Education News Roundup May 5, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Congratulations to Utah’s new Presidential Scholars and their teachers:

  • Anne Clark, Provo – Timpview High School
  • Raymond W. Li, Logan – Logan High School
  • Kathy Liu, Sandy – West High School
  • Marin Murdock, Herriman – Herriman High School

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tj (ED)

2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Distinguished Teachers

  • Denise Abbott, Timpview High School, UT, Physiology & Anatomy, Science Department Chair; Nominating Scholar: Anne Clark
  • Melissa Anderson, West High School, UT, Chemistry; Nominating Scholar: Kathy Liu
  • Mrs. Julianna Wing, Herriman High School, UT, Business and Marketing; Nominating Scholar: Marin Murdock
  • Jason Soffe, Logan High School, UT, United States History and Government; Nominating Scholar: Raymond W. Li

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tk (ED)

Congratulations to the Utah schools that made the Washington Post’s America’s Most Challenging High Schools list
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tm (WaPo)
Utah schools on the list:

  • Park City High School
  • Hillcrest High School
  • Timpview High School
  • St. Joseph Catholic High School
  • InTech Collegiate High School
  • Provo High School

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

Lacrosse. It’s an official thing in Utah high schools now.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9T6 (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9T7 (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9Th (DN via KSL)

It appears Secretary DeVos will be in Salt Lake City on Tuesday for the ASU + GSV Summit.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9TC (ASU + GVS)

U.S. News & World Report looks at the trend of white, wealthy neighborhoods seceding from their school districts to form new districts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ty (USN&WR)

Ed Week looks at what President Trump’s order on religious liberty might mean for schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ts (Ed Week)
or a copy of the order
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tt (White House)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

161 Students From Across the Country Named 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars

Top-performing schools with elite students

UHSAA Board of Trustees approves new members, three new assistant directors hired

UHSAA to sanction boys’, girls’ lacrosse

Roy athletes not dragged down by Type 1 diabetes

Hill AFB hosts teen bullying, suicide prevention breakfast

Utah teen settles federal lawsuit to allow girl wrestlers

Utah elementary students celebrate May the Fouth Be with You

Utah Technology Council begins search for new CEO

What are fidget spinners? And why are they annoying teachers?

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Thumbs up, thumbs down

America’s Most Challenging High Schools: A 30-year project that keeps growing

NATION

The Quiet Wave of School District Secessions
Since 1986, 47 school districts have splintered off to create their own whiter and wealthier districts.

Trump Religious Liberty Order Is Modest But Has Implications for Education

Students Sue Over Suspensions for ‘Likes’ on Racist Posts

After reshaping itself to combat declining interest, Teach For America reports a rise in applications

Getting Kids Moving Now Could Save Billions in Later Health Costs, Study Finds

A Principal Is Accused of Being a Communist, Rattling a Brooklyn School

When Elmo And Big Bird Talk To Refugees

Kellogg Foundation Giving $51M to Public Schools in Hometown

Puerto Rico to Close 184 Public Schools Amid Crisis

Pearson shares jump on new cost-cuts, investors rebel at AGM

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UTAH NEWS
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161 Students From Across the Country Named 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the 53rd class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts and career and technical education fields.
“I congratulate this year’s class of Presidential Scholars for their devotion to academic excellence and their parents and teachers who have guided them along the way,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “Today’s Presidential Scholars are tomorrow’s leaders, and I am confident they will continue to be shining examples as they enter the next phase of their academic careers.”
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Utah

  • **Anne Clark, Provo – Timpview High School
  • Raymond W. Li, Logan – Logan High School
  • Kathy Liu, Sandy – West High School
  • **Marin Murdock, Herriman – Herriman High School

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tj (ED)

2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Distinguished Teachers

  • Denise Abbott, Timpview High School, UT, Physiology & Anatomy, Science Department Chair; Nominating Scholar: Anne Clark
  • Melissa Anderson, West High School, UT, Chemistry; Nominating Scholar: Kathy Liu
  • Mrs. Julianna Wing, Herriman High School, UT, Business and Marketing; Nominating Scholar: Marin Murdock
  • Jason Soffe, Logan High School, UT, United States History and Government; Nominating Scholar: Raymond W. Li

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tk (ED)

 

Top-performing schools with elite students
Washington Post

The Washington Post’s America’s Most Challenging High Schools list is designed to recognize schools that challenge average students. These top-performing schools, listed in alphabetical order, were excluded from the list because, despite their exceptional quality, their admission rules and standardized test scores indicate they have few or no average students. Non-neighborhood schools with SAT or ACT averages above the highest averages for neighborhood schools nationally are placed on this list. Our sampling of private schools is exempt from this rule so that readers can see how they compare with schools on the main list.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tm

The list
Utah schools on the list: Park City High School, Hillcrest High School, Timpview High School, St. Joseph Catholic High School, InTech Collegiate High School, Provo High School.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tn (WaPo)

 

UHSAA Board of Trustees approves new members, three new assistant directors hired

MIDVALE – The Utah High School Activities Association’s Board of Trustees approved its own reorganization Thursday afternoon.
The changes, which came as the result of a collaboration between legislators, UHSAA leadership and superintendents, will cut the number of members from 30 to 15.
Instead of a representative from every region and each classification, as well as the State Board of Education, the new Board will be made up of six school board members, three principals, three superintendents, a private school member, a charter school representative and a member of the State School Board.
The new Board of Trustees will be Jordan School Board’s Marilyn Richards (6A); Canyons School Board member Amber Shill (5A); Cache School Board’s Alan Grunig (4A); Juab School Board’s Dale Whitlock (3A); Millard School Board’s Jeff Schena (2A); Wayne School Board’s Cory Anderson (1A).
The three superintendents voted to the new board are Alpine’s Sam Jarman, who will represent 5A and 6A; Duchesne’s Dave Brotherson, who will represent 3A and 4A; and North Summit’s Jerri Holmes, who will represent 1A and 2A.
Layton Christian’s Greg Miller will be the Private School representative, while American Preparatory Academy of Draper’s Brian Durst will represent charter schools. Jennifer Graviet is the State School Board representative.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9TA (DN)

 

UHSAA to sanction boys’, girls’ lacrosse

The Utah High School Activities Association voted Thursday to sanction boys’ and girls’ lacrosse starting with the 2019-20 school year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9T6 (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9T7 (DN)

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

 

Roy athletes not dragged down by Type 1 diabetes

ROY – Gunner Erickson, Justin Boley, Kru Flint and Boyce Call all play different sports at Roy High School.
Erickson plays soccer, Boley plays basketball, Flint plays baseball and Call plays football (though he plays baseball as well).
They all have one striking similarity, however, that one may not notice watching them play.
They all have Type 1 diabetes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9T9 (OSE)

 

Hill AFB hosts teen bullying, suicide prevention breakfast

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – The Family Advocacy Clinic and Suicide Prevention Taskforce here hosted a teen bullying and suicide prevention breakfast and presentation, April 18.
The event was meant in part to facilitate a critical discussion, very timely in Utah, a state with one of the nation’s highest teen suicide rates.
Hope 4 Utah Founder and Executive Director Dr. Gregory A. Hudnall was the event’s guest speaker.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9TB (Hilltop Times)

 

Utah teen settles federal lawsuit to allow girl wrestlers

LAYTON, Utah- Girls in Davis School District will be able to wrestle on their school’s team thanks to 15-year-old Kathleen Janis.
The Deseret News reports Thursday that Janis and her family have settled a federal lawsuit they filed against the school district after the girl had been denied the right to be on the wrestling team.
District officials have agreed to allow girls to participate in any school-sanctioned wrestling programs in exchange for a dismissal of the lawsuit by Janis’ family.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ta (AP via OSE)

 

Utah elementary students celebrate May the Fouth Be with You

HURRICANE Utah-May the Fourth be with you. Hurricane Elementary students got to spend their lunch with a life-size robotic R2D2 who enjoyed having the children follow hmi around and offer him hugs.
Friendly light saber battles were approved by the school’s principal, as were costumes. The students dressed as their favorite Star Wars characters.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tg (KTVX)

 

Utah Technology Council begins search for new CEO

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Technology Council is launching a search for a new CEO.
Richard R. Nelson, who has headed the councils for 18 years, will be transitioning away from his current full-time role later this year. Qualified candidates are invited to apply via UTCCEO at perelson.com.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9T2 (DN)

 

What are fidget spinners? And why are they annoying teachers?

Schools nationwide have decided to ban “fidget spinners” – the hottest new toys for young students, according to Time magazine.
The toy is a simple gadget with a bearing in the middle that spins.
And they’re all the rage. As Time reported, fidget spinners make up every spot in Amazon’s top 20 best-selling toys. Prices range from free to, yes, $1,000.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9T8 (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tc (SGS)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Thumbs up, thumbs down
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

Todd Bilbao, a sixth-grade teacher at Harvest Elementary in Saratoga Springs, is inspiring students to stay healthy, active and involved in school through the Jump Team. Bilbao started the team nine years ago and has been teaching students engaging and jaw-dropping jump rope tricks ever since. But the team also encourages its students to jump higher – both physically and academically.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tb

 

America’s Most Challenging High Schools: A 30-year project that keeps growing
Washington Post commentary by columnist Jay Matthews

This is the 30th anniversary of a moment that changed my life, when I discovered that a public school in a poor Hispanic neighborhood could produce 26 percent of all the successful Mexican American Advanced Placement calculus students in the country by giving students more time and encouragement to learn.
My focus since then has been to explore how this was done and identify those schools working hardest to challenge students from all backgrounds with courses such as AP and International Baccalaureate. One way has been to produce each year The Washington Post’s list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. The 2017 edition has just launched.
The list shows a sustained increase in the number of schools that qualify through AP, IB and Cambridge test participation, even though the vast majority of U.S. schools still do not make the list. In 1998, the first year of what I call the Challenge Index, only about one percent of U.S. schools qualified. The number this year is up to about 12 percent.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tl

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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The Quiet Wave of School District Secessions
Since 1986, 47 school districts have splintered off to create their own whiter and wealthier districts.
U.S. News & World Report

When a judge ruled last week that the predominantly white Alabama city of Gardendale can secede from the majority black Jefferson County to form its own school district, the decision paved the way for the eighth such secession of wealthier and whiter municipalities in the state since 2000.
The judge’s ruling, which acknowledged that “race was a motivating factor” behind the effort despite its backers insistence they simply wanted more local control, garnered national attention because of a standing desegregation order the county has been under since 1965.
But dozens of school districts have similarly broken away from bigger ones – at least 36 since 2000, according to EdBuild, a nonprofit that focuses on education funding and inequality – moves that went largely undetected. In almost all cases, the communities involved were less diverse and had higher property values than those they left behind, compounding socioeconomic inequalities that plague public schools.
“All this stuff is happening really quietly,” says Rebecca Sibilia, founder of EdBuild. “You’re talking about students who are left behind and who are further disadvantaged by the fact that their neighbors are able to move the goal posts on them.”
In total, 30 states have a process in place allowing districts to secede, according to a legislative analysis by researchers at EdBuild, who are preparing to publish a report on secessions next month. Of those 30 states, only 17 require consideration be given to the secession’s impact on students, and only six require consideration be given to the impact on socioeconomic factors and diversity. Moreover, only nine states require a study of the potential fiscal impact to the district.
“Said another way, in 21 states school districts can secede in order to create massive differences in school funding without there needing to be any remediation,” Sibilia says. “As you start to look at the detail related to secession policies, you start to realize that this is actually something that’s very permissible in several states.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ty

 

Trump Religious Liberty Order Is Modest But Has Implications for Education
Education Week

President Donald Trump on Thursday issued an executive order on religious liberty that was much more modest in scope than some had expected, but which still drew criticism from progressive groups, including those that say the order could have harmful effects in education.
“We were bracing for a direct attack on the LGBT community that would have allowed attacks on protections for LGBT students,” said Nathan Smith, the public policy director of the GLSEN, formerly known as the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network.
However, the order signed by Trump does not include the provisions in a draft version-leaked earlier this year-that would have protected religious freedom to a broad definition of individuals and organizations “when providing social services, education, or health care; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with federal, state or local governments,” as the draft stated.
Groups including GLSEN, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Human Rights Campaign expressed concerns that such language would have allowed, say, school principals or counselors with an individual religious objection to gay rights to deny help or equal treatments to gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ts

A copy of the order
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tt (White House)

 

Students Sue Over Suspensions for ‘Likes’ on Racist Posts
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A California school district suspended a high school student after racist images that included nooses drawn around the necks of a black student and coach appeared on his social media site.
But a federal lawsuit says the district went too far when it also disciplined students who indicated they “liked” the posts on the Instagram account. The suit – filed Monday in San Francisco on behalf of four students- accuses the Albany Unified School District of violating students’ free speech rights and says the district did not have the authority to suspend the students because the offensive posts were on a private account that had no connection with any official school activity or school account.
“This to me is no different than having a private drawing book and making some offensive drawings at home and sharing them with a couple of friends,” said Alan Beck, an attorney for four students who “liked” or commented on the offensive Instagram account. “Does the school have the right to ruin my life over something I was doing at my house?”
Legal experts say the lawsuit will present federal courts with another opportunity to decide how strictly schools can regulate student speech. And it raises thorny questions about whether “likes” on social media should be treated similarly to the original posts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tq

 

After reshaping itself to combat declining interest, Teach For America reports a rise in applications
Chalkbeat

Teach for America says its application numbers jumped by a significant number this year, reversing a three-year trend of declining interest in the program.
The organization’s CEO said in a blog post this week that nearly 49,000 people applied for the 2017 program, which places college graduates in low-income schools across the country after summer training – up from just 37,000 applicants last year.
“After three years of declining recruitment, our application numbers spiked this year, and we’re in a good position to meet our goals for corps size, maintaining the same high bar for admission that we always have,” Elisa Villanueva Beard wrote. The post was reported by Politico on Wednesday.
The news comes after significant shake-ups at the organization. One of TFA’s leaders left in late 2015, and the organization slashed its national staff by 15 percent last year. As applications fell over the last several years, it downsized in places like New York City and Memphis, decentralized its operations, and shifted its focus to attracting a more diverse corps with deeper ties to the locations where the program places new teachers.
This year’s application numbers are still down from 2013, when 57,000 people applied for a position. But Villanueva Beard said the changes were working, and that “slightly more than half of 2017 applicants identify as a person of color.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tx

 

Getting Kids Moving Now Could Save Billions in Later Health Costs, Study Finds
Education Week

Fewer than 1 in 3 American children get enough exercise every week. If they don’t get more active, more than 8 million will be obese by their 18th birthdays-and their health care and lost productivity as adults could cost the country close to $3 trillion, finds a new study in the journal Health Affairs.
“Physical activity is not something that’s nice to do, nice to have,” said Bruce Y. Lee, the executive director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center and an associate professor in international health at Johns Hopkins University, who led the study. “It’s an investment in encouraging kids to be healthy, and it also affects cognition and learning.”
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center at Carnegie Mellon University found fewer than 32 percent of children ages 8 to 11 get at least 25 minutes of strong physical activity at least three times a week. That’s actually a conservative recommended activity level by the Sports Association; the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics call for at least an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day.
Many factors contribute to children becoming sedentary, Lee said: less time and budget in schools for physical education, recess, and after-school sports; less access to safe public parks and playgrounds, particularly for students in poverty; increasing specialization in youth sports that may increase cost and barriers to entry; and rising screentime for children.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tu

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tv (Health Affairs) $

 

A Principal Is Accused of Being a Communist, Rattling a Brooklyn School
New York Times

It was early March when a representative from the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Special Investigations sat down with Jill Bloomberg, the longtime principal of Park Slope Collegiate in Brooklyn, a combined middle and high school, to inform her that she was under investigation.
The representative told Ms. Bloomberg that she could not tell her the nature of any allegations, nor who had made them, but said that she would need to interview Ms. Bloomberg’s staff.
Then one of her assistant principals, who had met with an investigator, revealed to her exactly what the allegation was, one that seemed a throwback to another era: Communist organizing.
“I think I just said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. This is something O.S.I. investigates?'” Ms. Bloomberg said, using an abbreviation for the Office of Special Investigations. “I mean, what decade are we living in?”
But after the initial shock, she said she realized she had been waiting for something like this to happen for a long time.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tw

 

When Elmo And Big Bird Talk To Refugees
NPR

Elmo and Big Bird have lots of experience teaching children everything from the ABCs to autism. Soon, they could be bringing smiles – and education – to millions of refugee children forced from their homes in Syria, Iraq and other war torn countries.
But first, Sesame Workshop is doing its homework. In partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Sesame producers and early childhood experts are soliciting guidance and feedback from relief organizations, trauma experts, academics and others who’ve worked with refugees. They’ll also be making research visits to refugee camps in Jordan.
According to the IRC, of the 65 million people displaced from their homes worldwide, more than half are children.
“And certainly I think it’s fair to say there are no more vulnerable people in the world than these refugee families and kids,” Jeff Dunn, the CEO of Sesame Workshop, told a small crowd at the nonprofit company’s New York headquarters recently.
Sesame’s goal is to develop new content – adapted for a variety of platforms – that it hopes will “bolster children’s resiliency” as well as improve their language, math and early reading skills. The target age group is children ages 3-6 and their caregivers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ti

 

Kellogg Foundation Giving $51M to Public Schools in Hometown
Associated Press

DETROIT — The W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced Friday that it’s giving $51 million over five years to the public schools in its hometown of Battle Creek, Michigan, in the hopes of tackling low academic performance that has been linked to longstanding racial inequality and segregation.
The grant ranks among the largest to a single, public K-12 school system. It will be put toward hiring early literacy support staff, offering a free pre-kindergarten summer program, and creating a plan to improve student behavior that includes alternatives to suspensions. It also will be used to launch academies aligned with students’ fields of interest, invest in the arts and athletics, and offer recruitment and retention incentives for teachers, among other things.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9To

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tz (MLive)

Puerto Rico to Close 184 Public Schools Amid Crisis
Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico is closing 184 public schools in a move expected to save millions of dollars amid a deep economic crisis that has sparked an exodus to the U.S. mainland in the past decade, officials said Friday.
An estimated 27,000 students will be moved elsewhere when their schools close at the end of May, Education Department spokeswoman Yolanda Rosaly told The Associated Press.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tp

 

Pearson shares jump on new cost-cuts, investors rebel at AGM
Reuters

LONDON | Investors in education group Pearson (PSON.L) delivered a rebuke to Chief Executive John Fallon on Friday hours after he set out a new cost-cutting plan to try to revive a business hit by the rapid move to digital learning.
Plans to cut costs by 300 million pounds annually by 2020 helped to send Pearson shares up as much as 15 percent but Fallon warned of a long road ahead.
Investor anger was evident at the company’s annual meeting where nearly 70 percent of shareholders voted against its remuneration report in a symbolic protest over the company’s performance under Fallon.
The 173-year-old British company has been hit by a sharp downturn in its biggest markets, issuing five profit warnings in four years, as students ditch more expensive text books for second-hand copies and digital services.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Tr

 

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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 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 1:

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

June 22:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=APPPED

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