Education News Roundup: June 21, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

State Charter School Board

Education Dive takes a look at how Utah and other states are moving forward with competency-based education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aij ([Washington, DC] Education Dive)

State Charter School Board votes to terminate Kairos Academy’s charter.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahy (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/ahz (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/ahT (DN via KSL)

Climate change debate is heating up in schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahB (AP)

A new report looks at the phenomenon of rich, white neighborhoods splitting off from their local school districts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aik (USN&WR)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/ail (Newsweek)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aim (EdBuild)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

States take on competency based education

Struggling West Valley City charter school for teen moms shut down by Utah board
Education > Poor academic performance, low graduation rates are cited.

State audit: Charter board improperly disbursed $124K to school

Alpine School District Board of Education approves tentative budget

Logan High construction continues; classrooms expected to inspire collaboration

Eight Utah Schools Awarded STEM Designation

Study: Northern Utah schools disproportionately discipline students of color

Is Utah upholding Brigham Young’s arts legacy?

Park City Education Foundation’s school grants pack bang for the buck
Variety of programs aim to impact every student in district

Six weeks after crash with a dump truck, Fremont High teen comes home

Once-promising basketball coach who called in bomb threat to Utah County elementary school sentenced to 60 more days in jail, probation
Bomb hoax > Craig must get treatment for mental illness during probation.

Comcast bestows scholarships on 36 Utah students

PCHS graduate earns prestigious honor

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Ariane Brown Wengreen

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Caitlyn Maloy

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Charter schools should not have the right to take others’ property

You Got Schooled: Dyslexia Center of Utah

Common good

Bring back the graduated income tax

Corrupting public education

Is DeVos Sending Mixed Messages on Advanced Courses and Accountability?

Teaching Computer Science Is Great, But It’s Not Enough
How to teach students to question the role of technology

Don’t Give Parents a Pass on Education
Hold schools accountable – but parents play a role helping their kids learn, too.

Priming up for primary school

NATION

Debate heats up over teaching climate change in US schools

Court revives church-state lawsuit against Colorado schools

Schools are watching students’ social media, raising questions about free speech

Chicago Mayor: K-12 Education Model Outdated

NYC mayor pleads with NY lawmakers to renew school oversight

White, Wealthy Communities Want Their Own Schools
Some states allow communities to create their own school districts, keeping property tax dollars in the neighborhood but siphoning funds away from poorer, underserved schools.

Which Countries Spend the Most on Early-Childhood Education?

Come Together: New Poll Finds High Bipartisan Support for Improving Early Education
‘Incredibly important’ voters support specific policies, not just general idea of improving early ed

Come for the Computers, Stay for the Books
Libraries are rebooting to become tech hubs for schools.

The president just praised students whose pro-Trump messages were edited out of their yearbook

Adviser resigns after vote tampering scandal at Vista Murrieta High School

A valedictorian went rogue in his final speech. His school tried to shut him down

Yearbook quote puts West Milford senior in spotlight

 

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UTAH NEWS
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States take on competency based education

At least five state legislatures have considered bills pertaining to strengthening competency-based education measures in their state, according to a new policy snapshot from Education Commission of the States.
Competency-based education often appeals to postsecondary adult students, which is growing at a higher percentage than students under 25. Such programs may offer lower costs and allow students to move at their own pace, which can be a boon to nontraditional students.
Two bills related to CBE were successfully passed so far this year; Virginia passed legislation requiring a state committee to detail competency-based professional development pathways for early childhood educators, while Utah educators will incorporate competency-based learning into their Computing Partnership Grants program.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aij ([Washington, DC] Education Dive)

 

Struggling West Valley City charter school for teen moms shut down by Utah board
Education > Poor academic performance, low graduation rates are cited.

A charter school geared toward young mothers was forced to shut down Tuesday, pending appeal, after years of stagnant enrollment, financial pressures and low academic performance.
Members of the Charter School Board voted unanimously to terminate the charter of Kairos Academy in West Valley City, which opened in 2014 and has held a probationary status since March 2015.
Board member Michelle Smith said Kairos has shown a “dramatic inability” to meet the terms of its contract with the state and has “actively resisted making changes” that would improve school and student performance.
And the students who enroll at Kairos, Smith said, tend to perform worse than they would in comparable, alternative education programs.
“I don’t feel like this school, this particular charter, is salvageable,” Smith said. “If they had done anything in three years to improve themselves, I would not feel this way.”
Kairos Academy is a high school for girls, with an emphasis on leadership development for pregnant and parenting teens. The model incorporates daycare services and flexible schedules and currently enrolls roughly 90 students.
But the charter was projected to serve as many as 200 students, and the low enrollment numbers have put a strain on school budgets, which are based on per-pupil funding. Charter board members were also concerned about the professional qualifications of Kairos Academy’s teaching faculty, which relies on adjunct and part-time instructors.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahy (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/ahz (DN)

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

 

State audit: Charter board improperly disbursed $124K to school

SALT LAKE CITY – A new state audit has determined that the appointed Utah State Charter School Board in 2015 “improperly disbursed” startup grants to Athlos Academy prior to the elected State School Board approving its charter application.
The audit, conducted by the Office of the State Auditor and released Tuesday, found the charter board improperly disbursed $124,100 in grants “prior to the execution of the charter agreement.”
“The awarding of state funds prior to execution of the charter agreement creates an increased risk of abuse of funds and a lack of transparency,” the audit states.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahw (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/ahx (UP)

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

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

 

Alpine School District Board of Education approves tentative budget

Alpine School District has a tentative budget for the next fiscal year.
The Alpine School District Board of Education approved the fiscal year 2017-18 budget during its meeting Tuesday evening.
Revenue for the upcoming fiscal year is projected to be about $682.8 million and expenditures are about $838.4 million. On budgets, the district is conservative in its revenue estimates and aggressive on expenses.
That includes more than $100 million in expenses paid for through the district’s current bond.
About half of the district’s budget is set to go toward instruction, with about 21 percent going toward facilities, about 17 percent going to support services and the remaining funds going to debt service, nutrition services and community, adult and other.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahK (PDH)

 

Logan High construction continues; classrooms expected to inspire collaboration

The new wing of Logan High, with a cavernous hallway currently filled with construction workers, is being built with collaboration in mind.
During a walkthrough of the high school Tuesday with members of the Logan City School District Board of Education, Superintendent Frank Schofield said the design of the building allows teachers to get creative.
The wing is set up in pods of classrooms with sliding glass doors, wide-open student collaboration areas, teacher collaboration rooms and small rooms called “thought galleries.” The days of one long hallway with individual classrooms are over.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahQ (LHJ)

 

Eight Utah Schools Awarded STEM Designation

Eight schools in Utah have qualified for a state STEM designation. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In order to get the title, these schools had to prove they’re serious about each one of those.
The designation came in the form of an award at the STEM Best Practices Conference held in Provo. To earn the award the schools had to take part in a lengthy self-evaluation process. They need updated curriculum, extensive teacher training and community partnerships.
“They get a digital seal they get on their website, letterhead, etc. But there is no financial incentive associated with this designation,” says Kelly Yates who is with Utah’s STEM Action Center.
Yates says it’s really not about the seal, it’s about improving. The action center connects schools with research-based methods and connects the schools with each other, creating a network of support.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahV (KUER)

 

Study: Northern Utah schools disproportionately discipline students of color

A study released in May by Voices for Utah Children found black, Hispanic and American Indian students have been disproportionately disciplined in schools throughout the state.
The report looked at the 2013-14 school year and found 6 percent of all students of color received a disciplinary action, compared with 3 percent of their white counterparts.
In Northern Utah area school districts, the Weber School District was among those to have higher-than-expected discipline rates for students of color, while the Ogden School District disproportionately disciplines black students but not Hispanic students.
Lincoln Nehring, Voices CEO and the report’s co-author, said the goal of the study was to acknowledge racial and ethnic disparities in the hope that solutions will be created to address them. Voices for Utah Children is a nonprofit advocacy organization that analyzes and promotes policies that are beneficial for children, according to its website.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahJ (OSE)

 

Is Utah upholding Brigham Young’s arts legacy?

Utah territorial governor Brigham Young once said if he were stranded on a “cannibal island” and challenged to bring civilization to the natives, he would build a theater.
The arts are a vital part of Utah’s history. The pioneers arrived in Salt Lake City in 1847; plays were being produced as early as 1850. The Social Hall was one of the first buildings dedicated in 1853, with room for seating 300 people and a bust of William Shakespeare at the front. The Salt Lake Theatre was completed in 1862, before even the Salt Lake Temple, according to the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University.
These days, Utah is one of the top states in the country for arts participation, ranking first in the nation in a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts poll for adults who attend live music, theater and dance – beating out both New York and California – and second in the nation for adults attending art exhibitions, coming in just behind Vermont. In the West, the Beehive State is ranked second (behind Wyoming) for the rate that it funds the arts per capita, according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.
In March, President Donald Trump announced his proposed budget, which would eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which together provide the bulk of federal funding for arts and cultural programs across the country. These proposed cuts have raised questions about how much the government should be involved in the arts and whether arts programs could survive without that support.
So how would these cuts apply to Utah? How much does Utah rely on federal or government funding in general, and how important are the arts to the state’s culture?

The Utah Symphony and Utah Opera have an annual budget of $23 million going into the 2017-18 season, and 21 percent of that funding comes from public sources, according to usuo.org. A lot of that public funding goes directly back into the community through the USUO’s educational programs. Both the Utah Symphony and the Utah Opera perform in every school district in the state on a rotating three- to four-year basis.
The Shakespeare Festival has a similar educational program that also relies heavily on government funding, including money from the NEA, to take Shakespeare productions to schools and communities in the southwest regions of the state.
“If that funding went away, we would not be able to go to those cities, or nearly as many cities, and our outreach and our connectivity to the community would in that sense drop significantly,” Stavros said.
“There are so many children who have never had the opportunity without these kinds of programs to see the symphony, to see the opera, and this is important,” said Arent. “The arts are an important part of education.”
A study from the Arts Education Partnership showed that children given music education did better in math, reading and writing.
“If kids can’t write and communicate and don’t have other arts backgrounds, they’re not going to be successful scientists and mathematicians,” said Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Salt Lake City, referring to the recent emphasis on STEM education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahF (DN)

 

Park City Education Foundation’s school grants pack bang for the buck
Variety of programs aim to impact every student in district

The Park City Education Foundation ended the school year with a bang – about 160,000 of them, actually.
The nonprofit recently awarded its annual school grants, doling out $160,820 to the Park City School District’s seven schools to fund a range of programs, both established and new, that aim to expand the educational experience for students. Jen Billow, associate director over communications and development for the foundation, said the initiative is one of the most important efforts the nonprofit undertakes each year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aip (PR)

 

Six weeks after crash with a dump truck, Fremont High teen comes home

HOOPER – From under a bright pink and purple My Little Pony blanket, KayCee Hudman smiled as she showed off her new cowboy boots.
This pair was donated by Boot Barn and is identical to the ones emergency responders cut off of her feet on May 3 after a crash with a dump truck. It was her 18th birthday.
On Thursday, June 15, just over six weeks from the day of the crash, Hudman returned home from her extended hospital stay, first at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden and then at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahI (OSE)

 

Once-promising basketball coach who called in bomb threat to Utah County elementary school sentenced to 60 more days in jail, probation
Bomb hoax > Craig must get treatment for mental illness during probation.

American Fork * A former College of Eastern Utah basketball coach who called in a bomb threat and caused panic at a Utah County elementary school last fall has been given one last chance to grapple with his mental illness or face the possibility of years in prison.
Christopher Dewitt Craig wore a ski mask and a long, light-green tunic last September when he walked into Eagle Valley Elementary, claiming to have parked a car full of explosives near the front entrance.
The 36-year-old wore a mismatched Utah County jail uniform Tuesday as he awaited sentencing in Fourth District Court.
“What my husband did was completely wrong and very scary,” a tearful Tara Craig said in court. “I also know he had no intention of harming anyone. I know who the real Chris is.”
Judge Roger Griffin ordered Craig, who has been incarcerated since his arrest in September, to spend 60 more days in the Utah County jail before being released on what Griffin called a “zero-tolerance probation” for the next five years during which time he will be required to receive treatment for the mental illness doctors, family members and lawyers believe caused the once- promising basketball coach to act out as a religious fanatic in recent years.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahP (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/ahN (PDH)

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/ahO (El Paso [TX] Times)

 

Comcast bestows scholarships on 36 Utah students

Comcast NBCUniversal awarded $53,000 in scholarships for the 2017-18 school year to 36 Utah students as part of its annual Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program. The program, funded by the Comcast Foundation, recognizes the best and brightest high school seniors for their community service, academic performance and leadership skills.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahE (DN)

 

PCHS graduate earns prestigious honor

Liz Cantlebary, who graduated from Park City High School this month, was named the 2017 Youthlinc Utah Young Humanitarian for her work on Planned Parenthood’s Teen Council and other community service efforts. According to a press release, Cantlebary has been a resource for her peers on topics such as sexual assault, mental health, drug use and suicide. “Liz is passionate about sexual health and reproductive rights and has learned to channel her energy into messages that are fierce and kind,” said Evelyn Cervantes, the Teen Council’s adviser, in the press release.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aiq (PR)

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Ariane Brown Wengreen

Ariane Brown Wengreen, a teacher at Spanish Oaks Elementary in Nebo School District, is being recognized as this week’s Utah Valley Educator of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahL (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Caitlyn Maloy

Caitlyn Solana Maloy, a former sixth grader at Spring Lake Elementary in the Nebo School District, is being recognized as the Utah Valley Student of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahM (PDH)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Charter schools should not have the right to take others’ property
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

Charter schools in Utah have been a good experiment. Mostly. Independence from overly regulated and underfunded school districts allow charter schools to innovate in areas of administration and curriculum. The purpose, of course, is to cut costs while improving education.
But when a charter school instead combines the worst of government overreach with for-profit interests, the experiment fails.
The bully on this playground is the American Preparatory Academy in Draper. In January the APA started construction on a campus in Draper but failed to secure access to its parking lot, which is blocked by a strip of land now mired in an ownership dispute. Compounding this colossal oversight, APA started construction without the state school board’s necessary approval of site plans.
To fix its poor planning, APA’s governing board Utah Charter Academies tried to seize the land strip as a government actor under the doctrine of eminent domain. Eminent domain allows a government entity to take control and ownership of private property in the name of public use. The problem is, of course, that Utah Charter Academies is not a government entity.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahD

 

You Got Schooled: Dyslexia Center of Utah
Sutherland Institute commentary by education policy analyst Christine Cooke

Sutherland Institute wants local education leaders to “school” us with what they know about education, which is why we started “You Got Schooled.”
“You Got Schooled” is a social media initiative that highlights schools, teachers, and education programs that are achieving excellence for the individual student by thinking outside the box, implementing new ideas and challenging how we approach learning.
This time, Sutherland Institute visited the Dyslexia Center of Utah, a non-profit in Cedar Hills dedicated to helping children learn to read. Shelley Hatch, the director, brings a passion for helping children learn to overcome dyslexia and an understanding that every child has unique gifts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahR

 

Common good
Deseret News letter from Keith Homer

While the Founding Fathers worked to craft a vital government using taxation (with representation) to pay for its operations, Christine Cooke of the Sutherland Institute contributes her simplistic political slogan in a Sunday op-ed promoting their agenda to not fund public education. Using the all-purpose buzzword of “innovation” she demands educational “innovation” as a condition for funding public education. The real innovation today would be reversing the consistent trend in our state of almost three decades of declining state funding for our public education system.
Her reference to the famous Coleman Report of 1966 is irresponsibly misapplied. The report’s conclusion at the time, still valid today, is that the greatest predictor of student success is the student’s socioeconomic background. While that should speak to us about inequality in our society, using the report to say that a school’s “resources contribute very little to student outcomes,” therefore schools don’t need money, cynically misses its point and doesn’t even make sense when you think about it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahG

 

Bring back the graduated income tax
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Richard Steiner

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. gave us the 5 percent flat income tax, much to the benefit of the most affluent of Utah citizens. Now that it is apparent that this move has left the public school system short-changed, several people who benefited most from the flat tax are pushing for a slight increase in the flat tax along with an increase in the sales tax.
This is so wrong. The fairest way to increase funds for our schools is to go back to a graduated income tax system. Those individuals who sit on top of the economic food chain do so because their businesses hire well-educated workers. Therefore, it is only right that they pay a higher percentage of income to educate future workers than do those who currently work for more moderate salaries.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahC

 

Corrupting public education
Deseret News letter from M. Donald Thomas

Using a variety of false arguments, politicians, especially state legislators, are corrupting public education. They are attempting to redefine science, personal health and history. Attacks on public education have historically emanated from parent groups or zealots. More recently, however, they have come from legislative bodies.
In the teaching of science, politicians wish to deny both evolution and climate change. In South Dakota, SB 55 stated that teachers could not “deviate, and possibly contradict, … science standards adopted by the state.” Fortunately, the bill was defeated. Similar legislation, aimed at controlling the teaching of evolution and climate change, has been introduced in Indiana, Florida and Oklahoma.
State legislators certainly have the right to believe items based on religious faith. There is no justification, however, for them to require that teachers teach faith-based beliefs in public schools. Convictions without evidence, when taught as science, are inappropriate and possibly dangerous.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahH

 

Is DeVos Sending Mixed Messages on Advanced Courses and Accountability?
Education Week commentary by columnist Alyson Klein

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos seems to be sending some confusing signals when it comes to whether states will be allowed to use Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate tests, the SAT, dual-enrollment courses, or career certifications to figure out if students are ready for college and the workforce, some experts say.
Rating schools based on whether they get kids ready for college and the workforce was all the rage in state’s plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act. And at least eight states-that’s about half of the 17 that have turned in plans so far-want to use AP, IB the SAT, dual enrollment courses, or career certifications for accountability.
The problem? It’s unclear if DeVos is cool with that, even though she has said she will make local control a big focus of ESSA implementation. What’s more, some experts worry that her team may be telling different states different things when it comes to how they measure college and career readiness.
Here’s how this became an issue: Delaware, like almost every state, wants to rate schools based on whether they get kids ready for college and career. To measure that, the districts can use AP test scores, IB test scores, and whether students hit certain targets on the SAT. Districts can also consider whether students have earned a B or better in a college-level course.
And to prove career-readiness, Delaware districts can use scores on military or technical education exams, or examine whether a student has successfully completely some sort of work-based learning experience. (Geeks can check pages 36 and 37 of Delaware’s application to see all this in black and white.)
The department dinged Delaware for this in a recent feedback letter, saying, essentially, that its approach may not pass muster if not all schools offer AP and IB, and if a significant percentage of kids don’t take the tests.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ai3

 

Teaching Computer Science Is Great, But It’s Not Enough
How to teach students to question the role of technology
Education Week op-ed by Florence R. Sullivan, author of the recently published Creativity, Technology, and Learning: Theory for Classroom Practice, & Jill Denner, senior research scientist at Education, Training, and Research

Self-driving cars, robot-assisted surgery, automated news writing, a huggable, humanoid Mickey Mouse character at Disney World-these are just a few examples of the many ways computer science is changing the way we live, work, learn, and play. This push toward the automation of tasks and jobs, and the creation of more intelligent technologies that can simulate human decisions and emotions, has substantial benefits for society. Many technological innovations are advancing health care, public safety, communication, education, and science, and are improving the quality of life for those who have access to them.
There is no one better to access these tools than the students who will shape the technology of our future. In recent years, the dizzying pace of technological innovation has motivated a surge of interest in creating quality computer-science-education experiences for all K-12 students in the United States. In early 2016, President Barack Obama announced the Computer Science for All initiative, which called for more than $4 billion in federal funding to expand computer science in elementary, middle, and high school.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aib

 

Don’t Give Parents a Pass on Education
Hold schools accountable – but parents play a role helping their kids learn, too.
U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute

America’s schools are caught in a peculiar vise. We’ve made it clear that we expect schools to succeed with every child. That wasn’t always the norm. Over the past 25 years, though, reformers on the left and right fought to ensure that schools be expected to educate every child. Today, we largely take that mission for granted. That represents a tectonic shift and a tremendous victory.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, American education paid a lot of attention to the quality of parenting and far too little to the quality of teaching and schooling. It wasn’t unusual to hear educators declare that certain students were unteachable or that they couldn’t be blamed for not teaching kids who weren’t there to learn.
In the early 1990s, I was supervising student teachers for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and I’ll always recall one exchange that crystallized the old ethos for me. I was visiting an iconic Boston high school that had seen better days. The bell rang and the social studies class I was observing got started. In a room of 30 or 35 kids, there were maybe a dozen who were taking notes, participating, and paying attention. The rest were passing notes, staring out the window and generally tuning out. My student teacher tried all manner of teaching strategies, but none made much difference.
The class finally ended and the students shuffled out. The student teacher, his mentor teacher and I sat down to talk. I asked the mentor, “So, how’d you think the class went?”
He said, “What really impressed me was how engaged the students were.”
I wondered if he was kidding. He didn’t seem to be. I said, “Here’s the thing. To me, it looked like maybe 10 students were really involved. Did I miss something?”
What he said next has always stuck with me: “No, that’s about right. But he had all of the students who were here to learn. The others, the knuckleheads, well, you just want to keep them in line.”
Times have changed. Today, that kind of mindset is deemed unacceptable. If educators say such things, they mutter them privately. That shift is a wonderful thing.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aie

 

Priming up for primary school
Education & Skills Today op-ed by Andreas Schleicher, Director, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Why do children in their last year of pre-primary education spend so much time playing and the year after sitting in large classes listening to their teacher? Why do we pay the teachers of our youngest children so much less than we pay the teachers of our oldest children? Why do first-year primary teachers know so little about the children from whom their pre-primary teachers have learned so much? The simple answer is that that’s the way we have always done this.
But we have learned so much about how children learn and what they learn best at what stage of their development, that we can, and should, do a lot better. It is time for this knowledge and experience to shape education policy and practice more distinctly. To this end, the OECD has just published its first internationally comparative set of indicators on early childhood education and care and, more than that, we analysed what more can be done to shift the focus from making our youngest ready for school toward serving them and their parents best to build solid foundations for their.
This is important. The first years of life lay the foundations for future skills development and learning, and investments in high-quality early childhood education and care pay huge dividends in terms of children’s long-term learning and development, particularly the most marginalised ones. Most OECD countries recognise this, and this is reflected in our indicators which show the steeply rising enrolment and spending figures. These efforts should not underestimated. In most industrialised nations, early childhood education has advanced from a service for a minority of children to virtually universal enrolment for at least one year. However, for the youngest children, provision remains patchy.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ai8

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Debate heats up over teaching climate change in US schools
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The struggle over what American students learn about global warming is heating up as conservative lawmakers, climate change doubters and others attempt to push rejected or debunked theories into the classroom.
An overwhelming majority of climate scientists say manmade emissions drive global warming, but there’s no such consensus among educators over how climate change and its causes should be taught.
Several U.S. states recently considered measures allowing or requiring teachers to present alternatives to widely accepted viewpoints on such topics. For example, a stalled proposal in Iowa would have required teaching “opposing points of view” on topics such as global warming, and proposed science standards in Idaho would have students taught that human impact is driving global warming and that natural factors also contribute.
The debate is arriving on teachers’ doorsteps nationwide, as thousands are being mailed the book “Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming” from a Chicago-area advocacy group called The Heartland Institute that challenges the assertion that there is consensus about a human-caused climate crisis. In a follow-up statement, the institute’s president said science instructors should “keep an open mind” and shouldn’t teach “dogma pushed by some environmental activist groups.”
The National Center for Science Education made rebuttal flyers explaining that Heartland relies on debunked theories. The National Science Teachers Association dismissed the mailing as propaganda and urged educators to recycle the books.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from an international agreement aimed at curbing global warming is reinforcing some teachers’ sense of urgency about discussing humans’ role in accelerating climate change.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahB

 

Court revives church-state lawsuit against Colorado schools
Associated Press

DENVER – A federal court has revived a Colorado parent’s lawsuit that alleges a school district violated the constitutional separation of church and state.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled Tuesday that a woman identified as Jane Zoe can sue the Douglas County School District over a fundraising appeal that a teacher distributed for a Christian group.
Zoe says she received an email from her son’s teacher requesting donations for the group and her son was sent home with a flyer about it. Zoe says her family is non-Christian, and the appeals made her son feel pressured and made the family feel like outsiders.
A lower court said Zoe lacked legal standing to sue. The appeals court disagreed.
The appeals court agreed that three other parents lacked standing.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ai4

http://gousoe.uen.org/ai6 (Ed Week)

A copy of the ruling
http://gousoe.uen.org/ai5 (10th Circuit Court of Appeals)

 

Schools are watching students’ social media, raising questions about free speech
NewsHour

As universities have started paying close attention to the internet presence of prospective students, high schools have also begun cracking down, sometimes hiring outside companies to police social media posts for bullying or abusive language. But monitoring raises other problems, and civil rights groups are paying attention
http://gousoe.uen.org/ain

 

Chicago Mayor: K-12 Education Model Outdated
Diverse Issues in Higher Education

WASHINGTON – Arguing that the K-12 education model of the 20th century is outdated, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday he believes it’s time to expand the public school system into a pre-kindergarten to college model.
“We have to restructure our educational system to meet the demands that the 21st century is going to require of our kids in the same way that the high school education of the 20th century met the demands of the 20th century at the time,” the second-term Chicago mayor said.
Emanuel made his remarks Tuesday at the National Press Club in defense of Chicago’s newly adopted requirement for public high school seniors in Chicago to submit proof of a post-secondary plan in order to graduate – a plan that Emanuel introduced earlier this year. The proof can include a college acceptance letter, acceptance into a trades pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship, a military enlistment letter, or a job offer or proof of employment, among other things.
“We live in a period where you earn what you learn,” Emanuel said, alluding to statistics that show higher degrees of education generally correspond with higher incomes.
“And the question in front of me as mayor is: What are we doing to better prepare our students for that time?” Emanuel said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aih

http://gousoe.uen.org/aii (Chicago Tribune)

 

NYC mayor pleads with NY lawmakers to renew school oversight
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y.- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded with state lawmakers on Tuesday not to extinguish his control of city schools as closed-door negotiations between legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo failed to produce results and time began to run out on the legislative session.
Joined by former U.S. Secretary Education Arne Duncan, de Blasio told reporters on a teleconference that there’s still time for lawmakers to strike a deal that would extend mayoral control of schools in his city. Lawmakers plan to end their annual session on Wednesday.
“It will reflect badly on everyone if this is not resolved,” he said, adding a message for leaders in Albany: “Lock yourselves in a room until you get there.”
The policy giving the mayor oversight over city schools was first implemented in 2002 under Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg but will expire June 30 unless lawmakers again renew it. Top lawmakers from both parties favor the extension but Republicans won’t support it unless Democrats agree to raise a cap on the number of charter schools in New York City. Last year lawmakers extended the policy for a single year.
If no deal materializes soon lawmakers could prolong their session or leave Albany without an agreement – possibly returning later this summer to try again.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahA

http://gousoe.uen.org/aic (New York Post)

 

White, Wealthy Communities Want Their Own Schools
Some states allow communities to create their own school districts, keeping property tax dollars in the neighborhood but siphoning funds away from poorer, underserved schools.
U.S. News & World Report

In recent years, Tennessee has been the pace setter when it comes to adopting new education policies, including things like tougher standards and corresponding tests, and new ways to evaluate and pay teachers. It has even been at the forefront of the free college movement.
Such moves, driven in large part by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, have helped make the state one of the most respected in the country when it comes to trying to find ways to help close achievement gaps and better serve historically disadvantaged students – namely, poor students of color.
But unbeknownst to many, the state has also embraced a much less publicized education policy – one that makes it easy for communities to create their own school districts, and one that wealthy white communities have taken advantage of in order to splinter off from larger, more diverse and poorer school districts, taking with them millions of dollars in property taxes.
Since the Republican-run state legislature voted to enact the law in 2010, six communities have peeled away from Shelby County, the southwestern most corner of the state that includes Memphis. At least four more in other parts of the state are looking to do the same.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aik

http://gousoe.uen.org/ail (Newsweek)

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aim (EdBuild)

 

Which Countries Spend the Most on Early-Childhood Education?
Education Week

Norway and Sweden spent nearly 2 percent of their gross domestic product on early-childhood programs and education in 2013, while the United States spent 0.3 percent-well below the 0.8 average of all of the countries included in an analysis released Wednesday from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The United States’s spending as a percentage of GDP is not included in the graphic taken from the report and embedded below, but the graphic shows the rank of several additional countries.
The spending figures are part of two documents released from OECD, which is also the entity that oversees the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA.
Starting Strong 2017 presents an overview of the early-childhood systems in 30 counties, along with trend data and recent reforms. It’s the first time OECD has published. Starting Strong V: Transitions from Early Childhood Education and Care to Primary Education focuses on how children can move to primary education in a way that maintains the positive impacts of early learning.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ai7

Copies of the reports
http://gousoe.uen.org/ai9 (OECD)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/aia (OECD)

 

Come Together: New Poll Finds High Bipartisan Support for Improving Early Education
‘Incredibly important’ voters support specific policies, not just general idea of improving early ed
(New York) The 74

The political mood in the United States has soured dramatically in recent months, but there’s still one issue that draws bipartisan support: early childhood education.
Seventy-nine percent of voters in a new poll want Congress and the Trump administration to work together to improve the quality of child care and preschool and make it more affordable, according to a new poll from the First Five Years Fund, an early childhood education advocacy group.
“Voters understand that birth through age 5 is a critical time in a child’s development that truly builds the foundation for later success in school and life,” Kris Perry, executive director of the First Five Years Fund, said on a webinar.
Only about 1 in 5 people surveyed, or 21 percent, said Congress and Trump are paying enough attention to early childhood education.
Majorities of respondents from both parties, as well as those who identified as independent, supported different specific options for federal help, including making child care and early education more affordable; helping states and communities expand services for children from low- and middle-income families; providing voluntary home visiting programs to first-time parents; and increasing child care tax credits.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aif

A copy of the poll
http://gousoe.uen.org/aig (First Five Years Fund)

 

Come for the Computers, Stay for the Books
Libraries are rebooting to become tech hubs for schools.
Slate

Traci Chun, a teacher-librarian at Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington, is all done with shushing. “When my library is quiet, that’s a red flag,” said Chun. In fact, the busier it is, the better-whether it’s kids experimenting with the Makey Makey circuitry or uploading designs to a 3-D printer, or a class learning media literacy, or a student seeking advice on a video she’s editing at one of the computer workstations.
Chun’s district is at the forefront of a national movement to turn K-12 librarians into indispensable digital mavens who can help classroom teachers craft tech-savvy lesson plans, teach kids to think critically about online research, and remake libraries into lively, high-tech hubs of collaborative learning-while still helping kids get books.
The stereotypical library can seem like a vestige, making it an easy target when budgets are tight, according to Mark Ray, Vancouver’s director of innovation and library services, “but we want libraries to be the lynchpin of education transformation.” Ray heads up Future Ready Librarians, part of Future Ready Schools-a network for sharing education technology solutions, which is sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, D.C.-based education advocacy group.
In many parts of the country, school librarians are an endangered species, with their numbers dwindling near extinction in districts such as Philadelphia and Chicago. In fact, about a decade ago, Chun’s district was on the verge of letting a slew of librarian jobs stay vacant in the wake of staff retirements. A coalition of teachers, parents, and community members intervened to save the jobs, including Ray, a school librarian at the time, who convinced district leaders to repurpose librarians to make them more relevant.
That effort began by having Vancouver’s librarians get trained in new software purchased by the district, so that they could train their school colleagues in turn. Teacher-librarians such as Chun have since expanded that tech-integration role. Teaming up with Skyview’s instructional technology facilitator and early-adopting teachers, Chun frequently demonstrates new tech tools at the school’s teacher-led professional development meetings.
Often, she backs up these introductions by co-teaching a class or two. “It makes teachers more willing to try new things, because the risk is gone,” said Chun. “By letting the librarian come in and run it with your students, you can see how it works. And if it bombs, it’s not on you.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aio

 

The president just praised students whose pro-Trump messages were edited out of their yearbook
Washington Post

President Trump has commended students at a New Jersey high school for voicing support for him, amid allegations that photos and a quotation were altered in yearbooks to remove references to the president.
Trump and his campaign have applauded Wall High School students Wyatt and Montana Dobrovich-Fago, who noticed the changes in their yearbooks earlier this month.
“Thank you Wyatt and Montana – two young Americans who aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in. Our movement to #MAGA is working because of great people like you!” Trump wrote Monday on Facebook, attaching a letter his campaign sent to the students last week. The campaign also sent the teens “Make America Great Again” memorabilia.
Campaign executive director Michael Glassner told the students in the June 14 letter he was “dismayed” to learn about the allegations of censorship and violation of First Amendment Rights.
“I commend you all for voicing your support of the President and his vision to Make America Great Again,” he wrote.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahX

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

 

Adviser resigns after vote tampering scandal at Vista Murrieta High School
Riverside (CA) Press-Enterprise

Students at Vista Murrieta High School learned all about the seamy underbelly of politics this year after it was revealed on Friday that a faculty adviser rigged the election for class president and two other races.
In an email blast sent to parents, Principal Mick Wager said the company that handled the election confirmed that fraudulent votes changed the outcome of races for 2019 Class President, 2019 Secretary and 2018 Class President.
“An audit conducted by the electronic voting service has verified that no other election outcomes were affected by the voting irregularities,” he wrote. “This is a very unfortunate and disappointing situation, and I regret the impact it has had on the students involved and the student body as a whole.”
Karen Parris, spokeswoman for the Murrieta Valley Unified School District, said the adviser has stepped down from the position but she did not say whether the person has been fired or placed on leave, citing the confidentiality districts are afforded in personnel matters.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ai2

 

A valedictorian went rogue in his final speech. His school tried to shut him down
Washington Post

Peter Butera, class president for the entirety of his life as a high school student – all four often-frustrating years of it – took the stage at Friday’s graduation ceremony after the recital of the class poem, which had offended no one.
When the principal of Wyoming Area Secondary Center in Exeter, Pa., had finished applauding the poem, Butera walked up and laid his speech on the podium: the lines he’d dutifully cleared with administrators, and those he had not.
Butera was 18, bound for Villanova University in a few months. He was his class valedictorian, and he was beginning to get nervous about his plan to go rogue at the last possible minute.
“Good evening, everyone,” Butera began, innocuously enough. “The past four years at Wyoming Area have been very interesting, to say the least.”
Across the field, by the running track, Butera’s family watched with his girlfriend, who was taking video. In front of the stage sat nearly 200 classmates, nearly all of whom Butera said he knew well, for he had lived here his whole life.
On the chair to Butera’s left sat the principal, Jon Pollard, who barely looked up at him.
“To everyone here today, we cannot thank you enough for everything you’ve done for us,” Butera said.
Pollard scratched his face. So far so good. Butera kept thanking people for a while: Teachers he was close to, “a couple great administrators as well.”
He did not name Pollard among them – an omission not lost on one of the few people there who knew exactly how his speech would end.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ahW

http://gousoe.uen.org/aid (HuffPo)

 

Yearbook quote puts West Milford senior in spotlight
(Woodland Park, NJ) The Record

A West Milford High School senior has caused quite a stir with her entry in the yearbook.
Tori DiPaolo used her senior quote to take a not-so-subtle jab at the school’s dress code. The quote reads, “I’m sorry, did my shoulders distract you from reading this quote?” It’s printed below her senior picture, in which she is seen wearing a traditional shoulder-revealing black top.
This wasn’t the first time DiPaolo has taken issue with the dress code. She’s received violations but never got written up because she argued her case with administrators, she said.
The quote references a portion of the code dealing with shirts and accessories.
It reads: “Halter tops, half-shirts, tank tops, short or low-cut sweaters and blouses, and mesh shirts, or any tops that expose the stomach, are prohibited. No undergarments should be showing. Tee shirts, any article of clothing, backpacks, or purses, or anything attached to such things, such as pins, patches, etc., will be considered inappropriate if they are of a sexually suggestive nature, or if they promote drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, or if they are the cause of any disruption.”
DiPaolo decided to use that quote because the robes used for the photos technically violate the dress code, which she found ironic. She just wanted to get a few laughs out of it initially, she said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ai1

 

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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 21:

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

Government Operations Interim Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 450 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00002648.htm

Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee meeting
1:15 p.m., 30 House Building
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00002679.htm

Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee
1:15 p.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00002691.htm

July 13:

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

July 14:

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

July 25:

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

July 26:

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

August 11:

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

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