purpose is to “unite students and be inclusive and supportive.” Proposed activities include pin, poster and jewelry-making, along with other crafts. The proposed meeting time is 3:15 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vj (OSE)

 

SITLA board pondered “hardball” tactics in negotiations with city

If Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) board trustee Roger E. Barrus is going to support projects like Utah State University-Moab’s future campus, he said he expects that city officials will be “reliable” partners on other developments in the community.
Barrus and other SITLA board trustees voted unanimously in January to approve a capital request for $250,000 to fund road and utility improvements to the site of the new campus off U.S. Highway 191. Before he cast his vote, however, Barrus suggested that SITLA should make it clear that it wants the City of Moab to commit to supporting all of its developments in the area, without exception.
“It’s not a negative statement saying, ‘Hey, you don’t do this, or we’re not doing this,’” Barrus said, according to an audio recording of the board’s Jan. 19 meeting. “It’s just saying, ‘This is our expectation when we work with you.’”
Another SITLA board trustee – Mike Mower – seemed to ponder whether trustees should withhold the $250,000 until the city commits to partnering more closely with the agency.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vR (Moab Sun News)

 

School IT Leaders Share Strategies on Defending Against DDoS Attacks
When students create cybermischief to derail online testing, these schools fight back.


The Utah Education Network (UEN), which provides high-speed internet access to the state’s school districts, universities and state government agencies, recently invested in enterprise-class DDoS mitigation technology.
The statewide network considered several solutions, but it ultimately chose on-premises equipment that it installed on its own private cloud.
The technology, installed 18 months ago, automatically detects and blocks DDoS attacks by using a feature called Unicast Reverse-Path Forwarding to silently drop — or “blackhole” — the bad traffic, says Troy Jessup, UEN’s associate director of network and security operations.
The mitigation system can also scrub traffic. As traffic enters the network backbone, scrubbers allow legitimate traffic to pass through, while blocking malicious traffic.
“It’s very effective, and smart enough to make those decisions,” Jessup says. Utah school districts are targeted by DDoS attacks several times a week. UEN previously mitigated attacks manually by using NetFlow technology to analyze traffic patterns, and if an in-house system detected anomalies, the staff manually blackholed the bad traffic.
UEN’s new mitigation system has been configured to automatically stop an obvious DDoS attack. But if it’s ­questionable, the system will notify the IT staff to investigate further.
“We err on the side of caution,” Jessup says. “If it’s something that could be an attack or legitimate traffic, we get alerted, and then we take a look at it.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vW (Ed Tech magazine)

 

Feedback on Facebook: The state of charter schools in Utah County

A lot of Utah Valley parents and children are choosing public charter schools, but performance at the institutions can vary wildly. Have you had any experience with local charters?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vN (PDH)

 

Trump budget could end local afterschool programs, teacher development

Brindi Keller has strong feelings about her afterschool program at Canyon Elementary.
In between snack time and playtime, college and high school tutors help the second grader with her homework. She said she learns something new every day, and — she gets excited about this — her tutors give her stickers and stamps when she finishes her assignments.
“If I do it here, I have more help and they make me understand better,” Keller said.
If the program were to go away, she said she would not be happy.
“Apparently, my parents would be upset and I would be upset too, because I would have to do my homework at home,” she said.
The afterschool programs at five Cache County School District elementary schools and one middle school — Canyon, Lewiston, Park, Lincoln, Nibley and White Pine — as well as all six Logan City School District elementary schools are on the chopping block in President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget outline released earlier this month.
The proposal, called “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” calls for a $9 billion, 13 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Education, relative to the 2017 budget.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vp (LHJ)

 

Higher teacher salaries coming to Jordan School District

WEST JORDAN — Teachers in the Jordan School District are about to get a raise. The district plans to put $10 million toward teacher salaries each year and says it already has the money to make it work for the next several years.
Vicki Olsen has been a teacher for a long time — 27 years. She currently teaches accounting at Riverton High School.
“I obviously love teaching because I’m still here,” said Olsen.
It has also been a long time since she’s had a real raise, she said, but that’s about to change.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vz (KSL)

 

Program hopes to fill 40,000 Utah jobs that don’t require 4-year degrees

SALT LAKE CITY — For many people, a four-year degree isn’t always an option, but a new program launched this week aims to fill 40,000 jobs that require different qualifications.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced a $2.1 million grant from the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership that will help the Talent Ready Utah program.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vT (KSTU)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9vV (SGN)

How do House Democrats view the session

This week on Inside Utah Politics we continue our look at the 2017 Legislative Session through the view of the minority party on Capitol Hill.
House Minority Leader Brian King shared his thoughts on education funding, public lands and tax reform and his Domestic Violence Gun Bill.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vU (KTVX video)

 

Utah Military Academy moving location of its Lehi campus

The Utah Military Academy is moving the location of its planned Lehi campus a few months after the city asked it to stop construction.
Construction was planned to begin on Utah Military Academy’s Valdez-Peterson Campus about two months ago at a site at the corner of Pioneer Crossing and Center Street. In November, the Lehi Planning Commission rejected the approval for the school at that location, citing safety concerns due to increased traffic the school would bring through the neighborhood.
Instead, the school got permission from the state for the project, and the city was unaware it had planned to start construction at the time.
The new location for the school is in the Holbrook Farms development on 2100 North.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vo (PDH)

 

From Nervous to Victorious – A School Resource Officer Shares Why He Loves His Job
Behind the Badge with Officer Jeff Porter

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, UTAH – He is not new to police work – but he has a new assignment. This past school year Officer Jeff Potter became a school resource officer. That means he now teaches and helps out at a handful of schools. And this week we pay him a visit in our Behind the Badge report.
For the past 8 months – instead of serving on the streets – Officer Jeff Potter has been serving at Bella Vista Elementary. “It just is real satisfying working with the youth. And it makes me feel like you are actually making a difference in the community.” Officer Potter is the school resource officer for six elementary schools and a middle school in Cottonwood Heights. He loves his job and loves police work. And knew it was something he wanted to do since he was a young man. In fact, he says when he joined the Army – it was really about becoming a police officer. “I wanted to build experience so I could get to my end goal which was law enforcement.” When he left the Army he came back to Utah and started working for the Unified Police Department and they assigned him to Cottonwood Heights. “I liked the area. I liked the community. The community was very accepting of law enforcement and supportive.” So when Cottonwood Heights started its own department, Officer Potter was immediately onboard.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vO (KTVX)

 

Students Battle in Robotics Competition

Students competed March 10 and 11 in a robotics competition held by FIRST, a program named “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” High school students worked in teams to build robots that would hopefully win in competitions against other robots. The competition took place at the Maverick Center in West Valley City, Utah.
The FIRST Competition acts as a vessel in the promotion of student interest in the fields of engineering, programming, science and technology among high school aged students from around North America.
The overall goal of the event is to encourage students to harness their collaborative, social and mechanical skills in an effort to work together to create a machine, or robot, that can compete and win against the other teams who have entered.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vP (Daily Utah Chronicle)

Cedar FIRST LEGO teams going national

Two Cedar City robotics teams are leaving the desert of Southern Utah to compete against teams from around the world on the national stage.
Four years ago, the Iron County 4-H club and North Elementary started the first two FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams in Iron County.
This year, more than a dozen Southern Utah FLL teams competed in a state tournament held at Southern Utah University, with two Cedar City teams moving on to compete nationally in a sport that combines teamwork, strategy and robotics.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vt (SGS)

 

Google Fiber hoping to inspire more interest in STEM subjects among girls, minorities

SALT LAKE CITY — Eighth graders at Glendale Middle School got to watch the movie “Hidden Figures” in class on Friday.
Google Fiber is using the movie to inspire young girls and minorities to become more interested in a science, technology, engineering, or math careers, also known as STEM.
Google Fiber partnered with Salt Lake City and Provo recently to make the areas the most Internet-connected households in the nation. Their goal is to help those families who do not have access to Internet gain access to the fastest connections and make them enjoy using that technology.
Google Fiber is traveling around the country and showing “Hidden Figures” in schools. Google said only 30 percent of their employees are women, and they want to change that.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vA (KSTU)

 

Utah school district considers later high school start time

PARK CITY, Utah— School officials in Park City are taking steps to become the first public school district in Utah to implement a later start time for high school students.
High schools across the country are starting to shift to later start times as a growing body of evidence supports the idea that doing so is developmentally appropriate for teenagers, The Deseret News reported.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vm (AP via OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9vu (AP via KUTV)

 

Box Elder Superintendent Ron Tolman to retire after 3 years with district

BRIGHAM CITY — Box Elder School District Superintendent Ron Tolman will retire this summer.
Tolman has led the district for the past three years. He said he’s looking forward to spending time with his family and crossing a few things off his bucket list in retirement.
Another thing he’s looking forward to in retirement?
“Not having to make decisions about snow days,” Tolman joked. “That’s never fun.”
Prior to becoming superintendent in Brigham City, Tolman was superintendent for the Jefferson Joint School District in Idaho and before that, he was superintendent of the Lincoln County School District in Wyoming.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vl (OSE)

 

FBI visits students at West High to discuss suicide, opiates, sex trafficking and more

Some local high school students were in school today, and it wasn’t for extra credit.
It was for a personal lesson from the FBI.
The Bureau visited West High School in Salt Lake City for a program called “Empowering Youth.” The FBI says its aim is to arm students with knowledge of sensitive issues facing teens, like suicide prevention, opiate abuse, cyber crimes and sex trafficking.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vw (KUTV)

USU’s college of education ranked No. 1 in Intermountain West

LOGAN – The Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University was recently named the top college of education in the state of Utah, the top in the Intermountain West and among the top 50 in the nation by the “U.S. News and World Report” magazine.
The 2018 No. 26 overall ranking was up from the No. 30 ranking a year ago, and marked the 18th consecutive year in the top 50. According to the director of the rehabilitation counseling program Jared Schultz, it is the lone college in the top 50 with a focus on distance education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vr (CVD)

 

Utah youth entrepreneur students get chance to present ideas to investors

SANDY, Utah – Several Utah students are getting a chance to present their own business ideas and during the annual Investor Panel Shark Tank Event being held at Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy.
The students are all part of the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Two of those students sat down with ABC4’s Glen Mills to talk about the upcoming events.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vx (KTVX)

Utah Shakespeare Festival troupe to give free performance at Ben Lomond High

OGDEN — The Utah Shakespeare Festival’s traveling troupe is performing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 30, at Ben Lomond High School.
The event is free and open to the public.
The Shakespeare Festival’s professional actors have been coming to work with students and perform for 17 years, said Ogden School Foundation Executive Director Janis Vause.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vk (OSE)

 

Chemistry demonstrations are a real gas

Alejandro Preciado creates “ghost bubbles” with the help of Amber Bowler, a senior chemistry major at the University of Utah, right, during the American Chemical Society Student Chapter’s spring chemistry festival at the Eyring Chemistry Building on the U. campus in Salt Lake City on Saturday. The bubbles were made out of dry ice, water, dish soap and corn syrup. During the free event, children and their families got to see demonstrations that illustrate the role of chemistry in cooking food. Some of the demonstrations included making ice cream with liquid nitrogen, and shooting off rockets made with film canisters, Alka-Seltzer tablets and water.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vh (DN)

 

Singing and supping: Students treated pasta, meatballs and opera

Fourth-graders Griffin Stark, Evelyn Meiwes and Avinash Joshi eat pasta and meatballs as Julie Barker sings during a Pop-up Opera at Wasatch Elementary School in Salt Lake City on Friday. Students were served an Italian lunch by their teachers and parents, and were then surprised with performances by opera singers from the University of Utah.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vi (DN)

 

Child and Adult Care Food Program

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Office of Education, Child Nutrition Programs, announces that the following institutions are sponsors of the Child and Adult Care Food Program. The same meals will be made available to all children or adults enrolled at these institutions, at no separate charge regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. Furthermore, there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vB (KCSG)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Start a high school student’s day later in the morning
Deseret News editorial

The notion of starting a high school student’s day later in the morning is catching on across the country due to mounting research that teenagers need a lot more sleep than they are getting. In Utah, the Park City School District is the first to take affirmative steps toward making the shift happen, despite logistical obstacles. The district deserves praise for turning talk into action and offering a potential template for other school districts to study and possibly implement.
In the quest to improve the outcome of public schooling, matching school schedules to students’ natural body clocks seems simple enough, but there are complications. The biggest has to do with transportation. Districts shuffle buses to accommodate kids in different schools with different schedules. Changing a high school’s starting time could have a domino effect that would require adjusting more schedules, or investing in more transportation options. Park City has estimated the cost of that investment could approach $2 million.
But data would suggest there would a real bang for those bucks. Teenagers need more than nine hours of sleep a night and studies show that by 8 a.m. — the approximate starting time of most high schools — only one in 10 kids has gotten enough slumber time.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9v9

 

Park City School District should be lauded for taking action
Park Record editorial

The Park City School District was boisterously — and rightly — criticized last spring when its failure to provide necessary accommodations for students with Type 1 diabetes became public.
Likewise, the district should be commended when it tries to do better.
Last summer, in response to those criticisms and an investigation from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights that found the district had discriminated against a diabetic student, school officials began searching for someone new to run the special education program, which oversees the care of students with additional needs ranging from educational to medical.
Administrators ultimately hired an official with the Utah State Board of Education whose background makes clear they are serious about addressing the deficiencies that have plagued the special education program.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vQ

 

Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

The Standard-Examiner Editorial Board hashes out the positions we take on the Opinion page. Here’s what members recommended last week for praise and criticism:
Thumbs Up to the local robotics teams heading to the world competition in Kentucky.
A particular shoutout is in order for the five-member all-girls team, who were the only such team to make it to the state competition. Studies show women, though perfectly qualified, are being driven from the science and tech fields by sexism, so the scarcity of all-girl robotics teams is concerning and the success of one is all the more heartening.
The team described one competition to a Standard-Examiner reporter when they were highly ranked and still had trouble getting another team to partner with them in a doubles skill competition.
“We came in and destroyed,” Fremont senior Makaiya Nunn said. “We came in second place.”
Their being girls has nothing to do with their accomplishments, which were clearly earned through the genderless attribute of hard work and intellect. But in a culture that isn’t always welcoming to women, it’s great to see these girls crushing it anyway.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vn

Views on DUI law, homeless sites and education funding
Deseret News commentary by columnists Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb

Action taken during the legislative session is still making news — for good and bad. Generally, these controversies are not partisan, but are policy-oriented. We offer our differing perspectives.

The Our Schools Now petition sponsors say they will try to place a tax increase proposal for schools on the 2018 or 2020 ballot. Did the Legislature do enough in the last session to derail this effort or does momentum exist for greater resources directed towards public education?
Pignanelli: The Legislature dedicated tremendous funding towards public education and likely diminished some support for the petition. The bigger issue for sponsors is the noticeable bipartisan opposition concerned with the effort, and the difficulty of securing enough signatures for any initiative. The necessary momentum for success is still nascent.
Webb: Schools will only receive adequate funding through intense political pressure. It won’t happen otherwise. Our Schools Now should move forward with the signature campaign to place a proposal on the ballot.
However, the proposal must be precisely right. The right tax increase mix must be determined, and public opinion must be analyzed before locking in to a specific proposal. It can’t be changed once submitted. They have only one chance to get this right.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vS

 

LHS production well worth seeing
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Martha Jorgenson

My husband and I were both extremely impressed with the quality of Logan High School’s production “”Echoes Never Die”.” The quality of both the music and the acting was amazing, comparable to a professional production. This clever dialogue, the heartbreaking plot and the beautifully composed music all come together to make a fantastic show. The fact that this musical was written by high school students makes it even more impressive. The final show is on Monday at 7:30, and you will not be disappointed if you go. Alex Lambert and all of the students involved truly did a fantastic job.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vq

 

Six Ways to Improve High School Graduation Rates
Students are more likely to earn a diploma if they do well in 9th grade
Education Week op-ed by John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance, & Jenny Nagaoka, deputy director of the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research

As the final months of the 2016-17 school year unfold, the nation’s 4 million 9th graders—the Class of 2020—are entering the make-it-or-break-it final weeks of their first year of high school. And GradNation—the national campaign by America’s Promise Alliance to increase graduation rates to 90 percent by 2020—is entering its make-it-or-break-it years.
In recent years, the graduation track record of our 15 million U.S. public high school students has steadily increased. Overall national graduation rates for public school students have climbed 4.2 percentage points in the past four years, up from 79 percent in the 2010-11 school year to the current 83.2 percent.
Despite improvements, the stakes remain high. At the current rate, close to 700,000 of today’s high school freshmen won’t make it. If nothing changes between now and 2020, nearly three-quarters of a million young people each year will see their prospects for higher education, high-skilled jobs, and economic mobility severely curtailed.
But if we successfully reach a 90 percent rate, almost 300,000 more high school seniors each year will get the best possible shot at success—higher incomes, better health, and longer life expectancy. As a nation, we will see a return on this investment in the form of higher employment and tax revenue, reduced costs for social services and prisons, and greater voter turnout.
As two leaders highly invested in improving graduation rates, we know that reaching these individual and collective goals will largely depend on how educators, school leaders, and parents support high school freshmen today.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vJ

 

Obama admin made schools more dangerous
The Trump administration can bring discipline back to schools and help students of color.
USA Today op-ed by Max Eden, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute

There’s been a sea of change in school discipline over the past five years. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was convinced that the striking racial disparity in school suspensions was “not caused by differences in children.” According to Duncan and others, students of color were being discriminated against by their teachers, fostering a “school-to-prison pipeline [that] must be challenged every day.”
So, the Obama administration issued federal guidance putting school districts on notice that even if their discipline policy was “neutral on its face” and “administered in an evenhanded manner,” they could be subject to a federal civil rights investigation if minorities were suspended at a higher rate. Partly in response to federal pressure, over 50 school districts, serving 6.35 million students, implemented reforms and 27 states revised their laws regarding school discipline.
No one bothered to ask students or teachers whether this was a good idea. If new evidence from New York City is any indication, discipline reform is hurting the people it’s trying to help and hitting students of color the hardest.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vH

 

Mother’s fight to stop Bible class in public school resurrects a troubled history with religion
Religion News Service op-ed by Linda K. Wertheimer, author of “Faith Ed., Teaching About Religion In An Age of Intolerance”

A dark chapter in our public schools’ tumultuous history with religion is repeating itself in Mercer County, W.Va.
A mother, who is an atheist, is fighting to stop her school system’s weekly, overtly religious Christian Bible classes so her child, a kindergartner, will not be ostracized for opting out when she will be required to take them next year in first grade.
I hope she wins. Legally, the federal civil suit the mother and the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation recently filed against Mercer County schools is clear-cut. It is unconstitutional to preach the Bible to students in school. Not only are these classes unconstitutional, they’re counterfactual; the Bible in the Schools course includes a lesson on creationism asking students to imagine that humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time, defying common sense and contradicting widely accepted scientific proof that this is untrue.
But there’s another pressing reason to keep these classes out of public schools: to prevent ostracizing of religious minorities and atheists. The mother in fact used pseudonyms for herself and her child in the lawsuit because she feared the girl would be picked on. Though she has the right to opt her child out, it will set her apart. I know that from personal experience.

At least 250,000 students still participate in Bible classes during the school day in various states, according to Released Time Education, a Christian organization that runs such programs. Those numbers would not include similar programs run by Mormon organizations in Utah. Most organizations, though, run the classes in a nearby church or nonschool building, following a 1952 Supreme Court ruling in Zorach v. Clauson. Legally, students can be released from school for religious classes, provided the classes are voluntary and run off school grounds.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vX

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Trump Nixes Obama-era Rules for New Federal K-12 Law
The move is aimed at fulfilling pledges to rein in federal influence over education policy.
U.S. News & World Report

President Donald Trump is set to sign into law Monday the two resolutions that roll back Obama-era regulations that inform state education officials how they are supposed to implement the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Trump’s signature finalizes the monthslong spat between Democrats and civil rights groups, which slammed the move as rolling back protections for the most underserved students and pulling the rug out from under state education officials as they finalize their implementation plans, and Republicans who argued the Obama regulations went beyond the intent of the law as Congress originally wrote it.
The first resolution prevents the Department of Education from dictating prescriptive requirements for how states and school districts measure achievement, using metrics such as school ratings, timelines for interventions for failing schools and student participation in state assessments. The second resolution negates a rule that dictates specific requirements states must use to determine the effectiveness of teacher-preparation programs.
The elimination of the regulations, coming on the heels of a contentious confirmation process for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, is seen by many as the proverbial nail in the coffin for the milieu of goodwill that had built up in the education sphere over the last few years.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vL

 

Betsy DeVos: States Should Decide How Much Testing Is “Actually Necessary”
Education Week

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a video interview that it should be up to states and districts to decide how frequently to test their students.
“It’s really a matter for states and locales to determine how much testing is actually necessary for measuring what students are learning,” DeVos said Friday. “I think it’s important to know and understand, however, what they are learning, and it’s important for parents to have that information, so that they can be assured that their students are in the right place. … Testing is an important part of the equation, but I think it’s really a matter for the states to wrestle with, to decide how and how frequently the testing is actually done.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vb

http://gousoe.uen.org/9vc ([Orlando, FL] WFTV)

 

Trump’s Education Cuts Would Squeeze Charter, Private Schools
Education Week

Private and charter schools were considered the big winners in President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint, which sought new money to expand student options, while slashing other K-12 spending. The problem for some schools of choice? Private and charter schools would be squeezed by the proposed cuts, just like regular public schools.
The Trump administration’s budget blueprint would include $1.4 billion in new money for school choice, but it would get rid of Title II, the $2.3 billion main federal program for improving teacher quality, and the 21st Century Community Learning Center program, a $1.1 billion program which helps finance afterschool and extended-day programs. Private and charter schools receive funding, or at least services, from both programs, explained Sheara Krvaric, an attorney with the Fed Ed Group, a law firm that specializes in K-12 programs.
Here’s a breakdown of how that works:
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vI

 

Has opt-out movement peaked? Schools here wait to see
Buffalo (NY) News

It’s been quieter this year in the lead-up to New York State English language arts assessments, which begin this week. It seems the lines have not moved much since more than 200,000 students around the state refused to take the standardized test last year.
“Opting out” started in spring 2012, when small numbers of children in school districts in pockets around the state did not take New York State assessments.
The movement continued to grow each year, and by 2016, the opt-out rate in New York State had grown to 21 percent of students, despite changes made in the tests and a campaign by the state education commissioner to encourage participation.
In West Seneca, three out of every four students refused to take the ELA and math tests in 2016, the highest opt-out rate in any of the 38 school districts in Erie and Niagara counties.
No one knows how the numbers will shake out Tuesday when the ELA assessments begin for most third- through eighth-graders across New York State. Math assessments will be given in May.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9va

 

College Is the Goal. The Problem? Getting There.
New York Times

TOPEKA, Kan. — She was a blur of motion — leading the school step­dance team, working long hours after school at a beauty products store, mentoring younger students and caring for her siblings. So TaTy’Terria Gary, a senior at Topeka High School, had little time last fall to study for the ACT college admission test.
She was crushed when she scored below the threshold for admission to some local universities. She saw her dreams of being the first in her family to go to college and becoming a gynecologist turning to dust.
“I was angry at myself,” she said. “I had underestimated the test.”
College is the great leveler of American life, and the great divider, too. College graduates typically earn more money, are more satisfied with their jobs and are less likely to be on public assistance than people with only high school degrees. Students understand this; the aspiration to go to college is now almost universal.
Getting there, though, is another matter.
For young people with college­educated parents, the path to higher education may be stressful, but there is a road map. If their standardized test scores are too low, they can pay for a prep course; if their essay is lackluster, they can hire a writing coach. No one will be the wiser. If they can’t decide which college is the “best fit,” they can visit. When they are tempted to give up, their parents will push them on.
But for many working­class students, like TaTy and most of her classmates at Topeka High, there is no money for test prep or essay help. The alternatives to higher education — joining the military, working for $13 an hour at the local factory
or getting a cheaper, faster trade­school certificate — are alluring. The cost of college may seem formidable
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vD

 

Minneapolis schools study Chicago for lessons in ‘social-emotional learning’
Research shows that kids schooled in reading as well as responsibility and equations along with empathy do better in class and get into less trouble.
Minneapolis Star Tribune

CHICAGO – The students at Marcus Garvey Elementary School on Chicago’s South Side know the steps to destress in class: Bolt to a classroom Peace Center. Grab the calm-down bottle, a glitter and water mixture. Shake it hard, take deep breaths and watch the glitter swirl.
“When you sit by yourself for a little bit, you usually calm down so you don’t think about it as much,” said Jake, a fifth-grader. “Then, you calm down all the way.”
Minneapolis educators have their eyes on Windy City counterparts like Garvey that have rolled out a slew of techniques embracing the trend of “social-emotional learning” in schools. Research shows that kids schooled in reading as well as responsibility and equations along with empathy do better in class and get into less trouble. Minneapolis Superintendent Ed Graff has championed the approach since taking office in July.
“We have the same focus on our students: wanting to address their achievement, most definitely with their academics, but then with their well-being as well, and developing skills they need to be successful in life,” Graff said.
A delegation of Minneapolis officials visited Chicago Public Schools last week to see how students’ emotional health has become a key facet in the nation’s third-largest school district. They came home enthusiastic about rolling out their own plans in coming months.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vd

 

‘Open Schools’ Made Noise In The ’70s; Now They’re Just Noisy
NPR

It’s a perennial debate in American education: Do kids learn best when they’re sitting in rows at their desks? Or moving around, exploring on their own?
Back in the 1960s and ’70s, that debate led to a brand new school design: Small classrooms were out. Wide-open spaces were in. The Open Education movement was born.
Across the U.S., schools were designed and built along these new ideas, with a new approach to the learning that would take place inside them.
It was a response, historians say, to fears that the U.S. was falling behind in key subjects like science and math. The approach “resonated with those who believed that America’s formal, teacher-led classrooms were crushing students’ creativity,” Larry Cuban, a professor emeritus at Stanford University, wrote in 2004.
“No whole-class lessons, no standardized tests, and no detailed curriculum,” he wrote. “The best of the open classrooms had planned settings where children came in contact with things, books, and one another at ‘interest centers’ and learned at their own pace with the help of the teacher.”
Sounds great, right? But within just a few years — by the late 1970s — the open schools movement had faded. A backlash set in. “Traditional schools sprang up in suburbs and cities,” Cuban wrote. “This time the call was not for open education but for a return to the basics.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vC

 

Fifteen kids reported this pedophile. They left him in the classroom anyway.
Robert Keith Bryan was accused of touching students in 1985, 1992, 1994 and 2007. Complaints were buried, disbelieved, ignored and forgotten
(Palm Springs, CA) The Desert Sun

PALM DESERT, Calif. – Cait, 10, a fourth grader at Lincoln Elementary School, was erasing the blackboard after class on a Friday afternoon when she was approached from behind by her teacher. He dropped his hands on her tiny shoulders, then slid them forward beneath her shirt. Cait froze in fear.
“Why haven’t you stayed after school in a while?” Robert Keith Bryan whispered in her ear, according to a police report. She felt his hands on the bare skin of her chest and his mouth on her neck.
Cait yanked free and ran out of the classroom. Tears streaked down her face as she sprinted to her home six blocks from the school, then burst into the kitchen and told her mother what had happened. Her father grabbed a baseball bat and marched back to the school. When he got there, Bryan was gone.
It was the winter of 1992. Cait was not the first little girl to tell on this teacher, and she would be far from the last. Over a 34-year career in Coachella Valley Unified and Desert Sands Unified schools, Bryan was allowed to continue teaching despite 15 students reporting him for inappropriate touching over five separate occasions. Bryan kept teaching until 2012, when he was arrested for touching eight more students, then resigned amid a police investigation that eventually sent him to prison.
Decades of abuse could have been prevented if school officials had done anything but leave Bryan in the classroom in the face of repeated accusations. Instead, Bryan moved from campus to campus as student complaints were doubted, buried, overlooked and eventually forgotten. The resulting lawsuits will likely cost millions, and the first trial starts in April.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vK

 

5 must-have trends for prom 2017
USA Today

Prom season is here, and it may be the most fashionable to date.
Thanks in large part to Instagram and Snapchat, trends from the runways and red carpets are quickly hitting high school dance floors across the country.
“It’s actually amazing,” says Rent the Runway stylist Sarah Tam. “It used to be that you saw a trend and it kind of infiltrated maybe a season or two later. Now you see a trend and it really takes immediate affect because of social media.”
For 2017, dresses with bold looks are among the most popular, according to Colleen Winter, the founder of the event-ready brand Lulus. .
http://gousoe.uen.org/9vG

 

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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

April 13:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
2750 University Park Blvd., Layton
http://www.schools.utah.gov/charterschools/State-Board.aspx

April 21:

Utah State Board of Education Law and Licensing Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

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

April 26:

Utah State Board of Education Standards and Assessment Committee meeting
9:30 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

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

June 22:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=APPPED

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