Education News Roundup: July 19, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Our Schools Now will hold another round of meetings — these in compliance with the Utah Open and Public Meeting Notice — on Thursday.
http://gousoe.uen.org/au2 (SLT)

Davis Schools turn to solar energy for some investment return.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aul (OSE)

Confirming yesterday’s demographic projections report, the Alpine School District looks at boundary changes to accommodate growth.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aum (PDH)

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will ask Secretary DeVos to come in and discuss ED’s oversight of state ESSA plans.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aud (USN&WR)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aue (Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aux (The 74)

Secretary DeVos will meet with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Denver on Thursday.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auD (Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/auy ([Burlingame, CA] EdSurge)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Legal error prompts Our Schools Now to set more public meetings on proposed tax hike for Utah education
Ballot initiative » Public notice for previous hearings was insufficient, according to state law.

Davis looks at building bus barn with solar panels to power Farmington High

Alpine School District Board of Education approves process to begin considering boundary changes

Future of Kairos Academy uncertain ahead of school board meeting

New education model for at-risk youth
Study argues for classrooms to adapt to student’s strengths

Alumni of demolished Granite High School can take home a piece of history
Former students, faculty and their loved ones have until Thursday to claim a brick memento.

Report: Washington County to balloon to more than 500,000 population over next 50 years

Weber School District releases photos, security footage of Roy High vandals

Salt Lake City Schools awarded over $300,000 for fresh fruit and vegetable program

Apple Tree campaign outfits deserving kids for back-to-school
Homelessness is not just a grownup problem

Salt Lake City Mission to Give Much Needed School Supplies to Needy Children

OPINION & COMMENTARY

For School Improvement, Demographics Aren’t Destiny
Lessons from schools with “unexpected” successes

How States Can Boost Science Learning, Thanks to ESSA

NATION

Bipartisan Concerns Mount Over DeVos’ Guidance on New Education Law
The Education Department officials’ feedback over states’ accountability systems seems to limit states’ flexibility.

Why Betsy DeVos and ALEC Are Natural Allies on School Choice

White House Touts FCC Chair’s Plan to Scale Back Net Neutrality

Churches running charter schools? The latest Supreme Court decision could open the door in some states

School districts call for more funding as state defends spending to Kansas Supreme Court

In school funding trial, education chief says ‘defeatism’ part of problem

School Finance Leaders Look in Spending Data for Paths to Equity

Kentucky’s school rating system is criticized as not strong enough

If We Fix Student Teaching, Will We Fix Teacher Shortages?

What Should Special Education Teachers Know and Be Able to Do?

Startups don’t always invest in student data protection, report finds

Number of girls taking AP computer-science exam more than doubles
Seattle nonprofit Code.org crunched the numbers from the AP College Board, which shows that 29,708 girls in the United States took an Advanced Placement computer-science exam this year.

Think Your Child Is Average & Harvard’s Todd Rose Doesn’t Either
From John Dewey to Todd Rose – the quest for individualization and personalization in education

Bathroom Bill Tests Clout of Rare Moderate in Increasingly Conservative Texas

Ohio expands list of work credentials that students can earn

At first denied U.S. entry, Afghan girls’ robotics team shows the world what they can do

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Legal error prompts Our Schools Now to set more public meetings on proposed tax hike for Utah education
Ballot initiative » Public notice for previous hearings was insufficient, according to state law.

Our Schools Now is taking its ballot initiative on the road — again — after failing to comply with public notice laws during its first round of legally required town halls.
Backers of the initiative, which seeks voter support to boost Utah’s income and sales tax rates by 0.5 percentage points, will host seven regional meetings simultaneously throughout Utah on Thursday to field questions and comments from the public.
“The legal notice for the first round of hearings was deficient, and, to be in 100 percent compliance with the statute, a second round will be held,” said campaign manager Austin Cox. “We welcome the opportunity to get more insight from voters about how we can improve education.”
Meetings will be held Thursday at 6 p.m. at Discovery Elementary School in Brigham City, Santa Clara Elementary in Santa Clara, Trailside Elementary in Park City, Fillmore Elementary in Fillmore, Centennial Elementary in Roosevelt, Lomond View Elementary in Pleasant View and the Grand County School District Office in Moab.
Similar meetings were held simultaneously last week in cities within the same seven state regions defined in state law.
http://gousoe.uen.org/au2 (SLT)

 

Davis looks at building bus barn with solar panels to power Farmington High

FARMINGTON — The Davis School District is looking at building a bus storage facility with solar panels that would cover 95 percent of the nearby high school’s power needs.
The facility will be built near the district’s newest high school, currently under construction in Farmington and slated to open in fall 2018.
Alone, the school bus building would cost between $3 million and $4 million and at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday, July 18, Finance Director Tim Leffel said adding the solar panels would increase the total cost by about $2 million.
“But it would pay about 95 percent of the electric bill for the high school,” Leffel said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aul (OSE)

 

Alpine School District Board of Education approves process to begin considering boundary changes

The Alpine School District is officially moving forward with plans to change the boundaries at several schools.
The Alpine School District Board of Education unanimously voted Tuesday to approve moving forward the boundary change processes that would impact schools that will be built in the next couple of years, Vineyard Elementary School and Orem elementary schools.
John Patten, the assistant superintendent of education services and K-12 in Alpine School District, told the board existing schools could be used to help relieve the crowding at Vineyard Elementary School.
While Lehi, Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain have seen booming enrollment numbers, most elementary schools in Orem have seen declining enrollment. The district had previously announced on social media it would hold boundary meetings with parents in September.
Superintendent Sam Jarman recommended the board approve the process.
In addition to the boundary meetings, district staff will approach the board of education with a presentation in the fall. The boundary changes could be finalized in January.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aum (PDH)

 

Future of Kairos Academy uncertain ahead of school board meeting

WEST VALLEY CITY — For Melissa Espindola, her senior year of high school took a dramatic turn when she found out she was pregnant.
“I thought my life was going to turn upside down,” Espindola said. “I had to (drop out) because no one could take care of the baby.”
She said she found a place for her and her son at Kairos Academy in West Valley City.
“My son was only two months when we first started here,” Espindola said.
Patrice Goins-Boyd helped start the school because she saw needs like Melissa’s in the community.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aus (KSL)

 

New education model for at-risk youth
Study argues for classrooms to adapt to student’s strengths

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – A new University of Utah study reveals the strengths children develop from adversity. From dangerous housing and hunger to divorce and abuse, many children are forced to adapt to adverse environments. But, often they adapt so well that they find school and educational environments hard to navigate.
University of Utah professor Bruce Ellis believes those survival skills can be enhanced and even adapted to subjects like math and reading. He said, “Kids who grow up in these challenging conditions tend to fine-tune their cognitive abilities and their skills to function in those environments… If we actually try to study those skills and try to uncover them, we could use that to develop better classroom environments and think about how kids learn and how we can help them do better in school.”
Ellis says even a common classroom struggle like paying attention can be adapted. High-risk children may not pay attention for long periods of time but they’re great at rapidly switching their attention to new ideas. So, an adapted classroom would use more technology.
It will be a few years before Dr. Ellis’ research hits classrooms, but in places like the Department of Child and Family Services, some of his ideas are already being implemented.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auq (KTVX)

 

Alumni of demolished Granite High School can take home a piece of history
Former students, faculty and their loved ones have until Thursday to claim a brick memento.

Deanna Nielsen drove into a parking lot Tuesday afternoon to a massive pile of bricks as workers continued to demolish Granite High School
The Sandy woman joined a stream of visitors looking to take home a piece from the historic school, which has sat vacant for almost a decade.
Nielsen took a brick for her mother, Ruth Lehman Johnson, who graduated from the school in 1935 and is now 100 years old. While she did not attend the school herself, Nielsen said her mother told stories, fondly remembering football games.
Cradling the brick she selected, Nielsen said: “I wanted to take a piece of her past home to her.”
Dozens of Granite alumni, former faculty members and their loved ones took bricks Tuesday in commemoration of their time spent within its walls. Visitors have until Thursday to pick up a brick, according to the high school’s alumni Facebook page.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aui (SLT)

 

Report: Washington County to balloon to more than 500,000 population over next 50 years

The hard-driving forces that have made St. George and the rest of Washington County one of the fastest-growing populations in the U.S. are expected to continue for the foreseeable future, ballooning the area to more than 500,000 people over the next 50 years, according to new state population projections released this week.
The official projections, which are used by state and local planners to guide development of everything from new social services to road infrastructure, were unveiled Monday out of the Kem C. Gardner Institute at the University of Utah, where demographers described a future where continued population growth will remain a driving force for governments across the state.
The state would grow to some 5.8 million people by 2065, according to the projections, with most of the growth emanating out of the urban areas already built up along the Interstate 15 corridor. Utah County would grow to some 1.6 million people and nearly overtake Salt Lake County as the state’s largest, and all of the smaller cities and towns stretching south to St. George would also see growth.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aun (SGS)

 

Weber School District releases photos, security footage of Roy High vandals

ROY — Police are still looking for the vandals who spray painted the outside of Roy High School over the weekend.
Early Sunday morning, vandals spray painted lines, profanity and a face on the west side of the school, a wall near the baseball field and its dugout as well as doors and windows.
The Weber School District posted security camera footage of the incident to social media and are asking anyone with information to call 801-774-1063.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auk (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/auo (KUTV)

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/auJ (Gephardt Daily)

 

Salt Lake City Schools awarded over $300,000 for fresh fruit and vegetable program

During the coming school year, students at many Salt Lake City School District elementary schools will benefit from a federal grant designed to increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption among students.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant for the 2017-2018 school year has been awarded to 16 elementary schools from the Salt Lake City School District, for a total amount of $316,741.63.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auK (UP)

 

Apple Tree campaign outfits deserving kids for back-to-school
Homelessness is not just a grownup problem

The needs for back-to-school at the Road Home are as great as ever. The 13th annual Road Home Apple Tree campaign will collect items for more than 100 children in The Road Home shelter.
The Apple Tree program helps these kids get a great start to their school year when otherwise they would go without new clothing, shoes and backpacks.
The organization needs the public’s help to fill these needs for these deserving kids to help make school a positive experience.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aur (KTVX)

 

Salt Lake City Mission to Give Much Needed School Supplies to Needy Children

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – On August 5th, 2017, Salt Lake City Mission will give more than 600 children from low income families the necessary school supplies they need to succeed in school.
Giveaways include backpacks, binders, pens, pencils, pencil boxes, crayons, markers, and glue. Each backpack, filled with supplies, has an estimated value of $65. School clothes and hygiene items will also be available. Intended recipients come from poor families, most of them headed by single mothers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auu (KCSG)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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For School Improvement, Demographics Aren’t Destiny
Lessons from schools with “unexpected” successes
Education Week commentary by Karin Chenoweth, author of the recently released Schools That Succeed: How Educators Marshal the Power of Systems for Improvement

When I talk with teachers, I often find them flummoxed by my descriptions of “unexpected” schools. That’s the term I use to describe high-performing and rapidly improving schools with large populations of children of color and children living in poverty. These schools don’t fit the well-worn pattern of academic achievement tightly correlating with family income and ethnicity, a connection first documented by James S. Coleman in his eponymous 1966 report.
When I tell them that professional development in unexpected schools is linked to both the needs of teachers and school goals and informed by classroom observations by principals and other leaders, they say something to the effect of, “The only time I see my principal is when he is doing a walk-through.”
Similarly, I sometimes describe how teachers in unexpected schools unpack standards, map out the curriculum, and develop lessons and common assessments together. The conversation stopper: “We don’t have common planning times.”
Through such conversations, I have realized that educators in unexpected schools change the fundamental way schools have traditionally been organized.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auC

 

How States Can Boost Science Learning, Thanks to ESSA
Education Week commentary by columnist Stephen Sawchuk

Science education advocates are among those cheering the new federal education law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act: It’s an opportunity to get science on the radar screen in a way they couldn’t under ESSA’s predecessor.
The former law didn’t count science tests towards anything, thereby relegating the subject, in many advocates’ eyes, to second-tier status. But under ESSA, states have a lot more flexibility to emphasize science in particular, and more generally, content in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
I know you’re probably thinking: Groan, do I have to read all those hundreds of pages of ESSA plans?
But fortunately for you (and your grateful blogger), there are plenty of folks who’ve been combing these and pulling out the good stuff. Both Achieve, a key partner helping states improve the rigor of their courses, and Education First, a consulting group, released briefs recently that outline what states plan to do—and where the opportunities lie for them to improve their plans.
The Achieve report looks at the 16 states and the District of Columbia that have already submitted their ESSA plans to the U.S. Department of Education. Education First also looked at those states, plus eight draft plans that haven’t yet been finalized.
Here’s a summary of some of the top opportunities in the new federal law that the two organizations identify.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auI

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Bipartisan Concerns Mount Over DeVos’ Guidance on New Education Law
The Education Department officials’ feedback over states’ accountability systems seems to limit states’ flexibility.
U.S. News & World Report

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will be asked to testify before the House Education and the Workforce Committee for an oversight hearing, Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said Tuesday.
The announcement comes as the secretary, who has yet to address the committee, faces criticism on a number of different policy fronts, including proposed education funding cuts, controversial comments on sexual assault from the Education Department’s head of civil rights and inconsistent feedback to states on their K-12 accountability plans under the new education law.
It was the latter that packed the committee hearing room, where witnesses testified for more than two hours about the pitfalls of Education Department officials’ erratic feedback to states regarding their proposed accountability systems – something that’s drawn the ire of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“Part of [the education law’s] goals for state and school district autonomy was to force Washington to remain at arm’s length from states and school districts when it comes to education, and rest assured that this committee will be watching to ensure Washington keeps its distance,” Foxx said.
At issue is the Every Student Succeeds Act, a sweeping overhaul of the No Child Left Behind law that returns much of the decision-making authority over education to states and local school districts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aud

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/aux (The 74)

 

Why Betsy DeVos and ALEC Are Natural Allies on School Choice
Education Week

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos—an ardent school choice supporter who has turned out to be among the Trump administration’s most polarizing cabinet picks—will deliver a speech this week to members of a controversial organization that some argue is her best shot at advancing an aggressive school choice agenda.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is known for drafting conservative model legislation in states on a range of issues including gun rights, tax reform, and education. DeVos will appear at ALEC’s annual meeting Thursday in Denver.
Ask a conservative, and they’re likely to describe ALEC as a membership organization that brings together private industry leaders and Republican state lawmakers to draft soundly conservative policies. Ask a liberal, and they’re likely to say ALEC is a shadowy group of corporate types pushing a destructive, far-right agenda.
But regardless of political persuasion, there are two points most would agree on: ALEC is successful at influencing policy in statehouses, and its focus on private school choice dovetails perfectly with DeVos’ education priorities.
“There are lots of groups that do model legislation, but nobody as successfully as ALEC,” said Gary Miron, a professor at Western Michigan University and a member of the left-leaning National Education Policy Center, which has also started writing its own model legislation.
ALEC has crafted model legislation on education issues such as curbing tuition costs at state universities and performance-based pay for teachers, but a significant share of the bills it writes focus on school choice.
It has drafted bills calling for more regulatory freedom for home-schooling families and charter schools, and bills to create full-time online schools and open enrollment, which would allow students to attend any public school­ they want, even if it’s in another district.
Its model legislation for private school choice—programs such as vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, and education savings accounts—is a prominent part of its legislative portfolio for education. All three types of those choice programs provide public money to families or organizations to pay for private school tuition or other education expenses.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auD

http://gousoe.uen.org/auy ([Burlingame, CA] EdSurge)

 

White House Touts FCC Chair’s Plan to Scale Back Net Neutrality
Education Week

The White House on Tuesday publicly endorsed the Federal Communications Commission chairman’s effort to roll back “net neutrality” policies — a step opposed by school organizations who fear it will stifle access to online academic content.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at a press briefing that President Trump supports FCC Ajit Pai’s attempt to reverse policies adopted by the agency in 2015 on neutrality.
“We support the FCC chair’s efforts to review and consider rolling back these rules, and believe that the best way to get fair rules for everyone is for Congress to take action and create regulatory and economic certainty,” Sanders said.
Regulations approved two years ago under the direction of then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, an Obama administration appointee, aimed to establish a framework for protecting net neutrality—basically, the concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally, without some content being assigned to fast lanes, other to slow lanes.
The FCC’s action two years ago reclassified broadband service as subject to regulations under Title II of the Communications Act and section 706 of the Telecommunications Act. The policy forbade internet providers from accelerating some content and slowing others.
Pai, a Republican Trump named as FCC chair, has argued that the policy amounts to over-regulation that discourages business innovation. He’s said that the fear of spawning fast and slow internet lanes amounts to ”hypothetical harms and hysterical prophecies of doom.”

A number of school organizations and ed-tech groups argue that weakening net neutrality could result in telecoms giving preference to deep-pocketed providers of content, and that other content sought by K-12 educators would be relegated to slow lanes for delivery.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auF

 

Churches running charter schools? The latest Supreme Court decision could open the door in some states
Chalkbeat

Reverend Michael Faulkner wanted to start a charter school through his church in Harlem. But there was a problem: New York law bars religious denominations from running charters, even if, as Faulkner promised, the school would teach a secular curriculum.
So Faulkner — a one-time NFL player who ran for Congress in 2010 — and his church sued.
“The New York Charter Schools Act is nothing more than an attempt by the State to erect a barrier for those who express their religious beliefs from access to public resources that are generally available to all others,” read the 2007 complaint.
The suit was voluntarily dismissed in 2009, and Faulkner, now running for city comptroller, described it as “dormant.” But a recent Supreme Court decision might mean that suits like that one have a better chance of prevailing.
Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer invalidated a Missouri rule banning a religious school from participating in a public program, and experts immediately noted it could be used to eliminate legal barriers to private school voucher programs. The implications for charter schools drew less attention.
But two legal scholars tell Chalkbeat that the ruling might also pave the way for more charter schools operated by religious groups, including churches.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auA

 

School districts call for more funding as state defends spending to Kansas Supreme Court
Kansas City Star

TOPEKA — State attorneys tried to persuade the Kansas Supreme Court Tuesday that lawmakers’ attempt to develop a new school finance formula was the solution they’ve long been waiting to see.
But the lawyers defending the legislation immediately faced questions and doubts over the formula and its funding from the very people they hoped would sign off on the plan.
“This just looks like deja vu all over again,” Justice Dan Biles said.
Tuesday’s arguments were the latest stage of the Gannon v. Kansas school finance case that originated in 2010 when four school districts, including Kansas City, Kan., sued the state over education funding.
State solicitor general Stephen McAllister told the justices the Legislature passed a reasonably calculated formula during “a difficult budget era.”
“There’s a lot of new money going into the system,” he said.
The new formula adds a net of roughly $488 million to state school funding over two years. Critics of the funding plan have warned it may trigger a special legislative session if the court takes issue with the bill.
Back in March, the Kansas Supreme Court found the state had failed to ensure adequate funding for public schools. Kansas lawmakers passed the new school finance formula before the end of the legislative session in the aftermath of that ruling.
Alan Rupe, the attorney representing the districts suing the state, chastised the Legislature for the funding level in the bill.
http://gousoe.uen.org/au5

http://gousoe.uen.org/au6 (Reuters)

http://gousoe.uen.org/au7 (AP)

 

In school funding trial, education chief says ‘defeatism’ part of problem
Santa Fe New Mexican

Pouring more money into public schools would not guarantee improved student achievement, the acting secretary of the state Public Education Department testified Monday in the long-running trial on school funding.
New Mexico is on the right course when it comes to preparing students for college and careers, said Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski. Pressed by lawyers for advocacy groups suing the state, Ruszkowski said additional funding might increase opportunities for disadvantaged children.
“You have to believe,” he said. “As soon as you let defeatism seep in for teachers and principals, your kids are in trouble.”
Ruszkowski’s nearly full day of testimony kicked off the sixth week of the trial. A group of students, parents and school districts represented by the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund are suing the state over its financial support of public schools.
They want state District Judge Sarah Singleton of Santa Fe to declare that New Mexico is violating its own constitution by not providing enough funding to help disadvantaged children. These include English language learners, economically disadvantaged students and special education students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/au8

 

School Finance Leaders Look in Spending Data for Paths to Equity
Education Week

Baltimore — How to make education expenditures more equitable, and how to increase transparency in school funding, were recurring themes at the second annual Future of Education Finance Summit held here this week.
“We have to make sure that every single dollar appropriated to us—whether local, state, or federal,” makes it to the classrooms, said S. Dallas Dance, a senior vice president of MGT Consulting Group who served for five years as superintendent of the Baltimore County school district.
But getting apples-to-apples comparisons of spending in schools is no small task, given the variety of technologies and different methodologies districts use to account for their expenditures.
The quality and usefulness of current school-level expenditure data “are uncertain, and many school districts do not have experience in systematically tracking expenditures” in this way, the U.S. Department of Education found in a report released in January.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auE

 

Kentucky’s school rating system is criticized as not strong enough
Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader

The latest draft of Kentucky’s proposed statewide system of evaluating schools — the new accountability system — is not strong enough.
That’s the message that business, civil rights, community and education advocacy groups have sent in a letter to Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt and the Kentucky Board of Education.
The letter, sent last week, said after the organizations’ leaders saw the latest draft, “We believe it can and should be strengthened.”
Signing the joint letter were leaders of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the Kentucky State Conference of NAACP branches, the Louisville Urban League, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and Teach for America — Appalachia.
The groups called for a clearer focus on closing persistent achievement gaps for children of color, and those who are poor or disabled.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aub

 

If We Fix Student Teaching, Will We Fix Teacher Shortages?
Education Week

Washington — The president of the National Council on Teacher Quality presented what she sarcastically called a “radical” solution for both improving the pipeline of new teachers and filling specific teacher shortages: “Fix student teaching.”
“There’s a misalignment between what’s needed [in districts] and what’s provided out of higher ed,” said Kate Walsh, speaking July 17 at an annual gathering of state teachers of the year. “This is nothing new—it’s been going on for decades. And the solution is not going to come from higher ed.” Instead it will come from districts being more choosey about who they let come in to student teach, she argued.
NCTQ, a Washington-based research and advocacy group, has been lambasting the state of teacher preparation for years now. The group has reviewed and rated thousands of teacher education programs across the country and found that the majority don’t adequately prepare educators.
But those reviews have also faced plenty of pushback, with critics calling the NCTQ methodology flawed (the group relied mainly on syllabuses and other documents to rate programs) and its conclusions inaccurate.
Yet many in teacher preparation generally agree that student-teaching needs attention, as my colleague Stephen Sawchuk reported a few years back, even if they don’t necessarily agree with the NCTQ’s prescriptions.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auc

 

What Should Special Education Teachers Know and Be Able to Do?
Education Week

A newly-minted special education teacher should be able to:

  • “collaborate with professionals to increase student success,”
  • “use multiple sources of information” to understand a student’s strengths and needs, and
  • “systematically design instruction toward specific learning goals.”

These skills are among 22 “high-leverage practices” for special education teachers that were developed by the Council for Exceptional Children and the federally-supported Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform, also known as CEEDAR.
Representatives for the groups have been spreading the word about their work this year, including during a session here at the annual leadership conference sponsored by the federal office of special education programs.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auG

 

Startups don’t always invest in student data protection, report finds
Education Dive

Ed tech startups typically do not place a priority on student data protections early on, according to a new study by the School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College, that found few resources and little demand from consumers don’t give startups incentive to “establish formal strategies” around public-facing communications concerning data protection.
These startups tend to use an open source, standardized privacy policy when they start, but those policies usually become customized as the startups expand operations — plus, innovation at ed tech startups doesn’t seem to be encumbered by concerns regarding privacy regulation, according to the report.
The report suggested that such startups should have dynamic privacy practices and should work to build a culture surrounding the protection of student data in its staff. Additionally, these startups should try to avoid collecting and/or keeping student data if it is unnecessary.
Though it is important to note that the sample size for the study was small (only six tech startups were analyzed), it can be helpful for higher ed administrators who are working to ensure student data is protected. Higher education is the most vulnerable industry to hacking besides healthcare, and there are numerous strategies higher ed institutions can use to make their own tech practices safer, including firewall establishment and multiple authentication steps for users. Still, there are certainly benefits to partnering with a tech startup. The costs may be significantly less than partnering with businesses that are more renowned, and schools may have the chance to benefit from innovative tools or approaches before they become widely disseminated in the marketplace.
However, the study notes that startups may not substantively focus data security and management practices, at least in the early stages of the business, because they often faced “little demand from customers” on instituting certain practices. This means it may be incumbent on higher ed institutions to require that startups promise more student data protection from the outset, which could instill a more widespread understanding among all ed tech companies that such protections should be considered essential. It is beneficial for colleges and universities to demand this, as well. Industries and companies often suffer bad press in the wake of substantial data breach, and higher ed institutions in a similar situation would likely not avoid such scrutiny.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auf

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/aug (Carnegie Mellon University)

Number of girls taking AP computer-science exam more than doubles
Seattle nonprofit Code.org crunched the numbers from the AP College Board, which shows that 29,708 girls in the United States took an Advanced Placement computer-science exam this year.
Seattle Times

More girls than ever took an AP computer-science exam this year, Seattle nonprofit Code.org announced Tuesday, calling the results “incredible.”
Code.org crunched the numbers from the AP College Board, which shows that 29,708 girls in the U.S. took an Advanced Placement computer science exam this year, more than double the number from 2016.
Girls made up about 27 percent of the 111,262 students who took an AP computer-science exam in 2017.
The number of minorities underrepresented in the tech industry — black, Latinx and Native American — who took the exam nearly tripled from last year, reaching 22,199 students this year. That was about 20 percent of the total.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auz

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

 

Think Your Child Is Average & Harvard’s Todd Rose Doesn’t Either
From John Dewey to Todd Rose – the quest for individualization and personalization in education
The 74

As the director of the Mind, Brain, and Education program at Harvard and the co-founder and president of the Center for Individual Opportunity, Todd Rose may have some of the most anti-establishment titles in education.
It’s fitting for a guy who has made it his mission to end the notion that there is such a thing as an average human being.
I first met Todd in 2013. He was giving a lecture on this topic, and the neuroscience behind it, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
It felt a little bit like Elon Musk giving a talk at a Ford plant.
If you don’t already know Rose’s name, then you will soon. His theories of smart individualization and adaptive personalization are quickly penetrating education policy debates in unexpected and important ways. And he has a powerful team of researchers, marketers, and believers behind him.
“We are focused on the personalization of society,” he told The 74 of his work at the Center for Individual Opportunity. “Getting away from a one-size-fits-all view of people and the systems that we build around that and trying to get something that’s far more personal and helps develop the potential of every single person.”
The below interview has been edited for length and clarity:
http://gousoe.uen.org/auH

 

Bathroom Bill Tests Clout of Rare Moderate in Increasingly Conservative Texas
New York Times

AUSTIN, Tex. — When Texas lawmakers gather here for the start of a 30-day special legislative session on Tuesday morning, they will most likely decide the fate of the Texas version of North Carolina’s bitterly divisive legislation regulating the access of transgender people to public bathrooms.
But something else will be on the line, too: whether moderate Republicans have a role to play in a state party increasingly dominated by far-right Christian conservatives, and whether the last powerful moderate Republican in Texas can keep his job and his influence.
State Representative Joe Straus, the speaker of the Texas House, has long employed a mild-mannered, commerce-focused brand of Republican politics in the mold of former Gov. George W. Bush.
http://gousoe.uen.org/au3

 

Ohio expands list of work credentials that students can earn
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio is giving high schoolers more options for industry-recognized credentials they can earn while studying a trade before graduation.
Earning certain work credentials and passing a career-readiness evaluation is one way Ohio students can earn a diploma.
The Ohio Department of Education has added 49 more possible credentials for the upcoming school year, putting the total list at over 250. ODE says Ohio businesses provided input about the additional credentials and what skills they’re looking for in potential employees.
The new options include credentials for jobs such as logistics technicians, veterinary assistants and forklift operators.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auw

At first denied U.S. entry, Afghan girls’ robotics team shows the world what they can do
NewsHour

An all-girls team from Afghanistan finally reached the U.S. to participate in a robotics competition. Their visas were denied twice by American officials until public pushback prompted President Trump to intervene. Special correspondent Kavitha Cardoza talks with some of the girls and Jeffrey Brown discusses how their story plays into wider immigration questions with Alan Gomez of USA Today.
http://gousoe.uen.org/au9

http://gousoe.uen.org/aua (NYT)

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

 

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UEN News
http://www.uen.org

July 19:

Utah State Charter School Board hearing and meeting
9 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://utahpubliceducation.org/2017/07/10/state-charter-school-board-hearing-meeting/#.WWPF3YgrLcs

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 3:

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

August 4:

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

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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