Education News Roundup: March 29, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

A member of the State Charter School Board has resigned.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wz (SLT)

D-News looks at whether Utah should collect data on gay teens.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wB (DN)

Schools in Logan will be starting a little later next year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wX (LHJ)

Monday’s lesson at Trailside Elementary School in Park City: Un sou est un sou.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xr (PR)

Trump administration looks to make cuts this year to domestic programs like education to help pay for a boost to the military and for the wall.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xd (Politico)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9xf (Bloomberg)
or a copy of the document
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xe (Politico)

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen calls for better educational opportunities for low-income communities and programs to develop entrepreneurship.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xb (WSJ) $
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9xg (Reuters)

New poll finds Education Secretary DeVos is the least popular Trump appointee.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×3 (Ed Week)
or a copy of the poll
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×4 (St. Leo University)

The Colorado Education Association tries to use that to their advantage in opposing a bill that would boost charter school funding there.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×6 (Chalkbeat)

ENR is off to Vegas to check out the over-under on the honey badger for March Mammal Madness.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×0 (NPR Morning Edition)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Member of the state charter school board resigns abruptly over scheduling conflict, says not tied to lawsuit
Education > He says the move was prompted by scheduling conflict, not pending lawsuit.

No vote on teacher salary boost, reform as Jordan School District continues negotiations
Education > Changes would eliminate salary caps for veteran teachers.

Utah doesn’t collect data on LGBT teens, but could a change save lives?

SHARP survey returns to Morgan schools

Later start times approved for Logan schools

Open Educational Resources Movement Scales Up
The online movement to share free educational materials is adding entire curricula to its offerings, rather than just individual lessons and units

At Trailside, the lesson du jour is money basics
Wells Fargo banker teaches financial literacy to students in French

Canyon View School students, staff welcome visits from area therapy dog

Twelve local students earn Sterling Scholar honors

Boy flown to hospital after getting shocked, burned in high school shop class

Locker room photo prank results in arrest in American Fork, police say

Campos sentenced for autistic program theft

PCSD asks parents to fill out surveys

Kindergarten Readiness with Waterford Institute’s UPSTART Program

Literacy fest shares the joys of Dr. Seuss

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Laura Wirthlin

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Casey Dubois

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Utah needs to spend more money on its public schools

Let’s talk about sex

Sporting programs

Our nation’s schools should be ICE-free zones

Where School Choice Gets an A or B
Some of the school districts top-ranked in offering choices for parents are found in some of the lower-ranked states for education

NATION

Trump pushes Congress to cut domestic programs this year

Yellen Calls For Better Public Education, Workforce Development Programs
Fed leader says global competition and technological advances have caused shifts in the labor market

Conservatives to DeVos: Be careful what you wish for on school choice

Ivanka Trump, Education Secretary DeVos Promote STEM Careers

DeVos Last in Approval Rating Among a Selection of Trump Officials, Poll Says

In Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Colorado’s teachers union finds a useful face for the opposition

For Educators, Curriculum Choices Multiply, Evolve
Common Standards, digital innovation, and open resources are transforming the field

Will Personalized Learning Become the New Normal?
Rhode Island is rolling out a statewide initiative to integrate student-specific instruction into classrooms.

A lesson plan from tech giants on how to transform education

How Will Peer Review for ESSA Plans Work Under the Trump Administration?

De Blasio fires back at Trump administration with NYPD order

Are some U.S. charter schools helping fund controversial Turkish cleric’s movement?

Bill would ensure students get fed, regardless of parents’ past-due fees

Too few available substitute teachers causing problems for Durham Public Schools

In School Nurse’s Room: Tylenol, Bandages and an Antidote to Heroin

Gun Control Advocates Say Newtown Ruling is Bad Precedent

A New Kind Of March Madness Hits Schools

Germany Is Taking Away Kindergarteners’ Toys to Curb Future Addiction
The program is based on the idea that habit-forming behaviors start in childhood.

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Member of the state charter school board resigns abruptly over scheduling conflict, says not tied to lawsuit
Education > He says the move was prompted by scheduling conflict, not pending lawsuit.

Rob Enger, a member of the state charter school board since 2012, resigned abruptly Thursday in an email to his board colleagues.
Enger’s resignation letter, obtained through a records request, did not state his reason for quitting the board, a subsidiary panel to the Utah Board of Education that oversees charter schools.
“I know that it probably can’t come at a worse time, since [American Preparatory Academy] is on the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting and I was quite honestly looking forward to finding a resolution to the school’s problem,” Enger wrote. “But please trust me when I say that it’s in the board’s – and my family’s – best interest to step down immediately and that I not participate in any further board activity.”
Enger told The Tribune on Tuesday that his work schedule was increasingly interfering with his ability to participate in state charter school board meetings.
“I took a new job and it doesn’t give me the flexibility to attend those meetings,” Enger said. “It’s, completely, a scheduling issue.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wz (SLT)

 

No vote on teacher salary boost, reform as Jordan School District continues negotiations
Education > Changes would eliminate salary caps for veteran teachers.

A proposed overhaul of Jordan School District’s salary system wasn’t finished in time for Tuesday’s school board meeting. But school board and union representatives say negotiations are ongoing and expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
“I can’t imagine it’s going to go past April 25,” school board president Janice Voorhies said, referring to the board’s next scheduled meeting. “You’ll probably be able to hear us cheering when we finish.”
The district is looking to fund across-the-board raises for teachers, while also boosting entry-level pay from roughly $34,500 to $40,000 and lifting the salary cap for veteran educators.
Those changes, as well as reforms aimed at increasing budget efficiency, are expected to cost an additional $10 million in annual payroll costs. It will initially be funded through budget reserves, Voorhies said, but will likely require a tax increase after four or five years.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wA (SLT)

 

Utah doesn’t collect data on LGBT teens, but could a change save lives?

SALT LAKE CITY – Normally, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sends epidemiologists to study outbreaks in a certain area, they’re looking at infectious diseases, like a rash of listeria, salmonella or even Ebola.
But for the past two weeks, health officials have been scouring Utah data because of another epidemic: teen suicide.
From 2011 to 2016, the annual number of adolescent suicides in Utah nearly doubled – with a record high 44 deaths in 2015 – and health officials are urgently trying to find ways to prevent the number from spiking higher.
But it’s been difficult because Utah doesn’t have data about one of the most at-risk groups of young adults: LGBT teens.
National data shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual teens are at a much higher rate for suicide attempts – 29.4 percent of LGB kids attempted suicide compared with 6.4 percent of non-LGB kids – and higher rates of suicide planning – 38.2 percent to 11.9 percent. (National surveys from which these numbers are drawn don’t include questions about transgender youth yet, but officials worry their health risks are even greater.)
But Utah doesn’t have data on LGBT teens, and during their recent Epi-Aid visit, CDC officials recommended that Utah “enhance surveillance systems, including youth-based surveys to include questions on sexual orientation,” said Michael Friedrichs, lead epidemiologist at the Bureau of Health Promotion in the Utah Department of Health.
Utah is one of 25 states that has not asked about sexual orientation on a nationwide survey of ninth-12th graders, according to the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey or YRBS.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wB (DN)

 

SHARP survey returns to Morgan schools

After a four-year hiatus and eight years of debate, the SHARP survey is back in the Morgan School District. District officials unanimously passed approval and are encouraging parents to review the survey and initiate dialogue with their children both before and after they take the survey.
The survey, which district officials plan to administer before April 30, measures students’ use of alcohol, tobacco and drug as well as health behaviors, dietary behaviors, antisocial behaviors and risk behaviors. Students’ perceptions regarding community, school, peers and family have also been historic survey topics as well.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xy (Morgan County News)

 

Later start times approved for Logan schools

Students in Logan will be able to sleep in a little bit later next school year.
The Logan City School District Board of Education on Tuesday approved later start times for all schools. Starting in August, the bell at Logan High will ring at 8 a.m., Adams, Hillcrest and Wilson Elementaries will open at 8:15, Woodruff, Ellis and Bridger Elementaries will open at 8:30, and classes at Mount Logan Middle School will start at 8:45.
Superintendent Frank Schofield said the new schedule provides a 30 minute later start at Logan High and still allows buses at other schools to run without an increase in busing services. He said the later start times are in reaction to public comments.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wX (LHJ)

 

Open Educational Resources Movement Scales Up
The online movement to share free educational materials is adding entire curricula to its offerings, rather than just individual lessons and units

Open educational resources typically have been offered to educators in bite-sized chunks-an individual lesson here, a classroom module there-and have been meant to fill in holes the core curriculum does not address.
But over the past few years, a number of organizations and state and local education agencies have begun creating openly licensed resources that they say will meet schools’ appetites for full platefuls of curriculum, covering entire subjects and grade levels, and not just slivers of them.
Efforts to fashion large-scale open materials are being led by organizations like Open Up Resources, a nonprofit that aims to wrest K-12 contracts from the control of commercial publishers, as well as by individual districts that are asking teachers to help craft open curricula and share it with other systems.
Skeptics of open educational resources have long questioned whether the free, remixable materials can match the quality of commercial content without revenue streams to pay for their continual revision and improvement.

At the state level, Utah has crafted its own open resources that span different grade levels in science, math, and English/language arts. Those online materials appear to be luring a broad audience with far-reaching needs. The biggest downloads of the open middle-school math offerings tend to happen at the beginning of academic quarters, suggesting educators are loading up on content for the months to follow, said Maggie Cummings, a math instructor at the University of Utah who has helped lead the project. Some educators use the content as core academic resources, while others use it to supplement existing lessons.
With the math curriculum, Utah officials have tried to give teachers a “framework-a way to organize their entire year,” Cummings said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xq (Ed Week)

 

At Trailside, the lesson du jour is money basics
Wells Fargo banker teaches financial literacy to students in French

Alasdair Ekpenyong learned how to speak French as a child growing up in Baltimore. Years later, he became a banker.
For years, those two aspects of his life were unrelated.
Until recently.
On Monday, Ekpenyong, a personal banker at Wells Fargo and the Park City branch’s community education advocate, taught a lesson on financial literacy to a first-grade classroom at Trailside Elementary School. And he did it in French, because the students are part of the school’s dual-language immersion program.
“This is the first one I’ve done in French,” he said. “Typically it’s in English. But it’s really fun to stretch myself and help the kids and see a really cool part of the Utah education system.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xr (PR)

Canyon View School students, staff welcome visits from area therapy dog

OGDEN – When Flocki approached Chase Matzl inside a classroom at Canyon View School, he insisted the large, fluffy pooch needed to be gentle.
“She’ll be very, very gentle, I promise,” Flocki’s owner Erika Daines said.
And indeed, Flocki was. The 120-pound snow white Great Pyrenees delicately lifted her lead and used the tip of her tongue to flip a treat Matzl was holding into her mouth.
“She makes all of us happy, not just the students,” special education teacher Crystal Stringham said with a wide smile on her face.
Flocki, whose name is derived from the German word for “snowflake,” has been visiting Canyon View for almost nine years.
Stringham said therapy animals like Flocki bring out a side of her students she doesn’t normally get to see.
“It’s different for people with disabilities because you see that connection, you see them have different interactions with animals than they have with anyone else,” she said.
Canyon View School serves preschool students through 22-year-olds. Younger students are bused in from their homes or other Weber School District schools while older students are enrolled in the Learning Independence From Experience Program, where they learn life skills and participate in work study opportunities at local businesses.
There are 80 students enrolled in the L.I.F.E. Program, about 30 in secondary school classes, 20 in elementary school classes and 100 in preschool, though those numbers fluctuate throughout the year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wS (OSE)

 

Twelve local students earn Sterling Scholar honors

Two local students took home top honors and an additional ten students earned runner-up status at the 37th annual Southeastern Utah Sterling Scholar program on March 22.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xn (San Juan Record)

 

Boy flown to hospital after getting shocked, burned in high school shop class

ST. GEORGE – A 17-year-old boy was airlifted to University Hospital in Salt Lake City after being shocked and burned by equipment he was using in an industrial shop class, police said.
The boy was in his class at Snow Canyon High School around 1 p.m. and “burning designs into wood using an electrical current” at the time of the incident, said St. George police officer Lona Trombley.
“It was something he had done many times, but unfortunately this time he forgot to use a surge protector that was nearby,” Trombley said. “At some point he came into contact with a conductor and jumper cables.”
The boy’s hands were burned and he fell to the ground, according to Trombley. As the boy fell, the cables fell on his chest and left arm, shocking him for about one to two minutes before he was discovered and moved away from the equipment, she said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wN (DN)

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

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

 

Locker room photo prank results in arrest in American Fork, police say

AMERICAN FORK – A 13-year-old boy who allegedly took a picture of a classmate changing in a locker room at American Fork Junior High School and then sent the picture out over social media has been referred to juvenile court.
Police say the boy likely intended for the picture to be a prank, and even took it down 30 minutes after posting it.
But the boy is now facing criminal charges. And police say it’s a good reminder to juveniles that they need to think about long-term consequences for their actions on social media because they will be held responsible.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wQ (DN)

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

 

Campos sentenced for autistic program theft

OGDEN – An Ogden woman was sentenced Thursday for stealing more than $5,000 from a program for autistic children for which she was a volunteer.
Rebecca Irene Campos, 32, was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to one count of third-degree felony theft. She will also serve 180 days in jail with work release, and will pay restitution in the amount of $10,739.02.
At least ten families with ties to the Northern Utah Autism Program wrote letters to the court ahead of Campos’s sentencing in Ogden’s 2nd District Court. They shared the difficulties of parenting autistic children and the ways in which the nonprofit program accelerated their kids’ progress while providing community.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xt (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9xv (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9xw (DN)

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

 

PCSD asks parents to fill out surveys

The Park City School District is asking parents to fill out online surveys to improve classrooms and schools. According to the district’s website, pcschools.us, the survey is intended to gather feedback about teachers, principals and schools. The surveys will remain anonymous, and the district is not seeking to collect personal information from respondents. Teachers and administrators will be shown the results in order to improve their schools. The survey will take around 10 minutes to complete and is available on the district’s website.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xp (PR)

 

Kindergarten Readiness with Waterford Institute’s UPSTART Program

Salt Lake City -Isaac Troyo visited Fresh Living to discuss Kindergarten Readiness with Waterford Institute’s UPSTART Program.
UPSTART is a free, State-Sponsored, Kindergarten-readiness program. The computer-based, reading, math and science program also has a focus on reading instruction.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xs (KUTV)

 

Literacy fest shares the joys of Dr. Seuss

Hailee Christensen, left, and LaKesha Good lead a group in song during the Dr. Seuss Literacy Festival at the Kauri Sue Hamilton School in Riverton on Tuesday. The festival was organized by the Childhood Development Center and featured a series of Dr. Seuss-themed activities aimed at children from birth to 5-years-old. The Childhood Development Center serves more than 1,800 children in Salt Lake County and encourages parents to start babies on the road to literacy at birth by reading to them. Every family will received a free book to take home and read.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wP (DN)

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Laura Wirthlin

Laura Wirthlin from Alpine Elementary School was selected as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Educator of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wV (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Casey Dubois

Casey Dubois is a sixth-grade student at Alpine Elementary School who is an outstanding role model to the school’s entire student body. She was chosen as the Daily Herald’s Student of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wW (PDH)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Utah needs to spend more money on its public schools
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Ron W. Smith

Those of you who are worried about the K-12 experience of Utah’s children are doing the right thing. Education on the cheap here hasn’t worked, and it’s in danger of causing harm further and further down the road. How do I know that?
We’re discovering, slowly but surely, that those countries that have given total commitment to public education are not only successful in international assessments like the Program for International Student Assessment, they’re producing what Amanda Ripley called “the smartest kids in the world.” The United States? Let’s just say all but a few states finish far down when ranked internationally. Utah is one of those far down. Forget the talk about improved graduation rates in Utah, “respectable” test scores, and especially, about how we’re doing just fine given the strain on financial resources due to the nation’s highest birth rate. We’re in trouble.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wU

 

Let’s talk about sex
(St. George) Spectrum letter from Alison Witt

Sex education in schools has been up for debate for many years. As a 20-year-old who experienced the sex education program in Utah, I would like to see Utah shift to a comprehensive sex education program.
With the current sex education in Utah, students are only taught the very basics of human sexuality in school and parents are expected to be the primary source of education on the subject. The assumption that parents are experts on human sexuality and talk to their kids about sex is one of my biggest problems with Utah’s sex education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xo

 

Sporting programs
Deseret News letter from Cameron Heppler

I’m Cameron Heppler from Scout Troop 1258 in Riverton, Utah, and I have some concerns about my middle school’s sports. I love my middle school but they need a better sporting program for seventh- and eighth-grade boys. The only sports we do have are ninth-grade basketball (which is really the high school basketball team), then we have eighth- and ninth-grade girls basketball. We seventh- and eighth-grade boys don’t have any physical school activities except P.E. It would be real fun if we had sports and could compete with other schools. Us boys love to run around, so why not take advantage of that and put us in school sports?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wR

 

Our nation’s schools should be ICE-free zones
Washington Post commentary by columnist Esther J. Cepeda

CHICAGO — Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are all over America’s public schools.
Not physically, of course, but they are ever-present in the minds of millions of students who are either in the country without legal status or have parents who are.
It comes out in countless ways — fidgetiness belying anxiety, depression manifesting itself as anger, and sometimes as just the plain old listlessness of a student who is sleepy in class because he or she was awake in the night wondering if parents, uncles or grandparents will be taken away soon.
Even teachers aren’t immune to such fears. Though educators are never informed by the school about the legal status of students or their families — not only are school personnel prohibited from inquiring about the immigration status of students, by federal law the schools themselves are not allowed to ask families or students about their citizenship — teachers worry.
Sometimes students or their parents openly discuss their immigration problems with teachers they trust. Other times teachers just infer things from conversations with families at open houses or conferences. But in most cases we don’t really know.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wT

 

Where School Choice Gets an A or B
Some of the school districts top-ranked in offering choices for parents are found in some of the lower-ranked states for education.
U.S. News & World Report analysis

When it comes to school choice – allowing parents the option of which schools their children attend – major school districts in some of the states ranking lowest in Pre-K-12 education are operating some of the top-rated alternative offerings.
The grades for school districts offering parental choice – either for public schools, or private schools supported by publicly financed tuition vouchers – come from an annual review conducted by The Brookings Institution.
In the 2016 “Education Choice and Competition Index” released today, one of Denver’s school districts holds its place at the front of the pack for large school districts, with a Grade A rating. And by the numbers, it’s only marginally ahead of the Recovery School District of New Orleans, also graded A.
In the Best States ranking of all 50 states at U.S. News and World Report, Colorado and Louisiana stand below average in the metrics used to evaluate education from Pre-K through high school: Colorado No. 30, Louisiana 44.
At the same time, the top-10 large school districts graded for school choice in the Brookings report include three in states rated among the top-10 for Pre-K-12 education at Best States: The Newark public schools are ranked No. 4 in the ECCI grading, while New Jersey is ranked No. 2 for Pre-K-12 in the Best States measure. And Boston’s public schools are ranked No. 5 in the ECCI grades, while Massachusetts is ranked No. 3 for Pre-K-12 in the Best States review.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xi

A copy of state pre-K – 12 rankings (Utah ranks 22nd)
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xl (USN&WR)

A copy of state overall education rankings (Utah ranks 9th)
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xm (USN&WR)

A copy of district choice and competition rankings (for Utah, Alpine is 5th, Davis is 33rd, Granite is 50th, and Jordan is 61st)
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xk (Brookings)

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Trump pushes Congress to cut domestic programs this year
Politico

President Donald Trump doesn’t want to wait until next year to slash government spending on everything from education to mental health programs.
The White House is asking Congress to cut $18 billion from discretionary spending bills for the current fiscal year that have been long settled – a move that could threaten a major showdown just a month ahead of the deadline to keep the government funded.
In an extensive document shared with House and Senate appropriations committees on Friday, and obtained by POLITICO, the Trump administration is offering its most detailed instructions to date on how Congress should shape the trillion-dollar spending legislation Congress must enact by April 28 to prevent a government shutdown.
GOP leaders decided to punt last fall’s government spending bill deadline to this year, in part because Trump had asked to play a role in the package. But GOP appropriators have said they didn’t receive fiscal 2017 feedback until the White House turned over a draft outline for fiscal 2018 this month.
The department-by-department breakdown shows Trump is targeting domestic programs including education, health care and housing, as well as international food aid – cuts that are in line with the administration’s “skinny budget” for next year.
The $17.94 billion cut would help pay for Trump’s military supplemental request, which was sent to Congress earlier this month. About $2 billion would also go towards Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xd

http://gousoe.uen.org/9xf (Bloomberg)

A copy of the document
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xe (Politico)

 

Yellen Calls For Better Public Education, Workforce Development Programs
Fed leader says global competition and technological advances have caused shifts in the labor market
Wall Street Journal

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said better educational opportunities for low-income communities and programs to develop entrepreneurship could expand work opportunities and benefit the overall labor market.
Ms. Yellen said low- and moderate-income communities and minority groups continue to struggle to find jobs despite steady improvement in the overall labor market, in remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday at a National Community Reinvestment Coalition conference.
“These elevated unemployment rates and depressed employment-to-population ratios underscore the strong need for effective workforce development options for these communities,” she said.
Ms. Yellen didn’t discuss monetary policy in her prepared remarks. Instead, she suggested that workforce development and other programs to help disadvantaged groups are a core part of the Fed’s mission, alongside monetary policy and financial regulation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xb $

http://gousoe.uen.org/9xg (Reuters)

 

Conservatives to DeVos: Be careful what you wish for on school choice
USA Today

WASHINGTON – By her own admission, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos came here to push the USA’s public education system to support not just public schools, but also private and religious schools.
A leading proponent of private-school choice, the GOP mega-donor last January asked lawmakers during her Senate confirmation hearing, “Why, in 2017, are we still questioning parents’ ability to exercise educational choice for their children?”
GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill have already responded, floating several proposals to give families taxpayer-funded tuition and federal tax credits to help them send their kids to the school of their choice. On Wednesday, DeVos delivers the keynote at annual D.C. event that ranks the nation’s 100 largest school districts by how well they deliver on private-school options, among others.
But even with the legislative and executive branches controlled by Republicans, conservative policy wonks in DeVos’ own party are warning: When it comes to school choice, be careful what you wish for.
“I think that there are real reasons to be worried about how on earth this thing comes out right,” Mike Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning D.C. education think tank, told USA TODAY.
While school choice advocates steadfastly support the federal government underwriting small private-school voucher efforts in places like Washington, D.C., and in Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, among others, even these folks caution that the Trump administration should think twice before expanding school choice nationwide.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wF

 

Ivanka Trump, Education Secretary DeVos Promote STEM Careers
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday exhorted young girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, saying those fields will provide the jobs and innovation for the future.
Their tour of the National Air and Space Museum with a group of middle school students came as the Trump administration proposed further cuts to education and science, drawing harsh criticism from teachers’ unions and others.
Ivanka Trump, a successful entrepreneur who considers herself as a women’s rights activist, lamented that women make up 48 percent of America’s work force but only 24 percent of STEM professionals.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wC

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9wE (The Hill)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9wG (People)

 

DeVos Last in Approval Rating Among a Selection of Trump Officials, Poll Says
Education Week

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos didn’t enjoy the smoothest confirmation process, to put it mildly. How has that affected public perceptions of her? It doesn’t seem to have helped.
At least that’s the conclusion you could draw from a recent nationwide poll from Saint Leo University, in St. Leo, Florida.
Using an online survey, the university’s Polling Institute asked 1,073 adults for their impressions of various high-profile members of Trump’s administration. The response? More than half of those polled, or 52.3 percent, said they either somewhat or strongly disapproved of DeVos. Among those surveyed, 41 percent said they “strongly disapproved” of DeVos, while 11.3 percent said they “somewhat disapproved” of her. Her combined approval rating was 34.5 percent, also the lowest.
The second-most-unpopular top Trump official, among the six on the list, according to the poll, was Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president , whose combined disapproval rating was a shade under 50 percent.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×3

A copy of the poll
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×4 (St. Leo University)

 

In Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Colorado’s teachers union finds a useful face for the opposition
Chalkbeat

The Colorado Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, is working to fuel opposition to a bill that would boost charter school funding by associating it with U.S Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
The union on its Facebook page published an image of DeVos and branded Senate Bill 61 as a “Betsy DeVos-Style Privatization Bill.”
The bill, which has bipartisan sponsors in both chambers, would require school districts to equally share money from local tax increases with charter schools. It was recently approved by the state Senate – but not without a fierce fight from a bloc of lawmakers who taught in district-run public schools.
The union isn’t the only group using DeVos’s image to oppose legislation making its way through the statehouse. A new political nonprofit, Colorado Children Before Profits, launched its own website linking DeVos and President Donald Trump to the charter school funding bill, and two other bills that would change the way Colorado funds schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×6

 

For Educators, Curriculum Choices Multiply, Evolve
Common Standards, digital innovation, and open resources are transforming the field
Education Week

Educators tasked with finding instructional materials for their districts and classrooms face a dizzying array of options these days.
Classroom resources are available in print, digital textbook formats, and online. They can be paid for, subscribed to, or downloaded for free. They’re available as comprehensive, yearlong curricula; individual thematic units; and single activities and games.
Several forces have collided to bring the market to this confusing, yet ultimately academically promising point: The majority of states are now using the Common Core State Standards, meaning there are more opportunities to share materials across state lines. States are increasingly letting districts choose their own instructional materials, rather than forcing them to select from an approved list. There’s been a recent push, including from the federal government, to make online instructional materials free and open to the public-known as open educational resources.
And advances in digital technology have made it easier to personalize learning materials for individual students’ needs.
The trick is choosing well.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×1

 

Will Personalized Learning Become the New Normal?
Rhode Island is rolling out a statewide initiative to integrate student-specific instruction into classrooms.
Atlantic

Over the last few years, Rhode Island has emerged as a national leader in the drive to put personalized-learning programs into actual classroom practice. Now education leaders in Providence, the state’s capital and most populous city, are looking to scale their early efforts statewide, pushing district leaders to think bigger about pilot programs and technological infrastructure, while also commissioning new research on how an understudied learning model could drive student performance.
The state’s six-month-old, $2 million public-private personalized-learning initiative is capitalizing on the freedom afforded by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)-the nation’s federal education law, which returns significant power to the states-to chart and test how personalized instructional techniques can be delivered to its 140,000 K-12 students. Broadly speaking, personalized learning tailors the instruction, content, pace, and testing to the individual student’s strengths and interests, using technology, data, and continuous feedback to make that customization possible.
The ability for states to more fully explore innovation through technology and curriculum paths separate from traditional reading, writing, and math-rather than following the federal government’s lead-was a key aspect of ESSA’s original intent. In shifting authority and autonomy back to local leaders, the education law, which replaced No Child Left Behind, earned widespread support from a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers; former President Barack Obama even dubbed its passage in 2015 a “Christmas miracle.”
“Could you do some of this stuff before ESSA?” asks Richard Culatta, Rhode Island’s chief innovation officer and the former director of educational technology at the U.S. Department of Education. “Certainly it would have been possible, but it would have been harder to do. With our additional flexibility, we are up at the front of the line taking advantage of it.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×8

 

A lesson plan from tech giants on how to transform education
CNBC

Technology has the potential to be a game changer for teachers in far-flung places and schools with few resources. A range of software platforms offer teachers the ability to learn from best practices, customize lesson plans, manage assignments and complete evaluations. Millions of students and teachers at all levels are already using educational software, and technology is only going to play a larger and larger role in the classroom.
Learning management systems, as they’re called, are already a $5.2 billion industry, and they are projected to grow to $16 billion in four years, according to a Markets and Markets study. It’s not just schools using this technology. Increasing adoption of digital learning among corporate organizations and academic institutes will contribute to the growth, as well as the rise of technologies such as gamification and virtual reality.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xa

 

How Will Peer Review for ESSA Plans Work Under the Trump Administration?
Education Week

Next Monday, states will begin officially submitting their plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act to the U.S. Department of Education. And then comes the, umm … fun part. Those plans will be examined through a wonky-but-important process known as “peer review,” in which a team of educators and experts essentially takes a close look at a state’s vision, to see if it complies with the law.
On Tuesday, the Education Department-now controlled by Team Trump-released guidance spelling out exactly what those reviewers should be looking for. File this under technical-but-good-to-know: The guidance only covers “Title I” (the main section of the law that includes accountablity, school improvement, testing, and more), Title III (the portion of the law that deals with English-language learners), and the portion that deals with homeless students. The other programs in the law, including Title II (which governs many of the teacher portions of the law) will be reviewed by the department.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wJ

A copy of the guidance
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wK (ED)

 

De Blasio fires back at Trump administration with NYPD order
New York Post

NYPD brass sent around a mayoral directive Tuesday to keep ICE agents off school grounds unless they have a “valid” warrant – one day after the US attorney general threatened to cancel funding for local governments that harbor illegal immigrants.
The move came despite Mayor de Blasio’s recent admission that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have never once tried to enter a city school.
An NYPD “Administrative Bulletin” sent to top brass – and obtained by The Post – says “non-local law enforcement officers” from agencies such as ICE or the FBI “will not be permitted to proceed” past the front desk without a warrant.
And even if the feds produce paperwork, cops must confer with NYPD lawyers to ensure it’s legit, according to the directive.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wM

 

Are some U.S. charter schools helping fund controversial Turkish cleric’s movement?
CBS

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travels to Turkey on Thursday, he’ll want to talk about the fight against ISIS. But the Turks want to talk about a controversial Turkish religious scholar: Fethullah Gulen.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan accuses Gulen of being behind a bloody coup attempt in the country last July. Gulen, who lives in the United States, denies he was involved. Now the Turkish government is also lobbying the Trump administration to extradite Gulen back to Turkey.
Over the past two decades, Gulen’s Turkish followers have opened up taxpayer-funded charter schools in the U.S. Some parents have expressed concern about the connection to the Gulen movement, while others don’t seem to mind. But CBS News has learned the FBI is investigating whether Gulen’s followers have skimmed money from those schools in order to fund his movement in Turkey. A senior State Department official believes Gulen-linked charities and educational institutions in the U.S. look “a lot like the ways in which organized crime sets itself up… to hide money for money laundering.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9xh

 

Bill would ensure students get fed, regardless of parents’ past-due fees
Santa Fe New Mexican

There was a time, Paula Herrera said, when public school cafeterias in Santa Fe gave students who were behind in lunch payments a piece of cheese stuck between two pieces of bread and a small carton of milk.
“It was awful,” said Herrera, manager of the cafeteria at Gonzales Community School off Alameda Street. “We had to take the tray of food away from them and give them a cheese sandwich. It was like a stigma.”
Santa Fe Public Schools stopped the practice about four years ago. Herrera and other cafeteria directors in the district now make sure kids get fed, even though their parents may owe hundreds of dollars in food fees.
A bill approved by the state Legislature in its recent session would ensure that students in all New Mexico public schools get meals even if their parents are behind on payments. Districts could use non-federal funds to cover a student meal debt written off as uncollectable.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wL

 

Too few available substitute teachers causing problems for Durham Public Schools
Durham (NC) Herald-Sun

DURHAM – Northern High School science teacher Holly Hardin stood before the Durham Board of Education last week on the brink of tears as she explained how a school district substitute teacher shortage is disrupting her life.
Because she is frequently forced to fill in for absent teachers when district officials are unable to find a substitute, Hardin said she must give up valuable planning time and take heavy workloads home.
“I feel like I’m not in a sustainable place,” Hardin said. “I’m taking home more work than ever and I don’t have time for my family and I don’t have time for the things I need to do to keep myself well.”
On paper, Durham Public Schools appear to have plenty of substitute teachers -1,058 – according to a report shared with board members in January.
But of those 1,058 subs, 582 – about 55 percent – are intermittent substitutes, which means they are not available to work every day.
“Some of them sub once or twice a month,” said Thomas Crabtree, the district’s assistant superintendent for Human Resources, when he shared the report on substitutes in January. “They sub just enough to stay on the list.”
So, principals are often left scrambling, forced to lean on full-time teachers during their planning periods to cover classes for absent teachers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9wI

 

In School Nurse’s Room: Tylenol, Bandages and an Antidote to Heroin
New York Times

At every school in New Rochelle, just north of the Bronx, in Westchester, there is a locked medicine cabinet in the nurse’s office, stocked with things like EpiPens for allergic reactions, inhalers for asthma, Tylenol for aches and pains.
Now, those cabinets also include naloxone, an antidote for people who are overdosing on opioids like heroin. Given as an injection or a nasal spray, naloxone can quickly revive someone who is not breathing. The city keeps it in every nurse’s office, including in its elementary schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×7

 

Gun Control Advocates Say Newtown Ruling is Bad Precedent
Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — Gun control advocates are asking the Connecticut Supreme Court for permission to argue against a judge’s decision last year to dismiss a wrongful-death lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used in the 2012 Newtown school shooting, saying the ruling would set a bad precedent.
State Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled in October that the lawsuit filed by some of the Newtown victims’ families against Remington Arms wasn’t allowed because of a federal law that shields gun makers from liability, in most cases, when their products are used in crimes. Remington, based in Madison, North Carolina, made the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A survivor of the attack and the families of nine killed are appealing that ruling to the state Supreme Court in a case that centers on the few exceptions to the federal law. The suit seeks to hold Remington accountable for selling what their lawyers call a semi-automatic rifle that is too dangerous for the public because it was designed as a military killing machine.
Gun control advocates recently asked the high court for permission to file briefs in the case, hoping to persuade the justices to reverse a potentially precedent-setting decision that could be used by gun makers to fend off lawsuits filed under the exceptions to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×5

 

A New Kind Of March Madness Hits Schools
NPR Morning Edition

It’s a little after 8 a.m. at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., and Michelle Harris’ AP Environmental Science class is getting right to it.
“All right, you guys got your brackets out?” Harris asks.
The class of mostly juniors and seniors ruffle through folders and pull out pieces of paper with brackets – 64 slots, four quadrants, and one central box to predict the championship. But there’s something a little different about these brackets …
“We’re going to jump down to the fourth-seeded spider monkey against the 12th-seeded antelope squirrel,” Harris says.
“Spider monkey better win!” one student shouts from the back of the class.
This is March Mammal Madness: Round 2. It’s a competition that has been playing out online and in hundreds of classrooms over the past month. Real animals wage fictional battles, while students use science – a lot of it – to try to predict the winner.
March Mammal Madness was created five years ago by Katie Hinde, an evolutionary biologist at Arizona State University, though now, she says, the competition depends on a whole team of volunteer scientists and conservationists: biologists, animal behaviorists, paleoanthropologists, marine biologists.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×0

 

Germany Is Taking Away Kindergarteners’ Toys to Curb Future Addiction
The program is based on the idea that habit-forming behaviors start in childhood.
Atlantic

At a Berlin day-care center, the children packed away all the toys: the cars, the tiny plastic animals, the blocks and Legos, even the board games and most of the art materials. They then stood in the empty classroom and looked at their two instructors.
“What should I do now?” my son, then 5, asked.
He did not get an answer to this question for a long time. His day-care center, or kita, was starting a toy-free kindergarten project. For several weeks, the toys would disappear, and the teachers wouldn’t tell the children what to play. While this practice may seem harsh, the project has an important pedagogic goal: to improve the children’s life skills to strengthen them against addictive behaviors in the future.
“Without any toys, children have the time to develop their own ideas,” said Elisabeth Seifert, the managing director of Aktion Jugendschutz, a Munich-based youth nonprofit that promotes this project. “In toy-free time, they don’t play with finished toys. They develop their own games. They play more together, so they can better develop psychosocial competencies.”
According to Seifert, these competencies include understanding and liking oneself, having empathy for others, thinking creatively and critically, and being able to solve problems and overcome mistakes. And the sooner children learn such life skills, the better, according to Aktion Jugendschutz.
The toy-free kindergarten is not a new idea in Germany. It grew out of an addiction study group in the Bavarian district of Weilheim-Schongau that started meeting in the 1980s. The group included people who had worked directly with adult addicts and determined that, for many, habit-forming behavior had roots in childhood. To prevent these potential seeds of addiction from ever being planted, the researchers ultimately decided to create a project for kitas and kindergartens, which in Germany typically serve children ages 3 to 6, and remove the things children sometimes use to distract themselves from their negative feelings: toys.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9×9

 

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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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