Education News Roundup: June 27, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

A group of Utah educators files suit to halt partisan State School Board elections.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aln (KUTV)

Parents of six Utah girls file suit to allow their daughters to play high school football.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akH (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/akO (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/akU (DN via KSL)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/alc (AP)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/ald (AP via OSE)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/alm (AP via CVD)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/alg (Yahoo Sports)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/alf (American School & University)

St. George News takes a closer look at homeless students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ali (SGN)

AP takes a closer look at what yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on school playgrounds portends for vouchers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akY (AP)

The Atlantic and The Hill takes larger views of the public education system in the U.S.
http://gousoe.uen.org/al5 (Atlantic)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/alb (The Hill)

Code.org creates a computer coding class for middle schoolers while the New York Times takes a closer look at Code.org itself.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akM (Seattle Times)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/al4 (NYT)

————————————————————
TODAY’S HEADLINES
————————————————————

UTAH

Local educators file lawsuit challenging partisan school board law

Six female students sue school districts for chance to play football
Girls want to play for high school teams so they can earn accolades considered by colleges, gain access to other perks, parents write in lawsuit.

Groups advocate for future of homeless youth; a look at the numbers

Search for new school superintendent continues

DSU receives grant for Concurrent Enrollment math courses

Weber County Latino population increases, outpacing white growth

Tooele student has idea to put out wildfires

Commission to Bookmobile supporters: Go ask the schools to help with funding

Idaho officials visit Utah as search for man in shooting deaths continues

OPINION & COMMENTARY

The promise of digital teaching and learning

The Supreme Court just let a church use public funds to fix its playground. Will this shift public education’s terrain?
Here’s why the ruling in favor of Trinity Lutheran may not be a green light for vouchers

The Case for Slashing Summer Vacation
The longer American students stay away from school, the further they fall behind.

School’s Out for Summer-And That’s a Problem
How the lack of affordable summer programs hurts students

Here’s Why You Can’t Understand Your State’s New Plan for Education

GOP Medicaid cuts would hurt much more than health care
The program contributes to lower dropout rates, more college degrees, higher earnings, emptier jails and thriving economies. In short, the American dream.

NATION

Supreme Court playground ruling feeds school voucher debate

Education Plans Lack Clarity on Disadvantaged Students, Worst Schools
A new review of state education plans finds many need more work.

‘We Have to Have a Massive Revolution in Public Education in the United States’
The Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. says improving schools is the way to open the middle class up to more black and white Americans.

Changing America: America’s growing education divide

Snyder: Make graduation rules flexible to boost career ed

Code.org takes computer science into middle schools
Seattle nonprofit Code.org is bringing computer science education to 800 more classrooms – and this time, it’s geared toward middle schoolers.

How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms

‘Students Aren’t Widgets’ and Other Findings on Engaging Kids at School

Education commissioner Mitchell Chester has died

How this school district plans to compete with charter schools

State auditor orders ECOT to stop spending tax dollars on attack ads

Your money: How many college savings buckets do you need?

 

————————————————————
UTAH NEWS
————————————————————

Local educators file lawsuit challenging partisan school board law

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A group of local educators will file a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a 2016 Senate bill that allows partisan elections for the Utah State Board of Education.
“Few things are less vital and should be less partisan than the education of our children,” said Josh Kanter, board chair of the ABU Education Fund and a plaintiff in the litigation in a statement. “We should be doing all that we can to depoliticize anything relating to the success of our education system, not adding to that politicization. Making school board elections partisan will deter some of our most qualified school board candidates and is exactly the wrong thing to be doing in the state and in this political climate.”
Senate Bill 78 was sponsored by State Senator Ann Millner (R, District 18) and passed during the 2016 session. It is set to go into effect for the 2018 elections.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aln (KUTV)

 

Six female students sue school districts for chance to play football
Girls want to play for high school teams so they can earn accolades considered by colleges, gain access to other perks, parents write in lawsuit.

The parents of six Utah high school students filed a lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court against three school districts, citing a lack of girls’ football teams.
The Jordan, Canyons and Granite school districts discriminated against female high school students by not providing them a football team, the lawsuit alleges.
The parents also are suing the Utah High School Activities Association and the superintendents of each district.
“[The] districts fail to provide equal treatment and benefits to girls as they do boys because [the] districts give boys the right and opportunity to use the high school football fields, stadiums, facilities, but do not provide girls the same treatment and benefits,” the lawsuit states.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akH (SLT)

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

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

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

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/alg (Yahoo Sports)

http://gousoe.uen.org/alf (American School & University)

 

Groups advocate for future of homeless youth; a look at the numbers

ST. GEORGE – By the end of the 2016-17 school year, the Washington County School District had identified almost 1,200 students, grades pre-K to 12, who are considered homeless. It is a large number, and one that might surprise residents of a seemingly idyllic town.
Despite the daunting numbers, several groups, including a committee of existing organizations and a newly organized group called Youth Advocates of Southern Utah, have risen up to help find solutions and offer hope to the area’s homeless and transient youth population.
The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act – a 1987 federal act – aids students living in homeless situations to enroll in school, Mike Carr, the school district’s homeless liaison and support services coordinator, said.
The act makes it easier for these students to gain access to school by providing immediate enrollment without having to provide documentation such as birth certificates, a home address or immunization records – documentation that they likely do not have access to, thereby otherwise preventing them from attending school.
Once they are enrolled Carr continues to help them work toward providing these documents, he said, and helping them get the immunizations they need.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ali (SGN)

 

Search for new school superintendent continues

The Carbon School District Board of Education is continuing the search for a new Superintendent and on Wednesday night during their regular board meeting scheduled some dates for furthering the process.
The search for a person to fill the position is taking place because in May Carbon District Superintendent Steve Carlsen was named the new Superintendent of Box Elder School District and his last day on the job in Carbon will be June 30.
The search has gone on near and wide through various advertising avenues and the Utah School Board Association putting out a flyer that was sent to many locations where interested parties might see it. The job posting closes on June 30.
During the meeting the board scheduled July 6 as the day when all the applications will be looked at by a review committee consisting of the board members, two principals and a number of school patrons who are being recruited to help with the review.
http://gousoe.uen.org/alk (Price Sun-Advocate)

 

DSU receives grant for Concurrent Enrollment math courses

Dixie State University received a Math Teacher Preparation Grant from the Utah System of Higher Education. The grant will increase the number of high school teachers eligible to teach math classes through the Concurrent Enrollment program, which allows students to earn both high school and college credit for general education courses. With more instructors available, the university plans to offer more sections of these math classes, making it possible for more high school students to complete quantitative literacy math courses.
“Dixie State University is committed to providing greater opportunities for high school students to successfully complete college math courses,” said Dr. Michael Lacourse, DSU provost and vice president of academic affairs. “This grant award will allow us to expand the preparation and support of additional concurrent math instructors to meet a growing demand.”
Scheduled to be disseminated over three years, the grant will provide the university with approximately $86,000 each year. Additionally, USHE awarded DSU another $75,000 in incentives for quantitative literacy math completion programs. More than 80 percent of this funding will go directly to high schools to add 14 new sections of quantitative literacy to the nine already being offered.
http://gousoe.uen.org/alh (Southern Utah Independent)

 

Weber County Latino population increases, outpacing white growth

Weber County is one of the most racially and ethnically mixed counties in Utah, with the second-highest concentration of Latinos in the state.
And though non-Hispanic whites still account for the vast majority of people in Weber County, as in the state as a whole, they account for a lower share of the population here than in all but two other Utah counties.
According to 2016 population estimates broken down by race and ethnicity, released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau:
http://gousoe.uen.org/akS (OSE)

 

Tooele student has idea to put out wildfires

TOOELE, Utah — As wildfires rage throughout Utah, a Tooele student may have found a new way to fight them.
Gavin Norman is only 13 years old, but his idea has already won him first place in a state science contest.
He came up with an idea to crush dry ice into small pieces, and dump it directly on the fire.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akV (KSTU)

 

Commission to Bookmobile supporters: Go ask the schools to help with funding

At Wednesday’s regular Carbon County Commission meeting, a Bruin Point Elementary School fifth grader presented a petition with more than 1,000 signatures supporting the Bookmobile, four mayors in Carbon County spoke in favor of the service and a representative of the Utah State Library Division presented a proposal to limit the number of stops the Carbon County Bookmobile makes, thereby reducing the contribution the county makes for the service.
The commission meeting room was packed with Bookmobile supporters, including patrons, local library workers and friends of libraries, and local elected officials. There was spontaneous applause when 10-year old October Hamilton of East Carbon stepped up to the podium in the room full of adults and presented her petition to the commissioners. “I just wanted to tell you guys that the Bookmobile is something that we need,” she stated.
Commissioners voted during the meeting of June 7 to discontinue the Bookmobile contract with the state and save the county’s contribution of nearly $100,000 each year for the service. That prompted the 10-year old’s petition drive which started in East Carbon and then moved to Price, and is also available online.
http://gousoe.uen.org/all (Price Sun-Advocate)

 

Idaho officials visit Utah as search for man in shooting deaths continues

OGDEN – Idaho law enforcement authorities have traveled to northern Utah as part of the investigation into the deaths of three women whose bodies were found in the backyard of a home in the neighboring state.
Ogden Police Lt. Tim Scott on Monday, however, also said Ogden police and other northern Utah law enforcement agencies continue to assist. Gerald Michael Bullinger, who has links to the Ogden area, has been identified as a person of interest in the shooting deaths of the three women, still not publicly named, whose bodies were found on his property in Caldwell, Idaho, on June 19.
A rep from the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office in Caldwell, the lead agency in the matter, was not available for comment on Monday.
A posting last Friday on the Weber County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page seeking help from the public in locating Bullinger noted the man’s connections to the area. “Bullinger is an experienced outdoorsman and is familiar with the mountain areas in Weber County,” it read.
He also lived in Ogden previously with Cheryl Baker, according to FOX 13, while the Weber County Sheriff’s Office said he frequently visited the Huntsville Valley area.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akQ (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/akR ([London] Daily Mail)

 

————————————————————
OPINION & COMMENTARY
————————————————————

The promise of digital teaching and learning
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Ronald White, a graduate of Brigham Young University and Harvard Business School

There is a growing sense that a crisis is looming in Utah PK-12 education. The forces contributing to this are complex as are the potential solutions, but one paramount opportunity is presented by properly planned and executed digital technology.
Utah educators and legislators have put in place a program called Digital Teaching & Learning (DT&L) that holds the potential to address a number of the key education issues. After considerable effort, HB277 was signed into law this past spring. This program is based around a master plan containing what is believed by many to contain the most complete and thoughtful approach to applying digital instruction to date.
The DT&L legislation provides funding to support a considerable majority of the school districts and charter schools in executing plans they have developed in what may well be most comprehensive effort in Utah history. An independent company was engaged to provide support for, and monitor progress on, effectuating individual plans with fidelity. The Utah institutions and citizens – from the educators and legislators, through many institutional education stakeholders, to individual families and students – should all be alert to monitor and support this effort.
It is my firm judgment that this presents Utah with a singular opportunity to address many of the difficulties facing our educators and their students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akI

 

The Supreme Court just let a church use public funds to fix its playground. Will this shift public education’s terrain?
Here’s why the ruling in favor of Trinity Lutheran may not be a green light for vouchers
Hechinger Report op-ed by LILY ESKELSEN GARCÍA, president of the National Education Association, a labor union representing three million educators; she is also the 1989 Utah Teacher of the Year

When the U.S. Supreme Court agreed in 2016 to hear arguments in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, school voucher advocates saw an opportunity.
The case actually revolved around the specific question of whether the state of Missouri could refuse a grant to resurface a playground to a church solely due to the fact that the church is a religious institution.
But a broad enough ruling in favor of the church could dismantle so-called “no aid” provisions that states have enacted to ensure that state resources for public schools were not diverted to private religious institutions. This was the invitation voucher proponents made to the nine justices.
On Monday, the court turned down the offer.
In a 7-2 ruling, the justices ruled that while Missouri could not refuse a playground grant to a church solely due to the fact that the church is a religious institution, the court was not “address[ing] religious uses of funding or other forms of discrimination.” In other words, the ruling was not a green light for school vouchers.
Educators and parents across the country should applaud the court’s refusal to place in doubt decades of precedents enforcing state constitutional protections of our public schools.
It doesn’t matter how their backers try to disguise them – “education savings accounts,” “tuition tax credits,” “opportunity scholarships” – vouchers are a destructive and misguided program that take scarce funding away from public schools, where 90 percent of America’s students attend, and give it to private schools that are unaccountable to the public.
http://gousoe.uen.org/alj

 

The Case for Slashing Summer Vacation
The longer American students stay away from school, the further they fall behind.
Bloomberg editorial

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date,” Shakespeare wrote. Schoolchildren would no doubt agree — but they’re mistaken. In America, summer vacation lasts far too long.
U.S. students spend about 180 days in school per year, with the vast majority receiving 10 to 12 weeks off in the summer. Regardless of their socioeconomic background, they’ll forget two months’ worth of math instruction from the previous year by the time they return to classes in September. Poorer students — who can’t afford summer enrichment classes and are less likely to have a parent at home during the day — also see their reading skills atrophy.
Those losses grow over time. A two-decade-long study of public-school students in Baltimore found that half of the achievement gap between high-income and disadvantaged ninth graders could be attributed to so-called “summer learning loss” during elementary school. Those lower-achieving students subsequently had higher high-school dropout rates, were less likely to go to college and had lower lifetime earnings.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akJ

 

School’s Out for Summer-And That’s a Problem
How the lack of affordable summer programs hurts students
Education Week op-ed by Christina K. Hanger, CEO of Dallas Afterschool

Summer is upon us. Temperatures are rising, and so are parents’ anxiety levels. The widespread cultural memory of summer as a carefree time with children playing outside, family vacations at the beach, and picnics in the park is not the reality for most American families today. Currently, in 46 percent of two-parent households, both parents work full time-a proportion that has risen significantly over the past few decades. This leaves a large number of our children caring for themselves, parked in front of TV screens or video games, and therefore vulnerable to boredom, summer learning loss, and high-risk behavior. A majority of our families are scrambling to care for their children over the summer.
Our current summer education landscape has been in place since the 1930s. While many believe that summer vacation was important for rural families so that kids could help out on the farm, that is not historically accurate, according to historian Kenneth Gold’s 2002 book School’s In: A History of Summer Education in American Public Schools. During the early 1800s, school was primarily open during the winter and summer so that children could be available to help with spring planting and fall harvesting. In the late 1800s, as America became more industrialized, summer was designated as a time for family vacations and a break for students. Experts at the time worried about the stress and physical damage of too much mental exertion for children in school for long periods of time.
It wasn’t until the 1930s that public summer school evolved into the model of remediation and credit recovery for students struggling academically that we would recognize today. As the number of households without a parent at home to provide care increased, summer camps and other child-care options began to rise. Unfortunately, the summer learning programs have not grown at the same rate.
Today, demand is much higher than supply.
http://gousoe.uen.org/al1

 

Here’s Why You Can’t Understand Your State’s New Plan for Education
Education Week commentary by columnist Andrew Ujifusa

You know it when you see it.
That’s right: We’re talking about education jargon, those terms that might signify something very important, but are often utterly mysterious to people who don’t spend their days wading through school policy. And there’s definitely quite a bit of jargon in the plans submitted by 17 states so far for the Every Student Succeeds Act.
So with the help of a few self-aware wonks, we selected 12 pieces of jargon and tracked how often they occurred in those ESSA plans. Here are some terms we encountered on our mystical jargon adventure, and how often we encountered them. Hover over slices of the pie chart to see the numbers:
http://gousoe.uen.org/akN

 

GOP Medicaid cuts would hurt much more than health care
The program contributes to lower dropout rates, more college degrees, higher earnings, emptier jails and thriving economies. In short, the American dream.
USA Today op-ed by Dhruv Khullar, physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and a researcher at the Weill Cornell Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, and Anupam Jena, an economist, physician and the Ruth L. Newhouse associate professor of health care policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School

The Senate’s new health bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, proposes even deeper cuts to Medicaid than the House bill. At risk is a program that provides relatively low-cost care to nearly 75 million Americans – including children, pregnant women, disabled individuals and elderly people in nursing homes.
As physicians, we are dismayed by the prospect of millions of patients losing access to the medical care they need. But what is often lost in the debate about who should have health care and who should pay for it is the larger fact thatMedicaid helps people live healthier, fuller and more productive lives. The unavoidable reality for those trying to dismantle the program is that the health of people is intimately linked to the health of communities, local economies and the nation as a whole.
Medicaid has a number of positive effects for patients and communities that often go unrecognized, including more employment, higher earnings, greater educational attainment and lower incarceration rates.

Medicaid also helps people reach higher levels of education. A 2014 study found that Medicaid eligibility decreases the high school dropout rate by 4%-6% and increases the likelihood of completing a four-year college degree by about 3%. The high school completion effect was strongest for minorities, while the college completion effect was largest for whites.
It’s not clear why Medicaid-eligible students were more likely to do well, but the study did find that Medicaid reduced risky sexual behavior, obesity rates, mental health issues and substance use. It’s also possible that parents of insured children had more disposable income to invest in educational and extracurricular activities.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akW

 

————————————————————-
NATIONAL NEWS
————————————————————-

Supreme Court playground ruling feeds school voucher debate
Associated Press

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other proponents of school voucher programs are praising a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said a Lutheran church was wrongly denied a state grant for its preschool playground. But opponents say the ruling is far from an endorsement of the use of public money for religious schools.
The court, by a 7-2 vote, sided with Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, which had sought a state grant to put a soft surface on its preschool playground.
“We should all celebrate the fact that programs designed to help students will no longer be discriminated against by the government based solely on religious affiliation,” DeVos said after the justices ruled Monday that Missouri violated the First Amendment in denying the grant.
The Columbia, Missouri, church had sought the grant under a state program that reimburses nonprofit organizations that install playground surfaces made from recycled tires. The Department of Natural Resources rejected the application because the state constitution prohibits the use of public money “in aid of any church, sect or denomination of religion.”
The church’s challenge was watched by both sides of the debate over whether states can let parents choose to send their children to religious schools through publicly funded programs.
Teachers unions, which oppose vouchers as diverting money from public schools, said the narrow ruling dealt a setback to voucher proponents by leaving intact the state’s constitutional provision that prohibits state funding of religious actions.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akY

 

Education Plans Lack Clarity on Disadvantaged Students, Worst Schools
A new review of state education plans finds many need more work.
U.S. News & World Report

States have more work to do when it comes to designing accountability plans that ensure historically disadvantaged students are learning and that their poorest-performing schools can improve, according to a review of more than a dozen state education proposals by a group of education policy experts.
The new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, gives states new flexibility to create accountability systems that suit their unique needs. Those plans must be vetted and cleared by the Department of Education before they begin implementing them in the near future.
The Collaborative for Student Success and Bellwether Education Partners convened a group of more than 30 peer reviewers, all education policy experts, who analyzed and identified best practices in the first 17 state accountability plans that were submitted to the Education Department in April and May.
“In identifying the strengths and weaknesses of accountability plans that were submitted earlier this year to the U.S. Department of Education, we’ve been able to create what is effectively a best-practices clearinghouse designed to help states move beyond mere compliance with the federal law,” Jim Cowen, executive director of the Collaborative for Student Success, said in a statement.
“This analysis is an invaluable resource to every state,” Cowen said, “because it provides actionable information.”
Overall, the reviewers voiced concerns about state plans not taking into adequate account the academic performance of historically disadvantaged students, including students of color, those with disabilities and those still learning English. They also reported a lack of clarity on how many poor-performing schools states would identify as needing improvement, or what actions would be required of those schools to be taken off such a list.
http://gousoe.uen.org/al6

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/al7 (Collaborative for Student Success and Bellwether Education Partners)

 

‘We Have to Have a Massive Revolution in Public Education in the United States’
The Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. says improving schools is the way to open the middle class up to more black and white Americans.
Atlantic

Over the last four decades, the percentage of Americans who are solidly in the middle class has shrunk, from 61 to 50 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. Some of those who have left the middle class are doing better, and others are doing worse. As the Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson put it, “The extremes grow at the expense of the center.”
The Harvard professor and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates Jr. says that the problem stems from the American education system having failed to adapt to the 21st century’s highly globalized, highly technological economy. For those who get top-tier training, there’s opportunity for prosperity. But for those who go to poor schools and don’t graduate from college, the traditional pathways to the middle class-in particular manufacturing jobs and small-business ownership-are usually unavailable. Instead, service work has grown in its share of overall employment, and service work tends to provide very poor wages and few opportunities for growth. Though these dynamics are affecting both black and white Americans, Gates said, black Americans in particular tend to attend under-funded schools and struggle to build middle-class economic security.
To better equip people of any race, “We have to have a massive revolution in public education in the United States,” Gates said on Monday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic.
Gates discussed two of the ways the U.S. could get there. His first: Move dollars, not people. “Bus the dollars from the rich school districts to the poor districts,” he said. “We need to allocate the same amount of money per student per school.” Gates’s comments are a response to research that has shown that the majority of states have “flat or regressive funding schemes” for their schools. Aggravating this is the ability of richer, whiter school districts to raise huge amounts of money via their parents’ organizations, on top of whatever public funds they have been allocated.
Gates’s second idea goes beyond equal funding: hardship pay for talented, motivated teachers to work in the worst-performing school districts. Across the country, teacher shortages affect high-poverty, high-minority schools disproportionately, often the result of teacher attrition. Financial benefits-such as a hardship-pay bonus like Gates suggested-could be used to deter attrition and keep teachers, particularly experienced ones, on the job.
The question that haunts Gates’s big idea is whether more-equal schools can translate into the return of a strong middle class, or whether structural changes in the economy-technological progress, globalization, corporate consolidation-inhibit the kind of widespread economic improvement that America saw in the middle of the 20th century.
http://gousoe.uen.org/al5

 

Changing America: America’s growing education divide
(Washington, DC) The Hill

In the corner of Darrel Steinberg’s office sits a thermometer, printed on poster board about three feet high. Someone has colored in the bottom parts of the thermometer in red ink, to represent the number of high school seniors who have been placed in paid internships across Sacramento, part of a program the city calls Thousand Strong.
The 57-year-old Steinberg, a Democrat serving his first term as mayor, says the program is meant to prepare students graduating from Sacramento schools for the new economy. It is a task the modern education system does not entirely achieve.
“We have failed to articulate, beyond platitudes, the essential connection between what we teach, how we teach and how that prepares people for the modern workforce,” Steinberg said in a recent interview. “We will be a very good city if we grow a high-wage economy. We will be a great city if our kids are first in line for those jobs.”
Across the nation, policymakers are confronting a distinct gap between the skills taught in schools, and those required for success in the evolving workforce. Education has become a dividing line in America, one that separates those who are more likely to live prosperous lives from those who are more likely headed to a lifetime of struggle.
The difference between those who attain educational success and those who do not is driving changes in the way we live our lives, from our decision to get married to our views of the world. It is changing political behavior, and it even influences how long we are likely to live.
http://gousoe.uen.org/alb

 

Snyder: Make graduation rules flexible to boost career ed
Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s high school graduation requirements would become more flexible and include a mandatory career readiness course under a series of recommendations and moves announced Monday by Gov. Rick Snyder, who said more must be done to help students fill in-demand jobs in the trades.
Snyder called on lawmakers to change the requirements, known as the Michigan Merit Curriculum, to mandate that a career exploration/job skills class be completed in seventh or eighth grade. He said computer science should count to meet a foreign language requirement and that students should be able to fulfill health and physical education requirements by completing career health programs.
The curriculum changes were included in a broader list of “career pathway” proposals developed after top state officials gathered input from employers, educators and union leaders. Recommendations include using certain career planning programs statewide, enhancing career counseling, letting career and technical education students earn an industry-recognized credential, and increasing the number of trade instructors.
To graduate from high school in Michigan, students must earn at least 18 credits in seven subject areas and complete an online course or learning component. Those who graduate in 2021 or earlier already can fulfill up to half of the two-credit foreign language requirement by completing a career and technical education program or earning another credit in visual, performing or applied arts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akK

http://gousoe.uen.org/akL (Crain’s Detroit Business)

 

Code.org takes computer science into middle schools
Seattle nonprofit Code.org is bringing computer science education to 800 more classrooms – and this time, it’s geared toward middle schoolers.
Seattle Times

Seattle nonprofit Code.org is bringing computer science education to 800 more classrooms – and this time, it’s geared toward middle schoolers.
The Seattle organization, founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Ali and Hadi Partovi, trains teachers to teach computer science courses, and provides the lesson plans and software free of charge.
Code.org is best known for its “Hour of Code” campaign, which encourages kids to spend one hour learning to code with online tutorials featuring popular characters such as those from Frozen and Star Wars. Tens of millions of people have participated in the Hour of Code, according to the nonprofit.
Its newest course, called CS Discoveries, is tailored for students in seventh, eighth and ninth grade, and includes a physical component as well as computer coding. Using Arduino boards – electronic circuit boards that utilize open-source software – students learn how code can interact with physical components. For example, students could write a line of code, and watch a light on the board light up. Or they could flip a switch on the board, and see their code change.
CS Discoveries is the third major course from Code.org, which started with lessons for elementary school students, and last year launched a course for high school.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akM

 

How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms
New York Times

At a White House gathering of tech titans last week, Timothy D. Cook, the chief executive of Apple, delivered a blunt message to President Trump on how public schools could better serve the nation’s needs. To help solve a “huge deficit in the skills that we need today,” Mr. Cook said, the government should do its part to make sure students learn computer programming.
“Coding,” Mr. Cook told the president, “should be a requirement in every public school.”
The Apple chief’s education mandate was just the latest tech company push for coding courses in schools. But even without Mr. Trump’s support, Silicon Valley is already advancing that agenda – thanks largely to the marketing prowess of Code.org, an industry­backed nonprofit group.
http://gousoe.uen.org/al4

 

‘Students Aren’t Widgets’ and Other Findings on Engaging Kids at School
Education Week

Keeping students interested in school is important, but it takes different strategies to get different types of students engaged in classroom work, a new report suggests.
Using results from a nationally representative online survey of 2,006 public and private school students conducted in 2016, the report picks out six dominant categories of students and suggests some ways to help them feel more connected and interested in school.
“What educators need to take seriously is the distinction between typical teenage whining and signs that students are actually disengaging from their formal education,” says the report, released today by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning think tank. “Such disengagement is a portent of trouble, and not just because student engagement is closely linked to academic achievement. Among high school students who consider dropping out, half cite lack of engagement with the school as a primary reason, and 42 percent report that they don’t see value in the schoolwork they are asked to do.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/al2

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/al3 (Fordham Institute)

 

Education commissioner Mitchell Chester has died
Boston Herald

Mitchell D. Chester, the state’s commissioner of elementary and secondary education, died unexpectedly last night, state education officials announced this morning.
“Were very sorry to open this meeting with incredibly sad news,” said Chairman Paul Sagan. “Commissioner Chester passed away last night.”
Tears broke the silence at the monthly state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education as Sagan announced the news.
Sagan said the meeting will be abbreviated in light of the news.
Deputy commissioner Jeff Wulfson will be appointed acting commissioner.
Chester, 65, who has served as commissioner since 2008, was credited with leading education reform in Massachusetts and making the state’s public schools some of the best in the nation, board and staff members said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/al8

http://gousoe.uen.org/ala (Boston Globe)

http://gousoe.uen.org/al9 ([Boston] WBUR)

 

How this school district plans to compete with charter schools
(Easton, PA) Lehigh Valley Live

The Bethlehem Area School District is taking a shot at competing with charter schools by hiring its own marketing firm to remake its brand.
The school board voted 6-1 on Monday night to hire Imagevolution at a monthly cost of $3,115, plus expenses and printing costs, board Vice President Shannon L. Patrick said.
The contract lasts for two years and totals $72,360.
Director Tom Thomsik cast the sole no vote. Board President Michael Faccinetto was not at the meeting.
The district sent $26 million to charter schools this year to education students who live in the district.
The marketing and communications firm promises to remake the district’s brand and create informational and promotional materials for parents, prospective parents and real estate agents. The first step of the campaign will focus on recruiting students for the district’s new full-day kindergarten program.
“In the age of competition for school districts, the sound advice I have received, both from the board and community and business leaders, is you need to market yourself,” Superintendent Joseph Roy told the board at a committee meeting last week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ale

 

State auditor orders ECOT to stop spending tax dollars on attack ads
Columbus (OH) Dispatch

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost has ordered ECOT to stop using taxpayers dollars on television ads attacking the state Department of Education’s decision to seek repayment of $60.4 million, saying the commercials are not proper expenditures “and are impermissible.”
In a letter to the giant online charter dated Friday, Yost said he was writing ECOT “to demand that you act without delay to cease and desist the expenditure of public funds” being used for ads.
ECOT spokesman Neil Clark could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon. He has not returned phone calls or emails since Thursday, when he confirmed that state tax dollars meant to educate ECOT students were being diverted for the public-opinion fight with the department over funding. ECOT has launched a barrage of television ads attacking the department as being against school choice and against ECOT students.
“It is my understanding that the costs of the preparation and dissemination of the broadcasts are being defrayed by ECOT out of funds received by it from the state of Ohio and allocated to and intended for the education of students enrolled in your institution,” Yost says in the letter, which he provided in response to a Public Records Act request.
If so, that spending is “in support of your dispute with ODE, the administrative agency charged with the responsibility of enforcing the full compliance of Ohio schools with applicable law. As such, if these facts are correct, the expenditures cannot be justified as advancing a proper public purpose and are impermissible.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/akZ

 

Your money: How many college savings buckets do you need?
Reuters

NEW YORK | Like many financially savvy parents, Jim Stehr started a college savings account for his son at birth. When Stehr’s second and third children came along, he opened accounts for them too.
But now Stehr, a financial adviser based in the San Francisco Bay area, is now rethinking the math. His oldest two kids are in pricey private colleges and might end up in graduate school, while the youngest is eyeing the Naval Academy, which is free.
As parents consider the best way to save for college, financial advisers say the kind of accounts matter, as well as the plan to spend the money when the time comes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/akX

 

————————————————————
CALENDAR
————————————————————

USBE Calendar
http://www.schools.utah.gov/main/CALENDAR.aspx

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

June 27:

Utah Tax Review Commission meeting
2 p.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00002966.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

August 23:

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

Related posts:

Leave a Reply