Education News Roundup: May 30, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Jordan School District relinquishes rights to a cemetery.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6f (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/a6g (AP)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/a6q (AP via OSE)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/a6H (AP via KUTV)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/a7b (AP via KSL)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/a79 (AP via USN&WR)

KSL looks at extended-day kindergarten in the Canyons School District.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6M (KSL)

The Spectrum takes an extended look at youth suicide in Southern Utah.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a71 (SGS)

The Washington Post looks at potential cuts in agency civil rights budgets, including the U.S. Department of Education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a67 (WaPo)

Oklahoma’s teacher of the year quits to take a job in Texas.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a68 (Oklahoman)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

School district returns control of Bingham cemetery to ‘its rightful owners’

Some Canyons School District kindergartners spending more time in the classroom

Understanding what’s killing our youth: Suicide in So. Utah schools
In the wake of the third suicide in just three years at a particular intermediate school, officials discuss the underlying issues youth face today.

Three school districts in valley increase teacher pay, benefits

Report: Utah schools more likely to punish students of color

Utah youth center hosts first LGBTQ prom in Logan

Murray School District honors math teacher, security monitor

Emery School district teacher/staff awards

Cache Valley educators recognized for their excellence in teaching

Davis High ‘Band Man’ named district’s Teacher of the Year

Pleasant Grove student wins National PTA Reflections contest with photo of grandma

DaVinci Academy student Jessica Lewis wins best actress award

Student’s service animal featured in Summit County high school yearbook

Lone Peak graduate with kidney failure perseveres to graduation

Skyridge High School has its first graduation

Mountain Crest graduate finds meaning through art

Cache High senior passionate for ‘creepy crawlies’

Northern Utah class of 2017: Names of high school seniors graduating this year

Ogden school embraces its origins with bagpipe band

U. College of Education among top secondary teacher preparation programs nationwide

Utah school districts looking to end ‘lunch shaming’

Summer lunch program offered to children, families in need

Wetlands field trip offers hands-on lesson for fourth-graders

South Weber 3rd graders take a trip though the wardrobe on Narnia Day

Community comes together for hospitalized Valley Elementary teacher

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Kids are not adults, and schools shouldn’t treat them like they are

Additional resources needed for schools to enforce rules without leverage of court orders

Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Thumbs up, thumbs down

School’s out for summer — and forever — at old Edgemont Elementary, but memories live on

A tale of two dresses — a Standard-Ex reader conversation

School trust land critics misinformed

Big congratulations to LHS Class of 2017

Why Do Billionaires Care So Much About Charter Schools?

Hollywood’s Reductive Narratives About School
“Popular teaching storylines thwart the call for systemic change by suggesting a few superstars can fix the system’s problems single-handedly.”

NATION

Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies

Governors to Congress: Don’t Shortchange Us on ESSA, Special Ed.

Oklahoma teacher of the year leaving for Texas

Hall Passes, Buses, Lunch Duty: What If The Principal Could Focus On Achievement?

Future uncertain for Nevada tuition, school supply vouchers

While Montana school boards can put guns in schools, very few choose to arm educators

Bullies use a small but powerful weapon to torment allergic kids: Peanuts

New Report Names the Best Cities to Live in if You’re a Teacher

Trudeau asks Pope to apologize for residential schools

 

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UTAH NEWS
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School district returns control of Bingham cemetery to ‘its rightful owners’

COPPERTON — In the still of a late spring morning, a dutiful son crouches at his father’s grave at Bingham City Cemetery to pull weeds and otherwise tidy up the ground.
This has been Curtis Larsen’s ritual since his father, Evan, died 15 years ago. The week before Memorial Day, on his dad’s birthday and other special occasions, he visits his grave “to come clean it up and say hello.”
His mother has lived in Bingham Canyon her entire life. It meant a lot to her to bury her husband nearby, he said.
“I’m sure he would have liked it here. You get the deer coming through here. He was really into nature,” Larsen said.
Since November 1972, the cemetery, which has headstones that date back to the 1870s, has been owned and maintained by the Jordan School District.
For more than four decades, the school district has groomed the grounds, sold plots and opened and closed graves for burials — responsibilities most school districts aren’t tasked to deal with.
This coming week, those responsibilities will shift to the newly created Copperton Metro Township and the Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services District. At a recent meeting, the Jordan Board of Education approved a resolution at the request of the township leaders that shifts the cemetery and escrow account to Copperton. Next week, the township council will vote on the agreement.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6f (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6g (AP)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6q (AP via OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6H (AP via KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a7b (AP via KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a79 (AP via USN&WR)

 

Some Canyons School District kindergartners spending more time in the classroom

SANDY — Kindergarten might be the most important year in a child’s education. That is why the Canyons School District decided to try expanding the number of hours some of its kindergartners spend in the classroom.
At Altara Elementary, Michelle Veazie’s students are working on vocabulary. “Drifting,” says Veazie.
“Drifting,” repeat the kids.
“Drifting is just floating along,” suggests Veazie.
The kids in Veazie’s classroom are actually sailing through their learning this year. They are tackling advanced vocabulary, paragraph writing and reading.
“They have a great vocabulary and a great language. And it’s been a really awesome year in our class,” says Veazie.
Unlike most kindergarten students in Utah, Veazie’s kids spend a full day in the classroom.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6M (KSL)

 

Understanding what’s killing our youth: Suicide in So. Utah schools
In the wake of the third suicide in just three years at a particular intermediate school, officials discuss the underlying issues youth face today.

The calm voice of a medical official echos over the static of the police scanner as she’s responding to reports of an attempted teen suicide.
“She is awake and breathing,” the voice says, precise and void of emotion. “A 15-year-old female took a handful of Tylenol PM. She took 19 tablets. This was intentional.”
That nameless, 15-year-old teen’s incident isn’t a novelty, but it’s nonetheless a significant one that demonstrates a pattern plaguing not just teenagers but also some children younger than 12 years old.
Earlier this month, a Lava Ridge Intermediate student took her own life — and officials confirmed it was the third suicide that the school has seen in as many years.
She was 11 years old.
The second most common way a child aged 10 -14 years old will die is by taking his or her own life, according to the most recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance report.
Second only to accidental injuries, the CDC cites that suicide claims more youth lives than any other age group. Utah in particular is ranked fifth in the nation for teen suicides, according to the Utah Department of Health.
Steve Dunham, a spokesman for the Washington County School District, said the three most recent suicides among LRIS students were not related to bullying.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a71 (SGS)

 

Three school districts in valley increase teacher pay, benefits

Three school districts — Granite, Canyons and Jordan — have increased teachers’ pay for the upcoming school year, in an effort to retain and hire enough teachers for ever-growing classrooms in the valley.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a75 (Draper Journal)

 

Report: Utah schools more likely to punish students of color

SALT LAKE CITY— A new analysis of Utah public school disciplinary actions from 2012-2014 shows Native American students were disciplined at much higher rates than children of other ethnicities.
The numbers are based on a report titled “Misbehavior or Misdemeanor” by the Salt Lake City nonprofit Voices for Utah Children and the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law released on Monday, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6e (AP)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6D (AP via CVD)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6J (AP via KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6R (AP via MUR)

 

Utah youth center hosts first LGBTQ prom in Logan

Logan • A prom for gay, lesbian and transgender students has been held for the first time in Logan to provide an event for students who might not have felt comfortable attending traditional proms at their high schools.
Cache Youth Resource Center hosted the LGBTQ prom May 13, and about 70 people attended.
The event was aimed at providing an opportunity for young members of the LGBTQ community in Logan to have a safe place to dress up and have fun, said Jess Zamora, the Logan Pride chairwoman and outreach coordinator for the resource center.
“I constantly talk to people about acceptance not being something you agree with but something you do,” she said. “You don’t have to agree with someone’s opinion to accept who they are.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6d (AP)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6c (AP via SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6j (AP via DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6y (AP via LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6E (AP via CVD)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6I (AP via KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a73 (AP via KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6S (AP via MUR)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a77 (AP via Ed Week)

 

Murray School District honors math teacher, security monitor

MURRAY — Haley Bingelli, a math teacher at Murray High School, and Stephen Curtis, a security monitor at Hillcrest Junior High School, have been named Murray District’s Teacher of the Year and Classified Employee of the Year, respectively.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6k (DN)

 

Emery School district teacher/staff awards

HUNTINGTON- Diane Carter, language arts teacher at Emery High School, has been named the Emery School District Teacher of the Year as well as the Secondary Teacher of the Year. Joining Mrs. Carter as year-end district award recipients are Jasa Norton, Cottonwood first grade teacher, as Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Colleen Bott, Castle Dale secretary, as the Classified Employee of the Year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a74 (Emery County Progress)

 

Cache Valley educators recognized for their excellence in teaching

Two educators from Cache Valley recently received a Utah Education Association Excellence in Teaching Award during the KeyBank Superstars in Education banquet on May 19. The awards are given annually to teachers whose efforts in the classroom significantly impact the life of an individual child or group of children.
Andy Lund, Vice Principal at South Cache Middle School in the Cache County School District, and Kathy Sherman, English as a Second Language teacher at Ellis Elementary in the Logan City School District, received the awards, a poster to display at their school and each received a check for $1,500, courtesy of award sponsor doTERRA.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6F (CVD)

 

Davis High ‘Band Man’ named district’s Teacher of the Year

KAYSVILLE — Parked outside the Davis High School band room is a red Charger with a unique license plate inscription: BAND MAN. The car belongs to band director Steven Hendricks, and all his students know it.
“‘Band Man.’ That’s like his handle for everything,” said senior band student Octavio Ruiz, 18.
The license plate moniker isn’t the only title Hendricks is known for. In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, the Davis School District named Hendricks as the Teacher of the Year during a special assembly at Davis High School.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6L (DN via KSL)

 

Pleasant Grove student wins National PTA Reflections contest with photo of grandma

When Madelyn Platt, a sixth-grader at Central Elementary in Pleasant Grove, began thinking about entering the National PTA Reflections contest, she went to her grandmother.
The resulting photo she took and her reflection on her person story won that contest recently.
“People say I look a lot like her (her grandmother) because we have the same eyes, and I just saw she was kind of my story,” Madelyn said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6u (PDH)

 

DaVinci Academy student Jessica Lewis wins best actress award

OGDEN— When her name was read as winner of the best actress award at the Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards, Jessica Lewis was in shock. She wondered if this evening would be a repeat of earlier in the year when “La La Land” was mistakenly announced as the best picture at the Oscars.
However this time, no error had been made. Lewis won not only the title of best actress, but a trip to New York City as well.
This was the seventh year the Utah High School Musical Awards, organized through Logan-based Utah Festival Opera, were presented.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6o (OSE)

 

Student’s service animal featured in Summit County high school yearbook

COALVILLE, Summit County — There is a picture in North Summit High School’s yearbook that is turning a lot of heads this year — and for good reason.
It is a picture of a dog listed as a student. Why? It is high school junior Hailee Blonquist’s service animal.
“She’s helped me a lot. She just tells me when I’m high and when I’m low,” Blonquist said.
Hailee has diabetes, and her dog, Katie, can alert her in advance of low or high blood sugar events before they become dangerous. Diabetic alert dogs are specifically trained to react to the chemical change produced by blood sugar.
Blonquist’s dog has been by her side since sophomore year. Their bond is unique, and the yearbook committee wanted to highlight it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6N (KSL)

 

Lone Peak graduate with kidney failure perseveres to graduation

Amanda Barton’s alarm starts to go off at 3:45 a.m. She gets up at 4:20 a.m. and leaves her home in Alpine at 4:45 a.m. in order to hit the 5:16 a.m. FrontRunner at the Lehi station.
She’ll take the TRAX up to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City before undergoing three hours of dialysis, and then take the TRAX and FrontRunner back home.
Amanda, who is in stage four of kidney failure, been making the trip three times a week since December.
And despite missing the first half of the school day three times a week, she graduated with her fellow Lone Peak High School seniors Thursday and plans to attend Utah State University in Logan in the fall.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6t (PDH)

 

Skyridge High School has its first graduation

Skyridge High School has done a lot in its first year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6w (PDH)

 

Mountain Crest graduate finds meaning through art

HYRUM — Before Rene Lopez-Ortiz touched the white chalk marker to the sandwich board, he had the whole image planned out in his mind’s eye.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6z (LHJ)

 

Cache High senior passionate for ‘creepy crawlies’

You might expect to find clothes strewn about the floor and pop culture posters adorning the walls in a high schooler’s bedroom, but walking into Brandt Gessel’s room is like stepping into a vivarium.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6C (LHJ)

 

Northern Utah class of 2017: Names of high school seniors graduating this year

As summer approaches, it’s time for Northern Utah seniors to reflect on their time in high school, celebrate their accomplishments and look forward to what the next stage of life has in store for them.
In honor of the class of 2017, we’re publishing lists of area high schools’ graduates. Each high school’s list is linked to its name below.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6m (OSE)

 

Ogden school embraces its origins with bagpipe band

OGDEN — Most teachers have one primary goal: a wish to inspire.
“Really started with my high school choir teacher,” said Ben Lomond High School’s Band Director KC McMillan.
Inspiration from his teacher led McMillan through college and beyond. He said it’s what brought him to his current role at Ben Lomond High — a school that almost went by a different name.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6K (KSL)

U. College of Education among top secondary teacher preparation programs nationwide

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah’s College of Education is considered one of the top secondary teacher preparation programs in the country, according to the latest ratings by the National Council on Teacher Quality.
The U.’s secondary education program received top-tier recognition for its admission standards, teaching candidates’ content area preparation, and the art and science of teaching.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a7a (DN via KSL)

 

Utah school districts looking to end ‘lunch shaming’

SANDY — Nearly half of the nation’s school districts have resorted to some form of “lunch shaming” of students to compel their parents to pay overdue school lunch bills, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Some districts throw away students’ meals, provide less desirable options or stamp children’s hands to remind parents that their child’s account is in arrears.
Marti Woolford, nutrition initiatives director for the nonprofit advocacy organization Utahns Against Hunger, says all such approaches are wrongheaded.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6v (DN via PDH)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6Q (KUER)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a78 (AP via Ed Week)

 

Summer lunch program offered to children, families in need

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University and the Community Presbyterian Church have partnered to offer a free summer lunch program starting Tuesday in Cedar City and Enoch for children from low-income families. While the lunch is free to children under 18, those over 18 can purchase a lunch at a reduced price.
Paula Loveland, Iron County School District child nutrition specialist, said in a previous report that a “very high percentage” of students in low-income families in the area receive these meals as the the only meal that they have each day.
The lunch program is funded by the Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program. The department plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 and under across the country.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6G (SGN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6O (KCSG)

 

Wetlands field trip offers hands-on lesson for fourth-graders

LAYTON — Fourth-graders struggled to contain their excitement as they got a hands-on experience with many of the species they learned about during their school year.
The Kaysville Elementary students were one of the last field trip groups recently to tour the marshy wetland shores of the Great Salt Lake before the end of the school year. For the students, it was a chance to enjoy the spring weather. For their teacher, Doralee Cox, the field trip was an opportunity to solidify some of the lessons of the school year.
“We have already tested on it, but all of these kids love being out here,” Cox said. “This just kind of reinforces everything we have done.”
The Wings and Water Field Trip, a program hosted by The Nature Conservancy, has tailored the lessons of the tour to match up with the fourth-grade curriculum, which focuses on biodiversity and adaptations, and also teaches students about the ecological significance of the wetlands.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6i (DN)

 

South Weber 3rd graders take a trip though the wardrobe on Narnia Day

SOUTH WEBER — The White Witch sat on her throne and smiled, but that was going to change very soon.
Aleesha Merrill has played this role for about five years at South Weber Elementary School’s annual Narnia Day. She said it’s magical to be able to bring “The Chronicles of Narnia” to life for the school’s third grade class.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6p (OSE)

 

Community comes together for hospitalized Valley Elementary teacher

EDEN — Valley Elementary School is hoping for the speedy recovery of a teacher after unexpected heart failure.
Krista Wangsgard, 38, has been in the hospital since May 21.
Her sister-in-law April Lopshire said Wangsgard loves horses and was taking care of a colt when something went wrong with her heart.
Wangsgard was flown to McKay-Dee Hospital and put on life support and transferred to Intermountain Medical Center. Wangsgard is married to her husband Abe and has three young children.
On Thursday, May 25, Lopshire said it’s still unclear why her sister-in-law’s heart failed.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6n (OSE)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Kids are not adults, and schools shouldn’t treat them like they are
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

What were the characters’ crimes in the iconic 1980s movie “The Breakfast Club” about teenage angst? Boredom, taping someone’s buttocks together, setting off the fire alarm, bringing a flare gun to school that went off in a locker and ditching class to go shopping. They all received Saturday detention.
Kids these days aren’t so lucky. They attend schools patrolled by police and security guards who have the authority to arrest them for even minor infractions. So schools with police on campus will naturally see childish antics punished as adult crimes.
Fortunately, school administrators seem to have realized that students are not the enemy. A new report released Monday indicates that between 2012 and 2014 there were 30 percent fewer suspensions, expulsions, law enforcement referrals and in-school arrests than in the 2010-2011 school year.
Unfortunately, while the discipline numbers are down, the enforcement disparity between races and ethnicities has increased. For instance, Hispanic students were expelled twice as often as white students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a76

 

Additional resources needed for schools to enforce rules without leverage of court orders
Deseret News editorial

Well-intended acts with a beneficial purpose sometimes collide with the law of unintended consequences, which appears to be the case with changes made this year in how the state deals with juveniles who commit minor criminal offenses. Beginning this fall, schools will no longer be able to refer students who are truant or who commit school-based infractions or minor misdemeanors to juvenile court. Instead, under terms that are part of a sweeping justice reform initiative, the schools will have to deal with those kids on their own.
Adding to the responsibilities of a burdened public school system wasn’t the intention of lawmakers when they amended various juvenile justice statutes, but that will be the effect. Schools are working to put in place alternative methods of dealing with students who commit minor infractions, and legislators say they have sympathy for what educators are facing. But in the end, the changes were justified and are positive on several levels.
A study earlier this year by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice found that too many youths were being sent to juvenile court for minor offenses. Low-risk offenders were often sent to detention facilities where they mingled with teens charged with more serious crimes. The report said many low-risk kids ended up leaving the system as high-risk kids. It also noted considerable inconsistency in how the courts deal with those offenders. The consequences for a student accused of chronic truancy ranged from a formal reprimand to being removed from their home. Using detention or other out-of-home placement orders for students with behavioral problems neither served the students nor offered meaningful deterrent to other youths. It also added to the expense line in the justice system.
Even so, there needs to be a consistent mechanism to enforce school rules, and deterrence needs to be part of it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6r

 

Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

THUMBS DOWN: To lunch shaming, a practice of taking meals away or denying food to kids whose school meal accounts are overdue.
As Marti Woolford, nutrition initiatives director for Utahns Against Hunger told a Deseret News reporter: It’s not the children’s fault. They should not be punished.
Most schools have policies in place to make sure kids eat, but many Utah schools — and schools throughout the U.S. — still have unclear or misguided rules on the books.
The USDA is taking the right step by asking all schools to enact policies by July 1 to clearly outline how to handle past-due accounts or inability to pay for lunch. In the meantime, all schools must do their part to end lunch shaming.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6s

 

Thumbs up, thumbs down
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

THUMBS UP: A great job by the Springville teenager and his quick-thinking decision to call the police when he found out his friend was suicidal and needed assistance. Given some of the other news we’ve heard regarding suicide, it’s wonderful to hear about this student who took the time to make sure his friend was going to be OK. We could all learn something from him.
THUMBS UP: Thousands of high school graduates are getting their diplomas this week. Good luck out there.
THUMBS UP: To our many graduating seniors this year: The world is yours to mold and shape and expand upon. Go out and conquer! But don’t forget to call your mother.
THUMBS UP: Congrats to all the school teachers who made it through another year and who are now going to work all summer to keep their teaching license so they can turn around and go back to school in August.
THUMBS DOWN: This week we experienced the death of Kathrynn Shaw, a Maple Mountain High School student who died in a car crash days before her high school graduation. Let’s hope this is a reminder for everyone to wear their seat belts.
THUMBS UP: Bravo to the Maple Mountain High School community for rallying around a mourning family in the wake of this week’s tragic accident. Prayers are with the Shaw family and all involved.
THUMBS UP: Utah Valley had some incredible track performances at the state meet last week. Congratulations to all who participated and especially to the Springville boys team for winning the title!
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6x 

 

School’s out for summer — and forever — at old Edgemont Elementary, but memories live on
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist ANN CANNON

A big yellow school bus pulled up next to me when I was driving home from Provo last week. One of the kids stuck his head out the window and shouted at me.
“SCHOOL’S OUT!”
Then he cheered the way you cheer when someone on your team hits a walk-off home run.
I smiled because I remembered feeling that way on the last day of school, too. In fact, those memories were fresh on my mind because my husband and I had just spent the past hour with our nephew’s son, Peter Snow, at the old Edgemont Elementary School, which is closing its doors to make room for a new Edgemont Elementary School to be built on the same spot.
Peter, who will be a fifth-grader next year, invited us to join him for a farewell assembly because he knew that my husband and I went to school there, too, back in the day.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6h

 

A tale of two dresses — a Standard-Ex reader conversation
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary

Micaela Duran, 18, wore a deep-cut, floor-length dress to the Weber High School honors ceremony in early May.
But when she tried to wear the same dress to prom, Principal Velden Wardle told to cover up or leave.
Weber’s dress code specifies what students can and cannot wear at school, but according to a second a set of rules for dances, appropriate clothing will be “determined by the sponsoring group and approved by the administration. It is highly recommended that school dress standards relating to modesty be encouraged and supported by parents for all dances.”
As a result, said Lane Findlay, the district’s spokesman, decisions about acceptable attire are left to the principal.
Duran’s friend Micah Coomes wore a short, low-cut dress. School administrators allowed her into the dance.
“When you look at the dress code, there is some discretion as far as administrators and what would be accepted and what wouldn’t be,” Findlay told Anna Burleson, a reporter for the Standard-Examiner.
Duran objected to the arbitrary nature of the rules.
“A girl with a smaller chest could have gotten into the dance wearing my same dress, but I was targeted specifically for my body shape, which is something that happens consistently in girls’ lives,” she said.
Here’s how readers reacted to the story when we shared it on Facebook. All quotes are verbatim:
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6l

 

School trust land critics misinformed
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Tonia Day

On the issue of Bears Ears and more specifically School Trust Lands and in response to Mr. Louis Vidal of Logan, letter to the editor of May 20, 2017, entitled “The Truth Behind State Trust Lands.” I will address a few of the issues as this brief format allows.
Mr. Vidal claims that Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Land Administration or SITLA is “bleeding money from our public lands.” His letter further indicates that it is somehow wrong for SITLA to comply with its constitutional mandate to provide for public schools. Mr. Vidal also asserts that SITLA is not complying with the law because the entirety of the fund isn’t depleted annually. The first issue that I will correct has to do with what School Trust Lands are and what they are not. School Trust Lands are not public lands. School Trust Lands are lands granted to the State of Utah by the federal government in a binding agreement on statehood. In accepting those lands, the state of Utah agreed to act as trustee to manage those lands and subsequent funds for the financial benefit of our schools. There is no indication that these lands were intended to be managed for the benefit of the public at large or their access to those lands.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6A

 

Big congratulations to LHS Class of 2017
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Craig Watts

This has been a remarkable year at Logan High School. Logan High School is celebrating its 100 years as a school. I applaud the studentbody president, Alex Lambert, and the other officers as well and all who are associated with Logan High School for their efforts to make this a year to remember.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6B

 

Why Do Billionaires Care So Much About Charter Schools?
Los Angeles Times op-ed by Harold Meyerson, executive editor of the American Prospect

The billionaires, apparently, we shall always have with us—even when we decide how to run the state-funded schools where they rarely send their own kids.
In the Los Angeles school board elections earlier this month, a number of billionaires, including Eli Broad, Netflix founder Reed Hastings, and two Walton family siblings, poured millions into the campaigns of two charter-school advocates. These billionaire-sponsored candidates defeated two badly outspent opponents who took a more cautionary stance on expanding charters, lest they decimate the school district’s budget. In total, pro-charter groups outspent teacher unions, $9.7 million to $5.2 million. (In the 2016 state legislative campaigns, the charterizers outspent the unions by a far larger margin, $20.5 million to $1.2 million.)
Though a number of the billionaires who’ve involved themselves in the charter cause are conservatives and Republicans, the actual election battles they join almost always pit Democrat against Democrat—in part because nearly all big cities are now overwhelmingly Democratic. In California, where Republicans’ numbers have ebbed past the point of power, the lion’s share of billionaires’ legislative campaign contributions have gone to more centrist Democrats, who not only are reliable votes on charter issues but also often oppose environmental and other measures advanced by their more progressive colleagues.
Of all the issues billionaires could choose, why charters, and why now? One reason commonly adduced is that they’ve noticed something troubling: Public school graduates lack the skills necessary for employment. Many of those needed skills, however, are the kind that students acquire in vocational educational programs, not at charter schools.
That there are huge problems in the education of low-income students is beyond dispute—but this is hardly a recent development. The real recent development is the rising share of such students as the middle class has waned.
If the Waltons, say, decided to redirect more of their fortune to raising Walmart workers’ wages, that in turn might enable hundreds of thousands of families to have more economically secure and stable lives, which could have a greater effect on student performance than charterization.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6Z

 

Hollywood’s Reductive Narratives About School
“Popular teaching storylines thwart the call for systemic change by suggesting a few superstars can fix the system’s problems single-handedly.”
Atlantic commentary by ANNE BEATTY, a high-school teacher in Greensboro, North Carolina

Most teachers I know hate the movie Freedom Writers, in which a Long Beach, California, teacher leverages writing to convert apathetic students into crusaders for justice. Though it had not yet been filmed in 2003, when I was a first-year teacher in South Central Los Angeles, I had absorbed enough teacher-savior narratives to reject their simplicity but internalize their winning idealism. These storylines can infiltrate schools, tainting a teacher’s expectations of both her power and her complicated students—like T, my 10th-grader who toted a pink teddy bear with a safety pin jammed through its ear. Trying to teach T confirmed for me the perils of these simplified narratives.
The bear, like the pick tucked in T’s afro, seemed a vaguely punk statement of insouciance. Other boys respected his I’ll-go-crazy-on-your-ass aura, maintained through spontaneous outbursts of kicking, shouting, and cursing. Afterwards, he would sink, sighing, into the nearest chair, cross his legs, and pat his hair. When cheerful, T asked to borrow things from the girls in a loud stage whisper: “Can I see your mirror? Mirror!” He spoke in either a breathy falsetto or a rumbly roar. When once I told him to speak in his real voice, he snapped, “This is my voice!” My description so far, while true, caricatures T as a problem student, impossibly alien. I don’t know what to do with T on the page any more than I did in the classroom.
Though I left his school a decade ago, in my mind, T is still refusing to slide out through the gym doors in his borrowed graduation robe. Now as a teacher in North Carolina of mostly white students, whose parents mostly watch Fox News, I teach “The Danger of a Single Story,” a TED talk in which the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie asserts that single stories are created when people are shown to be “only one thing” until “that is what they become.” My limited understanding of T was partly a result of the single story I’d heard about kids like him. The story of low-income, urban students of color has been told too often by white, middle-class people like me who are cast as main characters in pat, triumphant narratives endorsing the redemptive single story of teaching.
These simplified stories distance teachers from their students, reinforcing the power imbalance created when a teacher arrives thinking she already knows who her students are and what miracles she should perform.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6X

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies
Washington Post

The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House’s newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights.
As outlined in Labor’s fiscal 2018 plan, the move would fold the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, now home to 600 employees, into another government agency in the name of cost-cutting.
The proposal to dismantle the compliance office comes at a time when the Trump administration is reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities by cutting budgets, dissolving programs and appointing officials unsympathetic to previous practices.

In Education Department budget documents, the administration acknowledges that proposed funding levels would hamper the work of that department’s civil rights office. The budget would reduce staffing by more than 40 employees.
“To address steady increases in the number of complaints received and decreased staffing levels, OCR must make difficult choices,” the budget documents say. “OCR’s enforcement staff will be limited in conducting onsite investigations and monitoring, and OCR’s ability to achieve greater coordination and communication regarding core activities will be greatly diminished.”
Some critics of the civil rights office said school districts often felt they were presumed guilty in the eyes of the federal government.
“There was sort of this sense that . . . if there was a complaint filed, there must have been done something wrong,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, executive director of the National School Boards Association. “But there’s usually two sides to a story.”
Education Department spokeswoman Liz Hill said that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Candice E. Jackson, who has been named as the acting head of the civil rights office, are committed to protecting all students from discrimination.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a67

 

Governors to Congress: Don’t Shortchange Us on ESSA, Special Ed.
Education Week

With President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year now on the table, the nation’s governors have a message for Congress: Think carefully before you cut key education programs.
In a May 25 letter to the four top federal lawmakers responsible for funding the U.S. Department of Education, Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-Nev., and Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., urged Congress to “prioritize investments” in programs related to the Every Student Succeeds Act, career and technical education, and elsewhere.
“Governors’ message to Congress is clear: There must be careful consideration as to how to appropriately invest in these types of programs (and many others),” Sandoval and Inslee wrote. “Otherwise, cuts and changes not carefully considered could lead to a deterioration of state budgets.” Sandoval is the vice chairman of the NGA.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6W

 

Oklahoma teacher of the year leaving for Texas
(Oklahoma City) Oklahoman

A former state teacher of the year is moving to Texas, saying he can no longer afford to work in Oklahoma on a teacher’s salary.
“The simple truth is that we can be paid a respectable wage for doing the same job – this job we love very much – by heading out of state,” Shawn Sheehan, a Norman math teacher, wrote in a Thursday blog post.
Sheehan was named Oklahoma teacher of the year in 2016 and was one of dozens of teachers who ran for the state Legislature last year. His bid for the state Senate was unsuccessful.
Sheehan wrote a guest column for The Oklahoman earlier this year titled “Should I stay or should I go.”
Thursday he announced his decision.
“We could stay, but it would cost our family – specifically our sweet baby girl. My wife and I are not willing to do that,” Sheehan wrote. “We, like you, want what’s best for our children and she deserves to grow up in a state that values education. And so do your children.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/a68

 

Hall Passes, Buses, Lunch Duty: What If The Principal Could Focus On Achievement?
NPR All Things Considered

Pankaj Rayamajhi hears something. Senioritis?
The director of school logistics and operations has a kind of sixth sense about that unique Spring affliction as he roams the hallways of Columbia Heights Education Campus, a public middle and high school in Washington, D.C.
Rayamajhi quickens his pace, walkie-talkie in hand, and turns a corner into a stairwell. Yep, senioritis. When they see him, the small group of students loitering on the stairs scatters back to class.
“Right outside Whitaker’s room there are some students here probably cutting class,” he says into his two-way radio to a security guard. “Can you please make sure these hallways are clear?”
“Copy that.”
It’s just one of a hundred fires small and large the burly Nepal-born school administrator will handle on this day, tasks that in years past would have likely been handled by the principal.
We like to think of school principals, at their best, as instructional leaders with a laser focus on boosting student achievement, school culture and academic accountability.
But too often principals and their deputies have to deal with hundreds of things that have little to do directly with teaching and learning: student discipline, school maintenance, the cafeteria, safety, transportation, paperwork — and lots more.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6P

 

Future uncertain for Nevada tuition, school supply vouchers
Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev.— The future is uncertain for a Nevada program to provide public assistance for private school tuition, textbooks, uniforms, tutors and other costs after state leaders squabbled over details and held a three-hour hearing Monday.
Democratic legislative leaders gave three hours’ notice of the Legislature’s first public debate on Education Savings Accounts in over two years.
The surprise timing meant Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval could not attend the hearing on his own bill to implement the 2015 program because he was at Memorial Day ceremonies in southern Nevada. After Democratic Assemblyman Justin Watkins introduced a more restrictive version of Sandoval’s proposal at the hearing, several lawmakers and staff said as they left the Capitol grounds that they were far further from a deal than when they had entered morning negotiations.
The state budget and broader political negotiations could hinge on enacting the program. Democrats control the Legislature and staunchly oppose the notion of spending public dollars on education anywhere except public schools. Sandoval has veto power over their bills. And Republican lawmakers have pledged to oppose any budget that does not include funding for the program.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6T

http://gousoe.uen.org/a6Y (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

 

While Montana school boards can put guns in schools, very few choose to arm educators
Billings (MT) Gazette

As superintendent of Custer schools, he worries about student achievement, about staffing, about athletics, about school buses, about textbooks.
And about student safety.
State law allows Montana school boards to let anyone carry a gun in schools. Custer is one of only three that do — fewer than one percent of schools in a state that loves guns.
Most education advocates argue vehemently that guns have no place in schools, and that their presence only increases the chance of a deadly accident. But dozens of legislators and a handful of educators focus on rural schools similar to their one-room roots, where a lawman likely wasn’t stationed nearby, arguing that slow response times from law enforcement could leave violent actors unchecked.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a72

 

Bullies use a small but powerful weapon to torment allergic kids: Peanuts
Washington Post

They thought it would be funny: During lunch, the boys threw peanuts at a fellow student with severe food allergies. The Los Angeles area fifth-grader was so sensitive to nuts that exposure might send him to the emergency room.
He said: “No, stop. That could kill me.” When he turned away to talk to a friend, one of the boys stashed peanuts in the container that held his lunch. Seeing the nasty trick, the allergic boy’s friends quickly grabbed the container and threw it away, possibly saving their friend from a terrible incident.
This incident from 2015 appeared on a website for families dealing with food allergies. The mother of the bullied boy was interviewed for this story but spoke on the condition of anonymity because of privacy concerns.
Food is a prop for celebration and for pranks. We throw rice at a wedding and a whipped-cream pie at a clown. But there’s nothing funny about it when bullies turn food into a weapon to frighten or harm those with allergies. Researchers have recently begun studying these incidents.
Bullying, harassing and teasing of children with food allergies seems “common, frequent, and repetitive,” concluded a 2010 study that surveyed 353 food-allergic teens, adults and the parents of food-allergic children.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6a

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6b (Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology) $

 

New Report Names the Best Cities to Live in if You’re a Teacher
Education Week

The end of the school year might mean some teachers are considering a move. How about to Bentonville, Ark.? The estimated 47,000-person city was ranked by GoodCall as the nation’s best city for K-12 teachers in 2017.
The data analysis site gathered data from 689 cities and ranked them based on: job availability, comparative salary, cost of living, residents with degrees, safety, and amenities.
According to GoodCall, Bentonville was ranked No. 1 for two reasons: Teachers in Bentonville make 68 percent more than the city’s median overall salary, and the cost of living there is about 10 percent below the national average.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6U

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/a6V (GoodCall)

 

Trudeau asks Pope to apologize for residential schools
Canadian Press via Toronto Sun

VATICAN CITY — Canadians are anxious to reconcile with Indigenous Peoples, Justin Trudeau described telling Pope Francis on Monday as he asked the pontiff to apologize for the role the Catholic Church played in the tragedy of residential schools.
The Pope — himself no stranger to the cause of social justice, he noted to Trudeau — seemed open to the idea, the prime minister said as he related the broad strokes of their private conversation at the Vatican.
“He reminded me that his entire life has been dedicated to supporting marginalized people in the world,” Trudeau said after he arrived back in Rome.
Pope Francis also expressed his enthusiasm for working with the prime minister and the Canadian bishops on finding a way forward on the issue of an apology, as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The commission included the demand for a papal apology — to survivors, their families and communities — as one of the 94 recommendations in its report on the dark 120-year history and tragic legacy of residential schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a70

 

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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
9 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

June 2:

Utah State Board of Education meeting
8 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

June 8:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
TBD
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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