Education News Roundup: April 19, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Poll finds support for raising taxes for building needs in Granite District.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Il (DN)

USDA will soon require schools to detail plans for dealing with students with unpaid school lunch accounts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Iw (Ed Week)

WaPo finds absenteeism becoming a school measure in new ESSA plans.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9J1 (WaPo)

Dodgeball is still legal in Louisiana schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ix (Baton Rouge Advocate)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Majority of Granite school patrons support tax hike for building needs, poll shows

How Should Schools Handle Unpaid Lunch Debts?

Provo High eliminating sports-specific PE classes

LGBT-rights groups’ lawsuit over Utah law to stay on hold

Presenters: Families a frequently ignored resource in helping LGBTQ youth avoid suicide, depression

Provo parent recognized as Utah PTA Volunteer of the Year

Student filmmakers learn from pros at Utah High School Film Festival

BYU students provide free tutoring

Logan High School to rededicate Memorial Bridge

Dad helps 6-year-old daughter and his act goes viral

Principal of Salt Lake City’s Edison Elementary on leave amid police investigation

Utah’s all-girl robotics team is ready for the world championship
Meet five girls empowering students to become engineers

Provo teen under investigation for allegedly making bombs

Tooele man facing charges after pulling knife at high school

Bogus bomb claim puts American Fork Junior High in ‘soft lockdown’

Mountain Crest High delays start time due to power outage

Bike safety program reaches more than 1,500 children across Utah

High school students feel impact of drunken driving

‘Dixie Power Kite Festival’ enters 18th year benefiting school literacy programs

Cache County School District to present 3rd annual Celebration of the Arts

Orbital ATK donates to Box Elder School District

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Stacey Clements

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Daphne Waldron

OPINION & COMMENTARY

How One School Turns Elementary Students Into Global Citizens

NATION

Long rated by test scores, schools may soon be judged on student absenteeism too

How Parents Widen-or Shrink-Academic Gaps

The politics of teaching evolution in Texas comes down to one word
The State Board of Education is expected to vote Friday on new science curriculum standards.

Church, state, and school: What might Supreme Court ruling mean for vouchers?
Thirty-eight states have amendments prohibiting state money from going to religious organizations. A Supreme Court case Wednesday, about whether a religious private school is eligible for state grant money, could change that.

How a hands-on high school veterinary program is enriching Navajo students

Students Entering 1st Grade With Better Reading Skills Than Previously, Study Says

For Hoosiers, no more voting for schools chief

Newtown Schools Ask Trump to Reject Conspiracy Theorists

They’re not lovin’ it: L.A. school resolution would ban McDonald’s school fundraisers

Ban dodge ball in public schools? BESE shelves plan to ban ‘target games’ in new physical education standards

Privacy Watchdog Raises Alarms About “Spying” on Students Via Ed Tech

School Leaders Could Do Better at Using Evaluation Systems for PD Guidance

Teacher-Training Initiative to Inspire Students Receives Part of $28M Donation

Algorithmic Bias a Rising Concern for K-12 Ed-Tech Field
RAND study shows tech industry trends

US Students Satisfied with Life, but Some Foreigners Happier

Sport-related concussions more common in high school girls

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Majority of Granite school patrons support tax hike for building needs, poll shows

SOUTH SALT LAKE – A majority of likely voters in the Granite School District would support a property tax increase to maintain, renovate and build new schools, a new public opinion poll shows, but most want to keep the tax increase to about a $200 hike on an average home.
The poll of 1,006 residents of the school district determined there is more support for raising property taxes to improve teacher salaries and teacher retention than the district’s building needs, but a majority of those polled by Y2 Analytics said they would support property tax increases for both.
“Eleven percent are unwilling to consider any tax increase,” Scott Riding, managing partner of the survey research firm, told members of the Granite School District Board of Education Tuesday evening.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Il (DN)

 

How Should Schools Handle Unpaid Lunch Debts?

Unpaid school lunch balances that threaten to upend tight food service budgets are a sticky issue long known to district leaders and cafeteria workers but not often considered by the public at large.
School food service directors operate budgets with very little margin to absorb unpaid debt, and sometimes those unpaid meal bills pile up for reasons other than poverty that keeps families from paying them. A student may be so disorganized that a note about lunch money never makes it home to her parents, for example.
And, in some cases, low-income families who would qualify for free or reduced-price lunches don’t deal with the red tape it takes to enroll, leaving them struggling to keep up with their students’ meal tabs.
So how should schools respond when a student has a growing unpaid school meal bill? As I wrote previously, there’s no easy answer to that question, and schools have a variety of responses and policies.
“Some districts refuse to serve lunches to students with overdrawn balances; others provide alternative meals, such as peanut butter sandwiches, to students who can’t pay,” I wrote after a Salt Lake City cafeteria worker took lunches away from 32 students with unpaid meal tabs. “Some districts communicate with parents through students-placing reminder stickers on their clothes or notes in their backpacks-while others use online accounts to keep children out of the payment process.”
Schools will soon have to make those policies clear-and public. A regulation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires schools to set consistent policies for unpaid meals by the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Iw (Ed Week)

 

Provo High eliminating sports-specific PE classes

Provo High School will no longer have sport-specific physical education classes.
“We are not trying to eliminate sports from school,” said Todd McKee, executive director of secondary education for the Provo City School District. “This is simply making the distinction between what is curricular and what is extracurricular.”
McKee presented information on the recommendation Tuesday evening to the Provo City School District Board of Education. The decision is not something the school board votes on and was presented only for members’ information and discussion.
McKee said the decision comes down to funds that could be used to reduce class sizes in core subject areas that were being used to fund the sport-specific classes during the day.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IH (PDH)

 

LGBT-rights groups’ lawsuit over Utah law to stay on hold

SALT LAKE CITY – A lawsuit challenging Utah laws restricting talk about homosexuality in schools will remain on hold while LGBT-rights groups and state officials negotiate a settlement.
The Deseret News reports U.S. District Judge Dee Benson in Salt Lake City granted a stay in the case, which was brought in November by The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality Utah. They argued the Utah laws create a “chilling culture of silence that stigmatizes LGBTQ students.”
State lawmakers approved a measure earlier this year that aimed to resolve most of the lawsuit’s complaints by stripping state law of language banning the “advocacy of homosexuality.”
Attorneys for the gay rights groups and state officials say they’re discussing further rule changes that Utah’s State Board of Education is excepted to discuss at a May 5 meeting.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IJ (AP via PDH)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9IO (AP via CVD)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9J0 (AP via MUR)

 

Presenters: Families a frequently ignored resource in helping LGBTQ youth avoid suicide, depression

SALT LAKE CITY – LGBT youth are especially prone to suicide risk because of alienation, self-doubt and a host of other factors, and need as much help as possible from family support systems to overcome those risks, presenters said Tuesday at a suicide prevention conference.
The all-day conference at The Little America Hotel, aimed at promoting its motto of “Stronger Communities,” featured presentations from educators, advocates and researchers who presented findings suggesting the family unit is an overlooked resource in suicide prevention.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9ID (DN)

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

 

Utah’s all-girl robotics team is ready for the world championship
Meet five girls empowering students to become engineers

OGDEN, Utah – Look out boys! An all-girl robotics team is ready to take center stage at a worldwide engineering competition.
The Weber School District has teamed up with Project Lead The Way’s Engineering Program, a non-profit organization empowering students to step into the role of an engineer. Five girls, all from different high schools throughout the district, have teamed up for the Vex Robotics World Championship.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IS (KTVX)

 

Provo parent recognized as Utah PTA Volunteer of the Year

Provo resident Emily Nelson is being recognized as the Utah State PTA Volunteer of the Year for her efforts to make the schools and the school district a better place.
Nelson, who has three children in the Provo City School District, has been volunteering with PTA for more than 15 years and continues to serve at Spring Creek Elementary even though her children no longer attend school the
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IG (PDH)

 

Student filmmakers learn from pros at Utah High School Film Festival

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Student filmmakers from around the Beehive State participated in the annual Utah High School Film Festival Tuesday, where they also learned from film and television industry professionals.
Students from various schools showcased their work at Salt Lake Community College. Projects were student-created, and ranged from music and lyric videos, to documentaries and other categories.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IU (KTVX)

 

BYU students provide free tutoring

While most service programs struggle to get volunteers, one local effort is having the opposite problem – it has more tutors than students who need help.
“That’s been our subject for the last couple of months,” said Zachary Fender, a sophomore at Brigham Young University and one of the volunteers with the Seeds of Success program.
The free tutoring program, which has been at the university for several years, matches BYU students who volunteer as tutors with K-12 students in the community.
There are currently about 215 tutors involved and about 200 students signed up, but not all of them are matched.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9II (PDH)

 

Logan High School to rededicate Memorial Bridge

On Friday, April 21, Logan High School will rededicate its historic Memorial Bridge as part of the school’s ongoing centennial celebration. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. the Grizzlies will host a bridge rededication ceremony, with speeches being given by Logan Mayor Craig Petersen and LHS Student Body President Alex Lambert. Musicians from Logan High School will also perform, with refreshments being served after the program.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IQ (CVD)

 

Dad helps 6-year-old daughter and his act goes viral

CEDAR CITY, Utah – A Utah dad is going viral all because of a photograph. Ben Soward is a professor at Southern Utah University in Cedar City and never thought his selfless act would reach so many, but because of his 17-year-old daughter’s simple tweet -it’s being seen by millions.
It started with Lucinda’s 6-year-old sister Valerie having an “accident” Friday at school. Her dad was called to pick her up.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IV (KTVX)

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

 

Principal of Salt Lake City’s Edison Elementary on leave amid police investigation

The principal of Salt Lake City’s Edison Elementary School has been placed on leave pending a police investigation, though officials are releasing few details.
Principal Laurie Lacey was placed on leave several days ago, Salt Lake City School District spokesman Jason Olsen said. He could not comment beyond an emailed statement, he said, because “this is a personnel matter.”
“The district was made aware of the allegations involving the principal at Edison Elementary several days ago and immediately started a comprehensive investigation, including placing the principal on leave,” Olsen said in the email. “We are also fully cooperating with police in their investigation.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IA (SLT)

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

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

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

 

Provo teen under investigation for allegedly making bombs

PROVO – A 14-year-old Provo boy has been referred to 4th District Juvenile Court for allegedly keeping bomb-making materials in a shed behind his house.
Now police are trying to figure out how many explosives the boy may have set off, and whether he had any hurtful intentions or was just being mischievous.
On March 24, Provo police were called to the area of 1730 North and 1820 West on a report of a possible explosion, said Provo Police Sgt. Brian Taylor. Officers checked the area but could not find anything.
Four days later, a resource officer at Provo High School received information that the mother of a 14-year-old boy “had sent a mass text message out to the neighborhood a while ago apologizing for the explosion because it was just her son that accidentally set off some of his explosives,” according to a search warrant affidavit unsealed on Tuesday.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IF (DN)

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

 

Tooele man facing charges after pulling knife at high school

A Tooele man is facing felony charges in connection with a knife being pulled on students at Tooele High School on April 10. Andrew D. Horn Moreno, 19, is charged with two counts of third-degree felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor counts of possession of a dangerous weapon on school premises and criminal trespass on school property.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Jh (Tooele Transcript Bulletin) $

 

Bogus bomb claim puts American Fork Junior High in ‘soft lockdown’

Alpine School District officials confirmed that they had briefly placed American Fork Junior High School under a “soft lockdown” Wednesday morning after what proved to be an unfounded bomb threat.
District spokeswoman Kimberly Bird said that shortly after classes had begun, a female student told staff that another student had told her “a bomb would go off at 11:02 a.m.”
For about 30 minutes, the school’s students were ordered to stay in classrooms. School officials soon determined that the girl’s claim was bogus.
“The student she claimed made the statement wasn’t even in school today,” Bird said.
As of 9:30 a.m. campus restrictions had been lifted.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Iz (SLT)

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

 

Mountain Crest High delays start time due to power outage

Mountain Crest High School will have a delayed start this morning, Wednesday, April 19th, due to a power outage. A delayed start is 2 hours later than a normal schedule.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IM (LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9IN (CVD)

 

Bike safety program reaches more than 1,500 children across Utah

SALT LAKE CITY – Bike Utah, a nonprofit bicycle advocacy organization, announced that its Youth Bicycle Education and Safety Training program has interacted with 1,500 children since it was launched in September 2016.
The hands-on program is a no-cost statewide effort to teach kids how to safely and confidently get around by bicycle.
Students in fifth through seventh grades learn the benefits of riding a bicycle, the rules of the road, how to adjust and wear a helmet, how to navigate intersections, how to avoid hazards and how to make sure their bike is in safe working order.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IE (DN)

 

High school students feel impact of drunken driving

SOUTH JORDAN – High school students sat in awe as emergency crews used the Jaws of Life to pry their classmates from a car crash and carry them off on stretchers.
An assembly Tuesday outside Paradigm High School demonstrated the kind of realistic emergency response that comes at the scene of a drunken driving accident. While the accident was staged, the message was real and made all the more relevant as students saw their fellow classmates in a state of injury and death.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IB (DN)

 

‘Dixie Power Kite Festival’ enters 18th year benefiting school literacy programs

ST. GEORGE – The 18th annual “Dixie Power Kite Festival” is set to take place Saturday at the Dixie State University Encampment Mall. The staple spring event will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will be full of flying kites, fabulous food, fantastic entertainment and a whole host of fun for the entire family.
Proceeds from the festival go to the Washington County School District Foundation – the fundraising arm of the school district – which in turn directly benefits literacy programs in the schools, said Pam Graf, president of the foundation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Jg (SGN)

 

Cache County School District to present 3rd annual Celebration of the Arts

The Cache County School District will present its 3rd annual Celebration of the Arts on Friday, April 21, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ridgeline High School, located at 180 N. 300 W. in Millville.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IP (LHJ)

Orbital ATK donates to Box Elder School District

A generous donation was presented to the Box Elder School District Board of Education by Orbital ATK at the recent school board meeting. Spokesman, Fred Perkins, gave the donation of $2,500 to promote the continuation of STEM education in the district.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Jf (Tremonton Leader)

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Stacey Clements

Stacey Clements is an amazing teacher. Her science lessons are captivating as her love of science shines. For these and many other reasons, Clements was selected as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Educator of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IK (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Daphne Waldron

Daphne Waldron is the epitome of the word spunky. She is a sixth grader with contagious energy and is always up for a challenge. Daphne was selected as this week’s Daily Herald Student of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9IL (PDH)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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How One School Turns Elementary Students Into Global Citizens
Education Week op-ed by Kyle Redford, a 5th grade teacher at Marin Country Day School, a K-8 school in the San Francisco Bay Area

Almost a decade ago, my school’s 5th grade teaching team decided to make a radical change to our social studies curriculum. We reworked our traditional American history class into a yearlong, global citizenship curriculum. Instead of looking at the foundations of government systems using a distinctively U.S. lens, we broadened the definition of what it means to be a citizen. We wanted to teach the Bill of Rights alongside the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child treaty. We wanted to introduce U.S. branches of government alongside international agreements. And we have kept at it for nearly 10 years.
At first, it seemed innovative to explore the changing definition of citizenship using a global perspective. What a difference a decade can make.
Today, teaching global competency hardly seems novel. In fact, in a rapidly changing political and environmental landscape, focusing on the development of global competency seems urgent. The ability to imagine other perspectives and recognize one’s own point of view is essential to understanding the current complexities related to immigration, environmental challenges, and racial and religious tensions at home and abroad. Additionally, studying any environmental, political, economic, or social system without recognizing its global interdependence seems limited.
But is such content too complex for elementary students?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9In

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Long rated by test scores, schools may soon be judged on student absenteeism too
Washington Post

How should the success or failure of a public school be judged?
For the past generation, the federal government’s primary answer has been standardized test scores. But now states have more latitude to decide for themselves, and many are choosing to judge schools in part based on how many kids frequently miss class.
Of the dozen states that have laid out their plans for holding schools accountable under the new federal law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, 10 are aiming to use chronic absenteeism as a factor in identifying their best and worst schools. So is the District of Columbia.
More than 6 million children missed more than 15 days – or three weeks – of school during the 2013-14 school year, according to federal data published last year. It was the first time such nationwide data had been gathered and published.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9J1

 

How Parents Widen-or Shrink-Academic Gaps
Education Week

Albuquerque, N.M. — Five years ago, Mary Muñoz thought she knew what it meant to be involved in her son’s education.
She brought Christian, then in 1st grade, to school every morning, made sure he did homework every afternoon, and read with him every night. Muñoz went to parent-teacher conferences, but didn’t get involved in parent-teacher organizations or school committees.
“I had no time. I was just working, working, working all the time,” she said. “When I wasn’t, I was home with my family. … [T]hat was my networking.”
Muñoz is like a lot of parents, particularly those living in poverty. Contrary to some common stereotypes, parents of all income levels have high expectations for their children, and low-income parents may even dedicate more time than wealthier ones to helping children with homework, according to federal data. Many school outreach efforts to low-income parents center on just that kind of home-focused involvement.
But analyses by the Education Week Research Center and others show that middle-class parents often engage in more social involvement at school-participating in school committees, parent groups, and volunteering in class, for example-experiences that can link them to more opportunities and resources for their children and more influence in schools. Those differences in parent involvement can create hidden disparities that are easy for schools to overlook but hard for poor families to overcome.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ip

 

The politics of teaching evolution in Texas comes down to one word
The State Board of Education is expected to vote Friday on new science curriculum standards.
Austin (TX) American-Statesman

The State Board of Education is expected to resolve on Friday a months-long tug-of-war over whether Texas high school students should continue learning theories that challenge the scientific understanding of evolution.
It started in January when a committee of educators and scholars appointed by the State Board of Education to streamline the state’s voluminous biology curriculum standards recommended changing or removing four standards that require students to learn about scientific phenomena that critics say evolution can’t readily explain. The majority-Republican board in February proposed restoring most of the language so that students would continue to evaluate the complexity of cells, the origin of DNA and abrupt appearance and stasis in fossil records.
Democrats on the board, all of them whom voted against restoring the standards, feared that the language would invite teaching creationism and intelligent design in the classroom.
The committee has now softened the language that the board has proposed restoring, asking that instead of “evaluating,” students should “identify” the scientific explanation of the origin of DNA and compare and contrast cell complexities.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Im

 

Church, state, and school: What might Supreme Court ruling mean for vouchers?
Thirty-eight states have amendments prohibiting state money from going to religious organizations. A Supreme Court case Wednesday, about whether a religious private school is eligible for state grant money, could change that.
Christian Science Monitor

Dig beneath the rubber playground surface at issue in the latest landmark case before the United States Supreme Court and you’ll find a tricky question – a conundrum born out of the gray area between the Constitution’s two key religious protection provisions.
Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find potentially momentous implications for the nationwide debate over school choice voucher programs.
The case to be argued before the high court on Wednesday – now with a full complement of nine justices after Justice Neil Gorsuch took his seat at the bench this week – dates back to 2012, when the Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo., applied for a state grant to fund the resurfacing of its preschool’s playground with recycled tire rubber. While the state ranked the church’s application fifth out of the 44 it received, it denied the application, citing a provision in the Missouri constitution – known colloquially as a Blaine amendment – that prohibits money from the state treasury from going “directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or denomination of religion.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Jb

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Jd (NPR)

 

How a hands-on high school veterinary program is enriching Navajo students
NewsHour

Kids don’t learn unless they get a little dirty. That’s the philosophy of the man who runs the career and technical education program at Monument Valley High School in Kayenta, Arizona, where students from the Navajo Nation get hands-on instruction in caring for animals.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Io

 

Students Entering 1st Grade With Better Reading Skills Than Previously, Study Says
Education Week

Students are coming into 1st grade with stronger reading skills than they used to, according to a 12-year study from the Ohio State University.
Struggling readers in particular have made steep gains on basic reading skills such as letter identification and phonemic awareness. The researchers said the improved achievement could poossibly be related to seminal federal reports on reading from the 2000s and a recent push to up the academic rigor of kindergarten.
And while the gains are good news overall, said the researchers, there is one caveat: The gap between low-achieving 1st grade students and their average-achieving peers has widened when it comes to more-advanced reading skills.
“It seems that what occured was perhaps with the greater emphasis on basic skills in kindergarten, the low group responded and is coming up at a greater clip than the average child,” said Jerome D’Agostino, a professor of educational studies at Ohio State, and a co-author of the study. “But it’s not translating into reading connected text,” or passages of text.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9J6

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/9J7 (Educational Researcher) $

 

For Hoosiers, no more voting for schools chief
Indianapolis Star

For the past 166 years, Hoosiers have elected the official in charge of overseeing Indiana’s schools. By 2024, voters likely won’t have the opportunity to choose the superintendent of public instruction.
The Indiana House voted 66-31 for a measure to allow the governor to appoint the schools chief starting in 2025. Gov. Eric Holcomb is expected to sign House Bill 1005 into law. He identified the change as one of his top legislative priorities when he took office in January.
The legislation would make 2020 the last year Hoosiers vote to elect someone to the post.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9J8

Newtown Schools Ask Trump to Reject Conspiracy Theorists
Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — Members of the Newtown Board of Education hoped a newly elected President Donald Trump would speak out against a famous conspiracy theorist and others who question the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Two months later, they have yet to receive a response.
The school board sent a one-page letter in February, asking Trump to denounce the lies because the comments of those who deny what happened are still hurting the community, said Keith Alexander, board chairman.
The letter singled out Alex Jones, a radio host whose “Infowars” programming has alleged the massacre was a hoax. As a candidate, Trump voiced admiration for Jones during a December 2015 interview, telling Jones: “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.”
The school board wrote to Trump: “We are asking you to intervene to try to stop Jones and other hoaxers like him,” urging him to “clearly and unequivocally” recognize that 20 children and six adults were killed at the school more than four years ago.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Iy

 

They’re not lovin’ it: L.A. school resolution would ban McDonald’s school fundraisers
Los Angeles Times

Two resolutions before the Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday would extend the school system’s already extensive food-related activism. The first would ban “McTeacher’s Night” school fundraisers hosted by McDonald’s restaurants. The second would direct district officials to develop a vegan option for every cafeteria meal.
The L.A. Unified School District “has a strong interest in and obligation to promote the health of children, which leads to better attendance, improved behavior, lower incidence of illness, and increased attention, creativity and academic achievement,” states the preamble to the fundraising restrictions.
An “epidemic” of diet-related disease “disproportionately impacts communities of color,” the resolution goes on. “Studies have shown these children are also disproportionately targeted in marketing.”
McDonald’s did not provide a response, but in a previously published statement said its participation in fundraisers reflects genuine bonds between local restaurants, their customers and schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Iv

 

Ban dodge ball in public schools? BESE shelves plan to ban ‘target games’ in new physical education standards
Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate

A plan to quietly ban dodge ball and other “target games” from public schools was shelved Tuesday by Louisiana’s top school board.
The sweeping prohibition was in a new set of physical education benchmarks drawn up by nearly two dozen teachers and others called the Louisiana Physical Education Standards Committee. But members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, mindful of a possible uproar if the change won approval, put the brakes on the push.
“Dodge ball is an activity that we know many of our students enjoy,” said Holly Boffy, vice-president of BESE and the leader of the effort to revamp the proposed change.
“And we want to be careful that we don’t create regulations that would stand in the way of students getting fit and enjoying p.e.,” Boffy said after the meeting.
The BESE committee that tackled the issue voted for the proposed language to be revised, and for policymakers to take another look at the issue on Wednesday morning.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ix

 

Privacy Watchdog Raises Alarms About “Spying” on Students Via Ed Tech
Education Week

As part of its campaign to raise awareness about student privacy, the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation released last week a report highlighting concerns from K-12 parents and students about surveillance via school-issued computers devices and ed-tech services.
The stakes are high, the group maintains.
“Ed tech unchecked threatens to normalize the next generation to a digital world in which users hand over data without question in return for free services,” according to the report, titled “Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy.”
Much of the report is based on unscientific survey results collected from more than 1,000 respondents, most of whom were students and parents.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation acknowledges that its results “cannot be considered generalizable or representative,” but says they highlight key themes in the attitudes and peceptions of many who are worried about the explosive rise of school-issued computing devices and classroom software.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9J9

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ja (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

 

School Leaders Could Do Better at Using Evaluation Systems for PD Guidance
THE Journal

Just as Dorothy already had what she needed to return home from Oz, schools and districts are already equipped to help teachers identify areas for continuous professional growth; they just need to know how to use their resources – and specifically, their evaluation systems – more effectively. That appears to be the finding of a new brief published by MDRC, a non-profit that does research to improve programs and policies that affect the poor.
As MDRC researchers Rachel Rosen and Leigh Parise wrote in “Using Evaluation Systems for Teacher Improvement,” as stipulated by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), districts have put “robust evaluation systems in place,” and most administrators “feel prepared to use them.” However, they’re not necessarily using the results of the evaluations maintained in their systems to guide teacher PD.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Iq

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ir (MDRC)

 

Teacher-Training Initiative to Inspire Students Receives Part of $28M Donation
Education Week

A teacher-training program with an emphasis on inspiring students-not teaching content-is getting a huge investment.
T. Denny Sanford, a banking entrepreneur and philanthropist, has donated $28 million to the private, nonprofit National University System in support of three education initiatives: Sanford Harmony, Sanford Inspire, and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy.
Sanford Inspire is the professional development program, which was developed by the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University in 2008. Sanford’s vision is to improve student outcomes through improving teaching.
“Teachers are taught to teach subjects, as opposed to inspiring students,” Sanford told Education Week Teacher.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Is

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Jc (Sioux Falls [SD] Argus Leader)

 

Algorithmic Bias a Rising Concern for K-12 Ed-Tech Field
RAND study shows tech industry trends
Education Week

From criminal sentencing to credit scores, algorithms and artificial intelligence increasingly make high-stakes decisions that have big implications for people’s freedom, privacy, and access to opportunity
Despite the almost-blind faith people can put in such “artificial agents,” it’s no secret that they are often biased, according to a report from the RAND Corp. that has implications for education.
More than ever, RAND researchers Osonde Osoba and Bill Welser said in an interview, it’s important to raise awareness about the role that algorithms play and to push for a public accounting of their impact-particularly in areas that involve the public interest, including K-12 education.
“For the longest time, any time questions of bias came up, hard-core researchers in artificial intelligence and algorithms dismissed them because they were not ‘engineering concerns,’ ” Osoba said. “That was OK for commercial toys, but the moment the switch was made to applying algorithms to public-policy systems, the issue of bias no longer became a triviality.”
The new RAND report, “An Intelligence in Our Image: The Risks of Bias and Errors in Artificial Intelligence,” does not focus on education. Instead, the authors lay out examples such as the algorithmic bias in criminal sentencing and the problems with Tay, a chatbot developed by Microsoft that was supposed to learn the art of conversation by interacting with Twitter users-and quickly began spewing racist and vulgar hate speech.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9It

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Iu (RAND)

 

US Students Satisfied with Life, but Some Foreigners Happier
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The good news: American high school students are generally satisfied with their lives. But many of their peers in other countries are happier.
Asked to rank their life satisfaction on a scale from 0 to 10, American 15-year-olds gave an average mark of 7.4, according to a study conducted by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which was released Wednesday.
American students scored close to the average of 7.3 among OECD’s 35 member countries. But students in some member countries are doing markedly better: an average Mexican high schooler rated life satisfaction at 8.2 out of 10. The Netherlands and Iceland had a level of 7.8 and Finland had 7.9. American students also reported higher levels of anxiety over tests, bullying or a feeling of not belonging at schools, compared with many of their peers.
What makes students feel good? According to the study, teacher and parental support, spending time with friends and being physically active make it more likely that a student will be satisfied with life.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9J2

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/9J3 (OECD)

 

Sport-related concussions more common in high school girls
Reuters

In high school sports played by both girls and boys, girls are about 50 percent more likely to get a concussion, according to a recent U.S. study.
The reasons may have to do with physical or equipment differences and how often girls and boys report concussions they experience, but the result indicates a need for more research and better prevention strategies, researchers say.
“Parents and athletes alike should be active participants in concussion prevention,” said senior study author Dr. Zachary Y. Kerr from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in North Carolina.
“This needs to include more than just reviewing concussion fact sheets. This should include advocating to their high schools the importance of having concussion education and prevention programs that can help mitigate the incidence and severity of concussion,” he said by email.
Nearly 8 million U.S. high school students participate in sports every year, with more than 2 million competing in the sports where concussion is common: football, ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer, the study team writes in Journal of Athletic Training.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9J4

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/9J5 (Journal of Athletic Training)

 

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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 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

May 11:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/charterschools/State-Board.aspx

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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