Education News Roundup: April 3, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Cache School District deals with enrollment growth while Logan School District deals with enrollment loss.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zL (LHJ)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9zM (LHJ)

Weber State’s alumni magazine deals with the teaching profession this month (with a hat tip to Assistant Superintendent Patty Norman). Stories include:

Nationally, educators speak out against a proposed cut in a federal teacher-support program.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zR (Ed Week)

NPR looks at how U.S.-born students are faring in Mexican schools following the deportation of their families.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zO (NPR)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Change in the north: Schools prepare for transitions in growing district

Drop in enrollment leads to staffing changes at Logan schools

Trying Times
A look into the state of education

The ‘Ama-ZING’ Teacher
A day in the life story

Being Teacher Sherrie
Then & Now

Cache Valley VEX Robotics teams to attend 2017 World Championship

Girls gather at Weber State for STEM career conference

Utah Opera resident artists perform for students in Grand and San Juan counties

Ogden-area priest receives Christ the Teacher Award for educational leadership

Grand has three winners, three runners-up at 2017 Sterling Scholar awards

Concerns arise about child safety in school zone crossings

Kneaders Bakery and Cafe really delivers for one young fan

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Utah’s public education system needs improvement

10 things we all can do to address youth LGBTQ suicide

Ruling or not, all can work for safety of transgender students

If enlightenment ruled

Businesses sponsor schools?

School Choice Deniers
Critics hype a pair of studies while ignoring other evidence on education vouchers.

Who Needs Charters When You Have Public Schools Like These?

The Education Silo
Most states agree on what students should be taught, so why not collaborate on curricula?

NATION

Educators Oppose Trump Plan to Scrap Teacher-Support Program

How to Beat Teacher Burnout: With More Education
A continuing education program for teachers has the power to reduce attrition rates, but it’s having trouble catching on.

House Democrats ask Trump administration to remind schools that they must educate undocumented children

Deported Students Find Challenges At School In Tijuana

A Transgender Student Won Her Battle.
Now It’s War.

Know Your US Constitution? More States Look to Teach It

PBS to Air ‘Newtown’ Documentary and Make It Available for Streaming

Lawyer who highlighted Hillary Clinton’s role in defending rape suspect tapped for key federal civil rights post

Trump Taps Former Jeb Bush Aide as Ed. Dept. General Counsel

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Change in the north: Schools prepare for transitions in growing district

In the fastest growing state in the nation, it can be hard to estimate student enrollment from year to year.
Even in Ridgeline High School’s inaugural year, Cache County School District administrators were caught by surprise. Principal Bob Henke said class sizes were larger than expected until the school was able to hire more teachers.
CCSD Business Administrator Dale Hansen said the district can usually track growth based on birth rates, but it’s not always that easy. Last year, their prediction for kindergarten enrollment was spot on, but every other grade level saw students moving in from outside the valley. They are seeing even growth at all grade levels.
From October 2015 to 2016, CCSD enrollment increased by 560 students, following a consistent trend over the past few years. That’s basically a new elementary school every year, but the students don’t come in neat packages that fit into classrooms.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zL (LHJ)

 

Drop in enrollment leads to staffing changes at Logan schools

As Cache County School District builds new schools to facilitate growth, Logan City School District is making staffing adjustments for next school year based on a decrease in enrollment last year.
Superintendent Frank Schofield said based on a decrease of 238 students from October 2015 to 2016, Logan elementary schools will collapse eight positions for next school year. Funding is based on the number of students, so fewer students means fewer teachers and resources.
“We live in a world where we have to make some decisions and those are hard, but sometimes they have to be done for the long-term health of the district,” Schofield said.
But collapsing positions doesn’t necessarily mean current teachers will be laid off.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zM (LHJ)

 

Trying Times
A look into the state of education

In ninth grade, Jennifer Graviet BA ’95 was voted Most Shy and Most Talkative. “Figure that out,” the self-described introvert says, laughing. It’s 4:15 p.m. at Sand Ridge Junior High in Roy, Utah. School has been out for an hour already, but Graviet, a ninth-grade English teacher, is still there. She usually arrives at 6 a.m. and leaves 12 hours later. She has her routine down; she’s been doing it for 22 years — at the same school.
“Most teachers don’t stay in junior high as long as I have, but my students, they’re so funny!” she says, her face brightening. “I did change rooms. I used to live across the street (the hallway), but this room became available, and it had windows!”
Two students — a boy and a girl — pop in and ask, “Do you need help with anything today?”
“That is so nice of you, but I don’t need help today,” Graviet answers, smiling. “Have you asked Mrs. Smith, the librarian? She always has projects.”
“We looked in the library, but she wasn’t home,” the boy says.
And the two students head out, in search of a teacher in need of assistance.
Graviet laughs — she does that often — and says, “See, they really do think we live here!”
Suddenly, the intercom switches on, and a man’s voice booms: “Good afternoon, Scorpions. If you are not with a teacher, please find your way to the nearest exit.” And in his best sports announcer voice, he adds, “Have a great afternoon, and stay ‘Scorpolicious!’”
Graviet chuckles. “That’s Chris Maag, our Spanish teacher,” she says. “What you just heard is a great example of a junior high school teacher’s personality. For me, there is nothing more enjoyable than this community.”
So many teachers are exhausted and feel beaten down. Sometimes I feel like I’m mourning the profession I love.
But as much as she loves her job and as good as she is at it — Graviet was a runner-up for the 2012 Utah Teacher of the Year award — she isn’t 100 percent sure she would recommend being a teacher. “A part of me would say, ‘Don’t do it,’” she says, crestfallen, whispering the words. “It’s just that so many teachers are exhausted and feel beaten down. Sometimes I feel like I’m mourning the profession I love.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zG (WSU Magazine)

 

The ‘Ama-ZING’ Teacher
A day in the life story

“Everything hurts, and I’m dying.”
That’s what I told my husband after spending all day in Heather Hales’ second-grade classroom at H. Guy Child Elementary in South Ogden. I said it jokingly, just to see if my husband would catch the Parks & Recreation television show reference, but two Advil and a nap later, my head, neck, shoulders, legs and feet still ached — a horrible, deep pain. “I was dying earlier today, and then I died. Now I’m dead,” I told my own second-grader. She ignored me, giving me that look that said, “Jeez, Mom, you’re quoting Parks & Rec again.”
Teaching is serious business. And teachers are superheroes. Literally. You have to be to do what they do. Here’s what my exhausting, but fun, day in second grade looked like.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zF (WSU Magazine)

 

Being Teacher Sherrie
Then & Now

Kids love getting dirty. Sherrie West AS ’78, BS ’82 loves teaching kids.
Last fall, when a boy in her class proudly showed her the gooey earthworm he just captured on the playground, West saw an opportunity to teach. Instead of lecturing on the grossness of worms or the social etiquette of showing one off, West focused on science, explaining that the worm was just what the class needed for its compost pile.
“I am very science-based in my teaching; everything we do is science,” said West, a supervising teacher in the Melba S. Lehner Children’s School in Weber State University’s Department of Child & Family Studies. “Children are natural scientists, so I take advantage of that.”
Known for her enthusiasm — and her science projects — “Teacher Sherrie,” as students and parents call her, has spent more than 30 years instilling a love of learning in her students, a love that carries through to college and beyond.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zH (WSU Magazine)

 

Cache Valley VEX Robotics teams to attend 2017 World Championship

A VEX Robotics team from South Cache Middle School and two teams from Sky View High School have qualified to attend the 2017 VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. Now in its 10th year, the prestigious tournament takes place April 19-22, bringing together 1,400 top teams from around the world.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zK (CVD)

 

Girls gather at Weber State for STEM career conference

OGDEN — While one group discussed how cybersecurity could impact self-driving cars, clusters of girls were sprawled out on looking at floor plans while others built their own colorful creations with 3-D pens.
In the midst of it all, Mountain Crest High School sophomore Sarah Brown said in her experience, technology classes are boring.
But that wasn’t the case at SheTech Explorer Day Friday, March 31.
“If you take tech classes as school, it’s just you with 20 other guys and I’ve done that before and it’s not exactly pleasant,” Brown said. “This is an experience with just girls and it’s fun.”
Sara Jones is a co-founder of the Women Tech Council, the group that organizes SheTech. The Women Tech Council mentors females from school all the way through to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The annual SheTech event was started four years ago at Utah Valley University. This is the first year it has been expanded to locations throughout the state like Weber State University, so more girls can attend.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zB (OSE)

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9A2 (THE Journal)

 

Utah Opera resident artists perform for students in Grand and San Juan counties

Utah Opera resident artists perform for students in Grand and San Juan countiesUtah Opera resident artists will perform for students in Grand and San Juan counties throughout the week of April 3–7. During their tour, Utah Opera resident artists will offer age-appropriate performances of “Who Wants to be an Opera Star?” for elementary schools, “Opera 101” for secondary school students, and “Opera Up Close” for high school choirs.
Based on the format of popular game shows, “Who Wants to be an Opera Star?” allows the visiting artists to teach the fundamentals of opera to younger students. The artists act as contestants who demonstrate their answers with vocal selections while the children serve as the studio audience. Students actively participate when they join the contestants in clapping rhythms, singing melodies, and identifying emotions in the music.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9A4 (Southern Utah Independent)

 

Ogden-area priest receives Christ the Teacher Award for educational leadership

OGDEN — He may be turning 80 this month, but the Rev. Charles Cummins does not appear to be slowing down any.
The Catholic priest has two official jobs, but he’s also known for doing whatever he can to support Catholic education for the past 44 years at St. Joseph Catholic Schools in Ogden.
Those above-and-beyond duties are what have earned him the Christ the Teacher Award, an esteemed acknowledgement from the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.
“We honor Father Charles Cummins with the Christ the Teacher Award because of his ‘unofficial’ ministry with St. Joseph Catholic Elementary and St. Joseph Catholic High schools in Ogden,” a statement about his award says.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zE (OSE)

 

Grand has three winners, three runners-up at 2017 Sterling Scholar awards

Grand County High School had three category winners and three runners-up at the 37th annual Southeastern Utah Sterling Scholar Awards, held Wednesday, March 22, at the Utah State University Eastern campus in Price. A total of 60 seniors from seven high schools in four southeast Utah counties competed in this year’s event, vying for scholarships to in-state colleges and universities, along with other awards.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9A5 (Moab Times-Independent)

 

Concerns arise about child safety in school zone crossings

ST. GEORGE — Two recent reports of children being struck by a vehicle while crossing an intersection near Little Valley Elementary School in the past month are fueling concerns in the community over pedestrian safety.
Both incidents involved children crossing in the intersection of South Little Valley Road and East Crimson Ridge Drive several blocks from the elementary school.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9A6 (SGN)

 

Kneaders Bakery and Cafe really delivers for one young fan

Bonneville Elementary School fifth-grader Allison Spencer reacts after getting a cookie from Kneaders Bakery and Cafe in Orem on Friday. One of Allison’s classmates, Jessica Orullian, wrote a five-paragraph letter to Kneaders detailing why the brand is the “best restaurant in service, food, employees and decorations.” The letter was an assignment from her teacher, Cassidy Didericksen, who was so impressed with the letter that she sent it to Kneaders’ executive office in Orem. James Worthington, the company’s CEO, loved the letter and decided to surprise Jessica with her favorite lunch — a strawberry smoothie and a ham and cheese sandwich — delivered by Colleen Worthington, Kneaders co-founder and James Worthington’s mother. She also brought cookies for the entire class.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zA (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9zJ (PDH)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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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 Women Tech Council for organizing SheTech at Weber State University.
The WTC mentors females from school through careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The group started SheTech four years ago at Utah State University. Now it’s held at colleges across Utah.
About 400 girls in grades nine through 12 attended Friday’s SheTech at Weber State University, learning about STEM careers.
Sara Jones, a WTC co-founder, said the group’s goal is to introduce girls to technology and possible careers.
“We want this to be only the beginning,” Jones told Burleson, who covers education for the Standard. “We want to help guide them through all of these possibilities and keep them in STEM.”
They’re needed. While women make up 48 percent of the nation’s workforce, 76 percent of STEM workers are men, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.
Listening to one SheTech participant Friday at Weber State, the WTC is onto something.
“If you take tech classes as school, it’s just you with 20 other guys and I’ve done that before and it’s not exactly pleasant,” said Sarah Brown, a sophomore at Mountain Crest High School. “This is an experience with just girls and it’s fun.”
Clearly, the WTC and SheTech are already shaping the next generation of Utah scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zI

 

Utah’s public education system needs improvement
Deseret News op-ed by Fred Ash, legislative chairman of the Utah Retired School Employees Association

There has been quite a bit of news coverage about the crisis the state is facing because so many public school teachers of all ages are leaving the profession, compared to just 10 years ago. But the problems leading to today’s huge rate of exodus actually started in the late 1990s, about the same time Sen. Howard Stephenson — the model of the “fiscal responsibility” standard the state Republican Party and our governor brag about so often — was elected to be one of our state senators, and became a major force in funding public schools. To him and many other Utah citizens, “tax” is an evil word, and as public education has traditionally used about half of state tax revenues, public education must be evil.
In 1996, when the finances of the nation were booming, Utah citizens approved a constitutional change allowing higher ed to use income tax money. (An interesting side note: while public schools in Utah rank last in the nation in per pupil funding, in 2010 higher ed in Utah ranked 24th in per pupil funding in the nation.) And in 2008 our Legislature adopted the 5 percent single rate tax. Between those two major changes, Utah has dropped from about 10th in the nation in effort to support public education to about 37th in the nation.
But that is just the way it is and will continue to be in our state as long as the “fiscally responsible” Republican Party continues to dominate the politics; as long as so many Utah voters don’t take the time to get to know candidates because they just like to use the vote straight party option when they vote; and as long as the 600,000 plus unaffiliated voters don’t take the time to go vote. Utahns say they strongly support public education, but they don’t demonstrate that at the ballot box.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zu

10 things we all can do to address youth LGBTQ suicide
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Debra Oaks Coe, a member of the executive committee of the Utah Commission for LGBT Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Our increase in Utah’s youth suicides is a community problem and it requires a community solution. It is something we can all help with. It is something we all need to help with.
It is a known fact that the demographic at highest risk for suicide are those that are LGBTQ. It is important to know that most people experience little or no sense of choice in being LGBTQ.
I asked a large group of parents what their greatest concern was for their LGBTQ child here in Utah. Every one of them said their No. 1 concern was for their mental safety because of negative messages. Often LGBTQ youth are closeted, and we don’t even realize the harm our words and attitudes are doing. In many cases, parents are unknowingly harming their own children. We do not need to agree on anything to be kind and inclusive.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zy

 

Ruling or not, all can work for safety of transgender students
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by BINNIE GREEN, a sophomore at Syracuse High School

Last May, the Obama administration applied federal guidelines that protected America’s transgender youth against discrimination for using the school bathroom of their choice.
On Feb. 22, the Trump administration sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter to the nation addressing school districts and colleges. This new “Dear Colleague” letter — Trump’s first — withdrew that protection of trans students, but it did not place a ban on allowing school districts to decide whether or not to allow students to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity.
Even though Utah was one of 11 states that tried to sue the Obama administration over the bathroom rule, most school districts in Utah say that neither Obama’s nor Trump’s addition or revocation changed anything about making sure children don’t feel discriminated against and comfortable in school. Most districts also agree that they will address students’ needs on a case-to-case basis, requiring students to seek permission and possibly be denied their request due to the school administration’s beliefs, which may cause problems for students who aren’t out to people outside of school, or at all.
A few schools in the nation, however, attempt to “accommodate” students by requiring transgender students to use a private restroom or locker room to suit their needs instead of the public facilities. This further singles out these students, making them more susceptible to bullying and exclusion.
While this approach may be the best solution in some scenarios, it isn’t for the majority of cases. What kind of message is that sending to our kids? No matter who these kids are or how they may identify, these youths are the future of America, and desire support and equality. They should not be left to hide who they are for the convenience of others around them.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9A3

 

If enlightenment ruled
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Norman Lowe

Brigham Young’s dream of a “Promised Land” has been forgotten. Gerrymandering legislators, paid generously by out-of-state special interests, are indifferent to Young’s hope for an ideal community.
What would it be like living in a promised land with affordable health care for everyone, clean air resulting from reasonable regulations and driving electric cars, where no civilian carries a gun openly or concealed? A land where no children go to school hungry, where schools are well funded, class size is never over 20 and highly trained teachers are well paid and honored by their community? Included is a way of living that does not threaten the survival of the planet. This is a reality in many advanced nations.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zz

 

Businesses sponsor schools?
Deseret News letter from George Eldredge

Over several years, and then again recently, we have heard how our underpaid teachers often must purchase needed school supplies, which may or may not be reimbursed.
We also enjoy local ballgames that are often supported or sponsored by local businesses.
This leads me to think how helpful it might be if one or several local businesses were to support or sponsor a local school for some of their needed supplies. With the business logo on pencils, tablets, art supplies, binders and even backpacks, the merchant might get regular or even daily advertising resulting in much goodwill and with this I suggest the businesses might get better “bang for the buck” than with regular advertising.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zD

School Choice Deniers
Critics hype a pair of studies while ignoring other evidence on education vouchers.
Wall Street Journal editorial

President Trump has made a cause of public and private school choice, and liberals who oppose evaluating teachers based on student achievement are now hyping a few studies that have found vouchers hurt student performance. A closer look still supports the case for giving parents choice.
More than 400,000 students in 30 states and Washington, D.C., participate in private-school choice programs whose designs and funding sources vary. Over the last two decades dozens of studies have sought to measure these programs’ impact on student growth. Those with the most rigorous methodologies have produced positive findings.
A meta-analysis last year by the Friedman Foundation found that 14 of 18 empirical studies analyzing programs in which students were chosen at random by lottery found positive academic outcomes. Two demonstrated no visible effect, while two recent studies of Louisiana’s voucher program found negative effects. The Louisiana studies are disconcerting since voucher proponents have hailed the program, and the negative effects were large. Math scores declined in one study by 0.4 standard deviations after one year in private schools, representing a 50% increase in likelihood of failing the state test.
But Louisiana’s voucher program is unusual in several respects. Fewer than a third of private schools participated in the first year, and they had already experienced significant enrollment declines. This suggests that voucher students had their pick of the worst private schools. Some higher performing schools may have been deterred by regulations that prohibit them from setting admissions standards and charging families more than the voucher amount—$5,300 on average in 2012.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zx $

 

Who Needs Charters When You Have Public Schools Like These?
New York Times op-ed by David L. Kirp, professor at the University of California, Berkeley

TULSA, Okla. — The class assignment: Design an iPad video game. For the player to win, a cow must cross a two­lane highway, dodging constant traffic. If she makes it, the sound of clapping is heard; if she’s hit by a car, the game says, “Aw.”
“Let me show you my notebook where I wrote the algorithm. An algorithm is like a recipe,” Leila, one of the students in the class, explained to the school official who described the scene to me.
You might assume these were gifted students at an elite school. Instead they were 7­year­olds, second graders in the Union Public Schools district in the eastern part of Tulsa, Okla., where more than a third of the students are Latino, many of them English language learners, and 70 percent receive free or reduced­price lunch. From kindergarten through high school, they get a state­of­the­art education in science, technology, engineering and math, the STEM subjects. When they’re in high school, these students will design web pages and mobile apps, as well as tackle cybersecurity and artificial intelligence projects. And STEM­for­all is only one of the eye­opening opportunities in this district of around 16,000 students.
Betsy DeVos, book your plane ticket now.
Ms. DeVos, the new secretary of education, dismisses public schools as too slow-moving and difficult to reform. She’s calling for the expansion of supposedly nimbler charters and vouchers that enable parents to send their children to private or parochial schools. But Union shows what can be achieved when a public school system takes the time to invest in a culture of high expectations, recruit top­flight professionals and develop ties between schools and the community.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9A1

 

The Education Silo
Most states agree on what students should be taught, so why not collaborate on curricula?
U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Julia Kaufman, a policy researcher at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation, and V. Darleen Opfer, director of RAND Education

Congress and new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos are focused on providing more local control over education and ensuring that states have freedom and flexibility to innovate within their education systems. But the focus on local control could keep states from recognizing or acknowledging opportunities to collaborate, pool resources and work as allies to support students.
Teachers have already recognized the potential for states to share resources. According to our research, teachers in nearly every state are using EngageNY curriculum materials, a free online trove of sequenced units and classroom lessons at each grade level developed by New York State in 2011 to help its teachers address state standards for mathematics and English language arts. The popularity of EngageNY among teachers across many states suggests that they recognize the commonalities between New York standards and standards in their states. Why can’t states recognize these commonalities as well?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9A0

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Educators Oppose Trump Plan to Scrap Teacher-Support Program
Education Week

Federal funding for educator quality helped a small district outside Boston cut down class sizes for beginning teachers. A cadre of Delaware districts used it to help teachers better personalize instruction for students. And the school district in El Paso, Texas, which is always on the lookout for teachers with expertise in working with English-language learners, has used some of the money for recruitment.
Those activities—and thousands of educators’ jobs—could be in jeopardy if Congress takes President Donald Trump up on his proposal to get rid of the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grant program, better known to school districts as Title II, after the portion of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that governs it.
Eliminating the $2.3 billion program could hamper implementation of the law’s newest version, the Every Student Succeeds Act. It also could lead to teacher layoffs and make it tougher for educators to reach English-learners and other special populations and to make the most of technology in their classrooms, educators and advocates say.
The proposed cut is the largest—and arguably, the most consequential—the new president pitched for the U.S. Department of Education in his fiscal 2018 budget request, unveiled earlier this month. Overall, the administration wants to slash spending at the department by $9 billion, or 13 percent of its current, nearly $70 billion budget. The plan would cover the budget year that begins Oct. 1 and generally affects the 2018-19 school year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zR

 

How to Beat Teacher Burnout: With More Education
A continuing education program for teachers has the power to reduce attrition rates, but it’s having trouble catching on.
Governing magazine

When mathematician John Ewing started lobbying state governments to adopt a new model for keeping top teachers in the classroom, he anticipated all the usual pushback over funding and resources. One thing he didn’t anticipate was a resistance to the idea in general.
In education right now, “the focus is on everything that’s not working,” he says. By contrast, his model “invests in teachers that are doing a really good job.”
In 2009, fellow mathematician and philanthropist Jim Simons called and asked Ewing to help him take over his fledgling nonprofit to provide continuing education for K-12 math teachers in New York City. But the organization, called Math for America (MfA), eventually evolved into a larger fellowship program aimed at cultivating and keeping top science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers in public schools.
It’s an appealing concept at a time when keeping good teachers is becoming harder and harder.
On average, one-third of teachers leave the profession within five years. Burnout is blamed for the short tenure. A recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 46 percent of teachers say they feel daily stress on a level that’s shared by doctors and lawyers.
When teachers are that stressed, the report notes, it not only compromises their health and quality of life but also adversely impacts their teaching performance. That, in turn, can harm students’ academic performance and behavior. The report recommends mentoring programs, social emotional learning and mindfulness as proven ways to improve teacher well-being and student outcomes.
That’s where MfA comes in.
MfA is built on the notion that great public school teachers should be given the same resources and be treated with the same respect as their higher education counterparts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zZ

 

House Democrats ask Trump administration to remind schools that they must educate undocumented children
Washington Post

House Democrats are asking the Trump administration to send a clear message reminding the nation’s public schools that, despite recent changes in federal immigration enforcement policy, they are still legally obligated to educate undocumented children.
The representatives expressed concern that the educational rights of undocumented students may be overlooked as the new administration cracks down on those in the country illegally. The Supreme Court ruled 25 years ago that U.S. public schools must serve all children, regardless of their immigration status.
“In this environment of trepidation, it is important that we do all we can to minimize the impact these policies have on school attendance and student learning,” the top Democrats on the judiciary, education and homeland security committees wrote in a letter Monday.
The lawmakers also sought public assurance that the administration intends to avoid enforcement actions at schools and other “sensitive locations,” as has been the federal government’s stated policy since 2011.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zw

 

Deported Students Find Challenges At School In Tijuana
NPR

As president Trump moves to fulfill his campaign promise to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, they’ll most likely include Mexicans whose children were born in the U.S.. Over half a million of these kids are already in Mexico.
Researchers call them “los invisibles”, the invisible ones, because they often end up in an educational limbo of sorts. Most don’t read or write in Spanish, so they’re held back. Many get discouraged and stop going to school. In some cases schools even refuse to enroll them.
In the border city of Tijuana, however, there’s a model program designed to help these children.
At 20 de Noviembre Elementary, for example, roughly a tenth of the school’s 700 students were born in the U.S.. Administrators and teachers here have embraced kids like Anthony David Martinez, a skinny 9-year-old who recently arrived from Barstow, Calif. That’s where he was born.
Anthony could have stayed in California because he’s a U.S. citizen, but his parents are not. They were forced to return to Mexico and didn’t want to split up the family.
“I was like, ‘Oh no, I’m going to have to make new friends, new school, new everything,’ ” says Anthony. “But now I’m happy here.”
Anthony’s fourth-grade teacher says his Spanish is “a work in progress,” but he has learned how to read and write in Spanish fairly quickly. It wasn’t easy switching from English to Spanish in class or when doing his homework, says Anthony. He’s still not used to saying the name of his school in English – 20 November. “It’s kind of weird,” he chuckles.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zO

 

A Transgender Student Won Her Battle.
Now It’s War.
New York Times

PALATINE, Ill. — Tall and sylphlike, an athlete with delicate features and a blond topknot, she changes clothes behind a privacy curtain in the girls’ locker room at her high school. But just being allowed to set foot in that locker room was a huge victory for the girl. She is transgender.
She graduates in May — but the war over how to accommodate transgender students is far from over in her Chicago suburb.
A new legal challenge is making its way through the courts. And a coalition of insurgent school board candidates, an evangelical church and conservative parents are looking to reshape district policy. The goal: preventing transgender girls and boys from sharing the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice with other girls and boys, on the grounds that they are “the opposite biological sex.” Their presence, the opponents argue, violates community standards of decency.
They cast the issue as one of basic modesty, but the transgender student says it goes far deeper than that.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zv

 

Know Your US Constitution? More States Look to Teach It
Associated Press

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Should U.S. high school students know at least as much about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist papers as immigrants passing an American citizenship test?
In a growing number of school systems, having such a basic knowledge is now a graduation requirement. But states are taking different approaches to combating what’s seen as a widespread lack of knowledge about how government works.
Kentucky last week and Arkansas on March 16 became the latest of more than a dozen states since 2015 that have required the high school social studies curriculum to include material covered by the 100 questions asked on the naturalization exam. Lawmakers in other states, including Minnesota, are hoping to foster even deeper understanding of the fundamentals of American democracy by adding a full course to study its most important documents.
“Rights might be inherent, but ideas need to be taught,” said Maida Buckley, a retired classroom teacher in Fairbanks, Alaska, who testified last year to an Alaskan legislative task force on civics education. “When you have a system of government that’s based on ideas, espoused in the Declaration of Independence and carried out with a working document in the Constitution, those ideas need to be taught.”
It’s a bipartisan cause, and in many states such bills are jointly introduced by Republicans and Democrats. But proponents’ motivations vary from dismay about the lack of participation in local school boards and town halls to concerns about how Republican President Donald Trump and his supporters view the power of the executive branch.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zP

Take the citizenship test
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zQ (AP)

 

PBS to Air ‘Newtown’ Documentary and Make It Available for Streaming
Education Week

“Newtown,” a documentary about the 2012 shootings of 20 young children and six staff members at a Connecticut elementary school, gets a much wider audience this week.
The two-hour film, which focuses on the aftermath of the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, will air Monday, April 3, at 9 p.m. Eastern time (check local listings) on the PBS documentary series “Independent Lens.”
The film by director/producer Kim A. Snyder and producer Maria Cuomo Cole was shown at several film festivals last year and had a one-night national film theater simulcast in November.
Now, besides a national broadcast on public television, the film will be available for online streaming on the “Independent Lens” website beginning April 4.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zT

Catch it locally
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zU (KUED)

 

Lawyer who highlighted Hillary Clinton’s role in defending rape suspect tapped for key federal civil rights post
Washington Post

Candice E. Jackson, who aided Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign by highlighting Hillary Clinton’s role in defending a man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, has been tapped for a key civil rights position at the Education Department, according to her alma mater.
A report from Pepperdine University’s law school, from which Jackson earned a degree in 2002, said Jackson will serve as acting assistant secretary for civil rights. If the report is true, she would temporarily be in charge of the office responsible for enforcing the nation’s civil rights laws in schools, including their handling of campus sexual assault. She also has been hired as deputy assistant secretary for civil rights, according to the university report.
Jackson, a lawyer in Vancouver, announced on her personal website that she has taken a position with Trump’s Education Department. Reached by phone, she said she could not comment on what she hopes to accomplish in the job because she does not officially start for a week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zW

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

 

Trump Taps Former Jeb Bush Aide as Ed. Dept. General Counsel
Education Week

President Donald Trump has tapped his first political appointee for the U.S. Department of Education: Carlos Muñiz, who will serve as the agency’s general counsel, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The position would give him a key role in overseeing legal matters at the agency.
Muñiz, who was most recently a senior vice president at the consulting firm McGuire Woods, was the deputy attorney general and chief of staff to Pam Bondi, Florida’s attorney general and a Trump ally.
Before that, he was deputy general counsel under former Florida governor Jeb Bush. The Trump administration’s “beach head team” of early arrivals at the department includes a handful of alumni from Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education. And DeVos herself served on the nonprofit’s board before she was nominated as education secretary.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9zS

http://gousoe.uen.org/9zX (Breitbart)

 

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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 3:

Audit Subcommittee of the Legislative Management Committee meeting
3 p.m., 250 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00002093.htm

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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