Education News Roundup: May 11, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Grand Supt. Scott Crane is leaving to become the executive director of the Southeast Education Service Center.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WW (Moab Sun News)

Salt Lake Mayor Biskupski speaks to Salt Lake and Granite students at The Leonardo.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wx (SLT)

Former Utah State Board of Education Member Mark Openshaw and members of his family will be memorialized with a playground at Rock Canyon Elementary School.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WE (PDH)

Nationally, CTE is looking at what remains as viable career pathways today.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wv (Ed Week)

Alabama will dump ACT Aspire.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ww (Birmingham News)

The University of Utah is among the top schools in a new report on teacher preparation programs.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wq (Diverse Issues in Higher Education
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wr (NCTQ)
or just the Utah data
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ws (NCTQ)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Crane resigns as superintendent

Students get first look at mural at The Leonardo on pioneering women
‘Woman/Women’ » “Uncomfortableness” Biskupski felt as only openly gay legislator is what drives the SLC mayor, who speaks at exhibit’s opening.

Honor society member wins national scholarship

62 Utah students qualify for National History Day contest in D.C.

Roy High to allow varied graduation cords after parents voice concern

Competition and celebration, all part of Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards

Utah Schools Receive Official State STEM Designation

31,371 students and growing; school board considers $211 million budget

LCSD approves $4.8 million bond to finish up Logan High construction

New playground a touching tribute to a Utah family lost too soon in plane crash

Fremont student injured in dump truck crash in critical but stable condition

The gift of shoes for children in St. George

More than 1,000 English Learners in Utah Using Supplemental Online and Blended Learning Solution from Fuel Education
Students in grades 6-10 can access the online content anytime, anywhere, allowing them to learn the fundamentals of academic English, complete projects, and help accelerate their English language learning

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Utah isn’t producing enough trained workers

At Roy High School, students earned the right to wear their cords

Trump, DeVos get it right — Feds’ role in your child’s education is shrinking. Finally!

NATION

Pruning Dead-End Pathways in Career and Technical Ed.

After years of poor scores, Alabama looks to ditch ACT Aspire test

Study: Teacher Prep Programs Failing to Thoroughly Cover Subject Matter

Student beat him, others kicked him while he lay unconscious. Later, he killed himself at 8 years old

How Should Schools Respond to the Concerns of Undocumented Families?

Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis Claims Another Casualty: Its Schools

Mountain View principal repays school credit card charges, announces retirement

Twenty-four Chibok girls to return to school: Nigerian officials

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Crane resigns as superintendent

After five years on the job as Grand County’s top school official, Dr. Scott Crane is getting ready to step down.
The Grand County School District superintendent is scheduled to leave the district on June 30 to take the reins as the executive director of the Southeast Education Service Center (SESC) in Price.
Crane, who has worked as an assistant superintendent, superintendent and educator in Utah and Idaho for more than two decades, called the move the logical next step in his career.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WW (Moab Sun News)

 

Students get first look at mural at The Leonardo on pioneering women
‘Woman/Women’ » “Uncomfortableness” Biskupski felt as only openly gay legislator is what drives the SLC mayor, who speaks at exhibit’s opening.

High school students on Wednesday visited a new exhibit celebrating the contributions of female pioneers, while getting advice from one: Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski.
“Get uncomfortable,” Biskupski told more than 100 students from Salt Lake and Granite school districts at a luncheon gathering at The Leonardo, part of an event coinciding with the unveiling of a mural depicting 156 groundbreaking women from history, politics, art, literature and science.
Biskupski described the moment that spurred her into politics: sitting on her couch in 1994, seeing news reports of students at East High School battling the administration to form a gay-straight club.
“I wondered why I was sitting on my couch,” the mayor told the students. “What was I waiting for? . I got off my couch, and I never went back.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wx (SLT)

 

Honor society member wins national scholarship

OREM – Dylan Verbanatz, a senior and a member of the National Honor Society at Orem High School, has been named one of 400 semifinalists in the society’s scholarship program.
Verbanatz was chosen from more than 9,000 applicants and will receive a $2,325 scholarship.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wz (DN)

 

62 Utah students qualify for National History Day contest in D.C.

SALT LAKE CITY – Sixty-two middle and high school students from throughout the state have earned the right to represent Utah at the 2017 National History Day contest in Washington, D.C., in June.
The 62 students either placed first or second in their category at the recent Utah History Day State Contest held at Hillcrest Junior High School in Murray.
More than 400 students from Logan to Hurricane competed this year. Exploring the theme “Taking a Stand in History,” students focused on historical topics ranging from Rosa Parks to Bob Dylan.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wy (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9WG (CVD)

Full results
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WI (Utah Division of State History)

 

Roy High to allow varied graduation cords after parents voice concern

Roy High School is going to allow students to wear CTE Pathway achievement cords at graduation.
The change was announced on the district’s Facebook page after outcry from parents and community members.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WB (OSE)

 

Competition and celebration, all part of Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards

Michael Ballam said he wasn’t sure what to expect when his Logan-based Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre played host to the first Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards in 2011. Noting that the runners-up in athletic competitions don’t always react in a sportsmanlike way, he made sure to have security on hand.
“Boy, was I wrong,” Ballam said, describing the instantaneous cheers and prolonged ovation that greeted the announcement of West Jordan High’s “West Side Story” as Best Musical.
“It’s not really a competition, it’s a celebration,” Ballam said. “We’re giving a trophy, but that’s just an excuse to get them there to celebrate each other.”
Actually, there is a bit more to it than trophies and camaraderie: The organization will send the top male and female actors to New York next month for a week of coaching and workshops with prominent Broadway directors, choreographers and actors. The event culminates in the Jimmy Awards, named for impresario James Nederlander, at the Minskoff Theatre; this year’s host is “Dear Evan Hansen” star Ben Platt.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WT (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9WU (IC)

 

Utah Schools Receive Official State STEM Designation

Salt Lake City-The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Friday 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.
USBE, in partnership with the Utah STEM Action Center, developed the Utah STEM Schools Designation program to better define and standardize the elements that create a comprehensive STEM learning environment for Utah students. The program furthers schools’ opportunities to engage in STEM-related discussions with faculty and community partners and develop strong instruction for students to prepare them for college and careers. The designation also serves as an indicator for members of the public who are looking for quality STEM school experiences in Utah K-12 education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WS (Utah Business)

 

31,371 students and growing; school board considers $211 million budget

ST. GEORGE – The Washington County School District Board of Education is considering a proposed $211 million budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018 to fund a rapidly growing number of new students, district administrator Brent Bills told the board at a regular meeting Tuesday.
The district expects to receive a 4 percent increase in state funding and a 3 percent increase in property tax revenue from new growth, Bills said, which will help along with a projected 1,200 new students. There are currently 31,371 students enrolled in schools within the district.
“We’re at just over 4 percent growth,” Bills said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WJ (SGN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9WM (SGN via KSL)

 

LCSD approves $4.8 million bond to finish up Logan High construction

The Logan City School District Board of Education on Tuesday approved the sale and issuance of a $4.8 million Municipal Building Authority bond to pay for seismic upgrades and other additions to Logan High while it is still under construction.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WF (LHJ)

 

New playground a touching tribute to a Utah family lost too soon in plane crash

When it came to Amy Foster, Mark Openshaw had a lot of competition.
Three other men saw her off at the airport when she left to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kiev, Ukraine. They were all there when she came back, too. He was fine with that.
“Mark just said he wanted the first date,” said Terry Foster, Amy’s father.
Within a month of her March homecoming they were engaged. They got married in August, after five years of knowing each other.
Mark and Amy Openshaw went on to have five children – four boys and a girl – and became well-known in their Provo community.
They created a legacy that didn’t stop after four members of the Openshaw family – Amy, Mark, and two of their children, 12-year-old Ellie and 15-year-old Tanner – died in a plane crash in Missouri in the summer of 2015. Youngest son Max, who was 5 at the time, survived the crash, and their other two older sons, Zane and Porter, were abroad at the time. Zane was studying in Germany and Porter was on an LDS mission in the Marshall Islands.
The family that was centered around service will be honored at 6 p.m. Friday at the opening of the Openshaw Family Memorial Playground at the recently rebuilt Rock Canyon Elementary School, where the four older children went to school and Max currently attends.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WE (PDH)

 

Fremont student injured in dump truck crash in critical but stable condition

A Fremont High School student is in critical but stable condition after her car was struck by a dump truck last week in western Weber County.
KayCee Hudman, 18, was on her way to school on Wednesday, May 3, when she turned onto northbound 4700 West and pulled out in front of a dump truck driving south, according to police.
Hudman was flown by medical helicopter to McKay-Dee Hospital with severe injuries, including several broken bones and internal bleeding, according to Weber County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Matt Jensen.
On Tuesday, Jensen said Hudman is in critical but stable condition.
“She is improving and faces a long road to recovery,” Jensen said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WD (OSE)

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

 

The gift of shoes for children in St. George

ST. GEORGE, Utah – In St. George Tuesday an entire student body was given a gift-one they’ll likely never forget.
“I’m going to get some bubbles between your toes, probably,” said a volunteer to 7-year-old Marcus McDonald as she washed his feet.
Marcus couldn’t wait for school Tuesday, because he knew was getting a new pair of blue shoes.
“It’s my favorite color,” said Marcus.
“Marcus came home and told me about it the other day and he was super excited he was getting a new pair of shoes,” said Isabel McDonald, Marcus’s mother.
“A lot of my other shoes are all broken, because I haven’t had a new pair of shoes in a long time,” said Marcus.
Samaritan Feet International is a non-profit focused on giving children in need a new pair of shoes. Tuesday at Legacy Elementary school 150 volunteers – employees from Wal-mart – washed the feet of every child before putting on their new kicks.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WL (KTVX)

 

More than 1,000 English Learners in Utah Using Supplemental Online and Blended Learning Solution from Fuel Education
Students in grades 6-10 can access the online content anytime, anywhere, allowing them to learn the fundamentals of academic English, complete projects, and help accelerate their English language learning

HERNDON, Va.–As part of its 5 Million Voices reporting project, NPR analyzed U.S. Department of Education data to determine the achievement of English Learners (ELs) across the country. In Utah, the average high school graduation rate for ELs is 62 percent, while the average for their native English-speaking peers is 83.9 percent.
In an effort to close this achievement gap for its EL students, the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) implemented the online English Learners solution from Middlebury Interactive Languages, now part of Fuel Education (FuelEd). Starting this spring, approximately 1,000 secondary students spanning 12 high schools, eight middle schools, five charters schools and the USBE’s Refugee Educational Training Center will use the online solution as part of a blended learning model.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WV (Business Wire)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Utah isn’t producing enough trained workers
Deseret News editorial

News about Utah’s economy has been mostly positive in recent years, reflecting a steady rise from the 2008 recession with the expansion of new businesses and declining unemployment. But lurking in the data is a trend that threatens to derail that impressive trajectory. Utah is increasingly facing a shortage of qualified workers in fields requiring both high and low skill levels, with more than two-thirds of all employers saying they are currently having a hard time finding people to fill open positions.
A new research report by the non-profit Utah Foundation says the so-called “skills gap” is a particular problem in the technology sector, which has been responsible for a large percentage of recent job growth in Utah. The construction trades are also suffering, making it tough for contractors to keep up with a critical need for new housing units. The situation requires that business and educational institutions step up efforts to collaborate in training people for the specific kinds of jobs businesses need to fill.
Utah has created several so-called “pathway” programs to encourage more focus on vocational education and opening the doors to more internship, apprenticeship and other on-the-job training initiatives. It is important that these programs be expanded in order to avoid a scenario in which businesses are forced to cut back or postpone growth plans.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WA

 

At Roy High School, students earned the right to wear their cords
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

The cords matter.
They matter to students.
They matter to parents.
And now they matter to the Roy School Board.
Officials reversed course Wednesday afternoon and said Roy High School seniors could wear their CTE Pathways cords at commencement.
They made the right choice.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WC

 

Trump, DeVos get it right — Feds’ role in your child’s education is shrinking. Finally!
Fox commentary by William J. Bennett, former Secretary of Education

Students of history know that governments rarely give up power without a fight. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, those who have been intoxicated with power never willingly abandon it. Yet, last year, the federal government passed a new education law which returns a significant amount of power and decision-making authority to states, districts and schools.
The bi-partisan passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act creates a unique and exciting opportunity for improving American education. The law explicitly bars the Department of Education from dictating or influencing standards or curricula at the federal level, and states and districts have a wide range of new liberties when it comes to developing accountability systems, testing and content.
But with this newfound freedom from Washington comes a newfound responsibility for excellence at the state and district level. We cannot confuse local control with laissez faire. State and local leaders must embrace this opportunity and lift expectations, not relax them.
This is a large task and will require some heavy lifting, though.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WR

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Pruning Dead-End Pathways in Career and Technical Ed.
Education Week

McMinnville, Tenn. — Warren County High School leaders knew they had a problem on their hands. Too many of their graduates were fixing lawnmower engines, a dead-end job in a declining industry, while right down the road, manufacturers were clamoring for workers with sophisticated technology skills to support the area’s booming automotive industry.
This small-town high school decided to right that imbalance. School officials phased out their program in two- and four-cycle engines and introduced a course of study in mechatronics, a blend of electronics and engineering that’s the brains of the automation in many advanced manufacturing systems.
With only a high school diploma and an entry-level mechatronics certification, teenagers can earn more than $45,000 a year here in rural Tennessee. Additional certifications and experience can boost earnings to $60,000.
Students can go further, too: They can earn associate degrees at local community colleges in mechanical pre-engineering or advanced integrated technology, or head to Middle Tennessee State University for bachelor’s degrees in engineering technology.
Because Warren County High School designed its mechatronics program to dovetail with the one at nearby Motlow Community College, students’ courses count for dual credit, so they’ll have a potential jump-start on any college degrees they decide to pursue.
What’s happening here in rural Tennessee reflects a growing focus nationally on building high-quality career and technical education programs.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wv

 

After years of poor scores, Alabama looks to ditch ACT Aspire test
Birmingham (AL) News

After only four years, state education officials are ready to change the standardized test taken by Alabama’s public school students.
At the April 26 work session, state superintendent Michael Sentance told board members it was time to “reboot,” and that includes finding a new test provider.
More evidence of plans to dump the test emerged with the state’s release of the 2017-2018 testing calendar. The ACT Aspire is not on it.
Alabama’s students have performed poorly on the tests, with proficiency levels not topping 50 percent in reading since the tests were first given in the spring of 2014. In math, the results have been a bit better. In science, proficiency levels ranged from 23 to 39 percent.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ww

 

Study: Teacher Prep Programs Failing to Thoroughly Cover Subject Matter
Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Too many teacher prep programs at the undergraduate level don’t demand enough of prospective high school teachers, particularly when it comes to teaching specific topics within the broad fields of science and social studies.
That is one of the key findings of a new report released Wednesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality, or NCTQ – a stalwart in the push to improve the quality and competency of America’s teachers.
The report – which examines entrance requirements and other elements of some 700 or so undergraduate programs that prepare high school teachers – characterizes the situation as “distressing.” The report notes that only about three in five teacher prep programs – 57 percent, to be precise – “adequately cover the subject content that both science and social studies teachers will need to teach.”
“Programs are inconsistent in their attention to content,” the report states. “They often do well preparing science teachers but not as well preparing social studies teachers – or vice versa.”
The report seeks to rank teacher prep programs and found about 16 deserved the distinction of being a “top tier” program “because they have solid admission standards, provide sufficient preparation in each candidate’s intended subject area, and show them how best to teach that subject.”
However, one critic of the report cautions against making too much of its findings because the report fails to delineate what students actually experience at various teacher prep programs at colleges and universities throughout the nation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wq

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wr (NCTQ)

Utah data
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Ws (NCTQ)

 

Student beat him, others kicked him while he lay unconscious. Later, he killed himself at 8 years old
Cincinnati Enquirer

A security camera video taken inside Carson Elementary School reveals that a student assaulted an 8-year-old boy in a restroom and other children kicked and struck the boy for five minutes while he lay unconscious.
Two days later, the boy died by suicide.
In a report obtained by The Enquirer, a Cincinnati Police homicide detective describes the Jan. 24 school video’s content: “I witnessed behavior that in my belief is bullying and could even rise to the level of criminal assault,” if not for the young ages of the perpetrators.
School officials did not tell the boy’s mother about the assault or that he had lost consciousness, only that the boy had fainted, the mother’s lawyer says. Neither Cincinnati Public Schools officials nor Carson Elementary officials are commenting on the video or the assault.
The 8-year-old boy died Jan. 26, the first youth suicide in 2017 in Hamilton County. Seven county residents 18 and younger have died as suicides this year. Last year, there were 13. The yearly average is about five.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WO

 

How Should Schools Respond to the Concerns of Undocumented Families?
Education Week

School districts around the nation have passed resolutions vowing to do everything they can to protect undocumented students. Now, a University of Missouri researcher examines how individual schools can meet the needs of students and families when the threat of deportation or detainment hit close to home.
Through interviews of school leaders, employees, and residents in a northern California neighborhood, assistant professor Emily Crawford-Rossi looked at how staff addressed the panic and fear that gripped the families amid rumors that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were casing the surrounding neighborhood.
The principal at the school, a English-Spanish dual-language-immersion program where close to 90 percent of the students are Latino, provided the opportunity for community members to receive legal counsel on immigration matters and quickly addressed the uncertainty for students and parents head-on, helping to allay fears and restore calm in the neighborhood.
“Laws do not tell leaders how to assess the impact that federal immigration authorities will have on a school, students, or families, or how to handle the aftermath of an ICE visit,” wrote Crawford-Rossi, an assistant professor in the university’s College of Education and the Truman School of Public Affairs. “Educators … saw firsthand how federal immigration policy can intersect powerfully and unexpectedly with day-to-day schooling at the local level.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WQ

 

Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis Claims Another Casualty: Its Schools
New York Times

AGUAS BUENAS, P.R. – Natalia Hernández stood before dawn with a bullhorn in her hand in front of the mountainside elementary school that four generations of her family attended, rattling off its academic accomplishments.
More than half the pupils are on the honor roll. There are tutors, a social worker and even a speech therapist, she said. But there has been an exodus of families from Puerto Rico in the face of its economic collapse, so little Luis Santaella School has a big problem: Only 146 children are enrolled compared with about 250 in the past.
And so, like 178 other schools across the island, it is set to close after the last day of the school term this week, in part to help Puerto Rico battle debt and pension obligations of $123 billion. The school, perched alongside a winding two­lane road 1,400 feet above sea level, will join the many casualties of a fiscal crisis that forced Puerto Rico to declare a form of bankruptcy last week and sent hundreds of thousands of people packing in the past decade.
The school will join the shuttered businesses and abandoned homes as yet another indicator of the emergency gripping Puerto Rico and the desperate efforts to stop the hemorrhaging.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Wp

 

Mountain View principal repays school credit card charges, announces retirement
(Boise) Idaho Statesman

Aaron Maybon, Mountain View High School principal, has voluntarily repaid the school district $1,954.68 after auditors raised questions about some purchases he made in the past 10 months on his district-supplied credit card.
Among the items in question: National Football League tickets to a Baltimore Ravens game attended by five staff members in November, purchase of admission to Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City in September and $200 in lodging at a Holiday Inn Express in Salt Lake City at the end of a school trip, district officials say.
Maybon, principal at Mountain View since it opened in 2003, announced to his staff last week that he would retire at the end of the school year to pursue other interests, said Eric Exline, district spokesman. West Ada School District trustees will consider his separation from the district, as well as other district employees, at its meeting Tuesday night.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WK

 

Twenty-four Chibok girls to return to school: Nigerian officials
Reuters

The 82 girls freed by Boko Haram on Saturday after being held captive for three years are still waiting to be reunited with their families, while all the girls found last year will be heading back to school in September, Nigerian officials said.
Twenty four girls, who were among around 270 kidnapped by the Islamist militant group from the town of Chibok in northeast Nigeria in April 2014, are to return to school in September, the president’s spokesman said on Thursday.
Those going back to school include the 21 girls freed last October in a deal brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross and three others who escaped or were rescued.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9WP

 

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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
10 a.m., 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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