Education News Roundup: May 16, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

House Bill 43

The Universe — the news outlet at BYU, not everything in existence — takes a look at Utah’s new American Indian and Alaskan Native pilot program.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z4 (BYU Universe)

eSchool News looks at Secretary DeVos’ keynote at ASU+GSV in Salt Lake last week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z3 ([Bethesda, MD] eSchool News)

Wisconsin looks to push career and technical ed.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YC (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Latest data show fewer criminal incidents being reported in schools nationally.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YW (Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9YL (AP)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YM (National Center for Education Statistics)

Latest poll shows most Americans know little or nothing about either charter schools or school vouchers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z1 (AP)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9YX (Ed Week)
or a copy of the survey
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YY (AP-NORC)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

HB43 provides funds for Alaskan Native and Native American education

4 things DeVos said during her ASU+GSV keynote

Utah school accused of failing to report possible sex exploitation by adult to police

Alpine School District planning to buy more land in Lehi

CHS history students win at state event, head for D.C.

Cannibals? Kids schooled on raising trout, even the icky stuff

So long Nevada! So. Utah club team ‘excited’ as UHSAA sanctions lacrosse for 2019-20 season

Arizona Is the Latest State to Drop Teacher Training and Experience Requirements

After years of accusations, ex-Española teacher is finally charged

Las Vegas students to learn from Wright brothers replica

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Trade trust lands to benefit Utah schools

Thank you

Don’t Grade Teachers With a Bad Algorithm
The Value-Added Model has done more to confuse and oppress than to motivate.

Four Ways That Education Advocacy Has Changed in the Trump Era

The First 100 Days for the New Education Secretary: How DeVos Stacks Up Against Her Predecessors
Protest, criticism, little action mark Betsy DeVos’s first 100 days in office

NATION

Wisconsin schools push students to consider careers earlier, but does it make sense?

Students Feel Safer at School; Fewer Incidents Reported, Federal Data Show

Veto schools bill and ‘starvation-level’ K-12 spending, critics urge Gov. Scott

Four Education Leaders Join Chiefs for Change

It’s Bernie Sanders vs. Billionaires In This School Board Race

Lessons On Race And Vouchers From Milwaukee

AP-NORC Poll: Most Americans Feel Fine About School Choice
Despite heated political debate, a new poll shows most Americans are unfamiliar with charter schools or private school voucher programs.

New Student Data Privacy Toolkit Encourages Parent Advocacy

As schools adopt social-emotional programs, a new guide offers help

Child accidentally shot at Moss Bluff Elementary, was “innocent bystander”

Student who tried to hack grading system sues school board for expelling him

Kansas Boy’s Slaying Prompts Call for New Home School Rules

 

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UTAH NEWS
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HB43 provides funds for Alaskan Native and Native American education

Governor Herbert signed HB43, creating a five-year pilot program to disperse grants to address the needs of Alaskan Natives and Native American students in rural areas in Utah.
These grants would be aimed to assist school districts and charter schools with recruitment, retention and professional development of teachers who teach Alaskan Indians and Native Americans, according to the bill.
Those included in this program are from the fourth, fifth and sixth class counties, which are the most populated Alaskan and Native Americans regions. One of the counties included was San Juan County in the southeastern part of the state.
“This legislation specifically targets the San Juan County Native Americans. San Juan has the highest population of Native Americans of any county in the state,” said Rep. Michael Noel, R-Kanab, in an email.
The pilot program was targeted toward helping Native American students and teachers stay in rural counties, Noel said.
The State Board of Education – State Office of Administrative Education Fund was given $250,000, and the Pilot Teacher Retention Grant Program was given $250,000.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z4 (BYU Universe)

 

4 things DeVos said during her ASU+GSV keynote

During her keynote address at the annual ASU+GSV Summit in Utah, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos didn’t stray too far from her usual focus topics.
DeVos covered a range of familiar education topics, and she also touched on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a key federal higher-education law that has languished for years during talks of reauthorization.
Despite ASU+GSV serving as a good platform for DeVos to talk about educational technology and innovation, she instead focused on school choice and reducing the federal role in education.
During a fireside chat with Jeanne Allen, CEO of the Center for Education Reform, which supports charter schools, DeVos glossed over a general question about technology and compared it to “a thousand flower,” adding that we “haven’t planted the whole garden.”
Her keynote offered details on a handful of issues that she has focused on since assuming office.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z3 ([Bethesda, MD] eSchool News)

 

Utah school accused of failing to report possible sex exploitation by adult to police

Manila, Utah -For a full week, the superintendent of the Daggett County School District and the principal of Manila High School knew that a 21-year-old man may have been texting nude pictures of himself to a 13-year-old girl, and didn’t tell police or the girl’s guardian.
The district said it was conducting its own investigation to find out the veracity of the charges, but the grandfather of the girl said during the time of that internal investigation, the man and the girl continued to exchange pictures. According to a police report obtained by 2News, The Daggett County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip about the pictures and began an investigation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YN (KUTV)

 

Alpine School District planning to buy more land in Lehi

The Alpine School District is preparing to buy more land in Lehi.
The Alpine School District Board of Education will vote on the purchase of 14.35 acres of land at 1200 S. Center St. in Lehi for $2.35 million during its board meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday night at the Alpine School District Administration Building in American Fork.
The district is currently in the middle of a few projects as part of a bond that was passed in 2016.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YR (PDH)

 

CHS history students win at state event, head for D.C.

Seven students who participated in the regional history fair and then went on to the Utah State History Day competition have earned the chance to compete at the national level this summer in Washington D.C.
Taking first place in the senior division (grades 9-12) in the group performance category at state were Tyler Pierce, Mersedez Clifford, Katie Snow, Tessa Atwood and Bethany Prettyman.
Their performance based on the Culper Spy Ring that aided the patriots during the Revolutionary War was the best of the competition.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z8 (Price Sun-Advocate)

 

Cannibals? Kids schooled on raising trout, even the icky stuff

LAYTON – Garrett Palmer put on his best face of mourning and described how he’d miss “George,” the young trout he and his classmates had raised since it was an egg.
That started in January, and now, months later, it was time to bid adieu to George – a somewhat sad affair even though Garrett said his fish was “cannibalistic” and dined on other young trout.
“It was gross. But I hope he survives out there. He’s an amazing fish,” he said.
The fifth-grader couldn’t say what set George apart from the others – or how he could tell that fish from the 60 or 70 other young trout – but he was confident the fish had the survival skills to make a big splash at Andy Adams Reservoir in Layton upon his release Monday.
Trout Unlimited and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources have been placing young fish with young people in the state since 2013, hoping to teach children about the importance of water quality and aquatic ecosystems and to become stewards of the natural resources around them.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YP (DN)

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

 

So long Nevada! So. Utah club team ‘excited’ as UHSAA sanctions lacrosse for 2019-20 season

It’s been a great month for the Desert Hills lacrosse team, which consists of players from surrounding area high schools.
The team recently took home the Southern Nevada Lacrosse Association championship for the second year in a row with an 11-3 victory over powerhouse Bishop Gorman. The win not only kept the Thunder’s perfect season alive at 19-0 but clinched a spot in the state championship tourney in Reno this weekend.
The good news didn’t stop there.
In a surprise move, the Utah High School Activities Association – and for just the second time in 27 years – announced that it was expanding to add both boys’ and girls’ lacrosse for the 2019-2020 season. It will be the 11th sport sanctioned under the organization, and the first addition since girls’ golf in 2008.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YS (SGS)

 

Arizona Is the Latest State to Drop Teacher Training and Experience Requirements

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed new legislation that promises to make sweeping changes to the state’s teaching corps, allowing districts to hire educators without any formal teaching training or experience.
Senate Bill 1042, similar to laws recently passed in Oklahoma and Utah, allows for prospective educators to enter the classroom if they have five years of experience in fields “relevant” to the subject area they plan to teach. The bill leaves it up to each district to decide whether a candidate’s work experience is sufficient. Like in Utah and Oklahoma, Arizona officials cite teacher shortages as the impetus for the move.
“No longer will an outdated process keep qualified, dedicated individuals out of the classroom,” Gov. Ducey, a Republican, says in a written statement. “Instead, principals will now be empowered to make hiring decisions and attract the best individuals to serve our students.”
But the Arizona Education Association, the state affiliate of the National Education Association, doesn’t see the bill as a victory for students, but instead as a lowering of the bar that will ultimately damage the quality of the education that Arizona students receive.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z5 (Education Week)

 

After years of accusations, ex-Española teacher is finally charged

SANTA FE – A former grade-school teacher in the Santa Fe and Española public schools accused of improper contact with female students dating back many years – and previously the subject of lawsuits from girls’ families, including one that resulted in a $3.2 million settlement – now faces criminal charges.
Gary Gregor, 60, with an Española address, was indicted late last month on three counts of rape of a minor, four counts of kidnapping and five counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor.
The accusations against Gregor over the years have raised issues about how he managed to move among different school districts, in different states, after facing repeated accusations of wrongdoing.
Before he came to New Mexico, he faced criminal child sex abuse charges in Utah that were dismissed in 1995 for lack of evidence. He also worked as an educator in Montana where, according to a New Mexico lawsuit, he was fired under a school policy barring after-school activities with students.
The April criminal indictment, handed down by a Rio Arriba County grand jury, say the alleged crimes in New Mexico took place during the 2007-2008 school year, when Gregor worked at Fairview Elementary School in Española. The indictment lists alleged crimes against two victims 12 years old or younger. Gregor pleaded not guilty at his court arraignment Friday.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z2 (Albuquerque [NM] Journal)

 

Las Vegas students to learn from Wright brothers replica

Aviation students at Rancho High School can now practice their maintenance skills on a model of a plane that is more than a century old.
Through the efforts of the Las Vegas chapter of the Air Force Association, the high school has received a full-size replica of the 1905 Wright Brothers Flyer, the first successful aircraft to take flight.
The model, named “USU Wright Flyer,” originally was designed and assembled by students at the University of Southern Utah in 2003 to honor the 100th anniversary of flight.
Once the plane is fully assembled, it will be used to promote learning and careers in aerospace and might make an appearance at Aviation Nation, the air show at Nellis Air Force Base in November.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z6 (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Trade trust lands to benefit Utah schools
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Ashley Anderson

An article in The Tribune paraphrases the views of a San Juan County rancher claiming “he and other monument critics fear restrictions … will thwart economic development, impede public access and undermine local schools by disrupting possible revenue sources.” As a public school parent and arts educator in Salt Lake City, I can’t speak to some of his concerns, but I can speak to assumptions about schools.
All of Utah’s public schools receive an annual allotment from the School Land Trust fund. While trust lands are spread throughout Utah, those captured within Bears Ears National Monument are not usable (or profitable). The same was true of school trust lands captured in Grand Staircase-Escalante in the late ’90s. During that controversial designation, Utah leadership pursued a trust lands exchange which allowed investment and development on suitable land with over $300 million dollars in returns. The investments from that exchange are the single largest contributor to the current trust lands fund from which all public schools benefit.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YO

 

Thank you
Deseret News letter from Janet and Ken Rodham

Our son, Kevin, was diagnosed with autism when he was 3½ years old. The experts recommended that he start preschool right away, which he did. Putting such a little boy on a school bus was heart wrenching, but we got through it, and thus began our experience in the world of “special education.”
For the past 15 years it has been our great privilege to associate with a wide variety of special education professionals in the Alpine School District who have served our son and family in life-altering ways. We have learned that special educators are truly exceptional people. If you ever want to feel close to heaven, visit one of their classrooms, and you will find angels on earth – both the teachers and the students. Their salaries are modest, the expectations are high, they are frequently under-resourced, and they sometimes have to deal with difficult parents. Through it all, they keep loving and serving the children, not because it pays a lot, but because it makes a real difference in the lives of some very special children who need extra help.
This year Kevin will graduate from American Fork High School. We wish to express our gratitude to the many special education teachers, classroom aides, peer tutors, administrators, lunchroom workers, and bus drivers who have served our son so well for so many years. Thanks to all of you for your incredible service to our family!
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YQ

 

Don’t Grade Teachers With a Bad Algorithm
The Value-Added Model has done more to confuse and oppress than to motivate.
Bloomberg commentary by Cathy O’Neil, author of author of “Weapons of Math Destruction”

For more than a decade, a glitchy and unaccountable algorithm has been making life difficult for America’s teachers. The good news is that its reign of terror might finally be drawing to a close.
I first became acquainted with the Value-Added Model in 2011, when a friend of mine, a high school principal in Brooklyn, told me that a complex mathematical system was being used to assess her teachers — and to help decide such important matters as tenure. I offered to explain the formula to her if she could get it. She said she had tried, but had been told “it’s math, you wouldn’t understand it.”
This was the first sign that something very weird was going on, and that somebody was avoiding scrutiny by invoking the authority and trustworthiness of mathematics. Not cool. The results have actually been terrible, and may be partly to blame for a national teacher shortage.
The VAM — actually a family of algorithms — purports to determine how much “value” an individual teacher adds to a classroom. It goes by standardized test scores, and holds teachers accountable for what’s called student growth, which comes down to the difference between how well students performed on a test and how well a predictive model “expected” them to do.
Derived in the 1980s from agricultural crop models, VAM got a big boost from the education reform movements of presidents Bush and Obama. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act called for federal standards, and Obama’s Race to The Top Act offered states more than $4 billion in federal funds in exchange for instituting formal teacher assessments. Many states went for VAM, sometimes with bonuses and firings attached to the results.
Fundamental problems immediately arose.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YD

 

Four Ways That Education Advocacy Has Changed in the Trump Era
Education Week commentary by columnist Alyson Klein

The Trump era is a whole new ball game for the folks in Washington who represent public school educators, the civil rights community, and robust K-12 funding. (That’s the bulk of the D.C. K-12 lobbying community.)
Here are four things that long-time education advocates in those areas tell us have changed since President Donald Trump, and his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, took office earlier this year:
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YE

 

The First 100 Days for the New Education Secretary: How DeVos Stacks Up Against Her Predecessors
Protest, criticism, little action mark Betsy DeVos’s first 100 days in office
The 74 commentary by columnist Carolyn Phenicie

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black institution in Daytona Beach, Florida, should’ve been a generally unremarkable affair, given little notice besides its mark as her first graduation address.
Instead, like so much of the lightning-rod secretary’s first 100 days in office, the May 10 speech became a media flashpoint. Students booed throughout her speech; some stood and turned their backs on her. The university president interrupted DeVos’s speech and threatened to mail students’ diplomas rather than continue with the ceremony.
“I have respect for all those who attended, including those who demonstrated their disagreement with me. While we may share differing points of view, my visit and dialogue with students leaves me encouraged and committed to supporting HBCUs,” DeVos said in a statement released after the ceremony.
No small part of the opposition was of her own doing: One of her earliest blunders was the comment that historically black colleges and universities – a consequence of Jim Crow segregation – were “real pioneers of school choice.” (She later wrote a series of tweets backtracking from that sentiment.)
DeVos has seemed to lurch from one PR disaster to another, starting with her late-January confirmation hearing. Yet for all of the chaos and hyped-up scrutiny, the Michigan billionaire and former GOP party leader has actually done very little, observers say, as she approaches her 100th day in office this Thursday – including on her signature issue, school choice.
“There’s just not a lot coming out at this point for us to react to,” said Gary Henry, a professor of education and public policy at Vanderbilt University.
That stands in contrast to Arne Duncan, Barack Obama’s first education secretary, and Rod Paige, who served during George W. Bush’s first term, both of whom had extensive experience in public education and oversaw huge legislative initiatives.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z7

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Wisconsin schools push students to consider careers earlier, but does it make sense?
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

PEWAUKEE – It could be an office anywhere. Four colleagues are convened on a bank of sleek sofas, laptops open, critiquing a PowerPoint in advance of an upcoming presentation.
It is an office, in a business park off Highway F in this Waukesha County suburb.
But these are Pewaukee High School students tweaking the final project for their global business class, which they’ll present to their client, a Waukesha-based dental technology firm, the following week.
The course is one of a number of career-oriented programs offered at Pewaukee High, from culinary arts and fashion design to engineering innovation and health care. They are part of a burgeoning movement in Wisconsin and across the nation to better prepare students for the workforce by offering hands-on, real-world experience and laying the groundwork in some cases as early as kindergarten.
Beginning next school year, all Wisconsin school districts will be required to provide both academic and career planning services to students in grades 6 through 12. As part of that work, students will assess their interests and skills, with the idea of exploring various paths to the workplace. And they’ll drill down into Wisconsin’s labor market to learn about what jobs might be out there, how much they pay and the education and training needed to land one.
“The idea is to help students see more of a connection between what they’re doing in the classroom and potential careers,” said Sharon Wendt of the state Department of Public Instruction, which launched a pilot program in 2016 to boost academic and career planning in 25 districts across the state.
It is a shift in thinking for many schools, where for years the focus has been almost exclusively on academics.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YC

 

Students Feel Safer at School; Fewer Incidents Reported, Federal Data Show
Education Week

A decades-long decline in reports of violent and non-violent student incidents continued in U.S. public schools, federal data released Tuesday show. And rates of students who report feeling unsafe at school have also declined.
In 2015, there were 33 victimizations per 1,000 students ages 12 to 18 at school, according to the report, Indicators of School Crime and Safety 2016. That’s a decline from 181 victimizations per 1,000 students in 1992, an 82 percent drop, the report says.
The percentage of students who reported “being afraid of attack or harm” at school also dropped over the past two decades, declining from 11.8 percent in 1995 to 3.3 percent in 2015, the report said.
Those figures stand in contrast to the sometimes high-profile portrayals of schools as unsafe places in venues ranging from television shows and social media and to school board and statehouse hearings.
“Overall, bullying and victimization is down in our schools and crime has decreased at our colleges and universities, but there is much work left to be done,” Peggy G. Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, said in a statement. “The data show that many students do not feel safe at school and are victimized physically, verbally, and emotionally. It is my hope that this report will help inform discussions about what can be done to improve the safety climate in education.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YW

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

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YM (National Center for Education Statistics)

 

Veto schools bill and ‘starvation-level’ K-12 spending, critics urge Gov. Scott
Miami Herald

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott faces mounting pressure from school superintendents, teachers unions and parent groups to veto $23.7 billion in base funding to K-12 public schools next year – as well as a controversial $419 million education policy bill, which lawmakers unveiled and passed in the span of just three days at the end of their annual session.
A rejection of the main education funding alone would force lawmakers back to Tallahassee for a special session to redo that part of the budget, which is almost a third of the $82.4 billion in overall state spending approved for 2017-18.
Scott hasn’t yet said how he might act on either the budget itself or HB 7069, the 278-page bill of sweeping K-12 reforms that was negotiated in secret in the session’s final days. It includes controversial incentives for charter schools, $234 million in bonuses for top teachers and principals, and an amalgamation of other policy changes – such as forcing districts to share with privately managed charter schools millions of dollars in local tax revenue earmarked for capital projects.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YA

http://gousoe.uen.org/9YB (Orlando Sentinel)

 

Four Education Leaders Join Chiefs for Change
Education Week

Chiefs for Change continues to expand into the ranks of school district leaders, with two urban schools chiefs among the four new members.
The district leaders are William Hite, the superintendent of Philadelphia Public Schools, and Paymon Rouhanifard, the superintendent of New Jersey’s Camden school district.
Kunjan Narechania, the superintendent of Louisiana’s Recovery School District, a state-run system that oversees charter schools in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is also a member of the new class. The lone state chief in the group is Candice McQueen, Tennessee’s commissioner of education.
Chiefs for Change, once part of the former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education and comprised solely of state education chiefs, has spun off as an independent organization. It now focuses on leadership, personalized learning, and the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the new federal K-12 law.
The organization has been steadily adding urban school district chiefs: Of the 26 members, only seven (counting the District of Columbia) lead state education systems.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YF

 

It’s Bernie Sanders vs. Billionaires In This School Board Race
International Business Times via Yahoo News

Sen. Bernie Sanders has been busy over the last few weeks on a unity tour with DNC chairman Tom Perez , but that hasn’t stopped him from wading into a local school board election. It’s the most expensive in U.S. history and may help decide one of the most important ideological battles roiling the Democratic Party – the battle over charter schools in education policy.
Sanders has endorsed two candidates running in this Tuesday’s Los Angeles school board race, which has pitted Democrats’ labor movement allies, who support traditional public schools, against prominent corporate moguls who have pressed the party to embrace privately run charter schools.
“Billionaires should not make a profit off of public school children,” Sanders said in a statement. “That’s why I’m supporting Steve Zimmer and Imelda Padilla for the Los Angeles School Board. They will fight against the Trump/DeVos agenda to destabilize and undermine public schools.”
A longtime ally of the labor movement, Sanders is backing the two candidates who are supported by the local teachers union in a race that could shift control of the nation’s second largest school district. The Sanders candidates are opposed by attorney Nick Melvoin and teacher Kelly Gonez, who support charter schools and whose candidacies have been backed by millions of dollars from groups funded by (among others) Walmart heir Alice Walton, Netflix founder Reed Hastings and real estate magnate Eli Broad.
While the election is local, the outside money flooding into the race shows the stakes are high.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YG

 

Lessons On Race And Vouchers From Milwaukee
NPR

The Trump administration has made school choice, vouchers in particular, a cornerstone of its education agenda. This has generated lots of interest in how school voucher programs across the country work and whom they benefit.
The oldest school voucher program was created in Milwaukee in 1990 with a singular focus on African-American students living in poverty. This school year, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program issued nearly 28,000 vouchers for low-income kids to attend dozens of private and religious schools at public expense.
Over the years, though, most voucher recipients have performed no better academically than their public school peers. In some cases they’ve done worse. So who exactly is benefiting? It’s a question that has raised serious misgivings in Milwaukee’s African-American community. So much so that some of the city’s prominent black leaders today are divided.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YU

 

AP-NORC Poll: Most Americans Feel Fine About School Choice
Despite heated political debate, a new poll shows most Americans are unfamiliar with charter schools or private school voucher programs.
Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report

WASHINGTON – Even as fierce political battles rage in Washington over school choice, most Americans know little about charter schools or private school voucher programs. Still, more Americans feel positively than negatively about expanding those programs, according to a new poll released Friday.
“I wonder what the fuss is about,” said Beverly Brown, 61, a retired grocery store worker in central Alabama. Brown, who doesn’t have children, says American schools need reform, but she is not familiar with specific school options and policies. “Educational standards have to be improved overall.”
All told, 58 percent of respondents say they know little or nothing at all about charter schools and 66 percent report the same about private school voucher programs, according to the poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z1

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

A copy of the survey
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YY (AP-NORC)

 

New Student Data Privacy Toolkit Encourages Parent Advocacy
Education Week

A pair of advocacy organizations, the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, have released a toolkit that urges parents to be more vigilant in questioning school districts’ and ed-tech companies’ data-privacy policies.
Partly a guide on federal privacy laws, partly an activism manual, the toolkit encourages parents to question teachers and district officials about how data is collected, stored, and shared, and to advocate for stricter standards in their children’s schools.
The toolkit also lists best practices for schools, districts, and states, and teaches parents how to identify what the groups consider “red flags” in terms of service agreements with education companies.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YZ

A copy of the toolkit
http://gousoe.uen.org/9Z0 (Parent Coalition for Student Privacy)

 

As schools adopt social-emotional programs, a new guide offers help
(Oakland, CA) EdSource

Parents, teachers and students streamed into the library of Palo Alto’s Gunn High School on a warm evening this spring to hear about a new plan, coming this fall, to help high school students develop empathy and coping skills through “social and emotional learning.” For starters, the audience wanted the answer to a question that has dogged the jargon phrase for years: What is social and emotional learning and why should schools get involved in it?
The term is bedeviled by abstractions, but the concept is straightforward: help students learn how to manage their emotions, be kind to others and make sensible decisions and they will do better in school, work and life. Like Palo Alto Unified, districts across the state are increasingly interested in helping students cope, prompted by concerns about student mental health and a new accountability system that calls for schools to do a better job for the hundreds of thousands of students who are suspended or chronically absent each year.
Now a new guide, Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out, published by researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, aims to steer school districts through the thicket of social and emotional learning programs and decide on an approach.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YJ

A copy of the guide
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YK (Wallace Foundation)

 

Child accidentally shot at Moss Bluff Elementary, was “innocent bystander”
(Lafayette, LA) KATC

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says that the 7-year-old hit by a bullet at Moss Bluff Elementary was an “innocent bystander”.
KATC has learned the child is now in critical, but stable condition; he was moved to the Pediatric ICU at a Lafayette hospital for monitoring.
Deputies were dispatched to Moss Bluff Elementary School Monday morning in regards to a shooting, according to a spokeswoman for the office.
Deputies say they have determined the victim was accidentally shot in his classroom. An investigation has revealed that a child brought a gun to school and while in class, the weapon fell out of their backpack. A second child then picked up the gun, which fired accidentally. A third student was struck by the bullet.
Neither the student who brought the gun, nor the student who accidentally fired the gun will be charged due to their age, according to deputies. When the investigation is complete, the report will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office to determine if any charges will be filed against the owner of the gun.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YI

 

Student who tried to hack grading system sues school board for expelling him
Chicago Tribune

A student who was expelled from Glenbrook North High School for trying to hack into its grading system has sued the school board, saying the district abused its power by imposing an “unreasonable” and “oppressive” punishment.
An adult relative filed the lawsuit on behalf of the 15-year-old sophomore after Glenbrook High School District 225 officials expelled him for the remainder of the school year and all of next school year for his role in a grade-changing scheme.
The plot was engineered by another student, who created a fake email address that appeared to be from PowerSchool, where students’ grades are electronically recorded.
According to the lawsuit and a report from the district hearing officer, the student who created the fake email sent it to several teachers and asked them to use a provided link to log in. The login page was also fake but allowed the student to capture the passwords of teachers who fell for the scheme, and two of them did, according to the lawsuit and the report.
That student told investigators he was able to “view students grades and edit them,” the hearing officer’s report said.
The student who is now suing over his expulsion had a marginal role, the lawsuit asserts. It claims that the other student shared a teacher’s stolen password with him and that he used it to try to gain entry to the grading system but failed. The student also admitted in the lawsuit that he sent emails to two teachers from his own account asking about his grades, and those emails included the link to the fraudulent website created by the other student.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YH

 

Kansas Boy’s Slaying Prompts Call for New Home School Rules
Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. — A Kansas prosecutor wants tougher state regulation of home schools following the 2015 slaying of a 7-year-old boy whose remains were found in a family pig sty.
A Kansas House committee had a hearing Tuesday on a bill to require people living in a home where a child is abused to report the abuse.
But Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree says that’s just a first step.
The bill is a response to the death of Adrian Jones, who authorities say was tortured and starved. His father and stepmother claimed to be home schooling him. They’ve been sentenced to life in prison in his death. Authorities say at least one other adult had temporarily lived in the home.
Kansas requires only that home schools be registered. Several lawmakers want more oversight.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9YV

 

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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 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 8:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/charterschools/State-Board.aspx

June 20:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=APPPED

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