Education News Roundup: April 6, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Some Utah school districts are balking at sexual-orientation question on the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BQ (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cj ([New York City] Jezebel)

Immigrant activists are seeking a show of support from the Ogden School District.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BU (OSE)

Rural Utah discusses some of the issues, including education, that it faces these days.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ct (KSL)

EdSource looks at rural education problems nationally.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9C8 (EdSource)

About two-thirds of Utahns aged 16-24 hold jobs. That’s the second highest percentage in the nation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cp (Governing)

Connecticut has removed test scores as a measure on teacher evaluations.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BH (Hartford Courant)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9BI (WSJ) $

Phys.org looks at some new studies out looking at public resignation letters from teachers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cd (Phys.org)
or copies of the studies
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ce (Linguistics and Education) $
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cf (Teaching and Teacher Education) $

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah school districts block sexual-orientation question on student survey
Research ≫ State, CDC seek data to improve suicide tracking; Davis and Cache districts say topic is too sensitive for students’ questionnaire.

Ogden school reps may soon consider measure to ease undocumented kids’ concerns

Road to Understanding: Utahns face diverse issues

The Uneven Recovery of Youth Employment
Only half of 16- to 24-year-olds had a job last year, and youth employment has rebounded in just a handful of states. Is the recession all to blame?

Utah Legislature Calls for Abolishment of U.S. Department of Education

University of Utah engineering program catapults interest in engineering for Saint Vincent de Paul students

Jordan School District Teachers Consider Proposed Pay Increase
New plan would raise the lowest teacher salary to $40,000 a year

Districts get 4 percent increase: Local schools, Snow College pleased with outcome of session

Utah County girl with alopecia ‘dazzles’ school’s crazy hair day

School district to pay $100K over ‘drunk goggles’ injury

Details emerge about arrest of former superintendent on sex abuse charges

Six NS Hawks awarded in FCCLA competition

Utah Catholic schools benefit from business network’s golf tournament

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Sex surveys, students and student journalism …

SITLA unfair to rural counties

Second languages

My Union Has More Money Than Your Union

School Isn’t Uber And Never Should Be
If the school choice reformers have their way, not only will rural schools suffer, but schools like the high school where I taught will be devastated.

School Choice Isn’t ‘Either-Or’
Betsy DeVos’ one-sided push against public education isn’t productive.

Trump May Have Stripped Back Regulations on Teacher Preparation, but Many States Are Moving Forward

In Defense of Teacher-Evaluation Reform
Teacher-quality laws will work, but they need time

Avatars will soon upend the role of teachers and transform education
What software, VR goggles and lots of very good coaches (once called teachers) can do to the classroom

Catholic Schools Need a Business Model

NATION

State Eliminates Test Scores From Teacher Evaluations

Proposed K-12 Cuts Could Hit Charter, Private Schools
Programs on block have broad footprint

Here’s How Some States’ ESSA Plans Address Testing Opt-Outs

Schwarzenegger Slams President Trump’s Plan to Slash After-School Funding

Experts: Illinois School Election Affirms Transgender Policy

Emanuel wants to add a CPS graduation requirement: Get acceptance letter

Teacher resignation letters paint bleak picture of US education

Outside the limelight, rural schools face challenges in finding, and keeping, teachers

Fighting Hate In Schools

Survey: Teachers Talk Politics to Students, Despite Divisive Atmosphere
Teachers not shying away from political talk

Teaching collaborative brings together Boston’s public, charter, Catholic schools

Melania Trump visits all-girls charter school with Jordan’s Queen Rania and Betsy DeVos

DeVos’ Charter Visit: a Sports-Focused School Backed by Pitbull

Strong early education equals better relationships with parents
The study followed 96 children for over 40 years starting in 1971.

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah school districts block sexual-orientation question on student survey
Research ≫ State, CDC seek data to improve suicide tracking; Davis and Cache districts say topic is too sensitive for students’ questionnaire.

Health officials have been effectively blocked from gathering survey data on gay, lesbian and bisexual high school students after key school districts threatened to withdraw.
The Utah Department of Health sought in 2016 to include a question regarding sexual orientation in an annual joint federal-state survey on health risks, known as the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and conducted in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health department and CDC officials contend that an additional question on sexual orientation could provide valuable insights into the Utah’s surging teen suicide rates.
“You can’t learn anything from a death certificate about whether [LGBTQ] kids have a higher rate of suicide in Utah,” said Michael Friedrichs, an epidemiologist and statistician for UDOH. “That is why we felt it was important [to add the question] so we could collect what data we could to generate some known facts.”
The CDC recently visited Utah to investigate the climbing suicide numbers and Friedrichs said the agency specifically recommended the state “improve surveillance for a variety of topics, including sexual orientation” to help spot trends in what officials are calling an epidemic.
But after the question was added in fall 2016, several school administrators voiced concerns. Officials in the Davis and Cache County school districts threatened to not administer the survey at all, said Friedrichs, who works in UDOH’s Bureau of Health Promotion.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BQ (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cj ([New York City] Jezebel)

 

Ogden school reps may soon consider measure to ease undocumented kids’ concerns

OGDEN ? Immigrant advocates seeking a show of support from Ogden school officials for undocumented students hold out hope for action.
The topic could come up for discussion by Ogden School Board members later this month, though it’s unclear what, if anything, they’ll do.
“I think that the district personnel are deeply committed to the people they serve,” said Barry Gomberg, a member of the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah.
Amid growing nervousness among undocumented immigrants, Gomberg was one of four immigrant advocates who asked Ogden School Board members last month to pass a resolution restricting action by federal immigration authorities in local schools. At the time, school officials kept mum on the proposal, but afterward, Gomberg said, Ogden School District Superintendent Sandy Coroles told him the issue would likely be coming up for continued discussion.
School officials “were going to be considering the program further in the next meeting,” she told him in an email, according to Gomberg. The board holds a work session on April 13 and a formal meeting on April 20.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BU (OSE)

 

Road to Understanding: Utahns face diverse issues

SALT LAKE CITY ? Utah is the fastest growing state in the nation, and for good reason.
The state offers an array of outdoor recreation from skiing to hiking to boating from southern Utah all the way to the north. Pam Perlich, the director of demographic research at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, said that economic opportunity is also driving the population growth.
But there isn’t growth in every county. Many of the rural counties are seeing a population and economic decline. Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, said the state is really divided into two Utahs: urban and rural.

During the Road to Understanding, KSL visited Piute County, St. George, Emery County, Moab, San Juan County, Uintah County, Provo, Lehi, Tooele County, Box Elder County, Cache County and the west side of Salt Lake City.
Managing growth was the biggest issue in St. George, Tooele County and along the Wasatch Front. Many of those cities are seeing a boom in population that leads to traffic congestion, teacher and school shortages and a lack of affordable housing.
Sometimes the issue comes from being a popular destination. Moab has a population of about 5,000 people, but on any given weekend during the summer, the amount of people in town can skyrocket to 25,000, according to David Sakrison, the mayor of Moab.
“It kind of caught us unawares,” Sakrison said. “There’s been some unintended consequences that we’ve had to face.”
But in other parts of the state, the issues are different.
In Piute County, population around 1,500, intergenerational poverty is a growing concern. The county is also having a hard time providing job opportunities for the younger generation.
“Right now, a lot of our youth when they graduate from high school, they can’t afford to live here,” Bill Sudweeks, Kingston’s mayor, said. “That’s the reason I left. As a youth, I didn’t have any significant opportunities here, so I went elsewhere.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ct (KSL)

 

The Uneven Recovery of Youth Employment
Only half of 16- to 24-year-olds had a job last year, and youth employment has rebounded in just a handful of states. Is the recession all to blame?

Job growth has picked up in recent years, but there’s one segment of the workforce that particularly isn’t recovering as well as others: those just starting their careers.
Just 49 percent of Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 were employed last year, and the latest federal data depicts an especially uneven recovery for youth employment across states.
Governing compared each state’s 2016 youth employment-to-population ratio with averages for 2005 through 2007, the last three years preceding the recession. In all but four states, youth employment hasn’t fully recovered. The decline has been particularly severe in states like Florida and Nevada, where the youth employment rate still remains roughly 10 percentage points below pre-recession levels.
Young people were least employed last year in Mississippi (40.1 percent), West Virginia (41.9 percent) and New York (42 percent) and most employed in Iowa and Utah, where about two-thirds held jobs.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cp (Governing)

 

Utah Legislature Calls for Abolishment of U.S. Department of Education

Utah State Representative Ken Ivory (R-West Jordan) sponsored a resolution calling for the restoration of the division of governmental responsibilities between the national government and the state (aka Federalism).
HJR 017 passed the Utah House on March 6 with a 60 to 14 vote. On March 9 it passed the Utah Senate on a 20 to 1 vote. It was then enrolled on March 17.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cv (Truth in American Education)

 

University of Utah engineering program catapults interest in engineering for Saint Vincent de Paul students

SALT LAKE CITY ? Saint Vincent de Paul School sixth-graders attended the Elementary Engineering Week hosted by the University of Utah’s College of Engineering in March. This free program at the university introduces students in grades five and six to the field of engineering while learning practical applications of engineering concepts and scientific principles.
This was the first time Saint Vincent de Paul School was selected to participate in the daylong program.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cn (IC)

 

Jordan School District Teachers Consider Proposed Pay Increase
New plan would raise the lowest teacher salary to $40,000 a year

RIVERTON – Jordan School District teachers gathered at Oquirrh Hills Middle School Wednesday night to hear details of a proposed pay increase.
The Jordan District is the 4th largest in the state and it has struggled financially, once having a $20 million dollar deficit after the Canyons District split away in 2009, according to Jordan Board of Education President Janice Voorhies.
“They had to freeze salaries just to keep the doors open literally,” Voorhies said. “Our teachers have stuck with us through thick and thin and not really gotten much compensation.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BW (KTVX)

 

Districts get 4 percent increase: Local schools, Snow College pleased with outcome of session

SALT LAKE CITY?Local public schools and Snow College did pretty well in the legislative session concluded toward the end of March.
Kent Larsen, superintendent in the South Sanpete School District, says he agrees with the statement by several senators after the 2017-18 state budget was finalized.
“What money they had, they gave to education,” Larsen says.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cl (Sanpete Messenger)

 

Utah County girl with alopecia ‘dazzles’ school’s crazy hair day

It was just a few months ago that Daniella Wride first noticed something was wrong with her 7-year-old daughter Gianessa’s hair.
“I started to brush it, and there was a lot of hair coming out with the brush,” Wride said.
A doctor said Gianessa may have alopeica, an auto-immune disorder that causes hair to fall out. Before her dermatologist appointment arrived a few weeks later, Gianessa had lost all her hair.
“I think I took it harder than she did; I would just bawl and cry sometimes,” Daniella Wride said.
But any sadness has turned into an embracing attitude of Gianessa’s new reality.
“You have two choices,” Daniella Wride said. “You can either be sad about it and be miserable, or you can make it into something fun and enjoy it.”
When Gianessa’s school announced their annual “Crazy Hair Day”, Gianessa wanted to participate, and she and her mom came up with a dazzling solution.
After a quick trip to the craft section at Walmart, they put dazzling stickers and flowers on Gianessa’s head.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BV (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9BX (KSL)

 

School district to pay $100K over ‘drunk goggles’ injury

KAYSVILLE, Utah? A Utah school district agreed to pay $100,000 to the family of a teenage girl who was injured while wearing goggles to simulate drunkenness in a 2014 health class experiment.
The Davis School District will put more than $61,000 into a trust account for Kylie Nielsen to settle a personal-injury lawsuit, The Standard-Examiner reported Wednesday. She can get access to that money when she turns 18.
The district also agreed to pay $13,000 for medical expenses and nearly $26,000 for legal fees. The settlement was reached about two months ago, according to district spokeswoman Shauna Lund.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BY (AP via KSL)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9C0 (AP via MUR)

 

Details emerge about arrest of former superintendent on sex abuse charges

The case against former Kennewick school Superintendent Paul Rosier started with a human trafficking investigation conducted by Richland Police.
Rosier, 75, an Olympia resident, was arrested early Saturday in the lobby of the Hampton Inn in Richland by investigators from the Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, according to a news release.
He spent the weekend in the Benton County jail. He was booked on two counts of commercial sex abuse of a minor and attempted second-degree rape of a child, according to the jail roster.

Rosier joined the Kennewick School District in 1994 after working in Utah, Arizona, Colorado and elsewhere in Washington as a teacher, principal, curriculum coordinator, education director and superintendent.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cr (Tacoma [WA] News Tribune)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cs ([Kennewick, WA] Tri-City Herald)

 

Six NS Hawks awarded in FCCLA competition

LAYTON ? While other students from North Sanpete High School were enjoying Spring Break, a select few traveled to the Davis Conference Center in Layton to participate in the State Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) competition. Six North Sanpete Hawks that participated in the competition received awards.
The following students were recognized for their skills. Darren Anderson received gold and third place overall in state for Food Innovations. Kevin Valencia took the bronze in Digital Stories for Change as did his partner, Makenna Davis.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cu (Mount Pleasant Pyramid)

 

Utah Catholic schools benefit from business network’s golf tournament

Catholic Business Network President Tom Richter, along with co-chairs Tricia Bruggeman and Roland Abundo, present a check for $10,800 to Holy Cross Sister Catherine Kamphaus, associate superintendent of Utah Catholic Schools on March 23 during the advancement meeting at Juan Diego Catholic High School. The donation from CBN was made possible through funds raised from the CBN Golf Tournament held in September.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ck (IC)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Sex surveys, students and student journalism …
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist George Pyle

Any more, just about everything that happens reminds me of something that happened a long time ago.
Here’s what’s happening now:
? Utah school districts block sexual-orientation question on student survey ? Kelly Gifford | The Salt Lake Tribune

Well.
Once upon a time, when I was the editor of a small-town daily, we did an article about how the editor of the student newspaper at one of the local high schools had set out to do an anonymous survey of students asking about their sexual habits. Basically, Are you doing it? and Are you being careful? The idea was to do an article about the results and bring in some expert commentary on whether the findings showed the students at that school to be any different than whatever the experts might then have considered average and normal.
The administration, of course, squelched the whole project.
I wrote a thundering leader criticizing the principal for being a bluenose square and teaching his student journalists a really bad lesson about what journalists do.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cm

 

SITLA unfair to rural counties
Moab Sun News letter from Steve Russell

When Utah became a state, having agreed to give up polygamy and other strange practices, part of the deal was that four square miles of every section (36 square miles) would be reserved for the state to use primarily for the benefit of public schools. Hence the birth of SITLA (School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration).
I don’t know exactly when it got started, but officials were definitely asleep at the wheel in the early days. There are virtually no SITLA lands on the most valuable sections on and around the Wasatch Front. Those were previously occupied, stolen or given away ? all pretty much the same thing. They know what they did. That left the parcels in rural and southern Utah that nobody wanted or cared about, much like the vast majority of our public lands.
Stuff happens and times change. Now some of these properties have become extremely valuable, and SITLA has morphed into a state agency behemoth not answerable to anyone.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Co

 

Second languages
Deseret News letter from Pamela Fernandez

Teaching your child a second language can be very beneficial. Children that know at least two languages are better problem-solvers, multitaskers and effective communicators.
But how can bilingual children have all these advantages compared to children that only speak one language? Well, this is linked to the child’s mental alertness necessary to switch from one language to another.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BT

 

My Union Has More Money Than Your Union
(New York) The 74 analysis by columnist MIKE ANTONUCCI

The National Education Association has an affiliate in every state, an extra one in Utah, and one for employees of Department of Defense Dependents Schools. As tax-exempt organizations, each is required to file a return with the Internal Revenue Service detailing its income and expenditures.
In order to better understand the fiscal health of the union, I collected those forms for 2015 for each affiliate (except the South Carolina Education Association), plus NEA national headquarters, and compiled key financial information in a table. I then coupled the figures with each affiliate’s 2015 membership rolls, obtained from an internal NEA report.
Almost all the revenues of teachers unions come from member dues. Each state sets its own dues amount but also receives grant money derived from the national dues every member must pay. Each affiliate receives a set amount based on membership, called UniServ grants, and some receive supplemental or discretionary grants based on the priorities of the national union. I include the percentage of total income that each affiliate receives from NEA in order to ascertain how dependent it is on money from outside of its state.

There is a lot to chew on for each affiliate, but here are some highlights:
Almost 39 percent of all affiliate revenue was received by three states: California, New Jersey, and New York.
The states most dependent on NEA grant money were South Carolina (based on 2014 returns), Mississippi, South Dakota, and the Utah School Employees Association, all of which received more than one-quarter of revenues from NEA.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cq

 

School Isn’t Uber And Never Should Be
If the school choice reformers have their way, not only will rural schools suffer, but schools like the high school where I taught will be devastated.
Huffington Post commentary by Shanna Peeples, 2015 National Teacher of the Year

My dad was an oil and gas equipment salesman for most of his life. He raised the four of us in a refinery town where the town’s fortunes rose and fell with oil and gas prices. Growing up in a boom/bust cycle imprinted itself on me, giving me a visceral sense of capitalism and business before I could intellectually understand ideas like profit/loss and return on investment, or fixed and variable costs.
So when I see yet another argument for draining public money from public schools, I feel like I’m standing in the middle of the boarded-up Main Street of my home town. All that looked so solid when I lived there decades ago is dust and plywood now. Except my high school. My high school looks the same and is still vibrant. That’s what comes of investing in a public good.
No one who grew up there ever heard any wooly-headed liberal phraseology like “public good,” mind you. A billboard of the John Birch Society’s message to “Get the U.S. Out of the GODLESS U.N!” greeted drivers on their way into town; those same drivers could buy booze and several kinds of guns in the same little shop on their way out. But I know all those folks in my tiny Texas town didn’t think of taxes as evil; they believed them to be “civilization dues” and they willingly paid them.
Now of course, taxes are seen as a tool of the devil in many parts of Texas. We’re at war over how to pay for our schools and even what a “public” school should be. Our lieutenant governor wants private schools to get public money with no public accountability. He frames that argument in language from the Civil Rights Movement, which really ? as we say here ? chaps my hide.
That’s because I can’t stop thinking about students like the ones in the high poverty school where I taught. And especially one boy who completely changed my idea of who public education is for and why we pay for it. We pay for it because it’s an expression of how we value human dignity and human worth.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9By

 

School Choice Isn’t ‘Either-Or’
Betsy DeVos’ one-sided push against public education isn’t productive.
U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Nat Malkus, a research fellow in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute

Last week, Betsy DeVos gave her lengthiest address yet as U.S. secretary of education at the release of the Brookings Institution’s annual Education Choice and Innovation Index. The Index catalogues the growth of school choice ? including charter schools, homeschooling, private school choice programs and public school open enrollment programs ? in the nation’s 100 largest school districts. According to Brookings’ Grover Whitehurst, this growth means that “the traditional public school district model is being disrupted.”
As a longtime school choice advocate, DeVos applauds that disruption, believing that choice helps families and can spur improvement in traditional public schools. DeVos argued that public education funding should be viewed as “investments made in individual children, not in institutions or buildings.” In other words, that funding should not privilege district-run schools.
On the surface, DeVos advocates for choice as an important added component to our public education system, promoting choice and public schools in a “both-and” rather than an “either-or” framework. However, in looking more deeply at her remarks last week, the limits of DeVos’ affinity for traditional public schools break through. She took issue with Denver receiving the top ranking in Brookings’ Index, primarily because the district has no publicly funded private school choice. Later, when asked if it were possible that choice programs could produce worse outcomes for students, she derided the traditional district system’s outcomes: “I’m not sure how they can get a lot worse on, you know, a nationwide basis than they are today.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9C9

 

Trump May Have Stripped Back Regulations on Teacher Preparation, but Many States Are Moving Forward
(Washington, DC) The 74 commentary by Thomas Arnett, senior research fellow in education for the Christensen Institute

President Trump last week signed a bill passed by Congress scrapping the Obama administration’s new regulations for teacher preparation. In blocking the regulations, the bill put an end to the controversial requirement that states issue annual ratings for teacher training programs based on criteria such as how long graduates stay in the teaching profession and the graduates’ impact on student-learning outcomes.
Regulations can be powerful tools for torquing the priorities of local institutions. But they can also constrain institutions’ abilities to innovate. Given these two sides of regulation, will overturning the teacher preparation regulations lead to progress or stagnation in teacher quality?
Other policies for regulating teacher preparation ? such as teacher licensure requirements and institutional accreditation ? often hinder innovation more than they help to improve quality. The common shortcoming of these policies is that they focus on inputs ? such as curriculum, faculty credentials, and student teaching hours. Overly prescriptive input requirements stymie innovations that do not square with traditional approaches.
In contrast, smart regulations allow latitude in inputs and instead focus on measuring and rewarding quality outcomes.
Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s decision to deregulate these institutions is likely a step backward for teacher preparation. In contrast with other policies, the federal regulations were noteworthy for their emphasis on outcomes rather than inputs. Although requiring states to rate teacher preparation programs based on the impact of their graduates may have proved cumbersome and expensive to implement, it was a step in the right direction.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BG

 

In Defense of Teacher-Evaluation Reform
Teacher-quality laws will work, but they need time
Education Week op-ed by Scott Laband, president of Colorado Succeeds

When Gov. Bill Ritter signed Colorado’s teacher-evaluation framework into law in 2010, he set in motion a powerful transformation of the state’s education system. By passing Senate Bill 10-191 with bipartisan support, the state led the nation in forging a new path forward for tenure and evaluation reform.
As is the case with all revolutions, we understand it will take time to sort out the full impact. But we also know that Colorado’s law immediately wiped out an arcane and ineffective evaluation and tenure system, which has governed most of the nation’s schools for more than 50 years.
The 2010 law requires districts to reimagine their talent-management and educator-support systems by requiring annual performance evaluations, ensuring tenure is earned and not the guarantee of lifetime employment, and ending both seniority-based layoffs and the forced placement of teachers into schools where they neither want to be nor fit well. This has prompted profound change in districts and schools across the state and provides a useful model for states across the country that are also in the early phases of implementing similar policies.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9C6

 

Avatars will soon upend the role of teachers and transform education
What software, VR goggles and lots of very good coaches (once called teachers) can do to the classroom
MarketWatch op-ed by ALEX SALKEVER, co-author of “The Driver in the Driverless Car; How our technology choices will create the future” and vice president of marketing communications at Mozilla

Meet Clifford, my personal avatar teacher from the future. I dressed him up with an English accent because I like the sound. He is my vision for education as technology frees us from more limitations in our lives and upends the role of teachers ? and a world we may reach within 15 years.
Do avatar teachers seem too far afield? Let me ask another question: Does your child use artificial intelligence to learn? More parents will be answering yes in the coming years.
An avatar like Clifford is basically giving a computerized human form to advanced artificial intelligence. AI covers everything from smarter automated robotic reservations systems for airlines to tiny food delivery robots rolling through Washington, D.C. to virtual pharmacists that spot potential for adverse drug reactions based on our past histories and current prescription regimes. Clifford would be an example of what is called General or Strong AI. This means artificial intelligence that is general purpose and can be used for more tasks and can literally “think” on its own.
While we aren’t at Strong AI yet, we already can educate all children much better using today’s technology than with more traditional methods in the classroom. That’s because computers provide reliable feedback, don’t get tired and can guide learning to emphasize areas where reinforcement is needed.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cc

 

Catholic Schools Need a Business Model
Bloomberg commentary by columnist Joe Nocera

Late Wednesday afternoon, a man named Bob Hurley announced the sad news that St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, New Jersey — a school he had put on the map as its basketball coach — was going to close on June 30. Earlier that day, Hurley and other St. Anthony officials had a last-ditch meeting with the Archdiocese of Newark, knowing they had fallen short of the financial targets the archdiocese had set but hoping for a miracle nonetheless. Instead, the archdiocese told them it was over.
St. Anthony is an old-style urban Catholic school. Founded in 1952, it began as a parish school that taught the children of its mostly white parishioners and was staffed by an order of nuns. Today, 85 percent of its students are either African-American or Hispanic. On its website, St. Anthony characterizes its student body as “economically challenged.” Its relationship with St. Anthony parish ended in 1992, as did the subsidies that came with it. Its building needs repair. The nuns are long gone.
Which is to say, costs have skyrocketed while revenue has shrunk.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ch

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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State Eliminates Test Scores From Teacher Evaluations
Hartford (CT) Courant

After years of intense opposition from teachers unions, the State Board of Education reversed course and voted Wednesday to eliminate a requirement that state standardized test scores be used in teacher evaluations.
Several board members expressed confusion about why the change was desirable after years of state support for including the scores in teacher ratings.
Joseph Vrabely, an education board member, said he didn’t understand why years after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made linking test scores to teacher evaluations a centerpiece of his education reform plans, the board was now considering a “total divorce” from the policy.
He asked why the weight of the test scores couldn’t simply be reduced rather than entirely eliminated.
The decision follows a recommendation made last week by an advisory council led by education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell and including leaders of the teachers unions, superintendents and school boards.
The Performance Evaluation Advisory Council, as the group is called, recommended eliminating the scores in the calculation of teachers’ performance ratings, but continuing to use the standardized tests to help set goals for teachers and to shape professional development plans.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BH

http://gousoe.uen.org/9BI (WSJ) $

 

Proposed K-12 Cuts Could Hit Charter, Private Schools
Programs on block have broad footprint
Education Week

Private and charter schools were considered the big winners in President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget blueprint, which seeks new money to expand student options, while slashing other K-12 spending. The problem for some schools of choice? Private and charter schools would be squeezed by the proposed cuts, just like regular public schools.
The Trump administration’s budget blueprint would include $1.4 billion in new money for school choice, including additional funds for charters, but it would get rid of Title II, the $2.3 billion main federal program for improving teacher quality, and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, a $1.1 billion program that helps finance after-school and extended-day programs.
Private and charter schools and students receive funding, or at least services, from both programs, explained Sheara Krvaric, a lawyer with the Federal Education Group, a law firm that specializes in K-12 programs.
Some states treat charter schools or networks of charters as separate districts. That means, if they qualify for federal grants, such as Title I for disadvantaged students, Title II, career and technical education money, or others, they get it, under the same set of rules as those for traditional public schools.
The share of Title II dollars going to charters isn’t trivial. In California, for example, it’s about 10 percent of funding, or an estimated $23 million of the state’s roughly $234 million in Title II funding.
And the cuts could sting.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BJ

 

Here’s How Some States’ ESSA Plans Address Testing Opt-Outs
Education Week

Nine states and the District of Columbia had turned in their state plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act as of Monday evening, according to an Education Week survey of states. One tricky issue states have to address in those plans is how to deal with schools where less than 95 percent of all students take required state exams.
Under ESSA, states are allowed to have laws on the books affirming parents’ right to opt their children out of these tests. But ESSA also requires that states administer these tests to all students?with sanctions kicking in if the participation rate falls below 95 percent?and meaningfully differentiate schools based on participation rate in some fashion. Just how states address this issue if the participation rate of all students (or a subgroup of students) at a particular school falls below 95 percent is up to them.
The opt-out movement sprang up in the last several years as part of a broader resistance to testing, and has been particularly strong in states like Colorado, New Jersey, and New York.
So how are states dealing with this issue?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cw

 

Schwarzenegger Slams President Trump’s Plan to Slash After-School Funding
Education Week

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took some shots at President Trump today during a national after-school summit in Los Angeles.
“President Trump promised us that he wants to make America great again,” Schwarzenegger said of his fellow Republican. “That’s not how you make America great?by taking $1.2 billion away from the children and robbing them blind. Why would you want to balance the budget on the backs of those kids? Kids are the most vulnerable citizens. Kids are our future. We need them. That’s why I say every time that you spend money on those kids wisely you get it back 10 times over.”
Schwarzenegger was referring to the president’s proposed federal budget, which would eliminate the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. The program supports after-school and summer programs for students in low-income communities. Cutting it would save $1.2 billion.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9C5

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cg (LAT)

 

Experts: Illinois School Election Affirms Transgender Policy
Associated Press

CHICAGO — School board candidates who supported a plan to let a transgender student use the girls’ locker room at a suburban Chicago school survived an election challenge in one of several local races that took on an issue that has been the focus of state and national debate.
Tuesday’s contest in the roughly 12,000-student, five-high school district was a unique referendum on transgender bathroom use. While numerous schools and municipalities nationwide are grappling with the question, the issue overtook the election in suburbs northwest of Chicago, which was the community’s first chance to weigh in at the ballot box.
Experts say the results in Palatine’s Township High School District 211 could provide guidance, and political cover, to other districts. Two incumbents and a former board member supporting the policy won despite three challengers whose top priorities included changing it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BK

http://gousoe.uen.org/9BL (Chicago Tribune)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9BM (Chicago Sun-Times)

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

 

Emanuel wants to add a CPS graduation requirement: Get acceptance letter
Chicago Tribune

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants Chicago public high school students to show they have a plan for what’s next before they can get a diploma.
Emanuel’s proposal would add one more big item to the graduation checklist for high school seniors: proof they’ve been accepted into college or the military, or a trade or a “gap-year” program. The requirement would also be satisfied if the student has a job or a job offer.
The point, the mayor said, is to get Chicago Public Schools students in all parts of the city to stop seeing high school graduation as an ending and get them to consider what’s next.
“Just like you do with your children, college, post-high school, that is what’s expected,” Emanuel said at a Wednesday morning news conference. “If you change expectations, it’s not hard for kids to adapt.”
A top CPS official also acknowledged, however, that every Chicago public high school graduate essentially already meets the new standard because graduation guarantees admittance to the City Colleges of Chicago community college system.
Assuming the idea wins approval from the Emanuel-controlled Chicago Board of Education, the new requirements would first affect the Class of 2020. CPS did not specify how it would amend its graduation policies, and only said the school board would take up the issue sometime in the future.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BD

http://gousoe.uen.org/9BE (Chicago Sun-Times)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9BF (WSJ) $

 

Teacher resignation letters paint bleak picture of US education
Phys.org

As teacher resignation letters increasingly go public?and viral?new research indicates teachers are not leaving solely due to low pay and retirement, but also because of what they see as a broken education system.
In a trio of studies, Michigan State University education expert Alyssa Hadley Dunn and colleagues examined the relatively new phenomenon of teachers posting their resignation letters online. Their findings, which come as many teachers are signing next year’s contacts, suggest educators at all grade and experience levels are frustrated and disheartened by a nationwide focus on standardized tests, scripted curriculum and punitive teacher-evaluation systems.
Teacher turnover costs more than $2.2 billion in the U.S. each year and has been shown to decrease student achievement in the form of reading and math test scores.
“The reasons teachers are leaving the profession has little to do with the reasons most frequently touted by education reformers, such as pay or student behavior,” said Dunn, assistant professor of teacher education. “Rather, teachers are leaving largely because oppressive policies and practices are affecting their working conditions and beliefs about themselves and education.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cd

Copies of the studies
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ce (Linguistics and Education) $

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cf (Teaching and Teacher Education) $

 

Outside the limelight, rural schools face challenges in finding, and keeping, teachers
(Oakland, CA) EdSource

Walking through the hallways of Tranquility Elementary School, Principal Matt Kinnunen regularly pokes his head into classrooms to check on his teachers, especially the newer ones.
He asks about their day, assists them with student lessons and offers advice. It’s part of a routine to help them feel valued and supported. And maybe that will keep a few from leaving the small, rural campus in California’s Central Valley, a region hit especially hard by the state’s ongoing teacher shortage.
Kinnunen’s school is one of six that make up Golden Plains Unified, a 1,770-student district 40 miles west of Fresno that spreads across three tiny towns and 16,600 acres of mostly almond, raisin and cotton farms.
For the past few years, Golden Plains’ schools have struggled to recruit and retain teachers ? and it’s only getting worse. This reflects a challenge that many rural districts are experiencing. For a range of reasons, include their remoteness, their generally small size and a lack of media coverage, teacher shortages in rural districts have received far less attention than those in inner-city schools. The state’s Department of Education also doesn’t have a system for identifying whether districts are rural, urban or suburban, at least in part because more often than not, a district doesn’t fit neatly into one of those categories.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9C8

 

Fighting Hate In Schools
NPR All Things Considered

Hate incidents can happen anywhere: the mall, the church, the office. But, in the wake of the 2016 election, hate’s been showing up a lot in school.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in the months following the election more hate incidents took place in America’s schools than anywhere else. Hundreds of elementary, middle and high schools have played host to an array of troubling events, from sophomoric stunts to much worse: a hijab pulled off a Muslim student, physical fights with racial epithets flung, even violent threats.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BZ

 

Survey: Teachers Talk Politics to Students, Despite Divisive Atmosphere
Teachers not shying away from political talk
Education Week

Months after the 2016 presidential election, a majority of educators say that national politics have created a sharp divide among students, leaving teachers grappling with how to handle classroom conversations about controversial issues.
But most said they aren’t shying away from politics, despite the topic’s contentious nature.
That’s according to a survey conducted in February by the Education Week Research Center. More than 830 K-12 teachers and other school-based instructional staff members who are registered users of Education Week’s edweek.org website responded to an email invitation for a survey about their experiences teaching about controversial topics in a time of division.
President Donald Trump’s defeat last November of Hillary Clinton capped the most divisive presidential election in recent memory, and the first few months of his tenure have been marked by controversy. In addition, a number of issues have made their way into the classroom as current events, including: immigration; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights; and issues related to race, religion, and gender.
While most teachers said that it’s important to talk about these topics in the classroom, 42 percent noted that it was difficult to discuss national politics with students?more so than any other controversial issue. And while the vast majority of teachers are at least moderately confident in their own ability to have civil conversations with their students, 66 percent said they have noticed an increase in uncivil political discourse at their school since the presidential campaign began.
About half the teachers said the number of bullying incidents related to national politics has increased in the past year?more so than for any other topic, although about 30 percent of teachers pointed to spikes in bullying related to immigration or language and race and ethnicity.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9C4

 

Teaching collaborative brings together Boston’s public, charter, Catholic schools
Boston Globe

A citywide partnership launched Tuesday will bring together educators from Boston’s public, charter, and Catholic schools to share effective classroom practices.
Through the Boston Educators Collaborative, Boston teachers can attend free classes on a variety of topics, ranging from mathematical thinking to the impact of culture in classrooms, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and other city education leaders say.
“This is one of a number of efforts underway to ensure that all students in the city have access to high-quality schools,” said Rachel Weinstein, chief collaboration officer of the Boston Compact, one of the groups organizing the collaborative.
The Boston Compact, created in 2011, has organized several partnerships to strengthen the relationship among the three school sectors, Weinstein said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9C7

 

Melania Trump visits all-girls charter school with Jordan’s Queen Rania and Betsy DeVos
Washington Post

First lady Melania Trump and Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan paid a visit to an all-girls D.C. charter school on Wednesday, an event that served to promote the empowerment of young women and to highlight the Trump administration’s interest in promoting alternatives to traditional public schools.
Students greeted the women with flowers as they arrived at Excel Academy Public Charter School, which serves nearly 700 mostly African American girls in preschool through eighth grade. The school is east of the Anacostia River in one of Washington’s poorest neighborhoods. The first lady and the queen then met with parents and teachers and toured science and art classes.
Accompanying them was Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, an ardent proponent of both charter schools ? which are funded by taxpayers but privately run ? and vouchers for private and religious schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9BP

http://gousoe.uen.org/9C1  (AP)

 

DeVos’ Charter Visit: a Sports-Focused School Backed by Pitbull
Education Week

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will make her first announced charter school visit since taking on her new role when she tours SLAM Charter School in Miami this week.
But before the scheduled Thursday visit to SLAM, the secretary made an unannounced stop with first lady Melania Trump and Queen Rania of Jordan at an all-girls charter school, Excel Academy, in the District of Columbia.
DeVos’ visits come as charter advocates watch to see how the highly scrutinized cabinet official?an outspoken advocate of vouchers and tax credit scholarships for private schools?addresses school choice in her work.
Like many charter schools, SLAM‐an acronym for Sports, Leadership, and Management?drives its curriculum through a focused lens to engage student interest. Students at the 6th- through 12-grade school overlooking the Miami Marlins ballpark take coursework in their choice of three career academies: sports medicine, sports media production, or sports marketing and management.
SLAM’s high school received a C grade in 2016 in Florida’s school accountability system. The middle school also received a C.
And SLAM is also part of a growing number of charters that have started with support from celebrity backers. The rapper Pitbull helped open its original Miami location in 2013, and he has since celebrated the openings of another campus in West Palm Beach and one in Nevada.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9C2

http://gousoe.uen.org/9C3   ([Fort Lauderdale, FL] Sun Sentinel)

 

Strong early education equals better relationships with parents
The study followed 96 children for over 40 years starting in 1971.
UPI

The study by scientists at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute followed 96 children participating in the Abecedarian Project, an early education program for at-risk infants and children started in 1971 and funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The children were divided into two groups, a control group and a treatment group. Both groups received health care, nutrition and family support throughout the study but the treatment group also received five years of early education starting at 6 weeks old and continuing through age 5.
“The most recent findings from the Abecedarian Project are about the quality of life, tied to what the children experienced in the first five years of life,” Craig Ramey, professor and research scholar of human development at the Carilion Institute, said in a press release. “We have demonstrated that when we provide vulnerable children and families with really high quality services — educationally, medically, socially — we have impacts of a large and practical magnitude all the way up to middle age.”
Results showed children who received the educational support were more likely to be employed full-time, owned a car, a home, had savings and have better relationships with their parents as adults than those who did not receive that support. Researchers conducted follow-up interviews with the study participants as they entered middle age.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ca

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Cb  (Phys.org)

 

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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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