Education News Roundup: May 19, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Salt Lake District is offering teachers a 9 percent pay raise.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1l (SLT)

Remember to pay your web domain name fee on time.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1m (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/a1D (KTVX)

Dual immersion students now starting to reach high school.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1w (PDH)

KSL looks at who owns Utah, including the land managed by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1V (KSL)

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issue a new report on CTE.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1r (Ed Week)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1s (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

SLC schools offer $44K starting salary to teachers

Tooele High School website redirects to ‘lingerie girls’ page after domain lapses
Former domain now features young women posing in lingerie; new owners say pony up $9,800 to get old site back.

Provo’s first set of Chinese immersion students entering high school

Who owns the state of Utah?

Spectrum Academy starts a cafe to give students with autism life and job experience

Graduation profile: InTech grad uses musical talent in hospital, math talent for future

Six InTech students pull off “notable” senior prank

Graduation For Students With Special Needs Brings Excitement And Anxiety

2 Santaquin Elementary employees say goodbye after decades of service

Flying away

Logan 4th-, 5th-graders brave chilly weather for Fun Run

Utah students become water conscience by raising trout

Teacher’s saga reflects poorly on area schools

Morgan County deputies, high school officials warning students about sexting

What Parents Need to Know About the ‘Choking Game’

San Juan School District cancels class after shooting, confirms manhunt is underway

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Thumbs up, thumbs down

School choice can’t afford to be TrumpChoice
Controversial Common Core and No Child Left Behind suffered while choice thrives with local leaders.

In the School Choice Debate, Both Sides Are Right
School reformers and backers of traditional public schools are talking past each other

The Little­Known Statistician Who Taught Us to Measure Teachers

NATION

Career Education Needs New Supports, Skill Focus, National Report Says

In Some States, ESSA Means More Powers for Local School Boards

Audit Says Education Dept. Must Improve Grant Oversight

Children Must Be Taught to Collaborate, Studies Say
Researchers explore group work in class

Tribune analysis: College prep courses not preparing kids for college

The Next Shortage Facing Young Homebuyers: Good Schools
Since the recession, funding for construction has cratered.

FCC Makes First Move Toward Weakening Net Neutrality Protections

Pearson To Scale Back Partnership With Adaptive Learning Provider Knewton

A&E Cable Channel Plans High School Documentary Series

 

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UTAH NEWS
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SLC schools offer $44K starting salary to teachers

Utah’s race to pay teachers more money has a new leader in Salt Lake City School District.
The district announced Thursday that teachers will receive 9 percent raises, with the salary for first-year educators increased from $39,954 to $43,887.
Those salary figures are part of a tentative agreement with the Salt Lake Education Association, and are subject to ratification by union members and a final vote by the district school board.
In a prepared statement, Salt Lake City Schools Superintendent Alexa Cunningham said the district has long been committed to attracting and retaining teachers by offering one of the highest salary plans in the state. “To compete in today’s marketplace,” Cunningham said, “we felt it was important to continue that tradition.”
Several Utah school districts have recently approved large pay raises and minimum-$40,000 starting salaries for next year, with the stated goal of recruiting and retaining career educators.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1l (SLT)

 

Tooele High School website redirects to ‘lingerie girls’ page after domain lapses
Former domain now features young women posing in lingerie; new owners say pony up $9,800 to get old site back.

Online visitors to tooelehigh.org won’t find the academic calendar for Tooele High School or info on Buffalo athletics.
Instead, they’ll see galleries of young women posing in lingerie.
After transitioning to a new web address, the high school’s old domain was purchased and held for “ransom,” according to a letter sent to parents and community members by Tooele High School Principal Jeffrey Hamm.
“We want you to know that every effort is being made into regaining access to the tooelehigh.org domain through the District to ensure that Tooele High School’s good name and reputation are not sullied by redirecting our patrons to a site that is clearly not affiliated with our school,” Hamm wrote.
Hamm said in his letter that school administrators knew the address would expire as part of the transition to a new website. But he wrote that parents had been caught off-guard attempting to access the old site, when instead they were redirected to risque content on TheChive.com, which describes itself as “probably the best site in the world.”
“Everyone needs to be aware that it could be a lengthy process to reclaim the site, block the site, and/or get it shut down entirely,” Hamm wrote.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1m (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a1D (KTVX)

 

Provo’s first set of Chinese immersion students entering high school

By the time they graduate from high school, students in Bob Tsai’s Chinese dual immersion class will be a few credits shy of a minor in the foreign language.
His students, who are currently eighth graders, are the first set of Chinese dual language immersion students in Provo City School District. When they enter high school in the fall, they’ll have the opportunity to take the Advanced Placement test for the language and start accumulating college credits.
“We are really excited to have them move on,” said Jamie Leite, the instructional coach for dual language immersion in Provo City School District and the director of the state’s Portuguese dual language immersion program. “This group of children and parents are incredibly committed to Chinese dual language immersion.”
Dual language immersion is available in Mandarin Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish in Provo City School District.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1w (PDH)

 

Who owns the state of Utah?

SALT LAKE CITY – Pres. Donald Trump in April ordered a review of the size and scope of the national monuments created since 1996, which includes two monuments in the state of Utah.
The review sparked an already heated debate about whether the federal government should own land, or whether individual state governments should be entitled to the land. Trump’s signing of the executive order signaled a move toward giving land back to the states while limiting the size of “a massive federal land grab.”
“It’s time to end these abuses and return control to the people, the people of Utah, the people of all of the states, the people of the United States,” Trump said.
Utah, like many of its Western state counterparts, is not the majority owner of the land within its state boundaries. Instead, the federal government owns a significant percentage of the land – approximately 64 percent of its 82,144 square miles.

As Zinke and his staff review the land ownership and the various federal designations, here’s a look at who owns land in Utah, according to data obtained by the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands administration.
The federal government, which is administered by several agencies that include the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the U.S. National Park Service, the Utah State Department of Wildlife Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in some cases the Utah State Department of State Parks, owns approximately 64 percent of the state of Utah
The Bureau of Land Management manages approximately 36 percent of the land, making it the largest single landowner in the state. The BLM uses the land for energy development, livestock grazing and recreation, in addition to protecting land for its cultural and historical purposes. Approximately 3 millions acres of Millard County is owned by the BLM, making it the largest amount of land owned in a county by the agency.

The state owns 10 percent of all land, with SITLA, an independent agency, owning 6 percent of that based on parcels of land allotted by Congress. The land SITLA manages is not public land but is set up as a trust to generate revenue for 12 state institutions, including public schools, state hospitals, colleges and universities. Trust land is scattered throughout the state and appears as a checkerboard when viewing a map.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1V (KSL)

 

Spectrum Academy starts a cafe to give students with autism life and job experience

The flickering battery-powered candles; red, green and black tablecloths; and carb-heavy menu give the Pantera Caffe a distinct Italian vibe.
But being inside Spectrum Academy, a public charter school in Pleasant Grove for children on the autism spectrum, makes the Pantera Caffe much more than a cafe. It’s also a safe place for the students to fail as they gain life and work experience.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1x (PDH)

 

Graduation profile: InTech grad uses musical talent in hospital, math talent for future

If you don’t know what an actuary is, you probably need to meet one of the 45 high schoolers graduating from InTech on Tuesday evening.
Arianna Worthen, or Annie as she’s been called her entire life, has always been good with numbers and math, which led her to break the news to her parents, Gaylen and Tom, about seeking an actuarial science degree.
‘Most people don’t even know what one is, let alone want to be one,” Worthen said. “My parents didn’t really know what it was either and were like: ‘What?’ Now that they know what it is, they support my decision.”
With a passion in her eyes, Worthen will tell you that there are different types of actuaries, but they all pretty much do the same thing: measure risk for businesses and forecast futures using mathematics.
For the past year and half, Worthen has been studying to take the actuarial exam – a test with a 40 percent pass rate for college graduates – as she prepares to leave Cache Valley for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1A (LHJ)

 

Six InTech students pull off “notable” senior prank

NORTH LOGAN – Luke Johnson and five of his best friends at InTech Collegiate High School signed their “confession” at 9:33 p.m. Wednesday, right before they embarked on an 8-hour effort to plaster the windows of their school with 10,400 Post-it notes. Dubbed by their classmates as the “best senior prank ever,” the boys’ overnight adventure involved headlamps, jump-starting several vehicles and a midnight stop at McDonald’s for “refueling.” At 2 a.m., they still had several windows to go. Lucky for them, nobody called the cops!
Johnson, Craig Nash, Ian Davidson, Liam McAvoy, Nick Major and Forest Edwards spent two months planning their escapade. Because Davidson’s mom is a teacher at the school, they kept their idea under close wraps.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1B (CVD)

 

Graduation For Students With Special Needs Brings Excitement And Anxiety

This week nine students with significant disabilities took part in a graduation ceremony at Kauri Sue Hamilton School in Riverton. It was a time of celebration and anxiety about what lies ahead.
Friends and family packed the lobby at Kauri Sue, cheering on the students sitting sitting on a stage up front. Each wearing a cap and gown.
The actual name for the ceremony is a transition exercise and that word “transition” was on the minds of each of the parents in attendance.
“You know it’s really scary,” says Amy Poulson. “I’ve been scared about this transition time for a long long time.”
Amy’s daughter Shayla was one of the students receiving a certificate. Shayla is nonverbal and in a wheelchair and Amy say it’s tough to leave behind a place that been such a great fit for her.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1I (KUER)

 

2 Santaquin Elementary employees say goodbye after decades of service

SANTAQUIN, Utah County – As the school year comes to a close, an elementary is preparing to say goodbye to two longtime employees. While neither taught in the classroom, colleagues say they have been the glue that has kept the school together.
For 22 years, Lynn Smith has answered the phones in the office at Santaquin Elementary. And since 1983, when the school opened, Andrew Goudy has been the custodian, cleaning up after hundreds of students every day.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1u (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a1F (DN via KSL)

 

Flying away

Some 55,000 feet above sea level during the final years of the Cold War, U.S. Air Force pilot Glenn Whicker’s engine “flamed out” on the U-2 spy plane he’d been flying near the North Korean border and he knew he was in trouble.
Whicker would later be honored for his quick thinking in bringing the plane to a safe landing at a South Korean airbase and he’d go on to participate in airborne reconnaissance around Kuwait during the first Gulf War’s “Operation Desert Storm,” then would be tasked with calling up reservists from the U.S. Strategic Command headquarters amid the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
After three assignments at the Pentagon, he made what he describes as the best career move of his life – he accepted a job as the first director of Dixie High School’s JROTC youth leadership program in Southern Utah.
But now, in a season when students leave school behind and the nation prepares Memorial Day tributes to its dear departed, the retired Air Force colonel is making a departure of his own, adding 11 years of interactions with Washington County teenagers to his memory shelf and preparing for a more settled retirement in Northern Utah.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1Y (SGS)

 

Logan 4th-, 5th-graders brave chilly weather for Fun Run

Over 850 fourth- and fifth-grade students ran a mile around two blocks near Adams Elementary, braving chilly weather in Logan City School District’s 11th annual Fun Run.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1z (LHJ)

 

Utah students become water conscience by raising trout

LAYTON, Utah – 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 mid-May.
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/a1Q (AP)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a1v (AP via OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a1U (AP via USN&WR)

 

Teacher’s saga reflects poorly on area schools

The recent indictment of Gary Gregor, a former Santa Fe and Española public schools grade-school teacher, has brought his unfortunate professional history around the West back into focus.
Now, again, parents and taxpayers in northern New Mexico – and maybe elsewhere – are left to wonder how Gregor ever got into the position to commit the numerous counts of child sex abuse that he’s accused of.
In a case handled by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, Gregor faces three counts of rape of a minor, five counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor and four counts of kidnapping, in instances involving two victims 12 years old or younger. The alleged crimes took place nearly a decade ago, in the 2007-2008 school year, when Gregor was a teacher at Española’s Fairview Elementary School.
Prior to that, he had a teaching job at Agua Fria Elementary in Santa Fe. Docents at the Museum of International Folk Art said they’d spotted inappropriate behavior by Gregor with girls from his class during a field trip. Subsequent questioning of other Gregor students is said to have shown a pattern of similar behavior before the museum outing. But the Santa Fe district let him go with a “neutral reference” and he ended up with a teaching job in Española.
Last year, the Española schools agreed to a $3.2 million settlement in a lawsuit filed on behalf of one of Gregor’s girl students at Fairview Elementary. The suit accused Gregor of twice asking the fourth-grader to spend the night at his home, giving her gifts like candy and teddy bears and touching her intimately.
There was trouble before Gregor ever got to New Mexico.
In Utah, after he was accused of sexual misconduct with female students, Gregor faced criminal charges, but they were dismissed in 1995. The case started with a parent’s complaint after two girls stayed after school with Gregor for hours, and it turns out there had been more serious earlier complaints.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1X (Albuquerque [NM] Journal)

 

Morgan County deputies, high school officials warning students about sexting

MORGAN – Students at Morgan High School are getting a warning about sexting after signs of increased activity at the school. Teachers and counselors are reporting more chatter about the activity than usual.
Morgan County Sheriff’s deputies aren’t investigating any specific cases at the school right now, but they said several different groups of students have been heard talking about sexting more than usual. They’re concerned that could be a bad sign.
There’s little doubt that nearly all teens know what sexting is, but it’s not always taken seriously.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1E (KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a1H (KSTU)

 

What Parents Need to Know About the ‘Choking Game’

A New Jersey high school student has died as a result of taking part in the risky “choking game,” according a letter sent home to parents on Wednesday.
The Ridge High School student’s death was “one of the tragic losses of student life we have experienced this year,” said Nick Markarian, the superintendent of the Bernards Township school system, according to MyCentralJersey.com.
The student has not yet been identified. But while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not updated its statistics on choking game-related deaths since between 1995 and 2007, when 82 such deaths were reported, recent stories about similar losses have come from districts in Maryland and South Carolina.
The choking game – also called “the fainting game,” “space monkey,” “flatliner,” “blackout,” and “the knockout challenge,” among other nicknames – is a dangerous adolescent pastime that has been around for decades and resurfaced again in recent years.
To “play,” you use hands or a homemade noose to choke a friend (or, more and more often, oneself) just enough to cut off the airway, until the person feels a quick, euphoric rush – which occurs because of hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain. The catch is that sometimes the person who is choked will pass out or be left with irreversible brain damage – and sometimes, such with the teen in New Jersey, they can even die.
That grim reality is the reason some school districts, including those in Utah, California, and West Virginia, have begun to teach choking-game awareness as part of their health curriculums.
Utah’s Iron County School District, for example, started teaching students about the dangers of the game in 2014, after it left four students dead in just three years. “That data is too compelling to ignore,” Jennifer Wood, the district’s director of secondary education alternative programs, told Yahoo at the time. “It’s amazing how many have played the game or know others who have. It goes back decades.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1W (Yahoo News)

 

San Juan School District cancels class after shooting, confirms manhunt is underway

The San Juan School District announced Friday it was cancelling classes for the day at Whitehorse High School and Montezuma Creek Elementary School.
San Juan School District Superintendent Ed Lyman told 2News there was a shooting in Aneth, Utah, May 18 and that a “manhunt is still underway.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1C (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a1G (KSTU)

 

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

THUMBS UP: Park View Elementary School students in Payson used their grief for good. After their computer teacher died, the students raised more than $800 to honor Shae Walker with a donation and personalized paving stone at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City.
THUMBS UP: To the opening of the Openshaw Family Memorial Playground at Rock Canyon Elementary School in Provo. The Openshaws were well known in the Provo and educational communities, which makes a playground a fitting tribute.
THUMBS UP: Congratulations to all the high school graduates this week and next who will be entering the world of adulthood. Congratulations on 12 years of education … may you have at least four more as you enter college and earn a bachelor’s degree. Remember gratitude and service.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1y

 

School choice can’t afford to be TrumpChoice
Controversial Common Core and No Child Left Behind suffered while choice thrives with local leaders.
USA Today op-ed by Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute

Until recently, it looked like President Trump was going to become the majordomo of the school choice parade. The bizarre thing is that this would have been a big blow to school choice. Fortunately, for those of us who think school choice is generally a good thing, it looks like a federal choice provision is not likely to be part of a tax overhaul. And no one thinks there’s any real chance that Republicans will get school choice legislation through Congress (which would require 60 votes in the Senate, rather than the simple majority required by the tax bill). This means Trump is unlikely to be seizing the school choice baton anytime soon.
The irony? This is good news for school choice, even if it doesn’t seem that way.
School choice has had a remarkable run over the past quarter century. In 1990, Wisconsin enacted the nation’s first school voucher law. A year later, in 1991, Minnesota passed the first charter school law. Twenty-five years ago, the number of students served by school choice could be tallied in the hundreds. Today, more than three million students are enrolled in charter schools and another 250,000 use vouchers or tax credit tuition scholarships to attend private schools.
This growth has come with remarkably little in the way of “help” from Washington.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1J

 

In the School Choice Debate, Both Sides Are Right
School reformers and backers of traditional public schools are talking past each other
Education Week op-ed by Robert Maranto, professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas

The controversy as school choice philanthropist and GOP donor Betsy DeVos took office as the U.S. secretary of education this year might conjure up sentiments from the old Buffalo Springfield song: “Nobody’s right when everybody’s wrong.”
Yet, as a longtime school choice supporter who for nearly two years has served alongside some wonderful people on my local school board, I would argue that regarding school choice, nobody’s wrong when everybody’s right. School choice proponents and opponents see traditional public schools in completely different ways. Ironically, each view is accurate.
This difference in understanding occurred to me a few months after taking office, when I casually mentioned in a gathering of fellow school board members and school leaders that as a kid I had hated school, just as my kids now hate school. Jaws dropped. People offered their sympathy. It was as if I had announced a stage-four stomach cancer diagnosis at the same time my kids were stricken with hereditary leukemia.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1N

 

The Little­Known Statistician Who Taught Us to Measure Teachers
New York Times commentary by Kevin Carey, who directs the education policy program at New America

Students enroll in a teacher’s classroom. Nine months later, they take a test. How much did the first event, the teaching, cause the second event, the test scores? Students have vastly different abilities and backgrounds. A great teacher could see lower test scores after being assigned unusually hard­-to-­teach kids. A mediocre teacher could see higher scores after getting a class of geniuses.
Thirty­five years ago, a statistician, William S. Sanders, offered an answer to that puzzle. It relied, unexpectedly, on statistical methods that were developed to understand animal breeding patterns.
Mr. Sanders died in March in his home state, Tennessee, at age 74, with his name little known outside education circles. But the teacher­assessment method he developed attracted a host of reformers and powerful lawmakers, leading to some of the most bitter conflicts in American education
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1R

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Career Education Needs New Supports, Skill Focus, National Report Says
Education Week

The skills needed for technical careers have changed significantly, and school and adult education programs need to do more to support evolving technical education, according to a mammoth new report on career education by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
The group hopes to inform the debate over the future of career education; the report comes as the House education committee members unanimously voted to approve a new federal career education bill. As my colleague Andrew Ujifusa reports over at Politics K-12, the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act is intended to give states more flexibility to target career-education grants to their local labor needs. It now moves to the full House.
“If our nation does not adequately develop and sustain its skilled technical workforce, the consequences will be seen in lower productivity, fewer job opportunities, and a lower standard of living for Americans,” said Jeff Bingaman, the chair of the National Academies committee that wrote the report and a former U.S. senator from New Mexico, in a statement.
Skilled technical careers involve high levels of knowledge in a particular field-most often in areas like maintenance, health care, construction, and production-but not necessarily a four-year degree. The report found the demand for manual skills in the workforce has been declining since the 1960s, while the demand for more advanced cognitive and interpersonal skills has risen sharply, as the chart below shows.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1r

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1s (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine)

 

In Some States, ESSA Means More Powers for Local School Boards
Education Week

The Every Student Succeeds Act hands states plenty of flexibility to define school success, figure out new ways to intervene in their worst-performing schools, and set academic priorities for schools.
But some states have decided to punt these sorts of decisions back to local school boards in the coming years.
Kentucky’s legislature this year weakened the state’s school takeover process and bolstered the powers of its local school boards to hire principals, select curriculum, and set a school’s budget. Those powers have traditionally been left to the state’s education department and its many councils that for the last 30 years have governed their schools.
North Dakota’s ESSA accountability plan, which it turned in earlier this month, leaves plenty of room for local school boards to decide their high school standard assessment, evaluate teachers, and determine intervention methods for schools.
And California will shift powers back to school boards to pick their own academic priorities and even decide whether to ask the state for help to improve academic outcomes. In 2013, the state upended its school funding formula to give school boards more flexibility in spending habits. (That policy has faced several hurdles.)
ESSA also requires state education departments to collect more data on school climate, teacher effectiveness, and school spending, but doesn’t require states to do anything about glaring disparities or dismal outcomes between student groups and schools. That work will mostly be left up to local school boards.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1t

 

Audit Says Education Dept. Must Improve Grant Oversight
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Department of Education did not properly monitor and document $21 million in grants in 2012-2014, a government report said Thursday.
The study by the Government Accountability Office looked at 75 awards to individual grantees. The auditors found that the files were missing key information, such as grant award notifications, post-award conference records and performance reports. The report specifies, however, that the sample is too small to generalize.
The report recommends the department put review procedures in place and improve information-sharing.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1n

http://gousoe.uen.org/a1o (WaPo)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a1p (Ed Week)

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1q (GAO)

 

Children Must Be Taught to Collaborate, Studies Say
Researchers explore group work in class
Education Week

At its best, collaboration in the classroom can help students think more deeply and creatively about a subject and develop more empathy for others’ perspectives. At its worst, group tasks can deteriorate into awkward silences, arguments-or frustration for the one child who ends up doing everyone else’s work.
Now, as the teaching technique gains new prominence in state standards, researchers and educators are working to understand how to help students gain the skills needed to learn and work in groups.
“Learning through doing is an important component in this, . but by itself, it’s not enough,” said Emily Lai, the director of formative assessment and feedback for Pearson, the educational publishing company. “Students go into these experiences with very little understanding of what they should be working toward-and so students walk away from these experiences a little jaded. Collaboration is just like any other skill; it has to be taught.”
The ability to collaborate with others has become one of the most sought-after skills in both education and the workplace. A survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that more than 80 percent of midsize or larger employers look for collaboration skills in new hires-but fewer than 40 percent of them considered new graduates prepared to work in teams.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1K

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1L (Association of American Colleges & Universities)

 

Tribune analysis: College prep courses not preparing kids for college
Chicago Tribune

A full plate of general classes – the most common courses statewide across Illinois public high schools – is supposed to prepare students for life after graduation.
But tens of thousands of students taking only general courses in main subjects – often labeled “college prep” in school curriculum guides – were not prepared for college classes, a sweeping Tribune analysis of the class of 2015 found. Those students made up most of the kids across Illinois who were not considered college ready in fundamental academic areas.
A variety of factors, including the push to improve graduation rates and eliminate remedial courses, quietly weakened the rigor of some general classes, educators said, leaving students in courses that weren’t tough enough.
Public education debates both here and nationwide often focus on school funding, teacher pensions, charter schools and vouchers. Little-mentioned in the discourse, though, is one of the most significant aspects of schooling: The classes kids take.
The Tribune examined 4.2 million high school classes taken semester by semester by more than 150,000 students in the class of 2015, starting in fall 2011. The courses were in English, math, science and social studies – the main subjects required for graduation. The data from the Illinois State Board of Education, obtained under open records laws, are the most recent available that could be linked to college entrance exam scores.
Dozens of high school courses with obscure titles were labeled general by school officials, though they were not in the usual course sequence leading to graduation, the Tribune found. Other courses were so low-level that one longtime educator described them as a “death sentence” for students trying to go to college. But the classes sufficed for earning a diploma.
“At the high school level, there are multiple pressures going on. One is, kids need to graduate,” said George Reese, director of the Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education at the University of Illinois and president of the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
“There are different meanings to a high school degree,” Reese said. Kids taking lower-level classes are still supposed to graduate ready for college or a career. But, Reese said, students in those classes can end up “placed into remedial math at a community college.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1T

 

The Next Shortage Facing Young Homebuyers: Good Schools
Since the recession, funding for construction has cratered.
Bloomberg

One effect of the U.S. housing market crash was to cripple homebuilders and their lenders, forcing construction workers to find jobs in other fields. Today, homebuyers have returned to the market in full force, but the lack of new construction over the last decade has contributed to an inventory shortage that’s pushed home prices out of reach for many.
Now, the same young homebuyers who must cope with bidding wars to buy a first home may face a shortage in another key resource: schools for their kids.
State and local governments spent $12.6 billion on elementary school construction in 2016, according to Census Bureau data-the highest amount in six years, but a 31 percent decrease compared with 2008, even before adjusting for inflation. Meanwhile, while construction spending has plummeted, enrollment has increased by four percent.
Most funding for school construction comes from local governments, said Alex Donahue, deputy director for policy and research at the 21st Century School Fund, a Washington-based nonprofit. With local finances continuing to suffer years after the collapse, there is less money for school funding in general, and facilities upgrades in particular.
“Spending declined during the recession mainly because 80 percent of that spending is local dollars, and the local governments didn’t have the money,” Donahue said.
The shortfalls were compounded by state and federal funding cuts to education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1S

 

FCC Makes First Move Toward Weakening Net Neutrality Protections
Education Week

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday took an initial step toward rolling back regulations adopted two years ago that were designed to protect “net neutrality.” The agency’s shift is drawing strong objections from school and advocacy organizations, who fear it will impede access to valuable online content.
Net neutrality is the principle that all content delivered via the web be treated equally by Internet service providers-rather than allowing those companies to deliver some materials at faster speeds, while throttling or blocking other content.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1M

 

Pearson To Scale Back Partnership With Adaptive Learning Provider Knewton
Education Week

Global education giant Pearson plans to phase down its partnership with Knewton, a leading provider of adaptive technology used to enable personalized learning and differentiated instruction.
Pearson, an early investor in Knewton and one of their first partners, currently uses the company’s software to drive adaptive learning across some of their online course platforms for K-12 and higher education. When contacted by EdWeek Market Brief, neither company would identify specific products that will be affected.
Going forward, Pearson “is developing its own in-house adaptive learning capability,” said Scott Overland, director of media and communities at Pearson, in an email statement to EdWeek Market Brief. The company has invested heavily in technology and product development in the past several years, he said.
“These innovations have allowed us to in-source our adaptive learning capability, and thus we are phasing out our agreement with Knewton for select areas of our global product portfolio,” said Overland.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1P

 

A&E Cable Channel Plans High School Documentary Series
Education Week

“Hey, aren’t you a little old to be a student here?”
That may be something heard in a new-and somewhat unconventional-documentary series about an American high school coming to cable TV.
The as-yet unnamed show will appear on the A&E cable channel after filming took place at Highland Park High School in Topeka, Kan., during the spring semester this year. The unconventional factor is that the show will follow seven young adults-reportedly ages 21 to 26-who have “personal motivations” for embedding in the school and acting like students, the channel says.
“Highland Park High School is emblematic of schools across America today,” Elaine Frontain Bryant, A&E’s executive vice president and head of programming, said in a news release. “Through immersive content and unprecedented access, viewers return to high school for a unique look into life as an American teen today, a topic at the forefront of today’s cultural conversation.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/a1O

 

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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

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

June 21:

Education Interim Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=INTEDU

July 25:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
2 p.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPEXE

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