Education News Roundup: May 1, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

It’s AP testing season and a UVU psychology professor has some questions about them.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qa (NPR)
or a copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qb (UVU)

Utah History Day was Saturday.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PT (SLT)

Also on Saturday, Provo School District held a youth powwow.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Q2 (PDH)

The budget deal in Congress today has more money for Title I and special education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qk (Ed Week)
or a copy of the deal
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ql (Congress)

Will the Arizona tax credit program go national?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PN (USAT)

AP puts together a large package on sexual assault in K-12 schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PR (AP)
and sidebar: Youngest victims
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qe (AP)
and sidebar: What parents can do
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qf (AP)
and sidebar: State by state
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qg (AP)

Will the Trump administration loosen school lunch rules?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PP (NY Daily News)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9PQ ([Washington, DC] The Hill)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qn (Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qj (AP)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

4 Things We Don’t Know About AP Tests

Don’t know much about history? These Utah students do — and they portray it in newfangled ways
Creative competition » Students build websites, shoot documentaries and perform at state finals.

Provo City School District hosts first youth powwow to educate, empower

Logan Pride hosting “Queer Prom”

How Utah schools are responding to 13 Reasons Why

LCSD promotes two school admins to director positions

Huntsman education award winner an ‘immovable force’ who refuses to give up on her students
Altara Elementary’s Joani Richardson, recognized as one of this year’s top teachers, refuses to give up on her students.

Canyons educators to receive at least 4 percent pay raise

Utah schools promote dual-language immersion education

Staying the course, or not? — State board of education invites public input through Friday

Northridge High graduate chosen for ethics program

S. Jordan resident to compete in Braille Challenge

Bagpipe band at Ben Lomond High marches to its own beat

Dream Rocket Project at Zootah taps youths’ space curiosity

Canyons District’s Big Cottonwood Canyon school bus route ‘unsafe,’ state engineer says

Zions Bank executive tells students how to be savvy savers

Granger High hosting fundraising tournament to help family pay for player’s leukemia treatment

Accord Education Drives the School Choice Movement
National and local charter schools, community leaders and education partners participate in this annual event.

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Why education isn’t the way out of poverty

Trump’s review of monuments a cynical charade to exploit Utah treasures

The beloved coach they called ‘Neville the Devil’ was anything but that

Utah Girls State dress code has been in place for many years

NATION

Budget Deal for 2017 Includes Increases for Title I, Special Education

Trump may take Arizona’s school tax credit program national

Billionaires Convene at Milken Conference for Trump Report Card
Cabinet members Mnuchin, Ross, DeVos representing White House

Navigation of Computer-Based Tests Matters for Young Students, Study Finds

Hidden Horror of School Sex Assaults Revealed by AP

Locker Room Assault Sparks Effort to Heal Idaho Communities

Shaming Children So Parents Will Pay the School Lunch Bill

Trump’s new Agriculture secretary plans to loosen Obama-era school lunch regulations

Statistics Lessons Get New Look in Early Grades
Early-grades teachers taking different approach

Computer Science For All in San Francisco Schools: 7 Early Takeaways

Startup Taps Into Children’s Passion for Math
Engineering for Kids offers after-school programs and more for STEM-curious youngsters

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visits site of San Bernardino school shooting

CPS school year won’t end early, Emanuel says after judge rejects state funding suit

Researchers: Social relationships, not just money, determine school success

60 schools across the US are using a genius strategy to boost kids’ attendance rates

 

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UTAH NEWS
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4 Things We Don’t Know About AP Tests

This week and next is a national rite of passage for stressed-out overachievers everywhere. Nearly 3 million high school students at 22,000 high schools will be sitting down to take their Advanced Placement exams.
Created by the nonprofit College Board in the 1950s, AP is to other high school courses what Whole Foods is to other supermarkets: a mark of the aspirational, a promise of higher standards and, occasionally, a more expensive alternative.
AP courses promise to be the most rigorous a school has to offer. They can lift your GPA even higher than a perfect 4.0, thanks to the magic of transcript “weighting.” And if you spend $93 to take the exam, plus often hundreds of dollars for textbooks and lab fees, they may be exchangeable for college credit.
Recently the AP has boomed. Participation doubled in the last 10 years, and also doubled in the decade before that. The U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights even collects data on who has access to, and enrolls in, AP courses, using it as a measure of educational equity.
But (and you knew there was a ‘but’ coming), “remarkably little independent research has been conducted on the academic benefits of AP.” That’s according to Russell T. Warne, an assistant professor of psychology at Utah Valley University, who has done some of that limited research. Part of the problem, he tells NPR Ed, is that, “it’s really hard to do causal research because we can’t force people to do AP or force them out of it.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qa (NPR)

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qb (UVU)

 

Don’t know much about history? These Utah students do — and they portray it in newfangled ways
Creative competition » Students build websites, shoot documentaries and perform at state finals.

Murray • On Christmas Day, twins Jose Samuel and Jorge David Zapata were outside in the snow, acting the parts of a pair of World War II heroes for a documentary they researched, wrote, directed, edited and starred in.
“Basically, our Christmas was doing this,” Jorge said. The result is the 9:55 documentary “Rise Up,” their entry in Utah History Day — the event formerly known as the Utah History Fair.
It’s no longer just about mounting pictures on poster board. On Saturday morning at Hillcrest Junior High School, about 375 students were performing, presenting and going above and beyond that.
“The program has definitely evolved,” said Wendy Rex-Atzet, Utah History Day state coordinator. “One of the things that kids really like about it is that they have so many options. If they’re real techies, they can do a documentary or a website.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PT (SLT)

 

Provo City School District hosts first youth powwow to educate, empower

Provo City School District hosted its first-ever youth powwow on Saturday giving youth a chance to demonstrate some aspects of their culture while educating community members in the process.
Ruben Zendejas, the event organizer, said the event had been in the works for a little more than a year since he applied for the Dreamstarter grant through Running Strong for American Indian Youth.
“The main mission is to help kids in the community to learn more about their culture, learn about dance and music and to give them an opportunity to express that,” Zendejas said.
Zendejas, who is a Brigham Young University student, said he wanted to organize the youth powwow because when was younger he wasn’t as connected to his Native American culture.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Q2 (PDH)

 

Logan Pride hosting “Queer Prom”

Jess Zamora, Chairwoman of Logan Pride, an organization representing members of the LGBTQ community in Cache Valley, is excited about events coming up in 2017.
The next major event hosted by Logan Pride will be the “LGBTQ+ Prom”, to be held at Herm’s Inn in Logan on Saturday, May 13th. This event, which is open to all but geared towards LGBTQ members of high school and college ages, is meant to give the prom experience to those who felt unwelcome at proms and social gatherings in more traditional school settings.
The goal of this “Queer Prom” is to “create a positive dance,” Zamora says. Zamora, a recent California transplant, has observed that a large number of the LGBTQ community in Northern Utah still are unfamiliar with other members. “They really do not know each other,” she says.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Q6 (CVD)

 

How Utah schools are responding to 13 Reasons Why

Utah school districts are responding to teens impacted by the show 13 Reasons Why. Tori Gillett, with the Canyons District’s Comprehensive Counseling, joined Good Morning Utah to talk about what is being done and how parents can help. Tori says if your teen has watched the show, it may be an important time to start a discussion about any challenging emotions he or she may be feeling. The show is based on a 2007 adult novel of the same name. It’s a frank and stark look at teen suicide.
Tori recommends asking your child if they have heard or seen the series “13 Reasons Why.” While they don’t recommend that they be encouraged to view the series, do tell them you want to watch it, with them or to catch up, and discuss their thoughts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qr (KTVX)

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

 

LCSD promotes two school admins to director positions

Logan City School District has announced it is internally promoting two school employees to district-level curriculum director positions, among other personnel changes.
As of July 1, current Ellis Elementary Principal Jed Grunig will be the elementary director of schools, and Logan High Assistant Principal Melisa Richardson will be the secondary director of schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Q4 (LHJ)

 

Huntsman education award winner an ‘immovable force’ who refuses to give up on her students
Altara Elementary’s Joani Richardson, recognized as one of this year’s top teachers, refuses to give up on her students.

Sandy • Although she’d just received a Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education on Friday, Altara Elementary teacher Joani Richardson said it was hard to see herself as one of the state’s elite educators.
“That is for really great people,” Richardson said. “And I’m just an ordinary teacher.”
But Richardson is far from ordinary, according to Altara Principal Nicole Svee Magann. She described Richardson as an “immovable force” who refuses to give up on her students.
“They can come in not knowing their letters and they’re going to come out reading,” Svee Magann said. “I’ve never seen data like that.”
A 42-year classroom veteran, Richardson has spent her entire teaching career working with first-graders. The most important part of her job, she said, is helping young children develop a passion for literacy.
“I have failed if you don’t love to read when you get out of my classroom,” she said.
Richardson was the last of this year’s award winners to be announced, a process that involves surprise classroom visits throughout the state by Karen Huntsman, wife of wealthy industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr.
A total of 13 educators were honored this year, up from the traditional 11 winners in honor of the awards’ 25th anniversary, spokeswoman Jodi Russell said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PS (SLT)

 

Canyons educators to receive at least 4 percent pay raise

SANDY — The Canyons Board of Education approved Tuesday a new salary schedule that raises educators’ pay by at least 4 percent and bumps starting pay for teachers by $6,000 to $40,500.
The average increase for licensed school employees will be about 6.5 percent.
Part of the increase was made possible by the Utah Legislature’s decision to increase the value of the weighted pupil unit by 4 percent earler this year. The WPU is the basic unit of state education funding in Utah.
The rest is funded by locally assessed property taxes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Q7 (DN via KSL)

 

Utah schools promote dual-language immersion education

OGDEN — It was dress rehearsal in the gym at T.O. Smith Elementary School and a hesitant pair of apple trees stood onstage next to Dorothy, Toto and the Scarecrow.
“Throw the apples!” teacher and director Amy Dunn said. “Go ahead, throw them!”
The two little trees pulled Styrofoam apples that were attached to their shirts with Velcro and tossed them softly at their classmates.
It could have been any “The Wizard of Oz” production, but it wasn’t — the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow all spoke Spanish.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Q3 (AP via PDH)

 

Staying the course, or not? — State board of education invites public input through Friday

The public is invited to take part in a survey designed to gather input on course credit requirements for grades seven through 12.
Conducted by the Utah State Board of Education, deadline is Friday, April 28.
A task force formed by the board is beginning to examine the requirements, and its members are seeking input from a variety of stakeholders, according to Laura Belnap, chair of the graduation credit task force.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qt (Richfield Reaper)

 

Northridge High graduate chosen for ethics program

LAYTON — Martha Camarillo Freston, a Northridge High School graduate and now a law student at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of 12 students chosen to participate in a two-week program that uses the conduct of lawyers and judges in Nazi-occupied Europe as a way to reflect on ethics in the legal profession today.
The two-week summer program in Germany and Poland is sponsored by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics. Now in its eighth year, the New York-based organization provides a unique historical lens to engage graduate students in professional schools as well as early stage practitioners in five fields — business, journalism, law, medicine and seminary — in an intensive course of study focused on contemporary ethical issues in their professions.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PW (DN)

 

S. Jordan resident to compete in Braille Challenge

SALT LAKE CITY — South Jordan’s Brandee Hick is one of 50 finalists for the 2017 Braille Challenge.
The challenge, hosted by the Braille Institute, will be held June 17 on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PX (DN)

 

Bagpipe band at Ben Lomond High marches to its own beat

OGDEN — The room was filled with loud, off-beat drumming and quiet fluting one afternoon in April as the Ben Lomond High School Bagpipe Corps practiced individually and in small groups.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere and with no perceptible cue, the group of drummers and pipers assembled, playing in harmony together.
The Ben Lomond Bagpipe Corps has been a longstanding staple at the school and its members, including lead piper and high school senior Joseph Richey, couldn’t be more proud.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Q0 (OSE)

 

Dream Rocket Project at Zootah taps youths’ space curiosity

Fifth graders at Sunrise Elementary in Smithfield have an interesting idea of what life on another planet might look like.
It involves a “Pac Man monster” that lives in polluted air and acid water and a unicorn horn “sewn onto” the planet’s environment. A turtle swims in the planet’s pink mist and uses its “magical horn” when predators try to get it.
That’s just one example of the creativity currently on display at Zootah at Willow Park, 419 W. 700 South, Logan. The art exhibit is on display until July 31.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Q5 (LHJ)

 

Canyons District’s Big Cottonwood Canyon school bus route ‘unsafe,’ state engineer says

SANDY — A state engineer and the superintendent of the Canyons School District have recommended halting school bus service in Big Cottonwood Canyon due to growing safety concerns and dwindling ridership.
The bus route traverses a roadway that Bruce Spiegel, engineering consultant to the Utah State Division of Risk Management, describes as “unsafe for bus travel.”
Superintendent James Briscoe recommended that the Canyons Board of Education eliminate the route starting this fall, noting its “inherent safety dangers,” including steep grades, curves, lack of guard rails, narrowness of the road and increasing use by hikers and bicyclists.
Spiegel, in a letter to the school district, wrote that “there exists a high probability of a serious unfavorable outcome with the Big Cottonwood Canyon route.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Q8 (DN via KSL)

 

Zions Bank executive tells students how to be savvy savers

WEST VALLEY CITY — Before Kay Hall became a top executive for a Utah banking institution, he was a farmer from rural Idaho.
And while there are a lot of great things about agriculture, one thing for sure is that farming is hard work and among the toughest businesses to run.
Hall shared some of the important lessons he learned with students at Roots Charter High School on Friday. Located in an industrial park, Charter High uses an adjacent farm for educational lessons on the rewards of hard work and collaboration.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PV (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Q9 (DN via KSL)

 

Granger High hosting fundraising tournament to help family pay for player’s leukemia treatment

WEST VALLEY — Playing softball is, for most athletes, a break from the demands and pressures of the real world.
But on Saturday, six softball teams will join with host Granger High to play for a sophomore athlete who is fighting for her life.
When Alexis McArthur, known to friends as April Lexi, complained about not feeling well, her mother took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a viral infection. On April 12, Lexi called her mom and told her she was feeling very sick, so her mom took her to Primary Children’s Hospital.
A day later, the 15-year-old sophomore, who played on Granger’s junior varsity team, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
As she fights for her life through chemotherapy, her teammates will host a softball tournament to raise money to alleviate the massive burden her family now faces.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PY (DN)

 

Accord Education Drives the School Choice Movement
National and local charter schools, community leaders and education partners participate in this annual event.

Irvine, CA — Charter School leaders and staff members gathered at the Accord Education Spring Summit “Lead To Succeed” to discuss the future of school choice in America.
The Accord Education Summit consisted of four tracks: 1) Leadership 2) Board Support 3) Communication 4) School Facilities & a Panel discussion. Speakers on the panel included Cecilia Iglesias, Trustee of the Santa Ana Unified School District, Brian Calle, VP of opinion for the Southern California News Group; Ted Fujimoto, President of Landmark Consulting Group and Co-Founder of California Charter Schools Association (CCSA); Pat Hickey, Executive Director of the Charter School Association of Nevada, Miles Durfee, Managing Regional Director of California Charter Schools Association (CCSA); and Tina Smith, Chief Operating Officer of The Utah Association of Public Charter Schools. In its 10th year anniversary, Accord Education continues to change the school choice narrative in the multiple states it serves.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qu (PR.com)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Why education isn’t the way out of poverty
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist GEORGE PYLE

Another one of those lists of the best of something — click bait since before there was such a thing as click bait — came out the other day. This one was a ranking of the nation’s best high schools as compiled by the inveterate list-builders at what’s left of U.S. News and World Report. Which is mostly list-builders.
At first glance, the Utah part of the list fit right into my bleeding heart liberal echo chamber. Success in education tracks with the wealth of a school’s student body. Rich white kids are so much more likely to do well in school than their browner and less-advantaged counterparts.
It is predictable enough that it amounts to the main argument against states and school districts weighing everyone down with round after round of assessment and achievement tests. Just look at the Census data related to a school’s neighborhood, and you know which student bodies would benefit the most from extra spending on smaller classes, reading specialists and intensive early-childhood services.
It goes beyond the stereotype of the rich white family with books in the house, high-speed internet at their fingertips and educated parents to monitor, guide and give assistance. People who research this stuff keep finding more and more evidence that being poor is such an assault on the senses, the psyche, the soul, that it deprives everyone in the household of a lot more than just a quiet place to do homework.
A recent piece in The Atlantic, “How Poverty Changes the Brain,” by Tara Garcia Mathewson, explains that folks who live in poverty have to be alert and struggling all the time just to stay afloat. The part of their brain that is in charge of sending out warning signals drowns out the part that makes rational decisions, that plans and chooses to give up short-term pleasures in favor of long-term gains.
So disturbed, the brains of adults and children in poverty don’t learn as well, don’t see a future where things will be better, and get trapped. Quieting that constant car alarm of the mind is more than most normal people can be expected to do without outside intervention.
According to the U.S. News list, the top three high schools in Utah are a relatively small charter school that I’d never heard of and two of the state’s more obvious beneficiaries of a wealthy tax base.
Tops on the Utah list, and 238th in the nation, is the Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy in Lindon. The next two are traditional public schools, Park City High School in Park City, (418th in the country) and Skyline High School in Millcreek (498th nationally).
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PU

 

Trump’s review of monuments a cynical charade to exploit Utah treasures
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist ROBERT GEHRKE

Everyone, according to Gov. Gary Herbert, wants to protect the natural and historic treasures of Bears Ears.
Nonetheless, there he was, along with Utah’s congressional delegation, grinning behind Donald Trump as the president signed an executive order, directing a review of Utah’s newest national monument, as well as other monuments created under the Antiquities Act in the past two decades, including the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The motivation seems clear as the Utah delegation has been aggressively pushing Trump to rescind Bears Ears.
You have to hand it to these guys. They continually profess their love for Utah’s wildlands while furiously working to gut any protections for them.
The word “disingenuous” doesn’t do their actions justice.
You have Sen. Orrin Hatch trotting out a chart labeled “Executive Overreach At Its Worst,” showing 290 million acres tied up by President Barack Obama’s monument designations, while conveniently leaving out the 219 million acres of monuments created by President George W. Bush.
You get Herbert complaining that Obama created the monument without input from Utah elected officials, only to have a paper trail of hundreds of pages showing the extent of the administration’s consultation.
It included an email from a senior Herbert staffer praising an Obama Interior Department official. He wrote: “I’m not kidding when I say you’re an amazing example of a public servant,” for the time she had spent working with Utah leaders.
Or you have Hatch on the Senate floor spouting the falsehood about how San Juan County’s “schools have been strapped for cash ever since the Bears Ears Monument designation rendered these lands useless.” Those schools spend about $12,500 per student, $5,000 more than the state average.
And the monument designation hasn’t made even the tiniest dent in that.
Why?
Because despite all the Trumped up (pun intended) outrage, the reality is that the simple act of designating a national monument has changed almost nothing on the ground in Bears Ears.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qs

 

The beloved coach they called ‘Neville the Devil’ was anything but that
Deseret News commentary by columnist Randy Hollis

ROY — When it came right down to it, his nickname, “Neville the Devil,” didn’t really describe the way people felt about him at all.
Oh, sure, longtime high school coach and teacher Neville Peterman’s persona was often like that of the Tazmanian Devil. During a track or cross country meet, he could be a wild man, a whirling dervish of endless energy, enthusiasm and intense emotion.
But he’ll always be remembered for the tremendous way he challenged people to push themselves in a never-ending quest to be the very best they could be — not just on the track, but also in life.
Peterman, who passed away last week at age 73 after several years of declining health, was fondly remembered by many of his former athletes, their parents, fellow coaches and his children in a wonderful, touching memorial service Monday evening at Roy High School.
Turns out “the Devil” was truly a wonderful, beloved man who made a huge, positive impact on the lives of countless young men and women over a 31-year career as a track and cross country coach at Bonneville and Roy high schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PZ

 

Utah Girls State dress code has been in place for many years
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Cary Fisher, ALA Utah Girls State education director

I need to correct misinformation printed in your April 24 editorial, specifically the thumbs down given to American Legion Auxiliary Utah Girls State for “adopting” what has been called a “sexist dress code.”
The value of the privately funded and volunteer-presented ALA Utah Girls State is far greater than its longstanding dress code. For 70 years, ALA Utah Girls State has provided a unique educational opportunity for outstanding teenage girls to learn the founding principles of American government, Americanism and respect for veterans through this week-long immersive learning program.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Q1

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Budget Deal for 2017 Includes Increases for Title I, Special Education
Education Week

Federal lawmakers have agreed to relatively small spending increases for Title I programs to districts and for special education, as part of a budget deal covering the rest of fiscal 2017 through the end of September.
Title I spending on disadvantaged students would rise by $100 million up to $15.5 billion from fiscal 2016 to fiscal 2017, along with $450 million in new money that was already slated to be shifted over from the now-defunct School Improvement Grants program.
And state grants for special education would increase by $90 million up to $12 billion. However, Title II grants for teacher development would be cut by $294 million, down to about $2.1 billion for the rest of fiscal 2017.
The bill would also provide $400 million for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant program, also known as Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Title IV is a block grant that districts can use for a wide range of programs, including health, safety, arts education, college readiness, and more.
Total U.S. Department of Education spending, including both discretionary and mandatory spending covering K-12 and other issues, would fall by $60 million from fiscal 2016, down to $71.6 billion.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qk

A copy of the deal
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ql (Congress)

 

Trump may take Arizona’s school tax credit program national
USA Today

PHOENIX — Arizona has offered tax breaks in exchange for donations to private-school scholarships for two decades. Seventeen states have followed in the Grand Canyon State’s footsteps.
The federal government could be next.
President Donald Trump has proposed investing $250 million into a private-school-choice program, though he has offered no details on what it would involve. Education experts have indicated it could be a voucher program similar to the program Arizona just expanded, but say it’s more likely to be a tax credit similar to Arizona’s School Tuition Organization program.
The Trump administration on Wednesday announced some broad information on the president’s tax-cut proposal but did not provide details on specific tax credits that may be included.
Arizona’s private-school tax-credit program consists of four separate tax credits, two for individuals and two for corporations. Donations are made to qualifying school tuition organizations, which then allocate scholarships for students at private schools. Individual taxpayers this year can get a dollar-for-dollar tax credit of up to $1,086 for donations.
Both Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have shown an interest in the latter in recent months, and DeVos’ ties with school tax credits and Arizona are numerous.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PN

 

Billionaires Convene at Milken Conference for Trump Report Card
Cabinet members Mnuchin, Ross, DeVos representing White House
Bloomberg

Four thousand of the wealthiest, most influential leaders in the world descend on Beverly Hills, California, this week for the annual Milken Institute Global Conference, in what amounts to a peer review of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office.
Trump’s voice will be represented at the event by four members of his cabinet: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transportation. Mnuchin kicks off the first full day of the conference Monday, just days since he started selling the administration’s tax plan.
Also on the agenda: former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Joe Biden. Both are set to be interviewed by Mike Milken himself, the onetime omnipotent credit investor who later pleaded guilty to securities fraud and now is a renowned philanthropist and public health advocate.
Amid yoga classes and panels on topics as disparate as agriculture and mortgage market structure, business leaders are set to weigh in on the Trump agenda.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qc

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qd (LA Daily News)

 

Navigation of Computer-Based Tests Matters for Young Students, Study Finds
Education Week

Elementary and middle school students’ test scores were negatively affected by a computer-based exam interface that did not allow them to return to questions they had previously completed or skipped, according to a new study from the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association.
Non-native English speakers in the study also performed better on paper-and-pencil exams than they did on either of two computer-based testing formats, the study found.AERA Conference Button
The findings add new wrinkles to the ongoing debate about whether computer- and paper-based tests are functionally the same for students.
Last year, Education Week reported that millions of K-12 students who took 2014-15 PARCC exams via computer tended to score lower than those who took the exams with paper and pencil. Overall, research on the subject of possible “mode effects” on standardized tests remains mixed. Some studies have found little difference between paper- and computer-based exams, while others have found a persistent pattern of student scores being lower on computer.
When such differences have been identified, they have often been attributed to technological features of the computer-based exams, such as the need for students to scroll through long reading passages. Practitioners also worry when students are asked to take exams using devices and interfaces with which they are not familiar.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PO

 

Hidden Horror of School Sex Assaults Revealed by AP
Associated Press

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Chaz Wing was 12 when they came after him. The classmates who tormented him were children, too, entering the age of pimples and cracking voices.
Eventually, he swore under oath, the boys raped him and left him bleeding, the culmination of a year of harassment. Though Chaz repeatedly told teachers and administrators about insults and physical attacks, he didn’t report being sexually assaulted until a year later, launching a long legal fight over whether his school had done enough to protect him.
Chaz’s saga is more than a tale of escalating bullying. Across the U.S., thousands of students have been sexually assaulted, by other students, in high schools, junior highs and even elementary schools – a hidden horror educators have long been warned not to ignore.
Relying on state education records, supplemented by federal crime data, a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press uncovered roughly 17,000 official reports of sex assaults by students over a four-year period, from fall 2011 to spring 2015.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PR

Sidebar: Youngest victims
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qe (AP)

Sidebar: What parents can do
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qf (AP)

Sidebar: State by state
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qg (AP)

 

Locker Room Assault Sparks Effort to Heal Idaho Communities
Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho — Bukky Ogunrinola’s mother taught her years ago to use caution in how she dressed and presented herself in public. Being a young black woman in Idaho meant living in a world where she’s sometimes greeted with suspicion.
Still, the 16-year-old was stunned to wake up one cold January morning to see the windows of her family’s SUV smashed and the words “go back” in white paint splashed across the vehicle.
“I’m a woman of color, and I’m an athlete in Idaho. That’s not that easy. I mean, I think there’s three of us in Idaho?” said Ogunrinola, whose family emigrated from Nigeria 14 years ago. “It feels like people in Idaho want to watch us play sports, but they don’t have our backs when push comes to shove.”
Community leaders in Idaho are collecting stories of violence and discrimination like Ogunrinola’s in the wake of a sexual assault of a disabled black athlete by his white teammates that shocked not only a small town but residents across the state. They hope to identify possible policy changes or improvements to community outreach.
The effort is being launched in a state better known for its potatoes than its diversity, but that isn’t stopping advocates from working to identify solutions to limit acts of hate.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qh

 

Shaming Children So Parents Will Pay the School Lunch Bill
New York Times

On the first day of seventh grade last fall, Caitlin Dolan lined up for lunch at her school in Canonsburg, Pa. But when the cashier discovered she had an unpaid food bill from last year, the tray of pizza, cucumber slices, an apple and chocolate milk was thrown in the trash.
“I was so embarrassed,” said Caitlin, who said other students had stared. “It’s really weird being denied food in front of everyone. They all talk about you.”
Caitlin’s mother, Merinda Durila, said that her daughter qualified for free lunch, but that a paperwork mix­up had created an outstanding balance. Ms. Durila said her child had come home in tears after being humiliated in front of her friends.
Holding children publicly accountable for unpaid school lunch bills — by throwing away their food, providing a less desirable alternative lunch or branding them with markers — is often referred to as “lunch shaming.”
The practice is widespread — a 2014 report from the Department of Agriculture found that nearly half of all districts used some form of shaming to compel parents to pay bills. (About 45 percent withheld the hot meal and gave a cold sandwich, while 3 percent denied food entirely.)
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PJ

 

Trump’s new Agriculture secretary plans to loosen Obama-era school lunch regulations
New York Daily News

The Trump administration is so hungry to hurt former President Barack Obama’s legacy that it’s now planning to take a bite out of its school lunch rules.
The new U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary has announced he will introduce “regulatory flexibility” for the National School Lunch Program — an initiative providing free and discounted lunches to schoolchildren, which saw a big boost from the Obamas.
Secretary Sonny Perdue plans to reveal the new rules on Monday during a visit to a Virginia elementary school. It is unclear what specific changes Perdue has planned.
The program itself dates to President Harry Truman, but Obama and his wife turned it into a presidential pet project.
Republicans in Congress have long tried to chuck the program, deeming it too strict and too expensive. A bipartisan bill in 2016 unsuccessfully attempted to loosen some of the new regulations.
But health advocates were worried about the changes Trump’s administration might be cooking up.
“Improving children’s health should be a top priority for the USDA, and serving more nutritious foods in schools is a clear-cut way to accomplish this goal,” American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said in a statement.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PP

http://gousoe.uen.org/9PQ ([Washington, DC] The Hill)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qj (AP)

 

Statistics Lessons Get New Look in Early Grades
Early-grades teachers taking different approach
Education Week

Statistics lessons aren’t just for math class anymore, and early-education experts are finding new reasons and ways to incorporate these topics in the early grades.
“All students should be taught at least basic statistics,” said Ginger Rae Lynn Wilson, a 3rd grade teacher in Griffin, Ga. “You hear so much talk about STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] and making sure our children are competitive globally; well, I don’t know how they would be competitive in a global sense if they don’t know how to interpret information and compute data.”
From understanding economic changes to deciding whether or not to believe a political poll, statistics have gained a higher profile lately—but it’s not certain most American students understand them.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress, for example, asks 4th graders to determine the chart that best fits certain data or to explain how an outlier will affect an analysis of data. It also may ask 8th graders to determine probabilities or use a chart to identify an incorrect statement. According to NAEP data, 4th graders’ average scale score in statistics and data topics fell significantly, from 241 in 2005 to 238 in 2015, on a scale of 500. Performance by 12th graders in statistics was flat during the same time.
That’s a problem, because in the world beyond school, statistics is booming.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qm

 

Computer Science For All in San Francisco Schools: 7 Early Takeaways
Education Week

San Antonio — Since approving a plan in 2015 to make computer science a part of the curriculum for each of its 56,000 students, the San Francisco Unified school system has been at the fore of the national “CS4all” push.
Now almost two years into the initiative, some early lessons have begun to emerge.
“While people here are certainly very excited about computer science, it’s still a nascent field, and sometimes the understanding is still superficial,” said Bryan Twarek, the district’s computer science program administrator.AERA Conference Button
“We’ve learned that it’s very important to invest not only in teachers, but also administrators, counselors, and other support staff.”
Twarek is scheduled to deliver a status report on the effort Monday at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, held here this weekend. San Francisco Unified’s initiative is also being evaluated by SRI International, which released last June a report on how Year One went at the district’s middle schools.
Prior to his talk, Twarek spoke with Education Week by phone about where things stand, as well as the lessons other districts can take from his district’s experience.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qo

 

Startup Taps Into Children’s Passion for Math
Engineering for Kids offers after-school programs and more for STEM-curious youngsters
Wall Street Journal

What happens when your children find STEM more appealing than the Magic Kingdom?
Start a business.
Every year, Dori Roberts and her students at Colonial Forge High School in Stafford, Va., would compete in technology and engineering tournaments, and in 2008 they did well enough to reach the finals at a national competition in Orlando, Fla.
How to make the most of that passion? Ms. Roberts would have loved to get her children into science, technology, engineering and math education programs, but she could find opportunities only for high-schoolers. So she decided to create a curriculum herself.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PM

 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visits site of San Bernardino school shooting
San Bernardino (CA) Sun

SAN BERNARDINO >> U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited North Park Elementary School on Friday to offer her condolences and thank school staff for their response to the April 10 shooting there that left a special education teacher and student dead and another student wounded.
DeVos ate lunch with students, read the Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” to a kindergarten class and met with school employees and leaders, according to a news release.
She said she also met privately with the family and loved ones of Karen Smith, the special education teacher who was killed in the shooting, and with wounded student Nolan Brandy and his parents.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qp

 

CPS school year won’t end early, Emanuel says after judge rejects state funding suit
Chicago Tribune

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said schools would remain open for the full academic year on Friday just hours after a judge tossed a lawsuit Chicago Public Schools had framed as a last resort to secure enough money to keep classes in session.
“The kids of the City of Chicago will be in school until the end of the school year,” Emanuel said at a late afternoon news conference at City Hall. “That is where they belong.”
Emanuel and CPS officials said they haven’t figured out how to find the money to operate schools through June 20. The mayor did not directly respond when asked why he failed to reassure parents months earlier that school would not close early. Instead, he again sought to blame Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and ended the news conference. “The stress on the system comes from the governor,” Emanuel said.
CPS officials promised to find a way to keep schools open and meet financial obligations that include a massive payment to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund due June 30.
“We’re going to find a way to fund this,” Chicago Board of Education President Frank Clark said. “This is not the end of this journey. This is not the end of our legal options, and we will look at every financial option that’s really open to us.”
The mayor’s announcement followed a Cook County judge’s ruling to dismiss a CPS lawsuit against the state over education funding, and also reject the district’s request for an injunction that would freeze state funding to public schools throughout Illinois.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9PK

http://gousoe.uen.org/9PL (USAT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qi (AP)

 

Researchers: Social relationships, not just money, determine school success
Columbus (OH) Dispatch

Money isn’t the only kind of wealth a school might use to help its students.
If teachers can forge trust relationships with students and parents, and if a school can establish social norms that support learning, its students appear to perform better on state standardized tests, according to newly released research. It doesn’t require funding, and it’s within reach of any kind of school.
Sociologists call that “social capital” — the benefits that one can derive from relationships with others — and three researchers, including one from Ohio State University, studied it in 96 public high schools in Ohio. Their goal was to see whether they could measure social capital, whether it affected student performance, and whether even less-well-off schools can cultivate it.
Yes, yes and yes, said Roger Goddard, an OSU professor of educational administration. And he sees that as cause for hope.
“I really wouldn’t want to live in a world where (the socioeconomic level of an area) determines how much social support you’re going to get,” Goddard said.
The great thing about social capital, he explained, is that it’s both motivational and informational. Students are inspired by seeing that adults in the community care about them, and they also can learn useful things from those connections, such as how to apply to college.
The paper by Goddard, Serena Salloum of Ball State University in Indiana and Ross Larsen of Brigham Young University in Utah appears in the most recent issue of the research journal Teachers College Record.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qw

A copy of the abstract
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qx (Teachers College Record)

 

60 schools across the US are using a genius strategy to boost kids’ attendance rates
Business Insider

In August 2016, Whirlpool announced it had found a simple solution to kids chronically missing class: Give schools washing machines.
As part of its Care Counts program, the company found that giving 17 schools in Missouri and California led to 90% of kids attending school more often and 89% greater class participation — all from kids having clean clothes to wear to school.
On May 1, Whirlpool announced it was partnering with Teach for America to expand the program to 60 total schools in 10 US school districts by August 2017.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Qq

 

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CALENDAR
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USBE Calendar
http://www.schools.utah.gov/main/CALENDAR.aspx

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

May 4:

Utah State Board of Education committee meetings
9 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

May 5:

Utah State Board of Education meeting
8 a.m., 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

May 16:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
2 p.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPEXE

May 17:

Education Interim Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=INTEDU

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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