Education News Roundup: May 9, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

New poll finds Utahns say schools need more funding.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9TS (UP)

Utah school funding is even picking up interest in Michigan.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UP ([Ann Arbor, MI] Bridge)

Ogden seeks to raise literacy and graduation rates.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ub (OSE)

A psychologist talks with the Cache School Board about its decision to exclude a health survey question on sexual orientation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uk (LHJ)

Congratulations to Utah’s newest STEM schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9U5 (DN)

Secretary DeVos is visiting Granite Technical Institute this morning.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uo (KTVX)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9UQ (KSTU)
or http://gousoe.uen.org/9UB (ED)

State Superintendent Dickson writes of her appreciation of teachers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9U8 (DN)

Florida looks to do a massive overhaul of public education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9TY (Orlando Sentinel)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9TZ (Miami Herald)

What? You mean social media won’t be available in high school … for the whole month?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UJ (Wisconsin State Journal

————————————————————
TODAY’S HEADLINES
————————————————————

UTAH

Poll: Most Utahns say Utah’s schools need more funding

Higher taxes for schools? A big fight brews in Utah

Ogden School District sets goals to raise graduation, literacy rates

Psychologist addresses CCSD on decision to exclude question on sexual orientation

Utah school board votes to repeal ‘No Promo Homo’ policy

8 Utah schools receive official state STEM designation

Recipients of Governor’s Leadership in the Arts honored

Give them an A+: Utah Valley’s Educators of the 2016-17 school year

US Secretary Betsy DeVos to visit Salt Lake City school

Mom writes to heal from Sandy Hook Elementary shooting

Renovations start at Mueller Park Junior High

Alumni hope to get Granite High School campus on National Register of Historic Places

Utah ranked 11th for internet connection, works to expand digital inclusion

For teachers, advancing often means leaving the classroom

30 Weber School District administrators shift positions

Hatch, Wyden, Murkowski, and Cantwell introduce bill to reauthorize secure rural schools program

All students shine at Nebo School District’s Super Stars track event

Childhood motivates Andre Agassi to change education landscape

Basketball offers rare experience in Africa for seven prep players from Utah County
Africa trip » The players help expand a school and make courts while experiencing life in Mali.

UHSAA to add boys and girls lacrosse to list of sanctioned sports for 2019-20 school year

Girls getting hands-on tech experience

‘Bye bye, fishy friends:’ DaVinci kindergartners release trout in Ogden River

Elementary students in Utah given cameras, told to ‘seek the shadows’

Man charged with Eagle Mountain school bomb threat enters plea deal

Evacuations lifted at schools in Alpine School District

Two Utah youth honored for volunteerism at national award ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps pays tribute to Orem and Bountiful students

Miss Emery holds assemblies at local schools

Apple for the Teacher 2017: Vote for the teacher you think should win

Students hit the slopes grass surfin’ at Liberty Park

Arby’s Weather Kids: William Penn Elementary

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week

Children’s budget report finds Utah still behind pre-recession investment in children

Tech innovators should reject move to eliminate school boards and support national standards

’13 Reasons Why’ does more harm than good

‘You Got Schooled’: A Swift discussion at Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy

Considering low student test scores, can the Ogden, UT district justify teacher compensation?

Tooele County, UT teachers compensated well, despite district’s average performance

School choice is popular, but GOP must face down its image problem

Do Conservatives Really Want Local Control of Schools?

Efficiency can cost education
Don’t pursue efficiency in schools at the expense of other important goals.

Have You Seen Junior’s Psych Profile?
Public schools may be assessing your kids without your consent

NATION

Massive education bill alters testing, recess, teacher evaluations, bonuses, charters

Trump Orders Hard Look at Federal Reach on K-12 Policy
Commission to identify threats to local control

New York state says it wants to expand its definition of success – and focus on equity – in judging schools

Madison students required to disconnect from social media apps in pilot program

Under Trump, Ed-Tech Leadership Is Big Question Mark

Does Free Mean Better for Students Choosing SAT Prep Courses

Money to Prep Poor Kids for College? Sorry, Wrong Size Type

Educators Value After-school Program Trump Wants to Nix

Breathe Deeply: Mindfulness coming to a school near you

There’s been a surge in the number of suicide attempts by teenagers and children
The Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’ has sparked debate about teenage suicide

AP: Sex Assaults in High School Sports Minimized as ‘Hazing’

Students Hit President Trump’s Face On Piñata, Teacher Suspended

 

————————————————————
UTAH NEWS
————————————————————

Poll: Most Utahns say Utah’s schools need more funding

Two-thirds of Utahns believe more tax money is needed for public schools, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows.
And Dan Jones & Associates also finds that among those who want more taxes for education, by far most favor a mix of tax hikes – including property, state sales and personal and corporate income taxes.
Our Schools Now, a group of education and business leaders, are in the process of getting a citizen initiative petition on the November 2018 ballot, asking Utahns to raise their own taxes in support of public schools, most of the money slated for neighborhood public institutions.
OSN originally planned to ask for an increase in the personal income tax rate of 5 percentage points to 5.875 points — raising $750 million annually.
But now OSN leaders are considering requests from GOP Gov. Gary Herbert and Republican legislators to either target only the state sales tax – just over 6 percent in Salt Lake County – or have a mix of tax hikes.
And in Jones’ latest survey for UtahPolicy, that mix is favored by 68 percent of Utahns.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9TS (UP)

 

Higher taxes for schools? A big fight brews in Utah

A few months ago, three of the most powerful business figures in Utah coalesced behind a vision they said is vital to the state’s future.
The plan: Hike the state personal income tax from 5 percent to 5.875 percent, raising an additional $750 million a year for K-12 and technical schools and colleges.
In a conservative state like Utah, it was an extraordinary statement from an unlikely source.
And then resistance set in – a cautionary tale from a distant state about the travails of any proposal for a tax increase.
“There is no hidden agenda,” Ron Jibson, retired chairman and CEO of Questar, Utah’s largest gas utility, told a Utah business journal about his group’s proposal to raise taxes for schools.
“This is purely what it is,” he said. “And that is to get our state and our schools in a position where we can compete across the nation…There’s no business purpose, other than if, you know, as business leaders, we need the best students, we need the best employees that we can get.”
Former Utah GOP House Speaker Nolan Karras: “If you want to compete you better have the best-trained workforce.”
Jibson is co-chair of Our Schools Now, along with Scott Anderson, CEO of the largest bank in Utah and billionaire businesswoman Gail Miller, whose family owns the Utah Jazz. The group said it hopes to put the issue before voters in 2018.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UP ([Ann Arbor, MI] Bridge)

 

Ogden School District sets goals to raise graduation, literacy rates

OGDEN – The Ogden School District is setting goals to raise its graduate rate from the lowest in the state and to increase literacy across the board.
At a Board of Education workshop Thursday, May 4, assessment administrator Adam McMickell said the district is aiming for a 72 percent graduation rate and overall literacy rates of 36 percent in 2018. By 2022, the goal is to have an 88 percent graduation rate and a 50 percent literacy rate.
The goals were developed by district staff as part of Project Nexus, which assistant superintendent of schools Chad Carpenter said is an effort to set a district-wide vision, priorities and redesign the way the district’s administrators and leadership team supports that mission.
The Ogden School District had a 68 percent graduation rate in 2016, the lowest of any district in the state.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ub (OSE)

 

Psychologist addresses CCSD on decision to exclude question on sexual orientation

A developmental psychologist addressed the Cache County School District Board of Education on Thursday night expressing concern over the district’s decision to exclude a question that asks students if they identify as heterosexual, homosexual or unsure on a statewide Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Cache County and Davis school districts both declined to include the sexual orientation question, leading the Utah Department of Health to drop the question statewide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires a standard survey across the state, and at least a 60 percent combined response rate, so UDOH decided to drop the question instead of not administering the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, or YRBS, at all.
The YRBS is anonymous, requires parental permission and allows students to not answer a question if they feel uncomfortable. The survey includes questions like how often the respondent was in a car with a drunk driver, if they have been in a fight, if they have been forced into having sexual intercourse or if they have attempted suicide.
Frank Ascione, retired USU professor and current scholar-in-residence at the University of Denver in the social work department, spoke to the school board during the public comment period of Thursday’s study session. He said including the sexual orientation question would help suicide prevention programs target at-risk groups.
“The children in our community who identify, or people who question whether they identify as LGBT, are clearly at risk,” Ascione said. “I think that the failure to include that question on the survey does a disservice to all the youth in the state of Utah.”
He said excluding the question shows that the district does not care about the mental health of LGBT students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uk (LHJ)

 

Utah school board votes to repeal ‘No Promo Homo’ policy

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Board of Education has voted to repeal a controversial policy that prohibits discussion of anything that could be construed as “promotion” of homosexuality in classrooms.
The final item on a long agenda on Friday, the state school board voted to repeal the policy that has been the subject of a lawsuit against the state. LGBTQ rights groups have derisively nicknamed it “No Promo Homo.”
“The amendment removes language in the rule that prohibits advocacy of homosexuality in health education and makes other amendments consistent with the legislation,” said Linda Hansen, a school board member representing West Valley City.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uw (KSTU)

 

8 Utah schools receive official state STEM designation

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Board of Education approved eight public schools for the Utah STEM School Designation. This is the second group of schools to be selected since the program began last year.
The board, in partnership with the Utah STEM Action Center, developed the designation program to better define the elements necessary to create a comprehensive learning environment for students in science, technology, engineering and math.
In order to receive the designation, the schools had to complete comprehensive digital portfolios that demonstrated their excellence in STEM education, including student project-based learning, community partnerships and support for teacher professional learning.
The schools include Endeavour Elementary, Kaysville; Foothill Elementary, Orem; New Bridge Elementary, Ogden; Creekview Elementary, Price; Westridge Elementary, Provo; Willow Elementary, Grantsville; Utah Virtual Academy, Murray; and George Washington Academy, St. George.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9U5 (DN)

 

Recipients of Governor’s Leadership in the Arts honored

WEST VALLEY CITY – Gov. Gary Herbert and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums have announced the recipients of the 2017 Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards.
“These outstanding honorees have enriched the lives of Utahns through their leadership, dedication and support of the arts,” Herbert said in a statement. “They’ve made significant contributions to our children’s education and the state’s economy, and demonstrate how the arts can inspire us and elevate our lives.”
This year’s recipients of the Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards are:
. Southern Utah University
. Noemi Veronica Hernandez-Balcazar, coordinator for dance and visual arts in Granite School District
. Murray Cultural Arts, under the leadership of Mary Ann Kirk
. Emma Dugal, Bountiful Davis Art Center director
http://gousoe.uen.org/9U6 (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9UU (SGN)

 

Give them an A+: Utah Valley’s Educators of the 2016-17 school year

Teachers and educators deserve more appreciation for the work they do with all of our children in Utah County. As Teacher Appreciation Day (May 9) and Teacher Appreciation Week (May 8-12) take place prior to school letting out, here are the educators that were featured throughout the 2016-17 school year as the best and most influential.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uh (PDH)

 

US Secretary Betsy DeVos to visit Salt Lake City school

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will be making a stop at the Granite Technical Institute Tuesday.
Secretary DeVos is scheduled to tour the campus, meet with students and school leaders, and host a roundtable on the Utah Aerospace Pathways program.
“The visit will highlight innovative career pathways for high school students made possible through strong business-education partnerships,” a press release from the U.S. Dept. of Education said.
She will be on campus from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uo (KTVX)

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

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

 

Mom writes to heal from Sandy Hook Elementary shooting

SALT LAKE CITY — A mother of a child killed during a school shooting wrote a book to heal.
The book, “An Unseen Angel: A Mother’s Story of Healing and Hope after Sandy Hook,’ Alissa Parker says at times writing the book was like reliving the tragedy of losing her daughter.
Emilie Parker was one of the 20 first graders and six adults killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting in Newton, Connecticut in 2012.
Alissa said the book was dedicated to her daughter Emilie, who would have turned ten years old in the second week of May.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ut (KSTU)

 

Renovations start at Mueller Park Junior High

BOUNTIFUL – Renovations will begin this month at Mueller Park Junior High School.
The project will include adding 12 new classrooms, creating a new entrance and administrative office, enlarging the commons and remodeling the gym.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ug (OSE)

 

Alumni hope to get Granite High School campus on National Register of Historic Places

SALT LAKE CITY — Granite High School is down to its final couple of months before it is demolished later this summer.
It appears it’s too late to save the buildings, but one local group of alumni are still hoping they can preserve its memory.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uv (KSTU)

 

Utah ranked 11th for internet connection, works to expand digital inclusion

SALT LAKE CITY – In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to function without some type of internet access. Everything from schoolwork to job applications require online connection and digital literacy skills.
While Utah is the 11th most connected state, some rural areas like San Juan and Daggett County lag significantly behind, and over 53,000 Utahns don’t have access to any internet providers at all, according to Broadband Now.
While Provo has one of the highest rates of home internet connection in the country and 99.3 percent of Beaver County has access to broadband connection, Morgan, San Juan and Daggett County all have less than 16 percent access.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UR (KSL)

 

For teachers, advancing often means leaving the classroom

SOUTH JORDAN- The pay gap between Utah’s teachers and school administrators is significant, which means educators hoping to advance their career often leave the classroom behind.
A big chunk of Spencer Campbell’s day is spent corralling the seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders of Elk Ridge Middle School, 3659 W. 9800 South. He walks the halls, checks breezeways for kids playing hooky and is always ready to answer a call on the radio.
Campbell is one of two assistant principals at Elk Ridge, and it’s his first year. Last year, he was teaching ninth-grade English at a school up the road.
His days are much different today. He’s always on the move, walking the length of the school over and over again.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9TT (AP via DN)

 

30 Weber School District administrators shift positions

OGDEN — Thirty school administrators are moving into different positions within the Weber School District.
The announcement was made at a Wednesday, May 3, Board of Education meeting. Superintendent Jeff Stephens said the changes are happening because of five retirements within the district, which creates a domino effect as district employees move into those openings.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ud (OSE)

 

Hatch, Wyden, Murkowski, and Cantwell introduce bill to reauthorize secure rural schools program

Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced legislation reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools and Self-Determination Program (SRS).
The SRS supports public schools, public roads, forest health projects, emergency services and many other essential county services for more than 775 counties.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ux (UP)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uy (KCSG)

A copy of the bill
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uz (Congress)

 

All students shine at Nebo School District’s Super Stars track event

Each student that competed in and crossed the finish line at Thursday’s track meet at Spanish Fork’s Maple Mountain High School was immediately given a medal while their teachers, family and friends cheered them on.
“I got first place!” one student said running up to someone on the sideline with his medal outstretched after competing in the 50 meter dash.
Every student, both the Nebo School District special education students who were competing and their Maple Mountain student volunteers, were winners at the annual Super Stars Track and Field Day.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uj (PDH)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ui (PDH)

 

Childhood motivates Andre Agassi to change education landscape

SALT LAKE CITY – Andre Agassi’s storied tennis career spanned three decades, earned him legions of fans and is probably best understood in two acts.
But it may be his post-tennis third act – one that finds him a widely recognized advocate and self-described facilitator of education reform efforts – that ultimately touches the most lives.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9U4 (DN)

 

Basketball offers rare experience in Africa for seven prep players from Utah County
Africa trip » The players help expand a school and make courts while experiencing life in Mali.

Someone once said that sports form a sort universal language that binds together the world.
Seven Utah County high school basketball players learned first-hand this spring on a service trip to the remote African country of Mali.
The self-financed group traveled to a hot and arid desert country that had been at war for many years and hosts few visitors. The young men came to play basketball and help make bricks that would be used to expand a school.
Mike Clayton, a Utah County accountant who has traveled to Mali the last five years with a group of eye doctors, organized the trip that began April 1 and ended April 9.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9U3 (SLT)

 

UHSAA to add boys and girls lacrosse to list of sanctioned sports for 2019-20 school year

SALT LAKE CITY – For only the second time since 1990, the Utah High School Activities Association is expanding.
The association’s board of trustees voted Thursday morning to sanction boys and girls lacrosse in time for the 2019-20 season in accordance with the next round of realignment, making the emerging sport the 11th sanctioned event at Beehive State high schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ur (KSL)

 

Girls getting hands-on tech experience

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Girls from high schools across the state got hands-on technology experience in Cedar City on Monday.
Southern Utah University was full of teenage girls learning about 3-d printers, chemical experiments, and even LED jewelry. SheTech’s hope is to give girls from rural Utah experience in tech fields, as well as mentoring, to inspire them to seek out careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Up (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9UV (PRNewsire)

 

‘Bye bye, fishy friends:’ DaVinci kindergartners release trout in Ogden River

OGDEN – Bob, Glitterfins, Tiny and all their fishy friends have finally found freedom in the Ogden River.
The kindergarten students at the DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts who had watched them hatch, given them names and watched them grow sang a song as their beloved finny friends swam away.
“Bye bye, trout, bye bye, fishy friends, we hope we’ll see you again, swimming down the stream,” they sang, led by their teacher Eleanor Sather.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uf (OSE)

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

 

Elementary students in Utah given cameras, told to ‘seek the shadows’

Elementary students near Zion National Park were urged to see more beauty that surrounds their school.
They were given digital cameras and told to “seek the shadows.”
The “Eight Days a Week Student Photography Exhibit” will run through June 13 at the Canyon Community Center in Springdale.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Un (KUTV)

 

Man charged with Eagle Mountain school bomb threat enters plea deal

An Eagle Mountain man charged with threatening to blow up a school last year struck a plea deal Tuesday, pleading guilty to his crimes.
The defendant, Christopher Craig, appeared Tuesday in American Fork’s Fourth District Court, originally for a competency review hearing.
Judge Roger Griffin found Craig, 35, competent to proceed legally in his case after receiving evaluations from three psychiatric evaluators. Based on that, Craig’s attorney, Dustin Parmley, told Griffin the state had made an offer and resolution in the case.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UX (PDH)

 

Evacuations lifted at schools in Alpine School District

HIGHLAND, Utah – Students at Freedom Elementary School in Highland and Skyridge High School in Lehi are back in class after a gas leak forced an evacuation at the school Tuesday morning.
A representative for the Alpine School District said someone smelled gas shortly before 8 a.m.
Lone Peak Fire officials discovered workers at a business near Freedom Elementary had been cleaning out their sewer drains and the smell got in through the school’s vents, the Alpine School District representative said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Us (KSTU)

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

 

Two Utah youth honored for volunteerism at national award ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps pays tribute to Orem and Bountiful students

WASHINGTON — Utah’s top two youth volunteers of 2017, Rebekah Reno, 17, of Orem and Kara Hughes, 13, of Bountiful, were honored in the nation’s capital last night for their outstanding volunteer service during the 22nd annual presentation of The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Rebekah and Kara – along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – each received $1,000 awards and personal congratulations from Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps at an award ceremony and gala dinner reception held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), named Rebekah and Kara Utah’s top high school and middle level youth volunteers in February. In addition to their cash awards, they each received an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent to Washington, D.C., for four days of recognition events.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9US (PRNewswire)

 

Miss Emery holds assemblies at local schools

Miss Emery Maegan Butterfield and her field of royalty Lexi Gale, Miss Outstanding Teen, Kelsie Norton-Junior Miss and Little Miss-Ava Leonard have been visiting every school in Emery County.
Miss Emery promoted her platform of kindness. “Don’t judge people on how they look. Do kind acts. No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted. Invite someone to sit with you at lunch. Say hi to people you don’t know in the halls.”
Miss Emery is collecting 1,000 pairs of shoes. There will be a competition between San Rafael and Canyon View junior highs to see which school can collect the most shoes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UY (Emery County Progress)

 

Apple for the Teacher 2017: Vote for the teacher you think should win

After hundreds of talented Northern Utah teachers were nominated for our 2017 Apple for the Teacher award, we’ve narrowed the pool down to 20 finalists.
Now, it’s time to vote for the educator you think should take home this year’s award.
Scroll down to vote for the teacher you think should win
Look through the photos of the finalists below to see what subjects they teach, as well as the stories behind why they were nominated.
The contest’s voting round will run through 11:59 p.m. May 14, and each person can vote once per day.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uc (OSE)

 

Students hit the slopes grass surfin’ at Liberty Park

Nikolai Gold, Thierry Neto, Rehan Chier, Lucas Tille and Hunter Priest, from front to back, ride down a hill on skateboards in Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Monday, May 8, 2017. They are part of an after-school program for the Salt Lake Arts Academy called Skate or Die.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9U7 (DN)

 

Arby’s Weather Kids: William Penn Elementary

Chief Meteorologist Dan Pope caught up with his friends from William Penn Elementary at the Arby’s located at 2284 East 3900 South in Holladay. They helped him deliver the Pinpoint Weather forecast.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Uq (KTVX)

 

————————————————————
OPINION & COMMENTARY
————————————————————

Celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week
Deseret News op-ed by Sydnee Dickson, state superintendent of public instruction

First-grade teacher Chris Strong reads to her students at South Jordan Elementary School on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.
Last fall while visiting schools across the state, I met a group of high school seniors in Weber County who will be the first in their families to attend college this fall. They were excited about the future, passionate about learning and eager to give credit to the teachers they said gave them the tools to succeed.
In celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week this week, we honor the work of educators like these who influence student aspirations and improve student outcomes. Meanwhile, Utah schools – like many across the nation – face teacher shortages, and teacher preparation programs report a one-third decline in applicants. Retaining effective teachers is an even greater problem.
Utah Education Policy Center found that 36 percent of new teachers are leaving within their first three years. By five years, 47 percent will leave. The money, time and commitment lost in this turnover are unacceptable if we expect to provide the excellent education our students deserve.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9U8

 

Children’s budget report finds Utah still behind pre-recession investment in children
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Matthew Weinstein, State Priorities Partnership Director at Voices for Utah Children

Per-student investment in Utah’s K-12 education system remained 4 percent below pre-recession levels last year, after adjusting for inflation.
This disappointing statistic was one of the most significant findings of the new Utah Children’s Budget Report published by Voices for Utah Children last month. Disappointing because the Great Recession ended in 2009, so the 2016 data reflect seven full years of economic expansion. By all accounts, our economy is booming. So why has our education funding still not caught up?
The answer lies in a combination of economic, demographic, and budgetary factors.
Economics: Data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis indicate that Utah’s recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-2009 has been slower than that of the nation as a whole. For example, our real per-capita GDP remained 3.5 percent below its pre-recession level in 2015, when that of the nation as a whole was already 1.9 percent ahead of the pre-recession peak. By this metric, Utah ranks 41st in the nation for the strength of our economic recovery.
But our education investment recovery has lagged even behind our relatively slow economic recovery. In 2015, as our per capita GDP remained 3.5 percent below its pre-recession level, our per-student K-12 education investment was 8 percent behind its pre-recession peak. One important reason for this appears to be demographic.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UT

 

Tech innovators should reject move to eliminate school boards and support national standards
Deseret News op-ed by Autumn Foster Cook, a freelance journalist and elementary school teacher’s aide

When hundreds of education technology innovators converge at the Grand America next week for the Arizona State University-Global Silicon Valley Summit, the hottest and hippest thinkers in the education technology field will be sharing their ideas and products. Many of those ideas are exciting and promising, but a strong current runs through this ed tech wave that is very concerning for people who value American political principles.
In sessions that cover topics from expanding access to higher education through online learning to apps that help K-12 teachers communicate with parents, entrepreneurs and ed tech thought leaders will display and discuss the best that innovation has to offer. Most of them are there because they’re excited about the possibilities technology opens for education. And what’s not to get excited about?
For those who value representative government, local control of education and diversity of educational options, some ideas articulated in the official white paper produced by the organizers of the event could very well dampen the excitement. Also, possibly, the $2,795 ticket price. You’re not likely to see many current teachers at this event.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9U9

 

’13 Reasons Why’ does more harm than good
Deseret News op-ed by Alexandrea Mineer, a recent graduate of UVU with a bachelor’s degree in English

A new Netflix original series swept over the internet, quickly becoming the most talked about series. With over 3 million mentions in its first week alone, “13 Reasons Why” distributed its hard-hitting message to the world fast but is dramatizing and capitalizing on depicting depression, bullying, sexual assault and overall loneliness the best way to discuss the complex and unfortunate nature of teenage suicide?
The show is presented as an emotionally pervaded mystery, focusing on the life and death of Hannah Baker, an eclectic teenager who committed suicide. Prior to committing suicide, she recorded 13 separate cassette tapes, each laying out with extremely personal detail the 13 people who had a hand in her suicide. These tapes are then posthumously passed around between the 13 subjects, explaining and punishing their roles in Hannah’s death, each beginning with a chilling greeting of “welcome to your tape.”
Critics are raving about the show’s blunt reveal of life in a modern-day high school while simultaneously receiving criticism on its unreliable and close-minded view of how teens handle bullying and depression.
I joined the hundreds of thousands of viewers that binge-watched the entire season in an unhealthy and embarrassingly short amount of time and was affected by the emotional rollercoaster the show puts you through in 13 one-hour episodes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ua

 

‘You Got Schooled’: A Swift discussion at Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy
Sutherland Institute commentary by education policy analyst Christine Cooke

Sutherland Institute wants local leaders to “school” us with what they know about education, which is why we have started “You Got Schooled.”
“You Got Schooled” is a social media initiative that highlights schools, teachers, and education programs that are achieving excellence for the individual student by thinking outside the box, implementing new ideas and challenging how we approach learning.
With National Charter School week in sight, we chose to highlight Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy, a Lindon charter school that is the overall No. 1 ranked school in Utah, according to U.S. News & World Report.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ul

 

Considering low student test scores, can the Ogden, UT district justify teacher compensation?
(Muskegon, MI) Education Action Group commentary by KYLE OLSON, founder and CEO

OGDEN, Utah – There are clearly some academic issues in the Ogden, Utah school district.
The district’s students lagged behind their peers in the rest of the state on the 2015-16 Student Assessment for Growth and Excellence Exam.
In the English language portion of the test, 33 percent of Ogden students were proficient, compared to 44 percent statewide.
In math, 29 percent of Ogden students made the grade, compared to 47 percent statewide. In science, 32 percent of Ogden students were proficient, compared to 49 percent statewide.
To be fair, the percentage of Ogden students testing proficient in those areas has increased each of the past three years, according to the district’s website. But the testing gap between Ogden and the rest of Utah is still pretty wide.
The teachers in the district, who prepare the students for the assessment tests, are pretty well compensated.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UW

 

Tooele County, UT teachers compensated well, despite district’s average performance
(Muskegon, MI) Education Action Group commentary by KYLE OLSON, founder and CEO

TOOELE, Utah – The Tooele County School district received a C-plus on its state report card in September 2016, according to TooleOnline.com.
That’s a pretty average performance. And on the surface it seems like the school district’s teachers were paid pretty average money, as well.
In fiscal year 2015-16, 720 teachers were paid a combined $30,852,520 in straight salary, for an average of $42,850. That indicates that the staff may be fairly young, and many teachers have not advanced very far on the seniority-based wage scale.
But the teachers actually received quite a bit more than that.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UZ

 

School choice is popular, but GOP must face down its image problem
(Washington, DC) The Hill op-ed by FREDERICK M. HESS, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. AND KELSEY HAMILTON, a research assistant at AEI

When it comes to education, President Trump has declared his intention to aggressively promote school choice.
While his support for charter schooling and school vouchers has drawn the most attention, Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have also moved on other fronts. Trump has pushed to shrink the Education Department’s footprint via an executive order targeted at instances “where the Federal Government has unlawfully overstepped state and local control,” proposed more than $9 billion in cuts to the education budget, tempered Obama regulations targeting for-profit universities, and rescinded Obama’s civil rights directive stipulating expansive accommodations for transgender students.
Reaction to Trump’s proposals has been predictably mixed. The New York Times editorial board declared that the budget drawback would “impose pain for pain’s sake,” and critics on the left and right lambasted the tax credit scholarship program for funneling public school funds into private schools and increasing the federal role in education, respectively.
As Trump presses forward with his education agenda and seeks to rally Republicans to his banner, an important question is how much support he can expect from the public. The public will undoubtedly support some Trump education policies – for instance, when it comes to school choice, the annual 2016 Education Next poll reported that 51 percent of the general public supports charter schools and just 28 percent oppose them. Support for this or that policy, however, may prove less significant than baseline trust in (or distrust of) Republican proposals on schooling.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9TU

 

Do Conservatives Really Want Local Control of Schools?
Newsweek op-ed by ADAM LAATS, Associate Professor of Education and History at Binghamton University (SUNY)

Trump’s first hundred days may not have all been sunny. In at least one area, though, his honeymoon with conservatives continues.
By “restoring local control” of public schools, as he promised to do, he might think he is giving educational conservatives what they have always wanted. The conservative quest for “local control,” though, hasn’t always been as simple as it has seemed.
In his recent executive order, President Trump directed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to conduct a 300-day inquiry into the relationship between federal and local control of public schools. The review, an Ed Department official promised, will put local leaders in charge of “what happens in the classroom.”
President Trump can be forgiven for thinking that he is satisfying the yearnings of his conservative supporters. Conservatives have long howled for greater control over their local classrooms.
Over the years, their reasons for wanting local control have varied. At times, conservatives have yearned for less racial integration. They have wanted protection from national trends pushing secularism and science.
Conservative activists often believed correctly that local control meant conservative schools. But even as they’ve embraced local control, conservatives have not always hated the idea of more federal influence. The true goal of most conservatives has been something more nuanced.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UO

 

Efficiency can cost education
Don’t pursue efficiency in schools at the expense of other important goals.
U.S. News & World Report commentary by Andy Smarick, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute

There are very good reasons to resist (or at least be skeptical of) efforts to drive “efficiency” in public education.
One of the biggest reasons is that any attempt to maximize efficiency automatically elevates – some might say inflates – the role of performance metrics. Once we decide which indicators are going to define success and then set people off to find the swiftest and cheapest way to get those outcomes, we can begin to distort complex enterprises. Other outcomes become expendable, even if those outcomes are important.
This phenomenon has been studied in lots of other fields. Yes, you can dramatically increase the lumber production of a forest by planting a single type of tree and arranging them in tidy lines. But that ultimately kills the forest. You can arrange a city’s buildings, streets and homes to maximize commuting efficiency. But that can diminish the city’s livability. You can more efficiently house low-income people by razing old neighborhoods and replacing them with public-housing skyscrapers. But that destroys social capital.
In each of these cases, we have a three-step process: First, we allow the success of a multifaceted endeavor or environment (e.g. a forest) to be defined narrowly (lumber production); second, we develop sophisticated systems (scientific forestry) to efficiently accomplish our now too-narrow goal; third, we later recognize that our efficiency-mindedness came at a cost, namely other important things were neglected.
It’s essential to appreciate, however, that such efficiency efforts often work exactly as intended. If you set a goal, able people will figure out how to accomplish it quickly and inexpensively. The root of the problem is found in the setting of the wrong performance metrics.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UN

 

Have You Seen Junior’s Psych Profile?
Public schools may be assessing your kids without your consent
Wall Street Journal op-ed by Aida Cerundolo, a physician and a mother

Imagine bringing your child in for a sore throat and having the doctor administer a psychological screening test-without your knowledge-while you are out of the room. I believe most parents would be uncomfortable with this scenario. Something similar is happening in schools around the country, with many parents unaware it’s happening.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9TX $

 

————————————————————-
NATIONAL NEWS
————————————————————-

Massive education bill alters testing, recess, teacher evaluations, bonuses, charters
Orlando (FL) Sentinel

Lawmakers approved a giant, multi-pronged education package Monday that backers cheered as an education game-changer and critics called manipulative and detrimental to public schools.
The 278-page bill eliminates a section of Florida’s often-criticized, 2011 teacher merit-pay law, changes standardized testing rules, mandates recess for elementary school children, expands a controversial teacher bonus program and provides new bonuses for most teachers for the next three years.
It also provides financial incentives for successful charter schools to open in neighborhoods with struggling traditional public schools and demands that school districts share some tax money with charters, among many other changes.
The bill was released late Friday, meshing together and replacing a host of other education proposals. Legislative leaders tentatively agreed to the package as part of their behind-closed-doors budget negotiations, and, as a budget bill, it could be only voted up or down Monday, not amended.
In the House, where it passed 73 to 36, Republican leaders were pleased with the legislation. They took to Twitter on Monday to tout the package that gives young students a daily “free play” break and older students one less exam to tackle. “The House of Representatives cares about kids!” read a graphic on House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s account.
But in the Senate, the bill passed only narrowly, 20 to 18, with three Republicans voting against it. And even Republicans who voted for it said they weren’t completely happy with the House-dictated measure.
“Couldn’t we have hammered out some solutions that would’ve been kinder to our public school partners and not let the House make all these dramatic changes?” said Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze.
Many critics of the legislation said some of the proposals – which touched on everything from school districts’ use of federal funds to youngsters’ use of sunscreen on campus – were worthwhile, but others would harm students and their schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9TY

http://gousoe.uen.org/9TZ (Miami Herald)

 

Trump Orders Hard Look at Federal Reach on K-12 Policy
Commission to identify threats to local control
Education Week

President Donald Trump and his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, have made local control a major focus of their statements on K-12. And Trump underscored that priority in his recent executive order calling on DeVos to take a hard look at where the federal government has overreached on K-12 education.
The order directs DeVos to review, tweak, and even repeal regulations and guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education recently, as well as identify places where the federal government has overstepped its legal authority.
Recently, “too many in Washington have advanced top-down mandates that take away autonomy and limit the options available to educators, administrators, and parents,” said Rob Goad, a senior Education Department aide, on a call with reporters last month. The executive order puts “an end to this overreach, ensuring that states and localities are free to make educational decisions,” he added.
In response to the executive order, a task force at the department, led by Robert Eitel, a senior adviser to the secretary, will look at all the K-12 regulations put out by prior administrations and decide which step on local control, Goad said. After 300 days, the department is supposed to release a report on its findings.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UK

 

New York state says it wants to expand its definition of success – and focus on equity – in judging schools
Chalkbeat

New York unveiled a blueprint Monday for education policy under a new federal law, which officials said will help launch the state beyond a narrow focus on test scores when it comes to evaluating schools.
The Every Student Succeeds Act is designed to provide more flexibility for states to decide what makes a school successful and to support schools that don’t meet that bar. New York education officials have said they hope to capitalize on the extra wiggle room – and framed that choice as a statement of values.
“This is a vision plan for New York state,” said Chancellor Betty Rosa at a Board of Regents meeting Monday, where the draft plan was announced. Still, she cautioned, it’s a work in progress. “The road to success is always under construction.”
There are practical constraints that make aspects of this plan similar to its predecessor, No Child Left Behind – most importantly that student achievement is still a prominent feature. But there are also key differences that state officials argue mark a real shift, including a stronger emphasis on student growth and college, career and civic readiness.
New York officials also say the draft plan advances equity by asking schools to report on their resources. That gets at a broader philosophical shift, a statement that accountability involves inputs – or access to resources, qualified teachers, and advanced coursework – rather than just student outcomes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9U0

 

Madison students required to disconnect from social media apps in pilot program
(Madison) Wisconsin State Journal

Four Madison public schools are blocking student access to a host of popular social media apps during the school day to test whether student behavior, school safety and grades improve with fewer online distractions.
“We are looking for ways to continually improve our school climate and increase student learning,” said Cindy Green, executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Madison School District. “One way to do that is by trying to reduce the use of cellphones and social apps during the school day.”
The pilot program began May 1 at three of the schools – East High School and Wright and Cherokee Middle schools – with West High School starting on Monday.
It will run through the end of the school year for all four schools, which were selected due to their principals’ interest in the issue, with results including comparison behavior data and feedback from students, staff and families to be analyzed soon after for possible use in crafting a districtwide policy.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UJ

 

Under Trump, Ed-Tech Leadership Is Big Question Mark
Education Week

From his seat in the East Room of the White House, Joseph South had a clear view of Barack Obama’s teleprompter, and he watched as the president veered off script during a 2014 speech to more than 100 school superintendents.
The leaders were assembled to sign a pledge committing to improve digital learning in their districts, part of the federally supported Future Ready program. Off the cuff, Obama began telling stories about the inspiring ways he had seen educational technology being used in classrooms across the country.
“It was spot-on, and it aligned perfectly with all of our priorities,” recalled South, a former director of the U.S. Department of Education’s office of educational technology. “It makes a big difference when you have a president who is personally invested in this vision.”
Two and a half years later, Obama is out of office. His successor, Donald Trump, has focused his K-12 education agenda around school choice and local control. While new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos says she believes in the importance of educational technology, she has so far declined to say whether she intends to continue support for Obama administration initiatives. The office South once headed is now in its fourth month without a permanent director.
The uncertainty raises a big question: Who will be the source of K-12 technology leadership in the coming years?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9U1

 

Does Free Mean Better for Students Choosing SAT Prep Courses
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Is there a price that a worried parent wouldn’t pay to help a child do well on college admissions tests? The good news is that test preparation doesn’t have to be expensive anymore.
The multimillion-dollar coaching industry is facing competition from free or low-cost alternatives in what their founders hope will make the process of applying to college more equitable. Such innovations are also raising questions about the relevance and the fairness of relying on standardized tests.
The online education platform Khan Academy has partnered with the College Board to provide free coaching for the SAT test. Top commercial programs cost around $1,000.
According to a study released Monday by the College Board, 20 hours of free online learning at Khan Academy led to an average gain of 55 points on the 1,600-point test scale compared with students who didn’t engage in the program. The College Board, a nonprofit organization, owns the SAT.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UG

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9UH (College Board)

 

Money to Prep Poor Kids for College? Sorry, Wrong Size Type
Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — Dozens of universities and organizations that applied for federal grants to help young people from poor families prepare for college were turned down by the U.S. Education Department because of mistakes that consisted mostly of incorrect margins, the wrong size type or lack of double-spacing.
The rejections have triggered an outcry from members of both parties on Capitol Hill and thrown into jeopardy programs that help thousands of high school students a year.
Members of Congress have asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reconsider the applications for the Upward Bound program. But congressional aides tell The Associated Press that the department isn’t going to do it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UE

 

Educators Value After-school Program Trump Wants to Nix
Associated Press

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — As one group of squealing, chanting students smack a ball into the pavement in a heated game of four square, another finishes an after-school writing lesson inside Circleville Elementary School.
Later in the library, an instructor guides other students in a role-playing activity on how to handle criticism from a sassy friend.
The children already snacked on breakfast bars and apple juice. And there will be more study time before buses take them home, some to the small city down the road and others to farther parts of these Ohio hills.
This after-school enrichment is funded largely by the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers, a $1.2 billion program serving about 1.6 million low-income students nationwide that President Donald Trump proposes eliminating. His administration says there’s “no demonstrable evidence” that such programs improve students’ performance in school.
But a 2016 report from the Education Department, issued when Barack Obama was president, credited the funding with aiding state efforts to close the achievement gap and found the program “touches students’ lives in ways that will have far-reaching academic impact.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UI

 

Breathe Deeply: Mindfulness coming to a school near you
USA Today

Millions of school children may soon be breathing deeply, regulating their emotions and finding their inner calm. Mindfulness is coming to a school near you.
On Monday, the classroom management startup ClassDojo said it had formed a partnership with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to bring mindfulness lessons to children, not just in U.S. schools but worldwide. The new mindfulness curriculum began rolling out to classrooms on Monday. Short videos and guides for home and school will be released over the next few weeks.
Teachers in about 90% of U.S. elementary and middle schools already use the company’s materials – about one in three U.S. students ages 5-14 have learned about ideas like “growth mindset” and empathy through its videos, the company said last week, and the materials have been translated into 35 languages.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UM

 

There’s been a surge in the number of suicide attempts by teenagers and children
The Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’ has sparked debate about teenage suicide
MarketWatch

The Netflix NFLX series “13 Reasons Why” has raised concerns about how the story depicts suicide and the aftermath among teens, as new data suggest a rise in both attempts and suicidal thoughts among young people.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers said Monday it has also observed a 50% increase in “intentional exposures” – that is, potential suicide attempts – by adolescents from 2012 to 2016. In 2016, poison centers managed more than 76,500 cases of intentional exposures in young adults. While overall incoming call volume to poison centers continues to decrease, cases with more serious clinical outcomes, including moderate or major impacts on a person’s health or even death, have increased by 4.3% per year since 2000, the association said.
“These suspected suicide cases are extremely worrisome,” said Lee Cantrell, director of the San Diego division of the California Poison Control System. “In our center alone, adolescent suicide and suicidal intent cases for the month of April were the highest we have observed in the past two years. Many of the more recent calls have referenced popular television shows that include messages of suicide, sometimes glamorizing suicide or inspiring deadly copycat behavior.” Poisoning is the third most common form of suicide nationwide, after the use of a gun and suffocation, Cantrell said.
What’s more, the number of young children and adolescents admitted to children’s hospitals for thoughts of suicide or self-harm more than doubled during the last decade, according to a separate study that was presented on May 7 at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9TV

http://gousoe.uen.org/9U2 (WaPo)

 

AP: Sex Assaults in High School Sports Minimized as ‘Hazing’
Associated Press

The Georgia school district said it was investigating the baseball players for “misbehavior” and “inappropriate physical contact.” What it didn’t reveal was that a younger teammate had reported being sexually assaulted.
Even after players were later disciplined for sexual battery, the district cited student confidentiality to withhold details from the public and used “hazing” to describe the incident, which it also failed to report to the state as required.
Across the U.S., perhaps nowhere is student-on-student sexual assault as dismissed or as camouflaged as in boys’ sports, an Associated Press investigation found. Mischaracterized as hazing and bullying, the violence is so normalized on some teams that it persists for years, as players attacked one season become aggressors the next.
Coaches frequently say they’re not aware of what’s happening. But AP found multiple cases where coaches knew and failed to intervene or, worse, tried to cover it up.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UF

 

Students Hit President Trump’s Face On Piñata, Teacher Suspended
(Denver) KCNC

JOHNSTOWN, Colo. – A teacher was placed on paid administrative leave after the Johnstown Milliken School District said he allowed students to hit a piñata with President Donald Trump’s face on it.
District Superintendent Martin Foster said the incident took place on the campus of Roosevelt High School in Johnstown as part of a Spanish class’ celebration of Cinco de Mayo.
Video, and pictures, of the incident were posted on Snapchat, a phone application that allows users to share images for a set amount of time.
When Roosevelt High parent Lesley Hollywood saw the videos on Snapchat, she immediately took offense to it.
“It is disturbing that this would be happening in a school setting,” Hollywood told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “Why divide people? Why do this? There are so many other ways we can address politics in schools.”
In a statement issued to CBS4, Foster confirmed an investigation was started after the Spanish teacher allegedly allowed the incident to take place on campus.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9UC

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

 

————————————————————
CALENDAR
————————————————————

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

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/Interim/2017/html/00002267.htm

Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee meeting
1:15 p.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00002296.htm

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 2:

Utah State Board of Education meeting
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

Related posts:

Comments are closed.