Education News Roundup: May 2, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

KTVX scores an interview with Secretary DeVos.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9R4 (KTVX)

Arizona school districts sue the state over funding.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QO (Reuters)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9QP ([Phoenix] Arizona Republic)

Microsoft, looking to gain ground in the ed tech market, introduces a $999 Surface.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rg (USAT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rh (PCMag)

Bullying may be on the decline in schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QL (Reuters)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ri (CBS)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

DeVos wants to ‘return power to the states’ on education

Don’t bail on public schools, Hispanic leader urges Christians

Utah educator declares candidacy for U.S. Senate

Anonymous donor covers ICSD lunch debts

Dixie Elks award $38K in scholarships at annual banquet

Former Utah charter school teacher arrested for allegedly bringing homemade porn scrapbooks to classroom

Precautions taken at Utah middle school after threatening post

Utah teen recovering after emotional, painful shop class incident

Chantel Heim, battling breast cancer, recognized at Weber High softball game

Elementary school art show showcases talent

Utah’s first lady touts summer reading program

OPINION & COMMENTARY

School Vouchers Aren’t Working, but Choice Is

Is America Holding Out on Protecting Children’s Rights?
The United States is the only member of the UN that hasn’t agreed on standards for youth well-being.

NATION

Trump takes aim at Michelle Obama’s efforts on child nutrition, girls’ education

School districts, education groups sue Arizona over funding

How Would Changes to ESSA’s Block Grant Work?

Under Trump Budget, Nearly 2 Million Kids May Lose After-School Care

New Studies Suggest Choice of Curriculum and Textbooks Can Make a Big Difference for Students

What Are the Best Strategies for Effective Teacher Professional Development?

Microsoft unveils $999 Surface in new education pitch

All New York City School To Get Single-stall Bathrooms

Bullying may be decreasing in U.S. schools

Educators and school psychologists raise alarms about ’13 Reasons Why’

Alabama History Tour Covers Civil War, Cotton – Not Slaves

Sometimes the Birds and the Bees Get Short Shrift in School

Minecraft’s education edition will teach kids to code
Microsoft’s popular building-blocks game gets a tool to help students learn how to program.

 

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UTAH NEWS
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DeVos wants to ‘return power to the states’ on education

WASHINGTON — The person in charge of re-shaping America’s education system is giving new details about what parents and teachers can expect.
“It’s been drinking like a fire hose in many respects,” said Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education.
DeVos says she’s thirsty for more. As America’s newest education secretary, the 59-year-old Michigan native is under intense pressure to re-shape the country’s classroom.
“We have done a lot in the first few weeks to focus on returning power to the states,” said DeVos
http://gousoe.uen.org/9R4 (KTVX)

 

Don’t bail on public schools, Hispanic leader urges Christians

Perceived hostility to faith and moral standards has some Christian leaders calling for a mass exodus of believers from public schools.
Andrea Ramirez, executive director of the Faith and Education Coalition for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, is definitely not one of them.
In a Thursday commentary penned for Religion News Service, Ramirez indicates that she, too, is concerned with growing secularization in public schoolrooms. However, she insists that a Christian bailout is not the answer.
“As the spirit of Christ calls us to love our neighbors, not just our own families, public school withdrawal appears particularly off target,” Ramirez wrote.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QR (SLT)

A copy of the commentary
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QS (Religion News Service)

 

Utah educator declares candidacy for U.S. Senate

An educator from rural Utah has declared his intentions to run against veteran Republican U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch next year on the Democratic Party ticket.
Danny Drew, who is director of Public Education for the Duchesne County School District, says he will bring an entirely different perspective into the race. If Hatch does decide to seek an eighth six-year term, he will be 84 when it begins.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QX (CVD)

 

Anonymous donor covers ICSD lunch debts

Last week, every student lunch debt in the Iron County School District was cleared thanks to a $1,161 donation.
The anonymous donation paid off the balances for 381 students at public elementary, middle and high schools in Cedar City, Parowan and Enoch.
“We are grateful for this act of kindness and generosity, and we recognize how fortunate we are to live in a community where people care about and serve each other,” ICSD Superintendent Shannon Dulaney said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QY (SGS)

 

Dixie Elks award $38K in scholarships at annual banquet

ST. GEORGE – The Dixie Elks Lodge #1743 handed out just over $38,000 in scholarships and awarded 26 students with the honor of Student of the Year at their annual “Youth Awards Banquet” Monday evening.
The celebratory evening recognized students from 13 high schools throughout Washington and Kane counties as well as Fredonia, Arizona, that fall under the lodge’s jurisdiction.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QZ (SGN)

 

Former Utah charter school teacher arrested for allegedly bringing homemade porn scrapbooks to classroom

A former West Valley City charter school teacher has been arrested for allegedly bringing homemade child pornography albums or scrapbooks to his classroom.
Michael Scott Hatfield, a teacher at American Preparatory Academy, at 3636 W. 3100 South, was booked into the Salt Lake County jail last Friday on suspicion of second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, as well as misdemeanor counts of accessing pornographic or indecent material on school property.
A probable cause statement filed with the jail states that last month, a school employee responsible for in-classroom cameras observed Hatfield covering the camera in his classroom, which school officials noted is unacceptable and resulted in further investigation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QQ (SLT)

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9R2 (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9R3 (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9R5 (DN via KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9R6 (KSTU)

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

 

Precautions taken at Utah middle school after threatening post

SALT LAKE CITY – Officials of Clayton Middle School notified parents via email of precautions taken after a threat was made by a student.
The threat came in the form of a social media post. According to an email sent to parents, administrators and police met with the student and his parent.
Details about the social media post are unknown at this time.
The student is no longer enrolled at the school because of academic reasons, said Jason Olsen a spokesman for the Salt Lake City School District.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9R0 (KUTV)

 

Utah teen recovering after emotional, painful shop class incident

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After a month of healing, 18-year-old, Decker Haberl, is finally out of the University of Utah burn center in Salt Lake City and preparing to head back home to St. George.
In March, Haberl was working in his Snow Canyon High School shop class and the device Haberl was using came into contact with a conductor, searing Haberl hands and fingers.
Officials said after getting burned, Haberl fell to the ground and landed on the cables, where he was then shocked again for what police believe was minutes.
Haberl was eventually found by his friend laying on the ground, police were called and the teen was airlifted to the hospital.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9R1 (KUTV)

 

Chantel Heim, battling breast cancer, recognized at Weber High softball game

PLEASANT VIEW – A chance encounter at a grocery store last year allowed Chantel Heim to reconnect with Kylee Colvin.
The two had gone their separate ways after graduating from Fremont High School in 2010, but when Heim went through the checker station Colvin was working at Lee’s Marketplace, Colvin said all the memories “flooded back.”
“We had a blast in high school together,” Colvin said.
Monday afternoon on a much-welcomed sun-splashed softball field at Weber High, where Colvin is in her second year as the school’s head softball coach, Heim was given the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Warriors took on the Clearfield Falcons.
Heim was diagnosed with breast cancer last July.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QV (OSE)

 

Elementary school art show showcases talent

Elementary students from across the Salt Lake valley had the opportunity to showcase their art at the 2017 Junior Art Show held at the Shops at South Town March 22-29. Students from first- to sixth-grade were invited to participate.
“It’s just fun to see their creativity and what they come up with. Some of those kids are really talented. The kids love coming and seeing their artwork up on display. They think it’s super cool,” said Molly Morgan, the events coordinator for Sandy City.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rk (Sandy Journal)

 

Utah’s first lady touts summer reading program

Utah first lady Jeanette Herbert reads to Talese Baxter’s third-grade class at Central Elementary School in Pleasant Grove in support of Scholastic’s Summer Reading Program on Monday, May 1, 2017.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QT (DN)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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School Vouchers Aren’t Working, but Choice Is
New York Times commentary by columnist David Leonhardt

Betsy DeVos’s favorite education policy keeps looking worse. Last week, the Education Department, which she runs, released a careful study of the District of Columbia’s use of school vouchers, which she supports. The results were not good.
Students using vouchers to attend a private school did worse on math and reading than similar students in public school, the study found. It comes after other studies, in Ohio and elsewhere, have also shown weak results for vouchers.
To channel President Trump: Who knew that education could be so complicated?
The question for DeVos is whether she’s an ideologue committed to prior beliefs regardless of facts or someone who has an open mind. But that question doesn’t apply only to DeVos. It also applies to all of us trying to think about education, including her critics. And the results from Washington are important partly because they defy easy ideological conclusions.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QI

 

Is America Holding Out on Protecting Children’s Rights?
The United States is the only member of the UN that hasn’t agreed on standards for youth well-being.
Atlantic commentary by AMY ROTHSCHILD, a preschool teacher and writer based in Washington, D.C.

Recently, I asked my 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old students what they thought all children need in order to grow up healthy and strong. They responded readily: Lots and lot of water. Fruits and vegetables. Love. Schools. Homes. Parents. A life. Stuff to play with. A 5-year-old went a step further: “Legos.” A 6-year-old snapped back. “Legos? You don’t need them, but you would want them.”
The list my students generated around our meeting rug is remarkably similar to the list of rights named in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, one of the world’s most widely ratified treaties. The convention enshrines children’s right to an education, to health care, to expression-and, yes, to play. It recognizes families as the fundamental unit of society, and says that families should be provided necessary protection and assistance to fulfill responsibilities to their children. United States delegates played an active role in drafting the convention in the late 1980s. Since then, all United Nations member states have ratified it, with one exception: the United States.
Some child-rights advocates in the United States said they expected to to see the country ratify the convention had Hillary Clinton won the presidential election. Now, with an administration that aims to boost military spending; reduce funding for affordable housing, education, and other programs that assist low-income families; and dramatically reshape related policies, they say that a commitment to children’s rights is critical to safeguarding children and tempering rising inequality. These advocates face opposition from those who argue the convention undermines national and parental sovereignty.
The United States is one of the richest nations in the world, yet it has one of the highest rates of child poverty among developed nations.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Re

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Trump takes aim at Michelle Obama’s efforts on child nutrition, girls’ education
USA Today

The Trump administration is looking to whittle away at the legacy of former first lady Michelle Obama, undercutting two key efforts associated with her: child nutrition and girls’ education worldwide.
On Monday, Sonny Perdue, President Trump’s new Agriculture secretary, announced he would loosen restrictions on federally funded school lunch programs – current rules require schools to serve more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables to millions of children while limiting salt and fat. The push is part of Mrs. Obama’s well-known initiative to help children eat more healthy meals.
Also on Monday, Peace Corps employees said they had been told to stop using the name of Mrs. Obama’s 2-year-old “Let Girls Learn” initiative, CNN reported. Peace Corps workers said they’d been told that as a program unto itself, “Let Girls Learn,” was ending.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rc

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rd (NYT)

 

School districts, education groups sue Arizona over funding
Reuters

PHOENIX | Lawmakers have violated the Arizona constitution by failing to adequately fund school facilities and repairs, according to a lawsuit filed against the state on Monday by school districts and education groups.
The lawsuit claims that the Arizona legislature has short-changed school districts by several billion dollars since 2009 despite court rulings mandating that the state pay for facility construction and maintenance.
In a joint statement, the coalition of school districts, educational organizations and parents said the legislature has long been responsible for “turning its back on public school districts.”
“State leaders have ignored this obligation far too long,” the group said. “They have lost this fight once, and it is time to step up and adequately fund public schools according to the law.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QO

http://gousoe.uen.org/9QP ([Phoenix] Arizona Republic)

 

How Would Changes to ESSA’s Block Grant Work?
Education Week

The Every Student Succeeds Act may be less than two years old, but its funding provisions are already getting a makeover, at least temporarily, in a spending bill expected to be approved in Congress this week.
The bill would make a really important change to the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, or Title IV of the law (aka the “big giant block grant”). Some quick background: ESSA collapsed a bunch of smaller programs into the grant, with the idea of giving districts more say over how they spend their federal funds. ESSA envisioned Title IV as a $1.6 billion grant that would go out by formula to districts, who could use it for everything from school safety to AP course fees, to technology, to arts education.
But, in the funding bill likely to be approved this week would only provide $400 million for the program, which is obviously a lot less than $1.6 billion.
So lawmakers are allowing states to distribute the funds competitively, instead of by a formula.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rb

 

Under Trump Budget, Nearly 2 Million Kids May Lose After-School Care
NPR

Mary Beth Burkes lives in Buchanan County, Va., a depressed coal-mining region where 1 in 4 families lives in poverty and where her autistic son gets extra help in the after-school program at his school.
Burkes says the program has been a godsend for her and other parents, because they know their children are in a safe place after school. “Their parents work,” she says. “There is no day care in this area.”
But in his budget for next year, President Trump wants to eliminate this nationwide after-school program for low-income children, called 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says there’s no evidence the $1.2 billion-a-year program works.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9R7

 

New Studies Suggest Choice of Curriculum and Textbooks Can Make a Big Difference for Students
The 74

The idea that schools can get better simply by improving the content of what they teach may seem at once novel and obvious in an education policy debate dominated by heated battles over school choice, integration, funding, and teacher tenure.
But a significant body of research suggests that choosing better curriculum – often meaning textbooks – can lead to notable gains in student achievement.
“Multiple research studies meeting the highest bar for methodological rigor find substantial learning impacts from the adoption of specific curricula. The impact on student learning can be profound,” wrote Johns Hopkins University’s David Steiner in a review of research.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QJ

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QK (Standards Work)

 

What Are the Best Strategies for Effective Teacher Professional Development?
Education Week

Forty-two percent of teachers have little or no input on their professional development, a new Education Week Research Center survey found.
That might be one reason why teacher PD has long been criticized for being expensive and ineffective. But as Education Week explores in a new special report, districts and states are taking steps to reconsider and revamp their efforts to improve teacher practice. That is helped through the passage of the new K-12 federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which defines high-quality professional learning as sustained, intensive, collaborative, job-embedded, data-driven, and classroom-focused.
Here are some other efforts to improve professional development
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QG

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QH (Ed Week)

 

Microsoft unveils $999 Surface in new education pitch
USA Today

NEW YORK – Microsoft hopes to climb back up to the head of the class as it takes on Google and Apple in the education market.
At a packed event in New York Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced a new, streamlined education-focused flavor of its venerable operating system called Windows 10 S, which will work on inexpensive computers from other PC manufacturers, as well as Microsoft’s own new Surface Laptop hardware. That machine costs $999 to start, is aimed at the higher-ed crowd, and puts Apple’s rival MacBook Pro and MacBook Air in the crosshairs.
“It’s not like education is new to us. We’ve been there,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told USA TODAY in an interview. “In fact, you could say we grew up with our tools, whether it’s Windows or Office being used by students.”
Microsoft is clearly going after the dominant operating system and laptops for the K-12 market – Google’s Chrome OS and Chromebooks – with its new Windows 10 S.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rg

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rh (PCMag)

All New York City School To Get Single-stall Bathrooms
Associated Press

NEW YORK — Every New York City public school must install at least one single-stall restroom under a new policy announced by Chancellor Carmen Farina (fah-REEN’-yah).
Farina said Tuesday that the restrooms will be available in all city schools by January 2018.
School officials say the single-stall bathrooms will support the privacy needs of transgender students and students with medical conditions and disabilities.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ra

 

Bullying may be decreasing in U.S. schools
Reuters

The various efforts used to curb bullying in U.S. schools may be working, a new study suggests.
The study was confined to one large school district in the state of Maryland. But among the students there, bullying in person or online decreased between 2005 and 2014, researchers found.
“It gives us some idea that what we’re doing continues to work,” said senior author Catherine Bradshaw, of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
People should not take the results to mean bullying is no longer a significant concern, she told Reuters Health.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QL

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ri (CBS)

Copies of the studies
http://gousoe.uen.org/9QM (Pediatrics) $

http://gousoe.uen.org/9QN (Pediatrics) $

 

Educators and school psychologists raise alarms about ’13 Reasons Why’
Washington Post

Educators and school mental health professionals across the country are warning parents about the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” saying the show’s graphic depiction of a teenager’s suicide could contribute to a “contagion effect” among students with mental illness and linking it to self-harm and suicide threats among young people.
The show has prompted a major response from educators and administrators, who have spoken at PTA meetings, sent messages home and even cautioned certain groups of students about whether to watch it at all.
“There’s no room for error when it comes to student wellness,” said Rebecca Aguilar, who oversees school counselors at Thoreau Middle School in Fairfax County, Va., where school officials sent home a list of talking points advising parents about the show. She advises parents to “stay engaged with your children. And if they are watching it, process it with them.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9R8

 

Alabama History Tour Covers Civil War, Cotton – Not Slaves
Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Schoolchildren who visit the First White House of the Confederacy learn that its famous former resident, President Jefferson Davis, was leader of a “heroic resistance” who was “held by his Negroes in genuine affection as well as highest esteem.”
Such ideas, once mainstream Southern thought, have largely been abandoned by historians. But they are still part of the message at this state-supported museum in Alabama’s capital city that hosts thousands of grade-school students from different ethnic backgrounds on field trips every year.
Some critics say presenting discredited notions about the Confederacy at the antebellum home where Davis lived in the early months of the Civil War helps perpetuate a skewed version of the past and shouldn’t be supported by Alabama tax dollars.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9R9

 

Sometimes the Birds and the Bees Get Short Shrift in School
New York Times

Wazina Zondon’s 10thgrade class was playing a game about birth control. The students picked a method while Ms. Zondon left the room. When she came back, she had to guess what it was.
“Am I a barrier method?” asked Ms. Zondon, a family life and sex education teacher at the Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women in Downtown Brooklyn. “Are hormones involved?”
After a few more questions, Ms. Zondon guessed correctly: an IUD. Other options included condoms, the birth control patch and abstinence. The students had learned about all of them earlier in the class, including how to use them properly and what, if any, side effects they can cause.
Ms. Zondon’s class offers something advocates say is all too uncommon in New York City: comprehensive sex education. Since 2011, the Department of Education has required that all middle and high schools teach sex education as part of health class. But the requirement came with little enforcement or oversight and compliance has been spotty.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rj

 

Minecraft’s education edition will teach kids to code
Microsoft’s popular building-blocks game gets a tool to help students learn how to program.
C/net

Learning how to program just got a lot more fun.
Microsoft’s Minecraft: Education Edition for schools and students has added a tool called Code Builder that lets players pick up code-building tech from education platforms such as Tynker and ScratchX. Microsoft’s own MakeCode open-source platform for learning JavaScript is also integrated into Code Builder.
The software giant announced Code Builder at its education-focused event Tuesday in New York, alongside other announcements such as a new Windows 10 S version designed to be faster and more secure than regular Windows 10, in part, by restricting the apps you can download.
Much like with rival Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app, Minecraft players will be able to write the code that’s used to move, build and create in the game. To get schools and students to try it out, a one-year free trial of the Minecraft: Education Edition and the Code Builder upgrade will be available starting Tuesday through the Microsoft Store for Education. All new Windows 10 S education PCs will get a free subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition as well. A license for Minecraft: Education Edition normally costs $5 per person per year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rf

 

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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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