Education News Roundup: May 10, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

U.S. Education Secretary DeVos spoke on school choice in Salt Lake City.
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9V6 (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9V7 (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wb (SLCW)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9VE (KUTV)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9VG (KTVX)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9VI (KSL)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9VL (KSTU)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9VM (KUER)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9VV (Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9W0 (Hechinger Report)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9VP (EducationDive)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9VZ (EdSurge)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9VQ (Forbes)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9VS (AP)
or a copy of Secretary DeVos’ remarks
http://gousoe.uen.org/9VO (ED)

And how did the conference at which the Secretary spoke go?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9VY (Ed Week)

NEA President and former Utah Teacher of the Year Lily Garcia offers a tribute to teachers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9We (UPR)

Who are the four finalists for the Box Elder superintendent position?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ve (OSE)

A consortium of private schools is busy creating mastery transcripts to replace traditional high school transcripts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9V3 (Inside Higher Ed)

Study finds teachers are less often hired and more often fired than other school staff.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wh (Ed Week)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wi (EdChoice)

Governing magazine looks at state-level education governance and asks the question: What’s the best way to make sure education agency heads are accountable?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vp (Governing)

How hard is it to get a high school ref these days and why?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9W2 ([White Plains, NY] The Journal News)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos touts school choice, innovation in SLC while protesters gather
SLC summit » As protesters rally outside, DeVos says all key decisions must be made by states, not by the feds.

An Uncertain Political Landscape Looms Over Ed. Policy at ASU/GSV

NEA President Lily Garcia: We Must Appreciate New Generation of Teachers

Box Elder School District announces 4 finalists for superintendent position

Davis High places sixth in the world at international robotics competition

InTech ranked among America’s top high schools

Park City High School returns to national rankings
School ranked No. 2 in Utah by U.S. News and World Report

Utah School District Settles Lawsuit, Teenage Girl Wins the Right to Wrestle

Mormons believe teachers, tourism industry have more political power than LDS Church in Utah
LDS poll » Members, leaders believe church influences public policy, but they rank its clout below tourism industry, teachers.

Spanish Fork High ‘subdued’ after disturbing suicide plot

Utah man who claimed he parked car bomb at elementary school pleads guilty
He faces 15 years in prison for making false threat last year at an Eagle Mountain elementary school.

SheTech helps high school girls find their place in tech

Alpine middle school students’ self-made rockets fly higher this year

Two longtime Provo kindergarten teachers retiring after 59 combined years of service

Memmott Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

1,200 fourth-grade students attend field trips at Utah Lake

Utah Valley Everyday Hero: Teacher builds literary love at middle school by bringing in guest authors

Nebo foundation awards grants to local schools

Avoid the summer slide: Reading keeps brains active for Utah County kids

Thousands of Utah students spend the day at the ballpark

Nebo student instrumental in passage of safety bill

Students pitch in to help Park City purchase Bonanza Flats
Treasure Mountain’s National Junior Honor Society raises more than $1,500 for effort

2017 Sterling Scholar awards winners, Southwest region

2017 Sterling Scholar awards winners, Central region

Hope of America adds a third night

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Jacquelyn Searle

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Beau Jacobson

Salem Jr.’s Amy Huhtala honored by Teacher Feature

Barnett Elementary student leaders honored

Utah grocery stores donate to area school budgets

Adams Elementary raises funds for STEM program

Merit Academy to offer summer camps

Mtulu School in Kenya needs support

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Have charter schools been good for Utah education?

State of the State: Utah
Governor Herbert exhibits a steadfast zeal to maintain the trifecta of fiscal responsibility, a sensible regulatory environment and low income tax rates.

Granite, UT school district says it pays below market value for employees – but it still pays a lot

Four Education Priorities Democrats and Republicans Can Agree On
Bipartisan partnerships are still possible in education

Education and Work Plans of U.S. High School Students

A Look at High School Students’ Use of Graduation, Career, or Education Plans

NATION

A Plan to Kill High School Transcripts . and Transform College Admissions
More than 100 elite private high schools aim to replace traditional transcripts with competency-based, nonstandardized documents — with no grades. They plan to expand to public high schools, with goal of completely changing how students are evaluated.

ESSA, School Choice Firing Up State Legislatures

Early ESSA Plans Favor Cash to Districts Over Optional Set-Asides

Teachers Less Frequently Hired, More Often Fired Than Other School Staffers

In Indiana, Governors Push for More Control Over Education
Mike Pence tried first. Now Gov. Eric Holcomb is attempting to make the superintendent a gubernatorial appointment, leaving voters with little say over schools.

Fewer People Are Getting Degrees in Public Service
Recent trends signal a departure from the last few decades.

Los Angeles resolution makes public schools sanctuaries from ICE

Paul Ryan Visits New York School Run by Charter Advocate

Abuse, pay driving referees away in public high schools

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos touts school choice, innovation in SLC while protesters gather
SLC summit » As protesters rally outside, DeVos says all key decisions must be made by states, not by the feds.

Schools in the United States need to break free of the federal government’s “arcane” approach to education, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said Tuesday during a visit to Utah.
Education needs new models, she said, like how video rentals gave way to streaming media. And families deserve a range of school options, like choosing between cellular service providers.
“Washington [D.C.] has been in the driver seat for over 50 years with very little to show for its efforts,” DeVos said. “The facts show our system is antiquated, unjust and fails to serve students. And this is flat-out unacceptable.”
DeVos’ remarks came during the ASU+GSV Summit, an annual education technology conference held this year in Salt Lake City.
Her visit also included a tour of the Granite Technical Institute, a vocational training program operated by Granite School District, where she participated in a roundtable discussion with Utah government, school and manufacturing industry representatives.
“All of you coming together with a just-get-it-done attitude has clearly reaped benefits and rewards,” she said.
The tour and discussion highlighted the Utah Aerospace Pathways Program, which provides students with hands-on training in manufacturing, paid internships and potential job placement. DeVos met with Pathways students who were making violins, wallets and other items out of carbon fiber in the school’s composites lab.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9V6 (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9V7 (DN)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9VR (AP via PDH)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vx (AP via LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vy (AP via CVD)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9VB (AP via SGN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wb (SLCW)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9VG (KTVX) Focus on DeVos

http://gousoe.uen.org/9VH (KTVX) Focus on protest

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/9VM (KUER)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9VN (AP via MUR)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9VV (Ed Week) Focus on vouchers

http://gousoe.uen.org/9VX (Ed Week) Focus on innovation

http://gousoe.uen.org/9W0 (Hechinger Report)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9VP (EducationDive)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9VZ (EdSurge)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9VQ (Forbes)

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

A copy of Secretary DeVos’ remarks
http://gousoe.uen.org/9VO (ED)

 

An Uncertain Political Landscape Looms Over Ed. Policy at ASU/GSV

Salt Lake City — The ASU/GSV Summit draws attendees from the K-12 and postsecondary worlds-and political uncertainty pervades both ends of the education landscape, in the estimation of some of this conference’s attendees.
Among the biggest questions on their minds: How will states implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, and how much leeway will the U.S. Department of Education grant them? Will the Trump administration get the deep cuts it wants to make to the U.S. Department of Education? And how soon will Congress reauthorize the Higher Education Act-which affects K-12 in myriad ways?
All of those questions emerged during a panel on Tuesday here, titled “TrumpED: How will #45 Change the Learning and Work Landscape?” which brought together conference attendees from both major parties.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9VY (Ed Week)

 

NEA President Lily Garcia: We Must Appreciate New Generation of Teachers

Tuesday is National Teacher day. Organizers encourage all students — past and present — across the country to thank their teachers.
Apart of National Teacher Appreciation week, organized jointly by the National Education Association (NEA) and the PTA, National Teacher Day is dedicated to thanking educators for the difference they make in their students’ lives.
“We have some of the toughest work in the world being a public school teacher,” said Lily Garcia, current president of the NEA. “And we’re willing to do that; we know what we signed up for. We give blood, sweat and tears, and we make sure our kids get what they need.”
Garcia said Utah is currently experiencing a statewide teacher shortage and a lack of gratitude may be a contributing factor.
“It’s harder and harder for us to convince the new generation of teachers that this is work worth doing,” she said. “An awful lot of young people come they see they don’t have the support they need; they’re expected to do everything on their own including, sometimes, paying for supplies out of their own pocket. And they say ‘this isn’t what I thought.'”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9We (UPR)

 

Box Elder School District announces 4 finalists for superintendent position

The Box Elder School District has narrowed the search for a new superintendent down to four candidates.
Carbon School District Superintendent Steve Carlsen, Rich Middle and North Rich Elementary School Principal Kip Motta, Box Elder Assistant Superintendent Darin Nielsen and Wyoming’s Big Horn County School District #2 Superintendent Richard Woodford are all finalists for the position, according to a news release.
Whoever is selected by the Board of Education will replace Ron Tolman, who has led the district for three years and will retire in early July. The new superintendent will take over July 1 but Tolman said he will stick around to help during the transition.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ve (OSE)

 

Davis High places sixth in the world at international robotics competition

KAYSVILLE – A team of Davis High School students was ranked sixth in the world at an international robotics competition last month.
Engineering teacher and coach Dane Leifson said the school has seen success at the VEX Robotics Worlds competition in the past. A Davis High team took first place in 2015 and fifth place in 2016.
Leifson brought four teams to Louisville, Kentucky, to compete against 563 other high school teams from around the world. The event took place in April, and one of the Davis High teams – Skoenlappers en Buffels – walked away with a sixth-place title.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vd (OSE)

 

InTech ranked among America’s top high schools

InTech Collegiate High School in North Logan has once again been ranked by U.S. News & World Report and the Washington Post among the top high schools in the country. For the fifth time in the past six years, U.S. News & World Report recognized the school as one of “America’s Best High Schools,” ranking it eighth in Utah and awarding the school a silver medal of excellence.
In addition, the Washington Post included InTech on its 2017 list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” a distinction achieved by just 12 percent of high schools in the country. InTech is ranked number five among only six schools in Utah making the list.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vz (CVD)

 

Park City High School returns to national rankings
School ranked No. 2 in Utah by U.S. News and World Report

School officials and the many in the community have long considered Park City High School as one of the best in the state.
Now, they again have some of the most prestigious national school rankings backing them up. After missing from such rankings in the last few years, Park City High School reentered the U.S. News and World Report’s annual list, coming in as the No. 2 school in Utah and No. 418 in the nation out of more than 22,000 schools. A similar ranking from The Washington Post named PCHS as the most challenging school in the state and No. 446 in the country.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9W8 (PR)

 

Utah School District Settles Lawsuit, Teenage Girl Wins the Right to Wrestle

A federal lawsuit against the Davis School District in Utah sought to overturn a school policy that prevented a female student from wrestling on her school’s team, and succeeded in doing just that, and more. In addition to being allowed to join her school’s team, the teen will receive a monetary award, and the district will be paying the attorney’s and legal fees.
Kathleen Janis was denied the right to wrestle on her middle school team, as the district’s policy required middle school girls that wanted to wrestle to do so with the high school team. For Janis to do so, she would have to miss part of her school day, and would be put into a more advanced group than she was prepared for. However, after filing a federal lawsuit, she was successful in securing a court ordered preliminary injunction allowing her to participate on the 9th grade team while the case was pending.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wf (FindLaw)

 

Mormons believe teachers, tourism industry have more political power than LDS Church in Utah
LDS poll » Members, leaders believe church influences public policy, but they rank its clout below tourism industry, teachers.

When it comes to Utah politics, most local Mormon church leaders and members believe the faith should wield considerable influence, but say they think it holds less sway with lawmakers than the state’s tourism industry, schoolteachers and constituents.
Active members ranked church clout with the state Legislature even below that of minorities and the news media.
These findings are included in a private, internal poll conducted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in spring 2014 that was posted Tuesday on the website MormonLeaks.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9V8 (SLT)

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

 

Spanish Fork High ‘subdued’ after disturbing suicide plot

SPANISH FORK – Students at Spanish Fork High School are preparing for prom this week.
But rather than a celebratory atmosphere, a more somber feeling permeated the school on Monday and Tuesday.
“You can just tell, there’s a more subdued tone than normal,” said Nebo School District spokeswoman Lana Hiskey.
Monday morning, before local media began reporting on the exceptionally tragic incident that resulted in a 16-year-old girl dead and her 18-year-old friend in custody for investigation of murder for essentially engaging in assisted suicide, the news was first delivered to students by their teachers.
Tyerell Przybycien, 18, was arrested Saturday for investigation of murder and reckless endangerment. Police say Przybycien told investigators he had an “interest in watching someone die” and his female friend, whose name has not been released, was suicidal.
Both were students at Spanish Fork High, although Przybycien hadn’t attended since March.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Va (DN)

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

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

 

Utah man who claimed he parked car bomb at elementary school pleads guilty
He faces 15 years in prison for making false threat last year at an Eagle Mountain elementary school.

A Utah County man who last September parked a car in front of an Eagle Mountain elementary school and falsely claimed it contained explosives has resolved the criminal case against him with a plea deal.
In amended charging documents, Christopher Dewitt Craig, 35, of Eagle Mountain, faced second-degree felony counts of threat of terrorism and making a false alarm, as well as class B misdemeanor failure to disclose identity, for events that occurred at Eagle Valley Elementary on Sept. 19.
On Tuesday, Craig pleaded guilty to making a false alarm and the other counts were dismissed.
He faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced June 20 by 4th District Judge Roger Griffin.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9V9 (SLT)

 

SheTech helps high school girls find their place in tech

In most of her computer classes, Southern Utah University professor Shalini Kesar sees only about five or six women for every 20 men.
This is a common trend, both throughout Utah and nationally. Women are the minority in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and careers, representing just 23 percent of the technology workforce in Utah
“There’s a huge imbalance between STEM and women in the workforce,” Cydni Tetro, president of the Women Tech Council, said. “Women will continue to be a very vital part of our economic development. We need their perspective and talent in our technology sector. It’s one of the core elements of our technology economy as a country.”
That’s what the SheTech Explorer Day is trying to fix. More than 125 high school girls from across Southern Utah traveled to SUU on Monday to learn more about the variety of opportunities for them in STEM industries.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9VA (SGS)

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

 

Alpine middle school students’ self-made rockets fly higher this year

As each ninth-grade student from Timberline Middle School watched the rocket they built take flight, many followed its arc with their eyes and prepared to chase it down on Monday morning.
It was a fun moment to take the things they’d learned all year in their science classes outdoors and see it in action. Timberline science teacher Michael Jones said the students had been looking forward to for quite awhile.
“They love it,” Jones said. “My students had a blast with it (last year), and I hope it’s more than super fun and that they actually get excited about the rocketry aspect and the sciences of it.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vk (PDH)

 

Two longtime Provo kindergarten teachers retiring after 59 combined years of service

When the final kindergartners leave Wasatch Elementary on May 26, it will also be longtime teachers Coral Werner’s and Valerie Whitaker’s final day.
Werner, who has been teaching for 29 years, and Whitaker, who has been teaching for 30 years, said working with the elementary school’s youngest students has been especially rewarding for them.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vh (PDH)

 

Memmott Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Wasatch County School District is proud to announce that Joann Memmott, K-4 Visual Arts Specialist, was just awarded the 2017 Sorenson Legacy Lifetime Achievement Award for Arts Education. The Sorenson Legacy Awards for Excellence in Arts Education recognizes excellence in arts education in Utah’s public schools. Children and teenage students need a well-rounded education that addresses the whole child. The arts help students to get this education and Joann Memmott has been a huge part of that curriculum in our district.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wc (Wasatch Wave)

 

1,200 fourth-grade students attend field trips at Utah Lake

More than 1,200 fourth graders and their teachers and chaperones descend on the Utah Lake State Park over the course of four days in April and May. The students came to learn about all things Utah Lake: wildlife, water conservation, water quality, history and water safety. In particular, presentations taught kids the facts about the state of the lake, its wildlife and recreation.
The field trips are coordinated and sponsored by the Utah Lake Commission, with the various presentations supplied by organizations such as Utah Division of Water Quality, Central Utah Water Conservancy District, The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium and BYU’s Museum of Peoples and Cultures.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9W9 (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Everyday Hero: Teacher builds literary love at middle school by bringing in guest authors

Everyone is a reader in Moodytopia.
So proclaims a bulletin board – sporting the theme of Disney’s popular “Zootopia” – as you walk into Leann Moody’s classroom at Dixon Middle School in Provo.
Moody goes to great lengths to make sure each of the students in her class is excited about reading and writing, especially over summer break.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vj (PDH)

 

Nebo foundation awards grants to local schools

The Nebo Education Foundation has recently given grants to various schools within Nebo School District to aid teachers in their efforts to provide students with the best education possible. Nebo Education Foundation board members meet each month to review and award grant requests, consider fundraising avenues and discuss other items that advance the educational opportunities for Nebo School District students.
These grants are funded through the fundraising efforts of the Nebo Education Foundation board. Many of the donations received are for selected projects, yet a substantial amount is available for the greatest need. One fundraising effort is the annual Green Fever Golf Tournament. This tournament will be Thursday, May 18. Also, the foundation accepts donations from individuals and businesses to support projects.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vw (Serve Daily)

 

Avoid the summer slide: Reading keeps brains active for Utah County kids

It’s that time of the year that all students and teachers are looking forward to: summer! Playing with friends, swimming, sleeping in, vacations, camps, and warm weather are only a few of the reasons why summer is a favorite time among many of our students.
Oftentimes, school is the last thing anyone thinks about. While it is good to have a break to relax and have fun, it is also essential that our children keep their brains active during school vacations. By continuing to emphasize literacy and learning, we can help our students avoid the “summer slide.”
Between the end of the school year and the beginning of a new one, children risk learning loss and going down the summer slide. While going down a slide sounds like a fun playground activity, in the education world the “summer slide” refers to losing achievement gains from the previous school year when children do not engage in educational activities during the summer months.
As the school year approaches its close, it is important to consider ways to keep your children engaged in learning throughout the summer. Although there are many ways to prevent the summer slide, the most powerful way to combat its crippling effects is to encourage your children to read. Utilizing local libraries and encouraging children to read a variety of reading material are great strategies to help ensure academic success in the following school year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vn (PDH)

 

Thousands of Utah students spend the day at the ballpark

It was a special morning baseball game at Smith’s ballpark Tuesday. It was the annual Prevention Dimensions Kids Day.
Some 12,000 students — mainly 5th graders — from all over the state were bussed in to watch the Salt Lake Bees take on the Omaha Storm Chasers.
A number of students from a few elementary schools took part in opening ceremonies where they sang songs about taking a stand, not being influenced by peer pressure and saying no to drugs and alcohol.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9VF (KUTV)

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

 

Nebo student instrumental in passage of safety bill

Nebo School District Superintendent Rick Nielsen, Utah Representative Mike McKell and Spanish Fork High School student Reed Heywood recently met with Governor Gary Herbert at the ceremonial bill signing for H.B. 235, Automated Traffic Enforcement Safety Devices.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vt (Serve Daily)

 

Students pitch in to help Park City purchase Bonanza Flats
Treasure Mountain’s National Junior Honor Society raises more than $1,500 for effort

Students in Park City are getting behind the effort to purchase Bonanza Flats.
Members of the Treasure Mountain Junior High School National Junior Honor Society recently raised more than $1,500 that will be donated to Utah Open Lands for the effort. The nonprofit Utah Open Lands is working with Park City and other entities to secure enough money for the city to buy Bonanza Flats, a parcel of prized open space in Wasatch County that could be slated for development if the effort fails.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wd (PR)

 

2017 Sterling Scholar awards winners, Southwest region

The Deseret News/KSL 2017 Sterling Scholar award winners for the Southwest region were named in the culmination of the scholarly competition.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vb (DN)

 

2017 Sterling Scholar awards winners, Central region

The Deseret News/KSL 2017 Sterling Scholar award winners for the Central region were named in the culmination of the scholarly competition.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vc (DN)

 

Hope of America adds a third night

Fitting 99 schools’ worth of fifth-graders and their families into the Marriott Center in Provo isn’t an easy task, even when it’s spread out over three nights.
Thousands of fifth-grade students came together Tuesday for the first night of the Hope of America show, part of America’s Freedom Festival at Provo, to sing songs about patriotism while wearing red, white, blue and gold shirts and forming the shape of the American flag.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vo (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Jacquelyn Searle

Jacquelyn Searle, a first grade teacher at Rees Elementary in Spanish Fork, is being recognized as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Educator of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vl (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Beau Jacobson

Beau Jacobson, a sixth-grade student at Riverview Elementary in Spanish Fork, is being recognized as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Student of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vm (PDH)

 

Salem Jr.’s Amy Huhtala honored by Teacher Feature

Amy Huhtala, a teacher at Salem Junior High School, was surprised by KSL and Zions Bank recently as their Teacher Feature of the week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vs (Serve Daily)

 

Barnett Elementary student leaders honored

How kids are growing up today and what kind of leadership will they bring to our community as adults are questions we often ponder and even worry about sometimes. Last September, Barnett Elementary School in Payson implemented the Leader in Me Program, and it has changed the culture of this young student body.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vr (Serve Daily)

 

Utah grocery stores donate to area school budgets

Many Utah schools recently received an extra boost to end the school year with donations from Macey’s, Lin’s, Dan’s, Dick’s Market and Fresh Market. The Utah-owned grocery stores donated $59,600 to elementary schools as part of the School Cents Program. Donated funds will be used to purchase a variety of items from classroom supplies to new tablets and computers, depending on the school’s needs.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9W6 (PDH)

 

Adams Elementary raises funds for STEM program

LAYTON – Adams Elementary School is going to have some big-ticket items at a carnival fundraiser Friday, May 12.
Carnival Chairwoman Lacie Ott said four Disneyland tickets, a signed Utah Jazz basketball, a signed Real Salt Lake soccer ball and two tickets to Lagoon amusement park will be available at a silent auction.
Other potential prizes selected in a drawing include a bicycle, karate lessons and a birthday package at SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium.
The money raised will go toward starting a science, technology engineering and math program at the elementary school.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vf (OSE)

 

Merit Academy to offer summer camps

Merit Academy is excited to announce its new Summer Camp Program. Camps will be available throughout the summer for all ages. Camps and classes will be held for ages 5 to 105. Some of the camps that will be offered include theater, cheer, dance, Grossology (the study of really gross things), pioneer crafts, cake decorating, nature crafts, college prep, life hacks, ACT prep, Junior High Boot Camp, fly tying, cooking classes, study skills class, braids and hairstyles and many, many more.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vu (Serve Daily)

 

Mtulu School in Kenya needs support

In 2011, Merit Academy adopted Mtulu, a school in rural Kenya. Since then, Merit’s fundraising has built desperately needed classrooms and bathroom facilities and purchased books and supplies. Recently, however, a famine has amplified the need of these students; many are starving. Ninety miles from any urban center, Mtulu lies in the driest, poorest region of Kenya. Mtulu’s 500 students walk between four and eight miles to school, often on empty stomachs. Upon learning this, Merit’s executive chef, Sharon Warner, sprang into action. Warner now leads a team of students in a delicious fundraising campaign; before school, during lunch periods, and after school, busy hands have been preparing cinnamon rolls to sell at Merit’s performances of “Oklahoma!”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vv (Serve Daily)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Have charter schools been good for Utah education?
Deseret News commentary by columnist Jay Evensen

SALT LAKE CITY – Imagine Utah without Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy.
That’s probably easy for the vast majority of you, who likely never heard of the place. The same could be said for the Salt Lake Center for Science Education, Academy for Math Engineering and Science, and Intech Collegiate High School.
All four are charter high schools, and all ranked in the top 10 of best-performing high schools in the state by U.S. News and World Report.
I’m guessing the students at these schools wouldn’t want to imagine the state without them.
Maeser was ranked No. 1, by the way. Nationally, that wasn’t unique. The magazine’s top three high schools in Arizona all were charters, and they were ranked as the top three overall high schools nationally, as well.
Last week was National Charter School Week. It’s worth pausing and noting how these unique versions of public schools, cast in controversy from the start and, to a large extent, existing in controversy to this day, have changed the landscape.
I’m not naïve enough to think I’ll end those controversies in one column, nor am I saying there isn’t room for some reform in how charters are governed (as well as in how traditional schools are governed).
But I am saying that choices are good.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9W7

 

State of the State: Utah
Governor Herbert exhibits a steadfast zeal to maintain the trifecta of fiscal responsibility, a sensible regulatory environment and low income tax rates.
American Legislative Exchange Council commentary by columnists JOEL GRIFFITH, JUSTIN LEVENTHAL

During his State of the State address, Utah Governor Gary Herbert reflected on the economic success story of the Beehive State. “Utah had one of the fastest growing technology sectors in the nation, and Utah businesses added more than 43,000 jobs to our economy,” declared the governor. Despite the state’s 4th place economic performance and 1st place economic outlook ranking in the 10th annual ALEC report Rich States, Poor States, the governor showed no signs of complacency. In fact, he placed renewed emphasis on education reform and tax reform.
The governor cautioned against “altering our tax policies in any way that could damage our robust economic engine.” He also advised the “best way to ensure ongoing growth of education funding is to continue to grow our economy. Failure to take into account how tax rates affect business investment won’t help us make good policy decisions.” Indeed, the relatively low top marginal personal and corporate income tax rates (18th and 11th lowest, respectively) are partly responsible for Utah holding the top economic outlook for 10 consecutive years.
At the same, the governor recognized a flaw in the current system-the narrowing tax revenue base. Much of this narrowing is due to tax carve-outs, deductions and loopholes created to favor particular businesses or special interests. “I also urge a thorough legislative review of each and every tax exemption and tax credit to examine whether it has outlived its usefulness. That means making our taxes fairer by eliminating loopholes and broadening the base,” said Governor Herbert.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wg

 

Granite, UT school district says it pays below market value for employees – but it still pays a lot
(Muskegon, MI) Education Action Group News commentary by Editor-in-chief STEVE GUNN

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In May 2015, a news report focused on the relatively low cost of professional labor in the Granite, Utah school district.
The story, published by KSL.com, noted that “six employees earn over $100,000 in salary, without bonuses or benefits factored in. Superintendent Martin Bates paces the district’s list at $207,431.”
“I think people have this perception that we’re top-heavy and these people are making a lot of money,” school district spokesman Ben Horsley was quoted as saying. “We’re not paying market value for employees. If we were, we’d be paying higher salaries.”
But the news article only referred to base salaries, which only tell a portion of the labor cost story in the Granite district. Retirement and health benefits are extremely expensive, and drive labor costs up a great deal more than the public realizes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wj

 

Four Education Priorities Democrats and Republicans Can Agree On
Bipartisan partnerships are still possible in education
Education Week op-ed by David Jacobson, senior project director at Education Development Center

Education policy has become as polarized as the rest of American politics. In the new administration, disagreements over standards, funding, school choice, and students’ civil rights are sure to intensify. Yet despite this polarized state of affairs, liberal and conservative education priorities are converging in a number of important respects, driven in part by mounting research findings. Common ground is emerging where conservative commitments to character formation, strong families, and local solutions meet liberal commitments to services that help low-income families overcome obstacles to improving their quality of life.
Borrowing a term from the Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, I suggest that a number of educational priorities, described below, are “purple”-they resonate with both red and blue constituencies. Further, these priorities animate a powerful reform movement that is spreading across the country.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9VW

 

Education and Work Plans of U.S. High School Students
Institute of Education Sciences analysis

A new Data Point report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) provides a look at the education and work plans of high school students
This report uses data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, which follows a cohort of public school students who were in 9th grade in 2009. The Data Point examines the 2013 plans of the cohort as of 2012, when most of the students were in the 11th grade. The findings include:

  • Most students expected that postsecondary education would be their primary activity in 2013, while about one-fifth expected their main activity to be work;
  • A higher proportion of female than male students expected their main activity to be postsecondary education; and
  • Students’ expectations for postsecondary education increased as family socioeconomic status increased.

http://gousoe.uen.org/9V4

 

A Look at High School Students’ Use of Graduation, Career, or Education Plans
Institute of Education Sciences analysis

About three-quarters of public high school students were required to have a graduation, career, or education plan as of 2012, according to a new study released today (May 10). This new Data Point from the National Center for Education Statistics looks at the use of these plans, which are designed to help students align their curricula with career goals.

  • Among the findings: About 40 percent of public high school students were required to create their own personalized plan, while 23 percent selected a plan from among those offered by their school. About 5 percent were assigned a plan by their school; and
  • About 11 percent of public high school students developed a plan that they submitted to their school and met with school staff at least annually to review or revise their plan.

The data used in this report were drawn from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009,a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of students who were in the ninth grade in 2009.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9V5

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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A Plan to Kill High School Transcripts . and Transform College Admissions
More than 100 elite private high schools aim to replace traditional transcripts with competency-based, nonstandardized documents — with no grades. They plan to expand to public high schools, with goal of completely changing how students are evaluated.
Inside Higher Ed

What if traditional high school transcripts — lists of courses taken, grades earned and so forth — didn’t exist?
That’s the ambition of a new education reform movement, which wants to rebuild how high schools record the abilities of students — and in turn to change the way colleges evaluate applicants. Sounds like quite a task. But the idea is from a group with considerable clout and money: more than 100 private schools around the country, including such elite institutions as the Dalton School and the Spence School in New York City, plus such big guns as the Cranbrook Schools in Michigan, the Phillips Academy in Massachusetts and Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut.
The organizers of the effort believe all kinds of high schools and colleges are ready for change, but they argue that it will take the establishment to lead this particular revolution. Organizers believe that if more than 100 such elite private schools embrace a new transcript, they will attract supporters in higher ed who will embrace the approach for fear of losing top applicants (both in terms of their academics and ability to pay). And then the plan could spread — over perhaps a decade — to public high schools as well. Along the way, the group hopes to use the ideas of competency-based education — in which demonstration of mastery matters and seat time does not — to change the way high schoolers are taught.
The group is called the Mastery Transcript Consortium, and the product it hopes to create is the mastery transcript. It would not include courses or grades, but levels of proficiency in various areas. Instead of saying a student earned a certain grade in Spanish 2, the mastery transcript might say the student can understand and express ideas in some number of languages. And there could be different levels of mastery. Instead of a grade in algebra or geometry, the mastery transcript would indicate whether a student can understand and use various kinds of concepts. The document above is a model for what a list of credits might look like, but officials stressed this could change considerably.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9V3

 

ESSA, School Choice Firing Up State Legislatures
Education Week

Spurred on by new flexibility under the Every Student Succeeds Act and revenue shortfalls, and amid one-party control in most states, legislators this year tackled longstanding questions over who should be in charge of education policy, how to better spend K-12 dollars, and what school success should look like.
In state after state, lawmakers sought to overhaul school funding formulas, rearrange accountability systems, and expand school choice options like vouchers, education savings accounts, and the charter school sector.
All 50 states held legislative sessions this year, and 15 of those states already had wrapped up business as of late last week, with more expected to adjourn by mid-May.
Republicans sought to turn their political dominance-they control both legislative chambers in 32 states, as well as 31 governors’ seats-into policy action, with varied results.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9VU

 

Early ESSA Plans Favor Cash to Districts Over Optional Set-Asides
Education Week

The Every Student Succeeds Act contains two notable opportunities for states to set aside money that otherwise would have gone to districts under federally set formulas, and use it for specific programs or purposes. So in the first round of ESSA plans, how popular are these set-asides?
First, let’s explain what these two options are:

  • States can set aside 3 percent of their Title I money for direct student services. It can be spent on a variety of services, from course choice and credit recovery to personalized learning and public school choice.
  • States also can set aside 3 percent of their Title II money to promote support for principals and other school leaders.

So we polled the 15 states and the District of Columbia that have submitted their ESSA plans so far, and we also poked around in their ESSA plans, to see which are choosing to use the direct student services set-aside, and how many are choosing to set aside money under Title II.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9W1

 

Teachers Less Frequently Hired, More Often Fired Than Other School Staffers
Education Week

U.S. public schools have been on a six-decade staffing surge, a new analysis finds-but the hiring money isn’t going to teachers.
Public schools hired non-teachers-meaning, district and school administrators, teacher aides, counselors, social workers, reading and math coaches, curriculum specialists, janitors, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers-at a rate that is seven times the growth of the student population. Teachers were hired at a rate that is two-and-a-half times the student population growth.
That’s according to an analysis conducted by EdChoice, a nonprofit organization that promotes school choice. The study found that if non-teacher hiring had matched student growth, that would save more than $800 billion in taxpayer money-enough to give an $11,000 permanent raise to every public school teacher in the country. But inflation-adjusted salaries for public school teachers have actually fallen by 2 percent since 1992.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wh

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wi (EdChoice)

 

In Indiana, Governors Push for More Control Over Education
Mike Pence tried first. Now Gov. Eric Holcomb is attempting to make the superintendent a gubernatorial appointment, leaving voters with little say over schools.
Governing

Education is a top spending and policy priority in every state. That’s a major reason why governors want a large say on school issues. But it has led to some frustration for Indiana’s recent chief executives.
Indiana is one of about a dozen states where the top education official is elected independently. As a result, governors and state superintendents of public instruction don’t always see eye to eye. This was especially true when Vice President Mike Pence was governor and had to work with — or more frequently against — Democratic Superintendent Glenda Ritz.
In 2012, Ritz managed to unseat Tony Bennett, a superintendent who promoted vouchers, merit pay and charter schools. (Later, it emerged that Bennett had ordered underlings to goose the ratings of some charters, including one founded by a top donor.) Ritz represented a brake against the kind of education overhaul that Bennett, Pence and other Republicans had pursued. Pence thus sought to do an end-run around her, creating a new agency to set policy. “Legislators found themselves having to get more involved in refereeing arguments,” says Betsy Wiley, president of the Institute for Quality Education, in Indianapolis. “It was a lot of trauma and drama and politics for four years, and not a lot of support of good education policy.”
Ritz was unseated in November by Republican Jennifer McCormick. Nevertheless, Pence’s successor, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, decided it was time to revive an idea that’s been kicking around the state for decades — making the superintendent’s job a gubernatorial appointment. A bill to do just that sailed through the state House earlier this year. However, on the same day, a related measure was narrowly defeated in the state Senate.
The bill was mismanaged, with freshman senators inadequately briefed on its importance as a priority for the governor. But there were substantive objections as well. In some states where the superintendent is appointed, members of the state board of education are elected. That gives voters some leverage in state school politics. Under the proposed Indiana model, voters would have been left with no role to play except picking a governor. “The voters of Indiana deserve some type of direct impact on the direction of education,” says Keith Gambill, vice president of the Indiana State Teachers Association. “That can’t solely be with the governor’s seat.”
This points to a perennial question in state government: What’s the best way to make sure agency heads are accountable?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vp

 

Fewer People Are Getting Degrees in Public Service
Recent trends signal a departure from the last few decades.
Governing

The latest data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that several of the top government-related academic fields — including criminal justice, political science and public administration — have seen the number of degrees awarded level off or dip slightly over the past few years. This signals a departure from the previous several decades, including the immediate post-recession period, when schools handed out more diplomas in most fields as workers sought to enhance their résumé during the economic slump. Degrees awarded for many public-sector professions have since plateaued or declined slightly. What’s hard to say is whether it’s a temporary adjustment or a longer-term trend.
Nationally, degrees awarded for all fields rose sharply over the past several decades, but they too have slowed recently. Since the 2012-2013 school year, total bachelor’s and master’s degree completions have increased only about 2 percent. That’s still somewhat better than many public service-related degrees.

Education Administration
Like other fields, education administration and supervision recorded rapid growth throughout the 1990s and 2000s. But since the 2009-2010 school year, master’s degree completions have declined about 19 percent.
Part of the fluctuation is driven by shifts in certification requirements. For school administrators and principals, some states accept degrees in noneducation fields with additional coursework.
Susan Printy, who researches educational administration at Michigan State University, suspects increasing demands on school administrators may also play a role in declining numbers of graduates. “There’s a lot of pressure on principals,” she says. “The challenges have escalated and the salaries haven’t necessarily kept pace, so it’s a difficult profession to enter.”
By contrast, more students are concentrating on a small segment of the field: higher education administration. One possible explanation, Printy says, is that many of these students work for universities with generous tuition reimbursement programs, while those in K-12 education have seen their benefits reduced.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Vq

 

Los Angeles resolution makes public schools sanctuaries from ICE
Fox

Los Angeles public schools passed a resolution Tuesday making campuses sanctuaries for illegal immigrants in danger of being deported.
The school board’s resolution was shaped as a reaffirmation of a measure passed last year that designated Los Angeles public schools as a “safe place” for illegal immigrants and their families, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
The new resolution offers more protections.
Schools are barred from asking a student or a family member’s immigration status. The school district plans to educate students and families about their rights when talking to law enforcement.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9W3

http://gousoe.uen.org/9W4 (LAT)

 

Paul Ryan Visits New York School Run by Charter Advocate
Associated Press

NEW YORK — U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan paid a visit to a charter school run by a Democrat who was briefly in the running to be Republican President Donald Trump’s education secretary.
The Wisconsin Republican did not speak with reporters gathered outside the Success Academy charter school in Harlem on Tuesday, but he praised the school’s “great kids and their committed teachers” in a statement afterward.
“The quality of teacher training and preparedness was extraordinary,” Ryan said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9VT

 

Abuse, pay driving referees away in public high schools
(White Plains, NY) The Journal News

A shrinking pool of high school referees and officials is threatening to reshape a staple of the American culture – the afternoon and weekend interscholastic contests – and New York’s fields and courts are feeling the impact, according to national and New York experts.
So alarming is the number of dwindling officials that the leading U.S. agency overseeing high school sports has put out an emergency recruitment effort to reverse the trend. New York’s sister agency followed suit with a full page ad.
The key culprits for the decline include:

  • the culture of abuse aimed at officials across all sports.
  • the aging of the current crop of officials that many say is a harbinger of a looming disaster.
  • the explosion of travel and club teams and games that compete for high school officials’ time.
  • a pay scale that some say should be increased dramatically.
  • a dramatic shift in time constraints on younger men and women who used to gravitate to the avocation.

Perhaps no statistic underscored the situation more than this one: An average of only two of every 10 officials return for their third year of officiating, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9W2

 

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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 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

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