Education News Roundup: May 3, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Granite School Board approves pay raise for teachers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RG (KUTV)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9RH (KTVX)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9RK (KSL)

KTVX looks at what Utah schools are doing to structurally prepare for an earthquake.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9S2 (KTVX)

Environment & Energy News looks at what remnants of the Grand Staircase Escalante agreement could have on the Bears Ears situation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9S7 ([Washington, DC] Environment & Energy News)

San Juan Supt. Lyman will be leaving at the end of the school year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9S3 (San Juan Record)

More teachers are turning to GoFundMe sources for classroom needs. California teachers have raised $4.7 million in total donations; Texas teachers have raised $2.1 million. Utah teachers have held 562 campaigns that have raised $221,000 through 4,251 donations, according to GoFundMe.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RS (Ed Week)
or more information
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RT (GoFundMe)

Ed Week looks at education savings accounts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ry (Ed Week)

The latest craze to be banned in suburban schools in the U.S. and Canada? Fidget Spinners.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RZ (WMAQ)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9S1 (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9S0 (CBC)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Granite School District gives teachers 11 percent raise

Preventing death when the ‘Big One’ hits

Utah land swaps could foil a Trump bid to strip protection

Poll: What are the top priorities for 3rd District voters?

Trump Administration announces changes to school lunch regulations

New superintendent announces resignation from San Juan School District after one year in the post

Survey: Keep neighborhoods intact with new Farmington high school boundaries

Saratoga Springs school’s Jump Team takes jump roping to new heights

Film screening to shine spotlight on youth suicide prevention
A panel following the film will feature four experts

Utah Teacher Allegedly Brought ‘Meticulous’ Child Porn Scrapbooks to His Middle School

Utah middle school takes ‘extra precautions’ in light of social media threat
Safety » Social media post by former Clayton Middle School student suggested violence.

Burger King awards scholarships to 13 Utahns

Saddle Up for Silicon Slopes! Our Guide to the 2017 ASU+GSV Summit

OPINION & COMMENTARY

10 reasons why charter schools rock

Keep kids’ minds fresh over summer

The real problem with school voucher programs

The Case for the Rebel
Disruptive students may not be the easiest to have in class, but perhaps defiance should be encouraged.

NATION

Charters, Vouchers, ESAs Add Heat to State Legislative Debates

Trump Asks Congress to Extend School Choice Programs

Is the High School Graduation Rate Inflated? No, Study Says

Pre-K: Decades Worth of Studies, One Strong Message

Lawmaker says it’s time to rethink compulsory education

New York releases new education standards proposal
Amid planned changes, math test opt out numbers decline in Capital Region

SF teachers seek labor support with letter in student backpacks

Trump administration: No changes to girls’ education effort

Supreme Court May Be Next for School Board Prayer Case

Apex Friendship High student ‘disciplined’ after comparing step team to freed slaves

Indiana teen is graduating college — before she gets her high school diploma

Some Suburban Schools Ban Fidget Spinners as Popularity Grows

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Granite School District gives teachers 11 percent raise

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -It became official Tuesday night: Granite School District’s teachers are getting a pay raise.
The school board approved an 11 percent increase for all teachers in its district tonight. That means salaries for first-year teachers will be bumped up to $41,000.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RG (KUTV)

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

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

 

Preventing death when the ‘Big One’ hits

SALT LAKE CITY — Prominent scientists are predicting 2,500 deaths, 9,300 life threatening injuries and 84,000 families displaced from their homes when a major earthquake hits along the Wasatch fault. They also say the odds are almost 50-50 of a 6.75 magnitude quake or greater in the next 50 years.
Most of the deaths will occur in unreinforced masonry buildings and homes (URMs). They were built before 1970 and basically their roofs are not firmly attached to the walls. In a major quake the roof comes crashing down on anyone inside, a sort of pancake effect. Newer buildings will sway with the quake and suffer heavy damage, but most likely won’t crush the people inside.

And what about your children if the earthquake hits while they are in school? It depends on which district they are in and how new the buildings are. The scientists are saying 1 of every 10 schools in Utah would collapse in a major quake.
The Salt Lake City District has earthquake proofed all of their schools. Paul Schulte, Auxilliry Services Director in the district, took ABC4’s Randall Carlisle on a tour of Highland High as an example of what’s been done.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9S2 (KTVX)

 

Utah land swaps could foil a Trump bid to strip protection

If the latest partisan battle over the fate of national monuments feels a bit like déjà vu, there’s a good reason for that.
A Democratic commander-in-chief used the Antiquities Act to protect a large swath of land, and a new Republican administration called for a review of recently designated monuments. Congress raised the specter of curtailing the 1906 law that allows presidents to declare such sites, and a legal battle royal loomed.
That was two decades ago.
But President Trump’s executive order last week mandating a review of dozens of sites created by his predecessors doesn’t just raise a series of striking parallels. In at least one case, it actually is the same monument back on the chopping block: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which includes 1.87 million acres of southern Utah desert.
And those past disputes – and the resulting covenants – over that monument could complicate the Trump administration’s hopes for making any new changes via executive fiat.

Given that nearly two decades have passed since land exchanges related to the Utah monument’s designation were executed, several legal observers agreed that any changes to the monument’s status or boundaries would not trigger any mandatory reversal of those deals.
Moreover, the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration – the state agency whose lands were exchanged in the negotiations over the Grand Staircase-Escalante boundaries – has voiced no desire to give up the property it gained in the transaction.
“The exchange that was negotiated in 1998 was fully and fairly negotiated, and I don’t see that we would try to trade back into it,” John Andrews, Utah SITLA’s associate director and chief legal counsel, told E&E News last week.
He added of the lands the state gained in Carbon and Emery counties, which include oil, gas and coal production: “The land exchange that was completed in 1998 has … had a great result for the school trust.”
According to an account summary provided by Andrews, those lands have produced nearly $341 million for the state as of late April.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9S7 ([Washington, DC] Environment & Energy News)

 

Poll: What are the top priorities for 3rd District voters?

What do 3rd District voters want from their representative in Congress? A new poll may provide a path forward for those seeking to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
Chaffetz announced last month he would not seek re-election in 2018, leaving the seat open. Chaffetz has also hinted he may resign prior to the end of his term, necessitating a special election to pick his replacement in Washington.
A previous UtahPolicy.com survey found that former independent candidate Evan McMullin and Utah Valley University President Matt Holland generated the most interest from voters as a possible replacement, although neither have publicly said they plan to run for Chaffetz’s seat. The same survey found 82% of voters had no preference at this early time.
We asked voters what they thought the greatest issue facing the 3rd District that a member of Congress could do something about.
. 16% picked schools and education
. 11% said health care or health insurance was their top issue.
. 6% picked control of public lands
. 25% picked some other issue while 23% didn’t have an opinion.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rs (UP)

 

Trump Administration announces changes to school lunch regulations

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Trump Administration announced on Monday new changes to school lunch regulations.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the changes aren’t meant to roll back former First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to battle obesity but to provide ‘regulatory flexibility.’
The new changes will relax whole grain requirements, allow 1% fat flavored milk back into schools, and would relax sodium limits.
These changes met with optimism by the Granite School District who is hopeful that the changes will give them more flexibility in the kinds of foods they can provide to kids.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RJ (KTVX)

 

New superintendent announces resignation from San Juan School District after one year in the post

Dr. Ed Lyman has announced that he is leaving the San Juan School District after serving as superintendent for less than one year. His resignation is effective on August 1.
Lyman signed a two-year contract when he joined the district as superintendent on July 1, 2016. He replaced the longtime superintendent, Dr. Doug Wright.
Lyman has worked in the education field for more than 30 years, including 14 years serving as the superintendent at school districts in Texas.
In a letter to faculty and staff on May 2, Lyman stated that his personal situation has changed and that family matters in Texas “require more and more attention and may soon require my presence.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9S3 (San Juan Record)

 

Survey: Keep neighborhoods intact with new Farmington high school boundaries

BOUNTIFUL – Keeping neighborhoods intact was the highest priority for many who are going to be affected by a new high school under construction in Farmington.
The new school is slated to open in fall 2018, so the Davis School District is in the initial stages of a boundary study that will determine which students will attend once it opens.
The 4,379 respondents to an online survey conducted in April felt keeping existing neighborhoods intact should be the highest priority moving forward, followed closely by considering proximity to the school.
The third-highest priority, according to survey results presented at a Board of Education workshop Tuesday, May 2, was school feeder patterns from elementary to junior high to high school.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RC (OSE)

 

Saratoga Springs school’s Jump Team takes jump roping to new heights

For nine years, Harvest Elementary School students in Saratoga Springs have been showing off their fancy footwork and creativity through jump roping.
The team provides a lot of motivation for the students involved and helps them stay healthy at the same time, sixth-grade teacher Todd Bilbao said at the group’s final performance of the year on Tuesday.
“We see how it builds self confidence for kids,” he said. “We have kids on the team that are completely shy when they first start and by the end they just shine.”
The 30-minute performance allowed the students to show off the tricks they’d been taught and the ones they’d made up as they jumped in groups or individually.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RD (PDH)

 

Film screening to shine spotlight on youth suicide prevention
A panel following the film will feature four experts

When Greg Hudnall was the principal of a high school in Provo, he got a call that would change his life. Police wanted him to identify the body of a boy who had killed himself.
“When I got done, I literally threw up and I made a vow that I would do everything I could to prevent suicide,” he said. “That was 1997. I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Hudnall went on to found HOPE4UTAH, a Provo-based organization that helps communities rally for youth suicide prevention. And he is among the experts featured in the KUED documentary “Hope Lives: Preventing Teen Suicide in Utah,” which will be screened in Park City on May 9 as part of Mental Health Awareness Month, organized by the local mental health nonprofit Connect Summit County.
Following the screening, Hudnall, along with three other experts who appear in the film – Douglas Gray, a doctor who studies suicide at the University of Utah; Kimberly Myers, suicide prevention coordinator for the state of Utah; and Paul Dymock, an instructor at the University of Utah’s College of Social Work – will participate in a panel discussion about the issue.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9S4 (PR)

 

Utah Teacher Allegedly Brought ‘Meticulous’ Child Porn Scrapbooks to His Middle School

A 58-year-old middle school teacher is facing criminal charges in Utah where authorities allege he brought two homemade scrapbooks filled with child pornography to his classroom last week, PEOPLE learns.
In court records obtained by PEOPLE, detectives allege that Michael Scott Hatfield created both of the scrapbooks with “meticulous attention” to detail. He was arrested on Thursday – less than a week after police began investigating his alleged behavior.
Hatfield has since lost his teaching position at the American Preparatory Academy in West Valley City, Utah. The school said in a statement that it performed its most recent background check on Hatfield last year and found he had no record of arrests or past incidences.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9S6 (People)

 

Utah middle school takes ‘extra precautions’ in light of social media threat
Safety » Social media post by former Clayton Middle School student suggested violence.

School officials at Clayton Middle School took “extra precautions” Tuesday to ensure safety after a social media post from a former student alluded to an act of violence.
“Even though we don’t think there’s going to be anything happening, we have to take every threat seriously,” said Salt Lake City School District spokesman Jason Olsen.
The former student had made threats of violence while enrolled at the school, Olsen said, and was later unenrolled for unrelated academic reasons. He recently had posted to social media, mentioning Tuesday’s date.
Because the post was so public, Olsen said the school sent parents an email Monday night “explaining that we were aware of the post and that extra precautions would be in place.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RA (SLT)

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

 

Burger King awards scholarships to 13 Utahns

SALT LAKE CITY – The Burger King McLamore Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the fast-food chain, has announced 13 Utahns will receive $1,000 scholarships. The beneficiaries join more than 3,200 other recipients throughout North America that were awarded a collective $3.5 million in scholarships.
The recipients include:
. Zackary Moore, Burger King employee
. Ronald Elmen, American Preparatory Academy
. Olivia Dubell, East High School
. EmmieKate Leisham, East High School
. Manariyo Lenata, East High School
. Jaz Williams, Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts
. Robin Young, Judge Memorial Catholic High School
. Tyler Erickson, Bingham High School
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RB (DN)

 

Saddle Up for Silicon Slopes! Our Guide to the 2017 ASU+GSV Summit

Polish the dress shoes. Stiffen those shirt collars. This week, many of the education industry’s bigwigs are planning their annual pilgrimage to the next ” tech mecca” of America. Salt Lake City, recently christened by Forbes with that title, will host the ASU+GSV Summit on May 8-10.
The region boasts an unusual concentration of highly-valued tech startups-Domo, Qualtrics and Inside Sales are among them-along with big education companies, including Instructure, the developer of the Canvas learning management system. There’s also Pluralsight, a provider of tech-training courses that analysts bet will hit the public market soon. Luminaries in the edtech industry, including Richard Culatta (ISTE CEO and former director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education) and David Wiley (the “godfather” of OER and Chief Academic Officer of Lumen Learning), trace their roots here.
What is it about the Utah that makes it a hotbed of education and technology talent?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9S5 ([Burlingame, CA] EdSurge)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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10 reasons why charter schools rock
Sutherland Institute commentary by education policy analyst Christine Cooke

1. Charter schools give parents and students academic options. As of 2014, roughly 7 million children nationwide were attending a school of their choice.
2. Charters give parents and students non-academic options. Many parents use education to improve their child’s peer environment or classroom behavior expectations.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RF

 

Keep kids’ minds fresh over summer
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Warren Pugh

Thousands of educators lament the onset of summer simply because so much taught in a given year is lost by or before summer’s end. Thousands, including administrators, simply do not even think about it. A thousand or so more are involved in academic summer programs, camps and summer school in an attempt to salvage nine months of classwork.
The dread of children who love school, peers and teachers is part of the equation not to mention the existence of thousands of dysfunctional homes
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RE

 

The real problem with school voucher programs
Washington Examiner op-ed by Nat Malkus, research fellow in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute

The Institute for Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education released a study last week showing that students randomly selected to receive a voucher under the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program had lower math achievement after one year compared to students who were not selected. These are discouraging results for school choice advocates, for Republicans in Congress who are trying to reauthorize the federally-funded program, for school choice supporter and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and for the DCOSP program specifically.
These results are clear evidence that, at least on some measures, the program not only failed to boost students’ performance, but actually made it worse. By comparing students who won a scholarship through a random lottery to those who did not, the study establishes that the differences between them were actually caused by the program.
Choice advocates can quibble with the one-year duration of the study or take solace in its more positive findings (for instance, OSP parents believed that their children’s schools were safer than non-OSP parents did), but they should not ignore the bad news. D.C.’s voucher program is not working out as promised, and it’s not the only one. These findings come on the heels of similarly rigorous studies of voucher programs in Ohio and Louisiana that found even worse outcomes.
But don’t wave the white flag for school choice just yet.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rz

 

The Case for the Rebel
Disruptive students may not be the easiest to have in class, but perhaps defiance should be encouraged.
Atlantic commentary by ASHLEY LAMB-SINCLAIR, 2016 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and the founder and CEO of Curio Learning

It tends to be common knowledge that Albert Einstein was bad at school, but less known is that he was also bad in school. Einstein not only received failing grades-a problem for which he was often summoned to the headmaster’s office-but he also had a bad attitude. He sat in the back of the class smirking at the teacher; he was disrespectful and disruptive; he questioned everything; and, when he was faced with the ultimatum to straighten up or drop out, he dropped out. That’s right: Albert Einstein was a dropout. And yet, he grew up to become one of the greatest thinkers in human history.
One can write off Einstein’s accomplishments as an exception to the rule; they can reason that his behavior was actually a symptom of being so smart that school didn’t challenge him, which is probably somewhat true. But what if what made Einstein a change agent was his rebellious nature rather than his intelligence? After all, the world is full of brilliant people who accomplish very little compared to Einstein.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RV

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Charters, Vouchers, ESAs Add Heat to State Legislative Debates
Education Week

The appointment of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has brought plenty of national attention to the debate over vouchers, Education Savings Accounts, and charter schools. But the real action at this point is still at the state level, where legislators and governors have the most say over the future of these sorts of policies.
That’s because states, in most instances provide the bulk of K-12 funding, not the federal government, and changes in state education governance would have to come from them.
Josh Cunningham, an education manager for the National Conference of State Legislatures said that, compared to nonelection years, such as this year, he’s seen an uptick in legislation for ESAs in this year’s legislative sessions and, so far, a decline in efforts to dramatically expand or start brand new voucher or charter school programs. An ESA is an account set up by the government that parents withdraw money from to spend on approved educational expenses such as private school tuition, tutoring, online courses, transportation, or some types of therapy.
In all, 26 states have considered ESA legislation as of May 1, compared to 21 states that considered ESA legislation in 2015. As for school choice bills more broadly, 35 states had seen legislation introduced this year to create new ESA, voucher, or charter school programs or substantially amend their existing programs, compared to 42 states in 2015. Both these numbers could expand in the coming weeks as more legislative sessions come to a close, Cunningham pointed out.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ry

 

Trump Asks Congress to Extend School Choice Programs
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is asking Congress to work with him to extend school choice programs.
Trump says “every child has a right to fulfill their potential.”
He praised a school voucher program in Washington, D.C., that allows low-income students to use federal funds to attend private schools. Trump called on Congress to give school choice options to millions of students in the U.S., including low-income African-American and Hispanic students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RP

 

Is the High School Graduation Rate Inflated? No, Study Says
Education Week

Watered-down graduation requirements, mistaken calculations, and push-outs of unsuccessful students may have falsely boosted high school graduation rates in a few states, but are not widespread enough to have inflated the national graduation rate, which is at an all-time high of 83.2 percent, according to a study released Wednesday.
The eighth edition of the annual “Building A Grad Nation” report took on the skepticism that surrounded President Barack Obama’s October announcement of the national graduation-rate milestone.
The report also includes detailed breakdowns of 2014-15 high school graduation rates, by state and student subgroup, along with a plea for states to pay better attention to low-income and minority students, students with disabilities, and students learning English, since larger shares of those groups tend not to earn their diplomas in four years.
Statistics in the report capture the persistent disparities in graduation rates that lie just beneath the all-time, overall high of 83 percent.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ru

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

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rv (GradNation)

 

Pre-K: Decades Worth of Studies, One Strong Message
NPR

Some of the nation’s top researchers who’ve spent their careers studying early childhood education recently got together in Washington with one goal in mind: to cut through the fog of studies and the endless debates over the benefits of pre-school.
And they came away with one clear, strong message: Kids who attend public preschool programs are better prepared for kindergarten than kids who don’t.
The findings come in a report “The Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Pre-Kindergarten Effects,” and the authors include big names from the early childhood world: Deborah Phillips of Georgetown University, Mark W. Lipsey of Vanderbilt, Kenneth Dodge of Duke, Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution and others.
It lays out the current state of preschool education in the U.S. and what research can tell us about what works and what doesn’t.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RL

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RM (Brookings)

 

More Teachers Are Creating GoFundMe Campaigns to Pay for Classroom Supplies
Education Week

A growing number of teachers nationwide are turning to GoFundMe to pay for classroom supplies, according to new data released by the fundraising website.
Teachers have long reported reaching into their own wallets to pay for the resources their students need to learn. My colleague, Madeline Will, reports in the Teaching Now blog on a survey by the education company Scholastic of 4,271 public school educators who, on average, spent $530 a year of their own money on classroom items and basics their students needed, like food and clothing. Teachers in high-poverty schools spent 40 percent more-an average of $672. You can read how donorschoose.org is helping teachers to raise money to supply their students with basic needs in this Teacher Beat blog.
To date, 72,000 GoFundMe campaigns supporting K-12 teachers have raised $33.8 million, according to a recent press release by the company. The release also includes a link to a K-12 guidebook providing step-by-step instructions on how teachers can design their own fundraising initiatives, as well as state-by-state data showing how much money teachers across the country have already raised.
At $4.7 million in total donations, California teachers have so far raised the most. Texas teachers are second with $2.1 million. The chart below shows how other states stack up.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RS

More information
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RT (GoFundMe)

 

Lawmaker says it’s time to rethink compulsory education
Capitol Media Services via (Tucson) Arizona Daily Star

PHOENIX – A first-term lawmaker says it’s time to reconsider the 30-year-old requirement that students make it at least to the 10th grade before they can drop out of high school.
In fact, Rep. Paul Mosley, R-Lake Havasu City, questions whether any parent should ever be forced to send a child to public school, at any age.
Mosley, who attended public schools and has a bachelor’s degree in business management, said he’s not anti-education. But he told Capitol Media Services the current system of forcing children to go to school and forcing their parents to send them there is not creating a better educated society.
“Do you know what our dropout rate is?” he asked when queried about his position. “One of the highest in the world.”
And Mosley said Arizona, with more than 40,000 people behind bars, has among the highest incarceration rates in the world.
“And we spent $1.1 billion every year,” he said. “So how’s compulsory education working for us?”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RW

 

New York releases new education standards proposal
Amid planned changes, math test opt out numbers decline in Capital Region
Albany (NY) Times-Union

Albany — A nearly two-year process to revamp reading and math standards in New York classrooms is nearing the finish line.
State education officials on Tuesday announced what they consider “substantive” changes to the state’s K-12 standards, which were overhauled in 2011 to be more rigorous but criticized for being age-inappropriate, especially for younger children. The new proposed changes promote reading for pleasure, reading and analyzing fiction as well as nonfiction, and exploring certain math concepts before being expected to master them.
Like many state education efforts in recent years, the proposals aim to mollify critics on both sides of the standards debate – those who fear American children are falling behind the rest of the world and those who say students are being saddled with too much work at too young an age.
“This should be an ongoing process,” state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia told reporters Tuesday. “We’ve been doing standards in the United States since 1647 and (revisions) are a process that should constantly occur.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RX

Copies of the standards
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RY (NY Board of Regents)

 

SF teachers seek labor support with letter in student backpacks
San Francisco Chronicle

Teachers at a San Francisco elementary school sought to enlist community support in contract negotiations by sending a letter home to parents in student backpacks, a move that district officials said violated state law.
The letter, sent Thursday by some teachers at Daniel Webster Elementary, informed parents that the teachers planned to work only the hours required by their contract as of May 1, an action known as work-to-rule that is sometimes used by employees in labor disputes.
“We will arrive together at 8:20 a.m., take our 45-minute duty-free lunch, and leave together at 4 p.m.,” the teachers wrote, adding that meetings, tutoring and other activities would be “abbreviated” and that no homework would be assigned. “While we are committed to providing quality education to your children, SFUSD cannot continue to take our generosity for granted and expect us to volunteer hours every day.”
The teachers said they would prioritize activities, only performing those they had time for. Communicating with parents and maintaining classrooms was at the top of the list while completing special education paperwork was toward the bottom. Yet none of those activities are voluntary, district officials said.
Teachers have the right to use a work-to-rule strategy to “exert pressure on management,” said district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe. However, she said, “teachers and paraprofessionals are still expected to carry out required duties such as corresponding with parents, organizing and maintaining classroom space, giving grades and homework.”
Under California’s Educational Employment Relations Act, teachers aren’t allowed to distribute such letters to families using school time or resources, Blythe said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rt

 

Trump administration: No changes to girls’ education effort
USA Today

The Trump administration on Tuesday said it planned no changes to an international girls’ education program championed by first lady Michelle Obama, disputing earlier media reports that said the administration had effectively dismantled the effort.
On Monday, USA TODAY reported that Peace Corps employees had been told to stop using the name of “Let Girls Learn,” an international education initiative – and that, based on an internal message by Peace Corps acting director Sheila Crowley, “Let Girls Learn” as a program unto itself was ending.
The contents of the message were first reported by CNN. In the message, Crowley told employees that the program, which pushes for greater access to schooling for adolescent girls in developing countries, would cease being a “stand-alone program.”
“‘Let Girls Learn’ provided a platform to showcase Peace Corps’ strength in community development, shining a bright light on the work of our Volunteers all over the world,” Crowley wrote in the email. “We are so proud of what ‘Let Girls Learn’ accomplished and we have all of you to thank for this success.”
But the administration on Tuesday said that no changes to the 2-year-old program have been made or authorized.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RU

 

Supreme Court May Be Next for School Board Prayer Case
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court has refused to reconsider its ruling allowing student-led prayer at school board meetings in Texas.
In March, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected a challenge of student-led prayers at board meetings of the Birdville, Texas, Independent School District. The ruling said the prayers don’t run afoul of the prohibition against government-established religion.
On Tuesday, a request for a rehearing by the full New Orleans-based 5th Circuit court was rejected without comment.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Rx

 

Apex Friendship High student ‘disciplined’ after comparing step team to freed slaves
Raleigh (NC) News & Observer

A student at Apex Friendship High School was disciplined for sending a “highly offensive racial remark” on the social media platform Snapchat, according to the Wake County school system.
A black-and-white photo was taken from the bleachers of the gymnasium during a Friday pep rally while the school’s step team performed. The caption on the photo said, “Plantation owner watches his former slaves rejoice and celebrate their newfound freedom Circa 1864.”
The step team members in the photo are African-American. The image was deleted shortly after it was posted to friends in the Snapchat app.
Matt Wight, the school’s principal, sent a voicemail message to parents Monday telling them how Apex Friendship responded.
“The administration investigated the situation and identified the student, who is being disciplined in accordance with WCPSS guidelines,” Wight said. “I met with the Step Team today and reassured them that this type of behavior would not be tolerated.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RQ

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

 

Indiana teen is graduating college — before she gets her high school diploma

OK, so you thought your 18-year-old who has just picked his or her college is some kind of brain box?
Then consider Indiana’s Raven Osborne.
Yup, Osborne, who has been taking college classes part-time, is to graduate from university. Before she gets her high school diploma.
And now she is going to be a teacher at the same high school.
Osborne, a senior at the 895-student 21st Century Charter School in Gary, will earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in early childhood education from Purdue University Northwest on May 5 – and then graduate from high school on May 22.
“Yeah, they think I’m lying,” Raven told CBS News.
But it’s true. According to the Big Ten Network (BTN), Osborne began taking classes at a local community college as a freshman and soon earned an associate’s degree in general studies. Then, encouraged by her mother, Hazel Osborne, and 21st Century’s president and superintendent, Kevin Teasley, she decided to become the first in the school’s history to earn a bachelor’s degree while still enrolled.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RN (USAT)

 

Some Suburban Schools Ban Fidget Spinners as Popularity Grows
(Chicago) WMAQ

The latest trend hitting classrooms across the country is a colorful knick-knack that advocates say promotes focus, but some school administrators are reportedly banning the device, saying it has instead become more of a distraction.
The compact toy, a three-pronged piece of plastic that spins about a steel bearing, is meant to prevent fidgeting by keeping hands occupied and is supposed to improve concentration, calm anxiety and inspire learning.
“There seems to be a surprising benefit to these toys in class in regards to perhaps some sensory benefit that they offer kids,” said Dr. Louis Kraus, chief of adolescent and child psychology at Rush University Medical Center.
And the toys are increasingly popular, becoming among the hottest items to be sold on Amazon as instructional YouTube videos reach millions of views. At Learning Express Toy Store, the fidget spinners are so popular they have to be kept behind the counter.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9RZ

http://gousoe.uen.org/9S1 (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9S0 (CBC)

 

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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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