Education News Roundup: July 6, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Our Schools Now sets public meeting schedule to discuss its ballot initiative to raise taxes for public school funding.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoz (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aoR (DN via KSL)

Ogden School District makes some decisions on how it wants to spend bond money.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoI (OSE)

Ed Week looks at how states are making use of past NCLB waivers in their new ESSA plans.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoB (Ed Week)

Ed Week also rounds up 10 social media moments schools had to deal with last year. This includes “Let’s Shoot Up the School at Homecoming” Instagrams and students “liking” an Instagram about a school shooting.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoV (Ed Week)

For states that use a version of daily membership to fund schools, bullying can have a steep financial cost if students stay home to avoid bullies.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ap2 (HealthDay)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/ap3 (GOOD Magazine)
or a copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/ap4 (School Psychology Quarterly) $

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Hearings set for Our Schools Now initiative to raise taxes for education

Ogden wants to rebuild 3 elementary schools, Ben Lomond gym with bond money

New Ogden School District superintendent salary tops predecessor

Longtime Weber School Board president Brent Richardson dies

Logan City School District, show producer defend Pledge recital at Freedom Fire

Superintendent Rick Nielsen appointed to UVU Board of Trustees

Salem Hills Debate Team competes at nationals

U. debate society holding summer camp for high school students

Mobile App Now Available to Connect STEM Teachers with Industry Volunteers

Nebo student winners announced in Utah Digital Media Arts Festival

Students play music in Lennon Tour Bus

Abravanel Hall concert honors Nebo students

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Goodbye to Granite High

Ease up on the propriety

State of the Teachers Union
Good news from the NEA: It’s getting out of government.

My school would have expelled me for who I am. Why should it get federal money?

More States Putting Parents in Charge With Education Savings Accounts

NATION

Are States Leaning on Waivers From Past Law for Their New Education Plans?

Does Your State Have a Good Plan to Ensure Students Are Career-Ready?

School Funding Takes Center Stage in State Budget Brinksmanship

10 Social Media Controversies That Landed Students in Trouble This School Year
>From shooting threats to Nazi chat groups, students have been punished for their posts on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube

Bullying Takes Financial Toll on U.S. School Districts
Absenteeism by fearful kids linked to an extra $276 million in expenditures in California each year

In historic move, N.J. to allow all-boys, all-girls charter schools

District asks: What will make students stay in Pasadena’s public schools?

Michigan judge extends freeze on private school aid

Local teachers are working as ‘externs’

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Hearings set for Our Schools Now initiative to raise taxes for education

SALT LAKE CITY – Our Schools Now will hold public hearings throughout the state Tuesday on the initiative to increase sales and income tax rates to raise some $700 million annually for education.
The hearings are required before the Teachers and Student Success Act initiative can be circulated for the voter signatures needed to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.
Backers of the initiative expect to begin gathering signatures in August. They will need more than 113,000 voters in at least 26 of the 29 state Senate districts to sign by next April.
“These hearings will continue the conversation on how to best support teachers, improve achievement and ensure students are better prepared with skills to succeed in today’s world,” Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoz (DN)

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

 

Ogden wants to rebuild 3 elementary schools, Ben Lomond gym with bond money

OGDEN – The Ogden School District Board of Education has decided which building projects they would like to pursue with funding from a proposed bond initiative this fall.
At a special board meeting Wednesday, July 5, the board approved rebuilding three existing elementary schools, rebuilding the Ben Lomond High School gymnasium and adding innovation centers onto the district’s three junior high schools.
The district is putting a $100 million bond initiative to voters this fall and if it passes, taxes will not increase.
Rebuilding elementary schools will ultimately mean closing some of the district’s existing elementary schools, something spokesman Jer Bates said will be determined by the natural migration of students to the new school buildings.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoI (OSE)

 

New Ogden School District superintendent salary tops predecessor

OGDEN – The new Ogden School District superintendent could make up to $175,000 annually.
Rich Nye, who took over the position July 1, will be paid a base salary of $149,000. He will also be eligible for up to $26,000 in performance pay annually, contingent upon performance reviews by the district’s Board of Education.
Performance pay is paid quarterly and adjusted semiannually based on performance reviews.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoJ (OSE)

 

Longtime Weber School Board president Brent Richardson dies

OGDEN – Brent Richardson, the longtime Weber School District Board of Education president, died Tuesday, July 4, after battling cancer.
This is the second school board member to die this year. Richard Favero died unexpectedly in January.
In an email, Superintendent Jeff Stephens called Richardson an “extraordinary” board member and said his legacy of selfless service will have a lasting impact on the district.
“He always provided steady and wise leadership because he was guided by a deep understanding and commitment that children always come first,” Stephens said.
Richardson has served on the board since 1999, according to the district website, and has held the position of president since 2009.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoG (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aoH (OSE obituary)

 

Logan City School District, show producer defend Pledge recital at Freedom Fire

Officials with the Logan City School District and a producer with Freedom Fire defended on Wednesday a Wilson Elementary School student performance at Logan’s annual Independence Day celebration in which students recited the Pledge of Allegiance and then recited a simplified version.
After the students recited the Pledge of Allegiance at the July 3 show, they also recited a simplified version: “I promise to be loyal to the flag of the United States of America, and to the government for which it stands, one country under God, cannot be divided, with freedom and fairness for all.”
That simplified version’s recital, as well as the way it was presented at the event, raised some controversy the day after the show, with one man writing a letter to The Herald Journal editor and scores more people commenting about the students’ words online.
Mantua resident Richard Jensen wrote he was “saddened and even disgusted” the district and Freedom Fire producers would have the first graders recite “a changed version of the pledge of allegiance.”
On its Facebook page Wednesday, the Logan City School District posted a response to the letter.
“Contrary to Mr. Jensen’s letter, our Wilson 1st Grade students were not promoting a ‘changed’ version of the Pledge of Allegiance,” the district’s statement reads. “They recited the pledge as it is written, then also recited a portion of a presentation that is used to help young children understand what the words of the pledge mean. Our teachers do not work to modify the language of the pledge, but rather to ensure all students understand the meaning of the pledge so it can be appreciated for the values it expresses.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoP (LHJ)

 

Superintendent Rick Nielsen appointed to UVU Board of Trustees

Gov. Gary Herbert appointed three new trustees to the UVU Board of Trustees. Rick Nielsen, the superintendent of Nebo School District; Paul Thompson, a former president of Weber State University; and Rob Smith, the student body president at UVU, were confirmed as trustees by the Utah Senate.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoL (Serve Daily)

 

Salem Hills Debate Team competes at nationals

Congratulations to the Salem Hills High School Debate Team for qualifying and taking six students to the National Speech and Debate Tournament held in Birmingham, Alabama.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoK (Serve Daily)

 

U. debate society holding summer camp for high school students

SALT LAKE CITY – The national champion debate society at the University of Utah will host summer camps starting Sunday for nearly 150 high school students from across the country.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoF (DN)

 

Mobile App Now Available to Connect STEM Teachers with Industry Volunteers

Salt Lake City-The STEM Partners Foundation announced Wednesday the release of the STEM Mentor Exchange (STEM MX), a mobile app designed to connect teachers with industry volunteers and resources, and provide students with the learning experiences that will prepare them for the thousands of new STEM-skilled jobs being created every day. In Utah alone, it is predicted that STEM jobs over the next 10 years will grow 25 percent compared to 20 percent for all other jobs.
STEM MX will make it easier for teachers to invite skilled volunteers into their classrooms to assist in teaching a wide range of STEM-Plus subjects, from computer coding to elementary grade fundamentals, or provide support for: special projects, science fairs, guest lectures, industry tours, work-based learning experiences, etc.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ap7 (Utah Business)

 

Nebo student winners announced in Utah Digital Media Arts Festival

Nebo School District’s Advanced Learning Center students attended the Utah Digital Media Arts Festival, hosted at Utah Valley University in May.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoO (Serve Daily)

 

Students play music in Lennon Tour Bus

Nebo School District Advanced Learning Center music students Spencer Hatch and Reed Nordstrom, along with their band members, were privileged to be able to record an original song inside the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoN (Serve Daily)

 

Abravanel Hall concert honors Nebo students

An Abravanel Hall concert honored Nebo Youth Philharmonic students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoM (Serve Daily)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Goodbye to Granite High
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Marion Smith

My husband and I just returned from Europe where they treasure old buildings. Here they tear them down and build something “new.” There is a grand and historic building in South Salt Lake that is going to be torn down in a matter of days. Granite High School had stood on 5th East and 33rd South for over 100 years. Many of the residents and their parents and their children attended Granite High. It is a sad day for former Granitians. Granite District did not do our city any favors by closing it and now tearing it down.
We are now looking at high density housing and retail including a Walmart, which many of the people in the city oppose. It is going to change our quiet neighborhood and increase the traffic. I feel that Granite District could have done better.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoD

 

Ease up on the propriety
Salt Lake Tribune letter form Michael J. Cunningham

Regarding the “Graduation isn’t a sport” letter by Sharon M. Kerikas on June 17: Graduation is a social, economic, individual and family welfare program.
As with any direction in life, we start with goals, form plans to reach them, enlist family, friends and “community” in our pursuit over the many years required with hopes of a well-paying job for the effort to support our offspring.
For many people, graduation from any educational institution is reason to celebrate.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoE

 

State of the Teachers Union
Good news from the NEA: It’s getting out of government.
Wall Street Journal editorial

The president of the National Education Association has had enough. On Sunday Lily Eskelsen-Garcia told her delegates that though she knows “how to find common ground with people who will never agree with me,” she won’t make the effort with President Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
This is a sign the Trump Administration must be doing something right. The NEA is America’s largest union with some three million members, and it represents the adults in education, not the children.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoA $

 

My school would have expelled me for who I am. Why should it get federal money?
Washington Post op-ed by Jaclyn Grimm, a rising freshman at Wesleyan University.

I attended a Baptist private school from kindergarten to ninth grade in the suburbs of Central Florida. Every other day, we’d file into gender-segregated Bible classes and write prayer requests on the whiteboard until the bell rang.
Eighth grade was the first year our teachers deemed us mature enough to discuss homosexuality. We pored over Sodom and Gomorrah and memorized verses from Leviticus. In the hallways, boys grew fond of the words “homo” and “fag.” We learned about homosexuality the way we would a vocabulary word – definition: abomination.
This is the type of school that would thrive if President Trump’s budget were to be implemented. The administration’s proposed budget includes $250 million for studying and expanding school voucher programs, centered around private schools such as the one that I attended and eventually left. As a result, Trump’s budget is tacitly supporting discrimination.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ap5

 

More States Putting Parents in Charge With Education Savings Accounts
(Washington, DC) Daily Caller op-ed by Jonathan Butcher, education director at the Goldwater Institute and visiting senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation

Sarah Greenbank didn’t think she would be able to send her daughter, Ashlee, to anything but an Arizona public school.
She didn’t think a private school could help Ashlee’s speech delay and moderate learning needs, or that she could find affordable educational therapy outside of public school services.
“I concluded that even if I found a private Christian school that was willing to accept my daughter and I was able to cover tuition, Ashlee would be unable to continue receiving therapy because the cost would be a financial impossibility,” Greenbank said in an interview earlier this summer.
Thankfully for Ashlee, Arizona has offered families like the Greenbanks the chance to use education savings accounts to help children with special needs since 2011.
Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can’t be done alone. Find out more >>
And earlier this year, lawmakers expanded the accounts to give every child enrolled in a public school the chance to apply for an account by the 2020-2021 school year.
With an account, the state deposits a portion of a child’s funds from the state funding formula into a private bank account that parents use to buy educational products and services for their children.
Parents remove their child from a district school and can hire personal tutors for their student, find classes online, and pay private school tuition and educational therapists, to name a few possible uses-simultaneously, if they choose.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ap0

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Are States Leaning on Waivers From Past Law for Their New Education Plans?
Education Week

Coronado, Calif. — The Every Student Succeeds Act hasn’t been the only time in the last few years that events in Washington led states to rethink their accountability and other education policies.
Yes, we’re talking about those waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act that the Obama administration gave out to most states. So while we were out here for the Education Commission of the States conference, we thought we would ask a few state chiefs (and a former chief who stepped down last month) whether they were drawing heavily on those waivers from the previously federal K-12 law for their Every Student Succeeds Act plans.
The short answer seems to be: They are leaning a fair amount on their waiver plans and other work that was going on when waivers were handed out. However, the chiefs were also quick to point out that they are rethinking at least a few high-profile policies, like school improvement, thanks to ESSA’s flexibility for states.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoB

 

Does Your State Have a Good Plan to Ensure Students Are Career-Ready?
Education Week

The Every Student Succeeds Act offers states an opportunity to make plans that will build career readiness into their school systems. How are they doing with that so far? Pretty good in some ways, and not so good in others. That’s the finding of a new analysis of states’ ESSA plans.
A study released Thursday examines the plans submitted this spring by 16 states and the District of Columbia, and finds some nice career-focused work, especially on accountability, but also a host of missed opportunities.
The fact that experts are studying states’ plans to build career readiness represents a significant shift from recent years, when the “career” part of the “college-and-career-readiness” buzz-phrase typically got overlooked.
In the wake of the Great Recession, and soaring levels of college debt, many have begun to question the value of four-year degrees, and states are focusing much more on making sure students have the skills to earn a good living. High school career and technical education is getting renewed attention as a way to build work skills and a pathway that includes postsecondary training or college study.
So what are states doing to build the “career” part of “college and career readiness” into their systems? Advance CTE, an organization of state CTE leaders, and Education Strategy Group, a Washington consulting firm, examined Round 1 of states’ ESSA plans to answer that question. By examining the first group of plans, the two groups hope to influence the plans submitted in Round 2 this fall, and to pressure states to turn good ideas into concrete commitments.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoX

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoY (Advance CTE)

 

School Funding Takes Center Stage in State Budget Brinksmanship
Education Week

In at least three states, K-12 spending was at risk of being shut off as lawmakers and governors spent their pre-holiday weekend in last-ditch efforts to come up with budgets for the fiscal year that began July 1.
In Washington, Illinois and Maine, major decisions over state spending, including for education, came down to the last minute, in sometimes dramatic fashion.
This past legislative session was pivotal for K-12 spending-and not just in the states that took their budgets to the brink. With Republicans in full control of 31 states, and amid missed tax revenue projections, an abnormal number of states took steps to make fundamental changes to their school funding formulas in the past year, some of them with an eye toward satisfying judicial rulings.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoC

 

10 Social Media Controversies That Landed Students in Trouble This School Year
>From shooting threats to Nazi chat groups, students have been punished for their posts on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube
Education Week

Teenagers love social media. Seven in 10 teens use Facebook, and more than half use Instagram, according to a 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center. Snapchat and Twitter are popular, too.
For many teens, such platforms are the best way to connect with friends and participate in public life. The benefits can be significant.
But young people have also found themselves in hot water for their use of social media, especially in school. The most prominent recent example: 10 students who had their admissions offers to Harvard University rescinded after they posted offensive memes to an online chat group. That’s just the beginning, though. From references to school shootings to racist rants to complaints about water quality, students’ social-media posts have resulted in suspensions, expulsions, arrests, and lawsuits.
Education Week rounded up 10 such incidents that made headlines this school year.
For parents and the public, the list shows how big a problem social media can be. For teachers and school administrators, these incidents put a face on tough policy questions about monitoring students’ social-media activity, demanding passwords to access students’ social media accounts, and teaching digital citizenship.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoV

 

Bullying Takes Financial Toll on U.S. School Districts
Absenteeism by fearful kids linked to an extra $276 million in expenditures in California each year
HealthDay News

Bullying can come with a hefty hidden cost for U.S. schools, a new study finds.
California loses about $276 million each year in attendance-based public school funding because bullied children are too afraid to go to school, researchers report.
Data revealed that 10 percent of students missed at least one day of school in the previous month because they felt unsafe. That translates into an estimated 301,000 students missing school because they didn’t feel safe, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in lost funding, according to the research team from the University of Texas at Austin.
“Bullying is a big social problem that not only creates an unhealthy climate for individuals, but also undermines schools and communities,” said study author Stephen Russell, chair of human development and family sciences.
“We are interested in the economics of bullying and how it can affect a whole school system,” he added in a university news release.
California is one of a number of states that receives funding based on student attendance rather than total enrollment.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ap2

http://gousoe.uen.org/ap3 (GOOD Magazine)

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/ap4 (School Psychology Quarterly) $

 

In historic move, N.J. to allow all-boys, all-girls charter schools
Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger

TRENTON — Charter schools that admit only boys or only girls will be allowed to open in New Jersey under revised rules for charter schools, clearing the path for proposed schools in Paterson and Atlantic City.
The state will approve single-gender charter schools if they serve educationally disadvantaged or traditionally underserved students, according to rules passed by the state Board of Education on Wednesday.
Applicants for a single-gender school must prove a compelling educational reason for limiting enrollment on the basis of gender, the rules say.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoT

 

District asks: What will make students stay in Pasadena’s public schools?
Los Angeles Times

The group of about 10 parents had gathered at an Altadena home on a cool June night to discuss an ultimatum: If the Pasadena Unified School District would not let their children transfer to a new arts school in Duarte, many would leave the district.
One parent threatened to move to another city, others to keep their arts-minded kids in private schools to avoid sending them to Pasadena’s Eliot Arts Magnet Academy.
“The academics are not acceptable,” said Kirstin Lombardi Davis, as the other parents nodded fervently.
The parents’ complaints echo a decades-long reality in Pasadena: While the city is renowned for elite cultural institutions, its public school system has a reputation for lagging behind.
Seeking to reverse its trend of declining enrollment, district leaders face a tough question: How do they persuade more families to keep their kids in local schools?
http://gousoe.uen.org/ap1

 

Michigan judge extends freeze on private school aid
Detroit News

A Michigan judge on Wednesday extended her temporary freeze on state funding for private schools as she continues to consider a request for a longer injunction.
Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens extended the order in a verbal ruling during a hearing in Detroit, a court spokesman confirmed.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is among a handful of groups who sued the state in March seeking to block a $2.5 million budget appropriation designed to reimburse private schools for state mandates, including immunization and compliance drills.
“This is a very important decision from the judge, even though it is not a final one, because without an order the state would have been free to start distributing money directly to private schools, which would be unprecedented in Michigan’s constitutional history,” said ACLU attorney Dan Korobkin.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoZ

http://gousoe.uen.org/ap6 (Detroit Free Press)

 

Local teachers are working as ‘externs’
Fort Madison (IA) Daily Democrat

Two local teachers are extending their learning by being mentored by business leaders in the community this summer through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Teacher Externships, getting first-hand business experiences they can take back to their classrooms.
In short, they will be able to answer students’ often asked question – “When will we ever use this in real-life?”
Central Lee High School life science teacher Alicia (Schiller) Haynes and her sister, Amanda Schiller, who is also a science teacher at Van Buren Community Schools in Keosauqua, are working at Lee County Conservation this summer.
Haynes said the purpose of the STEM externships is to get teachers to make connections with the industry and the public.
“We’re making connections that we can take back to our classroom,” Haynes said.
The hands-on professional development experiences is part of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. The STEM council works toward increasing students’ interest and achievement in STEM and promotes STEM economic development. The externship allows teachers to show their students how the material they learn in the classroom applies to real STEM careers in Iowa and in their local communities.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aoU

 

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CALENDAR
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UEN News
http://www.uen.org

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

Native American Legislative Liaison Committee meeting
10 a.m., 707 N Main Street, Brigham City
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=SPENAL

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

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