Education News Roundup: April 5, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

San Juan School District implements the Quality Teaching Incentive Program (Q-TIP) to help slow teacher turnover down there.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bp (San Juan Record)

Park City’s Teen Council will hold sex education discussions away from the high school campus.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bq (PR)

American Preparatory Academy is again building at its Draper site.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AZ (SLT)

Ed Week looks at some of the state ESSA plans that have been turned in early.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AO (Ed Week)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

School District to implement lead teacher program in southern schools

Teen Council to host a series of sex education talks
They will be held off campus to allow for freer discussion

Construction ban lifted for Draper charter school
Education » State Board of Education grants one-month permit after fire marshal’s inspection.

Utah teacher treks all the way to Antarctica

Greetings from Magna
Long burdened by ill health and poverty, a westside community strives to turn the page.

Davis School District pays $100K to settle ‘drunk goggles’ lawsuit

Park City High Gay-Straight Alliance raises money for homeless youth
Club is hopeful their message will prove more valuable than the money

Nebo students compete at SkillsUSA

Waterford School Students Advance to Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Second-Grade Sensation

Crafting a Solid Cybersecurity Defense
Schools must protect networks during online testing.

Orem teen admits stabbing 5 classmates in locker room

Cyprus High student charged with sexual battery of classmate

Park City School District issues alert about suspicious incident

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Sara McAffee

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Katie Patrick

OPINION & COMMENTARY

How the Every Student Succeeds Act Empowers States to Find Innovative Uses for Federal Funds

STEM education will carry our children in tomorrow’s economy

Pour the Public Education Kool-Aid Down the Drain
Government meddling in education restricts creativity and innovation.

NATION

A Look at Some States That Have Turned in Their ESSA Plans

Most States Are Pushing Private School Choice Bills, But Some Are Faltering

Implementation Woes Undermine Ambitious K-12 Ed-Tech Efforts, Study Finds

Ex-FCC Chair Blasts Efforts to Change Lifeline, Net Neutrality, Privacy Rules

2 Education Dept. Picks Raise Fears on Civil Rights Enforcement

Is local tax support OK for charter schools? Court to decide

School segregation persists in the new New Orleans, study says

Iowa teachers union files lawsuit over collective bargaining law

New Pittsburg, Kan., High School principal resigns after student journalists question her credentials

Can Poetry Revolutionize the Parent-Teacher Conference?
A community-oriented program works to engage adults more meaningfully in the classroom.

It Takes a Suburb: A Town Unites to Tackle Student Stress

 

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UTAH NEWS
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School District to implement lead teacher program in southern schools

A new program will recruit experienced teachers to teach in the southern schools of the San Juan School District. The program was approved at meeting of the San Juan School Board on March 28.
The Quality Teaching Incentive Program (Q-TIP) is designed to attract a core of experienced “lead” teachers in the schools.
The goal is to increase the level of experienced teachers in schools that have traditionally suffered from high teacher turnover.
The Q-TIP program is focused on the six schools in the southern portion of the district, including Bluff, Montezuma Creek and Tse’bii’nidzisgai elementary schools, and Whitehorse, Monument Valley and Navajo Mountain high schools.
Turnover is an ongoing problem in the southern schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bp (San Juan Record)

 

Teen Council to host a series of sex education talks
They will be held off campus to allow for freer discussion

Sex is an uncomfortable discussion topic, but Teen Council members feel it’s something high-school students need to be educated about.
Utah State Statute requires the sex education taught in schools to be abstinence based, which is why members of Teen Council – Park City High School’s peer-led health education group – want to take the topic outside of school in order to teach kids in grades eight through 12 about contraception and sexually transmitted infections, or STIs.
Starting this week, the members will lead a series of talks each Thursday at the Park City Library on a variety of topics.
“Contraception, anatomy and physiology, and STI prevention aren’t really covered under the school sex education program,” senior and Teen Council member Caileigh Lydon said. “We think having these talks is a great way to get that knowledge to our students through another program, so they are still learning about this stuff, because it is so important.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bq (PR)

 

Construction ban lifted for Draper charter school
Education » State Board of Education grants one-month permit after fire marshal’s inspection.

American Preparatory Academy in Draper was given the green light Tuesday to resume construction of its new high school campus.
The Utah Board of Education issued a stop-work order last week until the state fire marshal could approve an emergency access route the charter school created by purchasing a nearby residential property and converting its driveway into a construction entrance.
Without that driveway, American Preparatory Academy’s property is landlocked, forcing it to rely on an easement that connects the school’s parking lot to Lone Peak Parkway. Those constraints on the charter school parcel are the source of an ongoing dispute with APA’s neighbor, an industrial park, over a narrow strip of private land that separates the school from a nearby roadway.
The school construction site, located adjacent to American Preparatory Academy’s existing elementary and middle school, was inspected by the fire marshal on Friday. Assistant state superintendent Natalie Grange said Tuesday the academy was granted a full construction permit expiring a month from now, on May 5.
“The month is to evaluate their progress on the temporary emergency access,” she said.
American Preparatory Academy currently operates six charter schools in Utah, and plans to open its new high school campus in Draper this fall.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AZ (SLT)

 

Utah teacher treks all the way to Antarctica

One science class at Timpanogos High School is taught by a particularly passionate teacher: Josh Heward.
“I love biology, I love learning about animals in particular,” he said.
But for the very first time in his career, Heward is about to give his students something he got thousands of miles away on a continent made of ice, located at the bottom of the earth.
“I got to go to Antarctica for a month as part of a research expedition and that was amazing,” Heward said.
He was chosen from a pool of hundreds of applicants to join the Polar Trec team to study for one month in Antarctica.
The team was made up of about a dozen researchers and teachers from across the country to study animal life. Not animals living above ground, but these tiny microscopic creatures that live in the ground.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9B9 (KUTV)

 

Greetings from Magna
Long burdened by ill health and poverty, a westside community strives to turn the page.


But with the prosperity push, there’s a part of Magna that struggles to keep up. That’s evident in statistics compiled by the Salt Lake County Health Department, which places it as among the unhealthiest communities in the state. According to January 2017 numbers, the population of 28,000 regularly outstrips both Salt Lake County and the state in general in some disturbing categories. These include teen birth rates, asthma, diabetes-related deaths, depression, lung cancer, motor vehicle crashes leading to emergency room visits, obesity, incidences of traumatic brain injury and lower life expectancy.
According to the federal census, 13.5 percent of its residents are below the poverty level, compared to 12.3 percent statewide. While there’s a vibrant middle class in Magna, with a string of families that go back to the pioneer days, “the people that need help are probably the most desperate you’ll ever run across,” Nielsen says. “The economy out here isn’t able to generate the number of jobs required to keep everybody happy.”

One of council member Hull’s biggest concerns is the impact of poverty on the children she sees while working her daytime job as Magna Library’s manager. When the county moved the library from the business district on 3500 South to an $8.5-million Main Street building five years ago, she noticed an unexpected uptick in the number of children coming to her branch.
Every day after school, kids would come and stay on the facility’s 30 computers until the 9 p.m. closing time. During the summers, she says 50-60 kids would come in at 10 a.m., some who had had nothing to eat. They would have to wait till late afternoon to get snacks provided by the Utah Food Bank.
“My kids wouldn’t spend eight hours at a library, but, for these kids, that’s the best place they can be,” she says. “We feed them; sometimes that’s the only meal they get. To me that means there is a problem.”
Cyprus High School Principal Robert E. McDaniel says his biggest challenges are attendance and apathy. Three out of four students graduate, which puts the school 5 percent behind the state average. That lack of graduation ties into attendance issues through elementary and middle school, he says.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bt (SLCW)

 

Davis School District pays $100K to settle ‘drunk goggles’ lawsuit

KAYSVILLE – The Davis School District has agreed to pay a teenage girl and her family $100,000 for a “drunk goggles” intoxication demonstration gone wrong.
To settle a personal injury lawsuit, district officials agreed to put $61,247 into a minor child trust account for Kylie Nielsen, of Kaysville, who was injured in class the morning of May 9, 2014, at Centennial Junior High School. Another $13,074 pays medical expenses, and law firm LeBaron and Jensen receives $25,679 for legal fees and costs, 2nd District court records show.
Kylie, 13 at the time, suffered a crippling leg injury during the alcohol impairment simulation exercise in a health class, the teen’s parents, Andrew and Camille Nielsen, said in the $275,000 lawsuit, which was filed March 31, 2016.
Davis School District pays $10K for ‘drunk goggles’ injuries
Kylie and classmates were told to don goggles “designed to significantly impair the wearer’s vision and perception abilities and to place the wearer in a simulated state of drunkenness,” the suit said.
The Nielsens accused the district and teacher Rick Smith of negligence and recklessness. Smith encouraged students to play tag and run through his classroom full of desks, tables, chairs and other equipment, the suit said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9B1 (OSE)

 

Park City High Gay-Straight Alliance raises money for homeless youth
Club is hopeful their message will prove more valuable than the money

Students in the Park City High School Gay-Straight Alliance say they feel fortunate to live in a community that, by and large, welcomes teenagers who identify as LGBT.
Now, they’re trying to help gay or transgender teenagers who aren’t so fortunate.
During the Sundance Film Festival, they raised $3,200 for the Volunteers of America Homeless Youth Resource Center in Salt Lake City and were scheduled to give the money to the organization this week. They said they chose to support the Homeless Youth Resource Center because many homeless teens identify as LGBT end up living on the streets when their families reject them.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Br (PR)

 

Nebo students compete at SkillsUSA

Students from Nebo School district’s various SkillsUSA teams competed at the state competition recently.
Spanish Fork High School had eight competitors present, who represented the school in several categories. Rochelle Christensen competed in the interview category and went further than anyone in the history of SFHS participation in this category. Juan Cruz, Carson Sheriff, and Nathan Perkins took the Silver Medal for Welding Fabrication. Gavin Jensen represented SFHS in the Welding category. Travis Redmond and Matt Ramirez both competed in Collision Repair Technology.
Spanish Fork High School students Kyle Coombs and Maricruz Torres won gold medals in auto finishing and customer service, respectively, and will be going to Kentucky nationals.
Students from Maple Mountain High School’s SkillsUSA chapter also competed.
Tyler Christmas, Tosh Davis, and Ben Warnick took first place in Welding Fabrication and Savannah Marker took second place in job interview.
This marks MMHS’s fifth year in a row that MMHS won a gold medal in Welding Fabrication. The team and adviser, Jared Massic, will also go to Kentucky at the end of June to represent Utah against the best teams from each state.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9B6 (PDH)

Waterford School Students Advance to Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

SANDY, UT – Two students from The Waterford School will display their independent research at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) on May 14-19 in Los Angeles, California. Waterford junior Tanisha Martheswaran and freshman Emma Sun were awarded two of eight Intel ISEF Grand Champion prizes at the Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair (SLVSEF) on March 24.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bv (PRWeb)

 

Second-Grade Sensation

Genesis Gonzalez is a second-grader at Ogden’s New Bridge School and the winner of the Dairy Council of Utah and Nevada’s essay contest “How Eating Breakfast Helps Me Play at the Top of My Game.” The contest was held to celebrate National School Breakfast Week. In her essay, Gonzalez says, “Breakfast helps me read so that I wouldn’t get tired … so I could read 20 or more minutes and it can help me understand what the book is about.” She also believes that breakfast helps give her energy to be a good sister to her little brother. Her prize was a trip with her entire second grade class to Green Acres Farms with the Utah Jazz Bear in attendance.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bw (SLCW)

 

Crafting a Solid Cybersecurity Defense
Schools must protect networks during online testing.

In the 2015-2016 school year, most state-required summative assessments in U.S. elementary and middle schools were set to be administered using technology, according to a report by EdTech Strategies, a research and consulting firm. Because of that, thoughtful security measures were put in place to guard against attacks on those computer-based standardized tests.
Distributed denial of service attacks, which overwhelm school networks with prodigious amounts of traffic, are on the rise in K-12 districts across the country. These attacks can shut down school websites and phone systems, preventing users from accessing their applications and the internet. They are especially pervasive during standardized testing, often instigated by students who don’t want to take the tests. In Oklahoma last year, for example, a DDoS attack slowed down and stopped Broken Arrow Public Schools’ network as students were trying to take their state exams. IT officials were able to fend off the attack thanks to help from their internet service provider and firewalls. Because of Broken Arrow’s swift action, the only setback was that testing took a lot longer than normal.

A district’s internet service provider may help stop most DDoS attacks, especially large-scale attacks. But subtle attacks sometimes slip through. With these under-the-radar incidents, attackers may try to expose specific network vulnerabilities, such as firewalls.
Designing a secure network is key to mitigating damage from a DDoS attack, according to Jeremy Cox, a network manager and information security officer at Washington County School District in Utah. A network’s architecture needs to include more than one firewall to protect both internet and phone service. IT staff can also help to fend off DDoS attacks by using network monitoring, Cox says.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bs (EdTech magazine)

 

Orem teen admits stabbing 5 classmates in locker room

OREM – Lying on his back, staring at the locker room ceiling, a stab wound to his neck, a teenage boy believed he was about to die.
The boy, identified in court as A.D., told a juvenile court judge Tuesday he wasn’t afraid as he faced death but instead felt calm and maybe relieved to escape the frightening scene around him.
“I looked up at the ceiling and thought, ‘This is the end,'” A.D. explained. “I wasn’t scared. It was kind of peaceful to know I would be leaving that situation.”
A.D. was one of five teenage boys at Mountain View High School stabbed at random by a classmate, Luke Dollahite, before the then-15-year-old attempted to take his own life last year.
All five boys and their attacker survived, though one boy said in court the stab wound to his neck was mere millimeters away from being fatal.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AW (DN)

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9B3 (AP via OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9B7 (AP via LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9B8 (KUTV)

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

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bu (Gephardt Daily)

 

Cyprus High student charged with sexual battery of classmate

MAGNA – An Cyprus High School student was charged Tuesday with having pictures of nude females on his phone and sexual battery of at least one classmate.
The 18-year-old student, from Magna, is charged in 3rd District Court with dealing in harmful materials to minors, a third-degree felony; sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor; and accessing pornographic material on school property, a class B misdemeanor.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9B0 (DN)

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

 

Park City School District issues alert about suspicious incident

PARK CITY, Utah – The Park City School District is alerting parents about a suspicious man.
It says last Thursday, in the Summit Park area, a man asked a 12-year-old girl if she wanted a ride home.
She turned down the ride, but the district says this is a good reminder for parents.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ba (KTVX)

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Sara McAffee

Sara McAffee, a fourth-grade teacher at Edgemont Elementary School in Provo, has been selected as this week’s Daily Herald Educator of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9B4 (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Katie Patrick

Katie Patrick, a sixth-grade student at Provo Peaks Elementary School has been named this week’s Daily Herald Student of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9B5 (PDH)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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How the Every Student Succeeds Act Empowers States to Find Innovative Uses for Federal Funds
(Washington, DC) The 74 op-ed by Anne Hyslop, senior associate of policy and advocacy at Chiefs for Change

Although the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was hailed on both sides of the aisle for restoring balance to the state-federal relationship in K-12 education – loosening unworkable, prescriptive mandates under No Child Left Behind and providing states and districts with more autonomy to craft tailored solutions to their unique needs – that bipartisan consensus now seems to have disintegrated.
From the contentious, partisan confirmation hearing of Secretary Betsy DeVos to a party-line repeal of final accountability, reporting, and school improvement regulations, to a bitter fight over the previous administration’s proposed rules for ESSA’s supplement-not-supplant provisions, it’s easy to assume the days of common edu-ground are gone.
One thing these fights have in common, however, is that they center on accountability – the stick, not the carrot – and whether the federal government or states should wield that stick. Yes, accountability is incredibly important and proven to be effective. But it’s not the only opportunity in ESSA to improve student outcomes, nor the sole piece of the law worth paying attention to.
Forgotten in the accountability fights is the fact that bipartisan consensus lives on in the flexibilities ESSA provides to states – the carrots that leaders can choose to take advantage of in order to drive meaningful change in how districts and schools support educators and students. In particular, these opportunities come in the form of new options for how states spend funds from the two largest pots of federal money under ESSA: Title I and Title II. “Evidence and Funding – Connecting the Dots,” a new policy brief from Chiefs for Change, highlights these opportunities and shows how leading states are using federal funds to back evidence-based strategies and amplify their priorities. By changing how these formula dollars are allocated and spent, we believe states can significantly magnify the impact of federal funds in ways that have not been realized previously.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AP

 

STEM education will carry our children in tomorrow’s economy
(Washington, DC) The Hill op-ed by DAVID EVANS, Ex. Dir. of the National Science Teachers Association, AND TALIA MILGROM-ELCOTT, executive director of the STEM teacher training initiative 100Kin10

In October 1957, after Sputnik flew, Mrs. Kennedy sat down with one of her 6th graders after school and told that boy he would go to college and study math and science.
She said he would do research, become a professor, and train his own students. Neither of his parents had attended college. And yet, that’s exactly what he did. Since then, it never occurred to him to do anything else.
This story of one teacher’s impact is powerful, and there are literally millions like it all around our country.
That student was David Evans, and today, through David’s work with the National Science Teachers Association, and Talia Milgrom-Elcott’s work with 100Kin10, we represent networks that support tens of thousands of teachers like Kennedy across the country. We have never seen kids face the challenges they do today. It used to be that American graduates were just competing with the kids who lived down the street. Then with other college applicants.
Now it’s the entire world competing for the same jobs, the same resources, the same opportunities. It’s no longer about passing algebra; it’s about thriving in an increasingly worldwide workforce.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AQ

 

Pour the Public Education Kool-Aid Down the Drain
Government meddling in education restricts creativity and innovation.
The American Conservative op-ed by TERESA MULL, a research fellow in education policy at the Heartland Institute

The Obama administration was fond of proclaiming that high-school graduation rates hit record highs during its tenure. A new report shows that those numbers don’t mean much.
“However legitimate the surge in graduation rates-and almost no one contends that they are wholly fictive-the relative value of a high school diploma, as measured by income, college preparedness, jobless rates, and employer confidence, has never been lower,” the74million.org, an education news site, reports. “American schools may have taken praiseworthy strides in helping their students to the K-12 finish line, but there is little reason to believe that they have prepared them any more meaningfully for the challenges ahead.”
The Obama administration, like many of its predecessors, spent billions propping up failing public schools, and what did we get for all our hard-earned tax dollars? High-school graduates are worse off.
But many in the general public, having drunk the pro-public-schools Kool-Aid, mixed mainly by the nation’s corrupt and powerful teachers’ unions, are largely under the delusion that public education is a great and sacred institution worthy of preservation-no matter what.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bo

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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A Look at Some States That Have Turned in Their ESSA Plans
Education Week

Monday was the first official deadline for states to submit their Every Student Succeeds Act plans to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for approval. And, as of Monday evening, nine states and the District of Columbia had turned in their plans to the feds, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Those on the list: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Vermont. (We’ve linked to their plans, or a summary of them, when possible.)
An additional six states-Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, North Dakota, and Oregon-have finished their plans, or are very close. But they are giving their governor and, in some cases, other state leaders, time to review them before submitting them, according to the states.
The Trump administration has allowed states to submit their plans by May 3 if they need additional time for governors to take a look. Governors don’t have veto power over ESSA plans, but the law requires state chiefs to give their governors 30 days to review the plans
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AO

 

Most States Are Pushing Private School Choice Bills, But Some Are Faltering
Education Week

Lawmakers in at least 34 states have proposed legislation related to private school choice, but that doesn’t mean they are becoming reality, according to a bipartisan organization that tracks state issues.
The National Conference of State Legislatures is watching state bills to expand or create new private school choice programs-vouchers, tax credit scholarships, and education savings accounts.
More than half of those state legislatures have advanced bills to some extent, at least out of committee, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But some efforts have failed or are struggling to push forward.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bi

 

Implementation Woes Undermine Ambitious K-12 Ed-Tech Efforts, Study Finds
Education Week

Establishing a district-wide technology program can be a daunting task. It requires up-front planning and making a smart decisions about purchases, and it also requires faithful implementation-the hard work of getting buy-in from teachers and principals, and encouraging them to use devices purposefully and consistently.
Project RED, an initiative of the One-to-One Institute, a nonprofit that promotes the implementation of 1:1 programs in K-12 environments, is trying to perfect the technology implementation process. The organization developed the Project RED Design, a research-backed technology implementation plan available to districts nationwide, in 2012. Project RED released the first results of a three-year study of 17 districts last month. The districts all developed Project RED Design plans and used the implementation framework over several years.
The study, which will be released in five parts, focuses on 1:1 implementation concerns in leadership; communication; instruction, pedagogy and data; professional learning; and finance, according to a statement from the One-to-One Institute.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AU

A copy of the introductory brief
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AV (Project RED)

 

Ex-FCC Chair Blasts Efforts to Change Lifeline, Net Neutrality, Privacy Rules
Education Week

From net neutrality to online privacy to universal-service programs, the administration of President Donald Trump has taken direct aim at a number of the signature policy changes enacted by the Federal Communications Commission under the leadership of former chairman Tom Wheeler.
Wheeler isn’t happy.
“They seem to be looking backwards and saying, ‘How do we undo everything we voted against when we were in the minority?’ Wheeler told Education Week in an interview here at the annual conference of the Consortium for School Networking, where he was being honored for his work to expand access to affordable high-speed internet service.
“Every school ought to be worried,” he said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bh

2 Education Dept. Picks Raise Fears on Civil Rights Enforcement
New York Times

WASHINGTON – A lawyer who represented Florida State University in an explosive sexual assault case and another lawyer who during the 2016 presidential campaign accused Hillary Clinton of enabling sexual predators have been chosen for key roles in the Department of Education, raising fears that the agency could pull back from enforcing civil rights in schools and on college campuses.
President Trump will nominate Carlos G. Muñiz, a politically connected Florida lawyer who served as deputy general counsel to former Gov. Jeb Bush, to be general counsel to the Education Department. Mr. Muñiz, a lawyer and consultant based in the Jacksonville office of McGuireWoods, is perhaps best known for representing Florida State University in a lawsuit brought by a student who accused the former star quarterback Jameis Winston of raping her in 2012.
Candice E. Jackson, who represented one of the women who attended a news conference before a presidential debate in October to impugn Mrs. Clinton’s treatment of sexual assault victims, announced that she will be the acting assistant secretary for civil rights.
The posts are among the most high profile in the department. Staffing in the Office for Civil Rights has been a source of concern for civil rights advocates ever since the Trump administration rescinded protections for transgender students as one of its first education policy moves.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bn

 

Is local tax support OK for charter schools? Court to decide
Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger

Attorneys challenging the constitutionality of channeling taxpayer dollars to Mississippi’s charter schools volleyed oral arguments in a Hinds County courtroom Tuesday morning with lawyers defending Mississippi’s current way of funding of them.
The case, heard by Hinds County Chancery Judge Dewayne Thomas, stems from a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016 on behalf of a group of parents with students in Jackson Public Schools against the state, the Mississippi Department of Education and JPS. Last fall, Thomas allowed three pro-charter groups – the Mississippi Charter Schools Association, Midtown Partners and a group of parents with children in Midtown Public Charter School – to join the lawsuit on the defendants’ behalf.
Thomas said his ruling will consider whether local funding should be able to follow students to charter schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AR

 

School segregation persists in the new New Orleans, study says
New Orleans Times-Picayune

The earth-shaking overhaul of New Orleans education after Hurricane Katrina has not fixed one of the city’s enduring problems: public school segregation. That’s according to a study Tulane’s Education Research Alliance for New Orleans released Tuesday (April 4).
“New Orleans schools were highly segregated prior to the city’s school reforms, especially in terms of race and income, and remain segregated now,” the authors wrote.
The changes include the state takeover of more than 100 campuses and their reinvention into independently run charters, as well as the end of automatically assigning children to schools near their homes.
The report does not detail why the problem has persisted or offer large-scale recommendations.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AS

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/9AT (Education Research Alliance for New Orleans)

 

Iowa teachers union files lawsuit over collective bargaining law
Reuters

An Iowa law limiting collective bargaining rights for public workers is unconstitutional, the state’s largest teachers union argued in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.
Three provisions of the measure, signed by Republican Governor Terry Branstad in February, violate the state’s constitution, the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) said in the lawsuit.
The law creates two tiers of public employees, the complaint alleges, because public safety workers such as police and firefighters are exempted from some of the collective bargaining rights reductions.
This creates a “grossly unequal collective bargaining scheme,” according to the lawsuit, filed with the Iowa District Court for Polk County in Des Moines.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bf

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bg (Des Moines [IA] Register)

 

New Pittsburg, Kan., High School principal resigns after student journalists question her credentials
Kansas City (MO) Star

Days after student reporters at Pittsburg High School in Kansas dug into the background of their newly hired principal and found questionable credentials, she resigned from the $93,000-a-year job.
“She was going to be the head of our school, and we wanted be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials,” said Trina Paul, a senior and an editor of the Booster Redux, the school newspaper. “We stumbled on some things that most might not consider legitimate credentials.”
Minutes into a closed special meeting Tuesday night of the Pittsburg Community Schools Board of Education, board president Al Mendez emerged to announce to a packed boardroom that Amy Robertson, the new principal, had resigned.
“In light of the issues that arose, Amy Robertson felt it was in the best interest of the district to resign her position,” Superintendent Destry Brown said in a statement after the executive session.
The board agreed with that decision and said will reopen the principal position Wednesday morning and contact others who had applied for the job to see if they are still interested.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bk

 

Can Poetry Revolutionize the Parent-Teacher Conference?
A community-oriented program works to engage adults more meaningfully in the classroom.
Atlantic

On a recent Tuesday evening, two sixth-grade teachers at Manhattan’s West Prep Academy offered up a poem by Langston Hughes and described how to begin unpacking its meaning.
The teachers glanced around the purple-tiled classroom to make sure everyone had their pens and pencils out to mark up copies of “Dreams” with notes.
It was exactly the kind of lesson the teachers might have offered on an average school day. But this time, instead of a room full of middle-schoolers, they had a different audience: their students’ parents.
“We do these in class all the time,” Annery Quezada, a sixth-grade special-education teacher told roughly a dozen parents, referring to the process of analyzing a poem. “You want them to explain how they know what the main idea is.”
What was happening in that classroom is an experiment in supplanting the traditional parent-teacher conference with a model that is just beginning to take hold in New York City. Known as Academic Parent Teacher Teams, an idea developed by a company called WestEd, the approach focuses on teaching groups of parents to engage their children academically and encourages them to talk about how their students are performing as a group-not just individually.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bl

More information
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bm (WestEd)

 

It Takes a Suburb: A Town Unites to Tackle Student Stress
New York Times

Small rocks from the beaches of eastern Massachusetts began appearing at Lexington High School last fall. They were painted in pastels and inscribed with pithy advice: Be happy.. Mistakes are O.K.. Don’t worry, it will be over soon. They had appeared almost by magic, boosting spirits and spreading calm at a public high school known for its sleep­deprived student body.
Crying jags over test scores are common here. Students say getting B’s can be deeply dispiriting, dashing college dreams and profoundly disappointing parents.
The rocks, it turns out, were the work of a small group of students worried about rising anxiety and depression among their peers. They had transformed a storage area into a relaxation center with comfy chairs, an orange/peach lava lamp and a coffee table brimming with donated art supplies and lots and lots of rocks – to be painted and given to favorite teachers and friends. They called it the Rock Room.
“At first it was just us,” said Gili Grunfeld, a senior who helped with the effort. “Then everyone was coming in.”
So many rocks were piling up, they had to be stored in a display case near one of the cafeterias.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Bj

 

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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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