Education News Roundup: July 20, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

State Charter School Board

Utah State Charter Board votes 4-2 to close Kairos Academy.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auQ (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/auY (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/av3 (DN via KSL)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/avp (UtahPublicEducation.org)

St. George News looks at efforts to stem intergenerational poverty.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avh ((SGN)

Federal budget bill, including federal education measures, passes out of budget committee 28-22.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auR (Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/auS (USN&WR)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/auT (The 74)

Net neutrality takes a starring role in questioning of FCC nominees. Utah Sen. Mike Lee is one of the questioners. Net neutrality, of course has implications for online educational content, including open educational resources.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avg (Ed Week)

Study finds that the average cost of tuition (measured in 2015 dollars) at a nonsectarian private school in the U.S. rose from $4,120 in 1979 to $22,611 in 2011.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avb (Bloomberg)
or a copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/avc (National Bureau of Economic Research) $

Aha. The whole fidget spinner thing becomes clear now. It’s a capitalist West plot to take over Russia. Brilliant.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avr (NYT)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

West Valley charter school for teen moms fails to fend off forced closure Education » Kairos Academy is ordered to shut down; school vows to appeal to Utah Board of Education.

County rolls out multi-agency effort to bust cycle of poverty

Horace Mann, Mound Fort, Ben Lomond schools approved for bond projects

Sanpete response to Our-Schools-Now initiative is resounding “No!”

Our Schools Now has to hold second round of public hearings over ‘technical issue’

The Park City story: One boy died, then another — and the opioid epidemic came into full view

DOJ announces takedown of ‘dark net’ site where Utah teen bought ‘pink’ drug that killed two 13-year-old boys

Southern Virginia provides unique opportunities for Utah Valley high school athletes

Utah is no longer the most fertile state

Middle school principal hired

Las Vegas-area high school football players cause trouble in Utah

OPINION & COMMENTARY

The biggest lie in Utah’s public lands debate

On the fence with tax hike proposed by Our Schools Now

Health Issue
‘Utah values’—what does it mean?

Legendary football coaches say Catholic/private school teams are problem

NATION

Bill With More Than $2 Billion in Teacher-Training Cuts Advances in House

FCC Nominees Grilled by Lawmakers on E-Rate, Net Neutrality

Amazon’s Open Educational Resources Website Gets Off to a Slow Start

Teachers union boss skewers Betsy DeVos on vouchers, likening them to ‘cousins’ of segregation

Teachers’ Union to Take a Critical Look at Online Credit Recovery Programs

Judge: Hamilton County Schools violated federal laws in special education case

Private School Is Becoming Out of Reach for Middle-Class Americans America’s most affluent still go to private schools. They’re increasingly alone.

Transgender student guidelines for Minn. schools draws impassioned crowd

Edwards says Louisiana superintendent not legally in the job

At Cybersecurity Camps, Teen Girls Learn About Protecting Nation, Breaking Barriers Young women who grew up in an era of identity theft and hacking study how to combat cyber crimes

Lake Worth High principal asked teachers to do son’s math assignments

That Devious Plot to ‘Zombify’ Russia: The Fidget Spinner

 

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UTAH NEWS
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West Valley charter school for teen moms fails to fend off forced closure Education » Kairos Academy is ordered to shut down; school vows to appeal to Utah Board of Education.

A shake-up of school leadership and impassioned testimony by current and former students have failed to stave off closure of a West Valley charter school for pregnant and mothering teens.
Members of the Utah State Charter School Board voted 4-2 on Thursday to formally shut down Kairos Academy, effective immediately.
The vote came one month after the charter board unanimously began closure proceedings for the school, and following a three-hour hearing that saw students, alumni, parents and administrators urge the board to reconsider.
“I’m here for these girls and their children,” said Amy Trombetti, recently named Kairos’ interim director. “I think that we can steer the ship in a different direction.”
Two charter board members said the additions of Trombetti and new Kairos governing board members — including chairwoman Julie Adamic — could improve the school’s finances and academic performance.
But others questioned why the change came only after the school faced forced closure and not during the two years prior that Kairos has been in probationary status.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auQ (SLT)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/av3 (DN via KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/avp (UtahPublicEducation.org)

 

County rolls out multi-agency effort to bust cycle of poverty

ST. GEORGE – A coalition of public, private and government organizations is aiming to break the cycle of poverty in Washington County.
More than 45 percent of children are either currently living in poverty or at risk for intergenerational poverty In the county, more than 45 percent of children are either currently living in poverty or at risk for intergenerational poverty, which continues from one generation to the next.
Local leaders came together in May 2016 to hear Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox speak on the matter, and they have been meeting regularly ever since to form a plan of action focusing on education, health, early childhood development and family economic stability.

The initiative focuses on children, Iverson said, and the Washington County School District will be an important part of the effort.
“We’re going to be working very closely with the school district rolling this out,” he said.
Regarding intergenerational poverty, local leaders identified the highest concentration according to elementary school, Iverson said, adding that he first step will be to work with Washington Elementary School.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avh (SGN)

 

Horace Mann, Mound Fort, Ben Lomond schools approved for bond projects

OGDEN — The Ogden School District Board of Education approved specific projects they’d like to fund with a proposed bond initiative Wednesday as well as upping the total amount they’re requesting.
Horace Mann Elementary School will be the first of three elementary schools to be rebuilt. Additionally, Mound Fort Junior High School will be home to the first of three innovation centers at the district’s junior high schools.
Ben Lomond High School’s gym will see a $20 million rebuild with expanded tennis courts, an indoor track and an increase from two to three indoor basketball courts.
Except for the Mound Fort innovation center, all of these projects are contingent on voters approving a bond initiative in November.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auZ (OSE)

 

Sanpete response to Our-Schools-Now initiative is resounding “No!”

EPHRAIM—“Our Schools Now” came up against what might be called “Our Taxes Now” at a public meeting held last week to promote a statewide ballot initiative that aims to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for education.
A number of people made it clear they were not happy with the proposed ballot initiative after they heard from an Our School’s Now representative at Ephraim Elementary School on Tuesday, July 5.
“We continue to bleed the people who are earning a living with tax hikes,” Troy Shelley, former chairman of the Sanpete County Republican Party said. “Instead of going this approach, why don’t you go to the Legislature and tell them you want parameters put on education funding. They continue to take a little more out in taxes, and a little more. But instead of just increasing taxes, we need to control the money better when the funding is there.”
Shelley and about two dozen others listened while Rich Kendell, co-chairman of the initiative and a former state commissioner of higher education, explained his group’s plan at the meeting, which would help make up for millions of “lost” education funding due to tax breaks and tax freezes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ave (Sanpete Messenger)

 

Our Schools Now has to hold second round of public hearings over ‘technical issue’

SALT LAKE CITY — Our Schools Now, the group behind an initiative that would raise taxes to bring in more money for education, is holding a new round of public hearings after failing to meet a noticing requirement.
The hearings on the initiative are all set to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday and are being held in Brigham City, Santa Clara, Park City, Fillmore, Moab, Roosevelt and Pleasant View.
State Elections Director Mark Thomas said Our Schools Now did not include mandated language about the tax increase on the notices posted for meetings around the state held on July 11, what he termed a “technical issue.”
A law passed by the 2017 Legislature states that initiatives dealing with tax increases must spell out not only the increase in the rate but the increase in the amount being collected.
“It sounds like there’s a little bit of a delay,” Thomas said, but other than that, there should be no other impact on the effort underway to get the initiative on the November 2018 general election ballot.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auP (DN)

 

The Park City story: One boy died, then another — and the opioid epidemic came into full view

PARK CITY — The boys didn’t know what they were doing.
The drug was a powder. They called it “pink.” It had come from China.
It was September 2016, just a few weeks into the school year at Treasure Mountain Junior High. Over social media, the boys texted back and forth about the drug, which had come in a baggie. The boys got it from a friend. On the internet, most people called it U-4.
The two boys, Ryan Ainsworth and Grant Seaver, both 13, had become friends over the past year. Grant was on the ski team, could do back flips and rails. He’d traveled to Central America with his mom a half dozen times and could speak fluent Spanish. He had dark hair and soft brown eyes.
Ryan lived a few miles away on a wooded street near the high school. The family went to a nondenominational church called Mountain Life, which had big windows that looked out on the snow-capped slopes. The pastor had a gray goatee and talked about grace and hope.
Grant never gave his parents much trouble, but lately he’d worried them a little. The boys had been caught peeing off the roof of Park City Day School the previous year. The headmaster, a kindly man with white hair and the knobby knees of a marathon runner, hadn’t called the cops or tried to get them in trouble. Instead, they worked together in the school’s organic garden while he talked to them about choices and consequences. He knew kids from good families could often lose their way: His own son was a recovering opioid addict and now in prison. Trouble, he knew, often began with something small.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auX (DN)

 

DOJ announces takedown of ‘dark net’ site where Utah teen bought ‘pink’ drug that killed two 13-year-old boys

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday the takedown of the dark web market AlphaBay — a site where they say a Park City boy bought the synthetic opioid known as “pink,” which killed two young 13-year-old boys last year.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the “largest dark net marketplace takedown in history” at a Thursday press conference, adding that it was on the AlphaBay site where a then-15-year-old Utah boy bought the synthetic drug that led to the deaths of Park City teens Grant Seaver and Ryan Ainsworth.
The AlphaBay site operated for over two years, and was used to sell illegal drugs, stolen and fraudulent identification documents, computer hacking tools, firearms and toxic chemicals worldwide, according to the DOJ. As part of the takedown, federal officials arrested 25-year-old Canadian citizen Alexandre Cazes, who was living in Thailand, and charged him in a California federal court with racketeering, drug distribution, identity theft, money laundering and other charges.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avk (SLT)

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

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

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

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

 

Southern Virginia provides unique opportunities for Utah Valley high school athletes

Why would a student-athlete from Utah Valley consider going nearly 2,000 miles to attend a small, liberal arts college on the East Coast?
It may sound like a long ways to go, yet 30 student-athletes from the area competed at Southern Virginia University during the 2016-17 season.
During the winter, three women’s basketball players (Kadie Hair from Salem Hills, Angel Tuisavura from Timpanogos and Leilani Hansen, from Westlake) and one men’s basketball player (Jace Edmunds from Maple Mountain) were on the Knight rosters.
To understand the interest in the 800-student institution that competes in Division III athletics, the best source is someone who spent the last four years there, like former Knight soccer and basketball player Tatiana Monsen.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avi (PDH)

 

Utah is no longer the most fertile state

Salt Lake City — Utah still remains the top state with the highest birthrate, which compares the number of births to the total population regardless of age or sex. But the general fertility rate that compares the number of live births for every 1,000 female residents between the ages of 15 and 44 has decreased.
Utah women have statistically always had more children than the average American women, but in 2008, the state’s young women began having fewer children. The rate has declined by more than 28 percent between 2007 and 2015, both nationally and in Utah, according to the Utah Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
http://gousoe.uen.org/av2 (KUTV)

 

Middle school principal hired

The Keokuk School Board on Monday hired a new middle school principal.
Layne Billings will be paid $90,000 as part of a year-long contract. He comes to Keokuk from Gilbert High School north of Ames, where he’s been principal for the past five years.
He has 16 years of administrative experience and taught for 10 years. Previously, Billings was a middle and high school math instructor in the Tri-County Community School District southwest of Iowa City. He was a math teacher and later an assistant principal in the Alpine School District in northern Utah.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avj ([Keokuk, IA] Daily Gate City)

 

Las Vegas-area high school football players cause trouble in Utah

Football players from four Las Vegas area high schools have landed in hot water in recent weeks after incidents involving firecrackers, smoke bombs and a drug deal “gone sour” at a Utah football camp.
On June 26, two Cimarron-Memorial High School players threw lit firecrackers and smoke bombs into two Southern Utah University dorm rooms housing Palo Verde High School players, according to a report from the university’s police department. The university is located in Cedar City, 170 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
While the responding officer was gathering statements, coaches from Cimarron and Palo Verde “began to get crazy and unprofessional,” at one point coming close to a fight, according to the report, which does not identify the coaches. The officer had to intervene, but no coaches or players were cited.
In a separate incident on July 13, between eight and 12 camp attendees assaulted a male victim on campus during a drug deal, according to another report from the university’s police department.
The victim said he was jumped and that the players took his skateboard, according to the report.
“It should be noted that the victim was in the PE parking lot to sell marijuana to the football players but the deal had gone sour,” the report stated. “The juveniles were released to their respective coaches.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/avd (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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The biggest lie in Utah’s public lands debate
Deseret News op-ed by Brenton Peterson of Pleasant Grove

Utah’s public schools are chronically underfunded. In every year from 2010 to 2014, Utah ranked dead last in per-pupil spending on public education, spending an average of $6,536 per student each year.
For years, Utah’s elected leaders have blamed federal control of public land for this outcome. In 2012, Gov. Gary Herbert stated that “federal control of our public lands puts Utah at a distinct disadvantage with regard to education funding.” Rep. Rob Bishop has claimed that funding shortages in education are “created largely by abundant federal land holdings” in Utah, and countless other politicians have echoed this sentiment.
But it is simply not true.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auO

 

On the fence with tax hike proposed by Our Schools Now
St. George News commentary by columnist Howard Sierer

Do you believe in quality education but hate tax increases? The initiative proposed by the Our Schools Now group has me on the fence. But it’s likely we’ll all have to jump one way or the other next year.
My interest in public education is longstanding. I chaired the Superintendent’s Citizens Advisory Committee in a large, Midwestern city school district. My wife served as PTA president in our children’s high school. Several of our good friends are high school principals.
Along with about 60 or so others, I attended the Our Schools Now public meeting last week at Legacy Elementary school in St. George.
As described in last week’s St. George News article, an impressive list of 50 Utah business leaders propose a $700 million tax increase initiative to fund improvements in Utah’s K-12 schools and public universities.
http://gousoe.uen.org/av0

 

Health Issue
‘Utah values’—what does it mean?
Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist Katharine Biele

Utah values. That’s the mantra, but no one seems to be able to define the term—unless they venture into the church-state issue, the anti-vaccination movement or even the return of the Red Scare. Envision Utah tried, but came up with a matrix not for the faint of heart. Now we have the State Board of Education arguing—again—about sex education and whether it draws a straight line to socialism. We are not making this up, and it should underline the wisdom of getting to know who your state board members are and what they stand for. Apparently, Lisa Cummins thinks Utah school children are at risk of “severe mental health issues of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder,” The Salt Lake Tribune reports. And, yeah, she’s worried about “expanding socialism.” She and Alisa Ellis were the two no-votes for reviewing health standards, and apparently against sex ed.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avf

 

Legendary football coaches say Catholic/private school teams are problem
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette commentary by columnist Mike White

What if I told you some of the greatest coaches in the history of WPIAL football got together for lunch and shared stories, opinions and laughs? OK, so it might not make for a “30 for 30” edition, but it was “10 for 49.”
Seated around a few tables inside the restaurant at the Grand View Golf Course Monday were 10 of the WPIAL great ones — some retired, some still active coaching. It was a unique lunch, and it had nothing to do with the food. Between the 10 coaches were 49 WPIAL football championships. Every coach won at least three and some grabbed sandwiches with a hand that had a championship ring.
Oh yeah, there were also 2,535 wins between this group, three of the four winningest coaches in WPIAL history and seven of the top 14. Their ages ranged from late 40s to 80s.
This was no formal event. It was just a little gathering that Bill Priatko has put together for three consecutive years. Priatko is a Steeler from long ago, former high school athletic director and seemingly a friend of everyone in the WPIAL. He puts this lunch together for fun and it gets a little bigger and more impressive every year.
And while there were many stories that brought hearty laughter, the serious topic that stoked the opinions of this group was the issue of Catholic, private and charter schools having so much success across the state in football and basketball. When the question was thrown out to the group about what is the biggest problem or what needs to be changed in high school football, Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Cherpak said, “We all know the answer to that and we all know what the biggest problem is.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/av9

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Bill With More Than $2 Billion in Teacher-Training Cuts Advances in House
Education Week

Lawmakers in charge of the U.S. Department of Education’s budget voted Wednesday to advance a funding bill that cuts $2.4 billion from the agency’s budget, with most of that reduction coming through the elimination of a major program focused on teachers.
The GOP-backed bill approved by the House appropriations committee on Wednesday by a 28-22 vote cuts the department’s budget to $66 billion. That’s a less-severe cut than the spending blueprint floated by President Donald Trump in May that includes a $9.2 billion reduction. House Republicans followed the Trump budget’s lead and cut the $2 billion Title II program that covers teacher training, as well as class-size reductions.
“We invest in programs that ensure that all students have access to a quality education,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., the chairman of the House appropriations committee. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.
But Republicans in charge of the bill declined to include two big budget initiatives from Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos: a $1 billiion public school choice program under Title I, and a $250 million private school choice program.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auR

http://gousoe.uen.org/auS (USN&WR)

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

 

FCC Nominees Grilled by Lawmakers on E-Rate, Net Neutrality
Education Week

Washington — Federal lawmakers pressed Federal Communications Commission nominees Brendan Carr and Jessica Rosenworcel, along with current Chairman Ajit Pai, on their support for the future of the federal E-Rate program and their positions on net neutrality at a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
“We’re studying, obviously, ways to improve the program,” said Pai, a Republican, when asked by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., whether the FCC planned to decrease funding or make programmatic changes to the E-Rate. The program helps schools and libraries pay for telecommunications services, including high-speed internet access.
Neither Carr, also a Republican, nor Pai would say that funding cuts were off the table.
“I have an open mind as to what the budget numbers should be,” said Carr, in response to Markey’s questioning about a possible decrease in E-Rate funding.
Markey said that it was “troubling” to not receive a commitment from Carr or Pai to funding for E-rate, a program he called a “democratizing force.”
While E-rate and net neutrality featured prominently in the hearing, lawmakers also focused on rural broadband deployment, questioning the nominees on access for consumers and business owners.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah criticized the 2015 Open Internet Order, which placed ISPs under Title II regulatory framework, calling it a “perfect example of the instrusive, heavy-handed government regulation causing delay in the industry.”
But Markey noted that none of the top ISPs have reported that Title II regulations have slowed investment in broadband. “Since these net neutrality rules have been in place, the internet has thrived,” said Markey.
School administrators and librarians have voiced concerns that the rollback of net neutrality would limit access to online educational content, including open educational resources.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avg

 

Amazon’s Open Educational Resources Website Gets Off to a Slow Start
Education Week

A year after Amazon launched Amazon Inspire, its foray into school curriculum and open educational resources, the site is open for browsing by teachers—but still is missing some key features.
Amazon Inspire uses the familiar trappings of Amazon’s shopping site—starred reviews, a search bar, clear categories—to offer free lesson plans and other educational materials. Anyone with an Amazon account can browse the thousands of lesson plans, worksheets, and more, created by a mix of states, companies, nonprofits, and individuals and shared using Creative Commons licenses. Users can create “collections” of resources and write reviews of the resources they use.
But a feature that would allow teachers to upload and share resources with colleagues around the country is still not available. The website says that function is “coming soon.”
The delay in sharing the “share” function comes after Amazon had some trouble ensuring that materials uploaded to its site were all actually allowed to be there: Soon after Inspire launched in 2016, the New York Times reported that teachers found that the site contained materials that had been posted without authors’ permission and violated copyright. Amazon pulled those materials from its site. But in June 2017, the education news site EdSurge reported that the site remained in an invitation-only beta mode and questioned whether Amazon was truly invested in the project.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auW

 

Teachers union boss skewers Betsy DeVos on vouchers, likening them to ‘cousins’ of segregation
USA Today

WASHINGTON — In a blistering speech slated to be delivered to more than 1,400 teachers here on Thursday, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten likens U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to a climate-change denier, saying DeVos refuses to acknowledge “the good in our public schools and their foundational place in our democracy.”
In her speech, to be delivered at the union’s traditional summer conference, Weingarten says the Trump administration’s school choice plans are secretly intended to starve funding from public schools. She calls taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, tuition tax credits and the like “only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/av8

 

Teachers’ Union to Take a Critical Look at Online Credit Recovery Programs
Education Week

The nation’s largest teacher’s union is going to take a look at the troubled world of online credit recovery.
The “new business item” was approved at the recent convention of the 3-million member National Education Association. It calls for $31,000 to be spent on a review of “existing research, data, and information about Online Credit Recovery Programs (OCRP) that were recently being used in various school districts across the nation.”
The item was overshadowed by the union’s higher-profile actions and statements (such as the adoption of a new charter-school policy, and the suggestion that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos consider resigning.)
And as my colleague (and longtime union-watcher) Stephen Sawhuck pointed out last year, such new business items often don’t amount to a whole lot.
But the increased scrutiny of online credit recovery is worth watching.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auU

 

Judge: Hamilton County Schools violated federal laws in special education case
Chattanooga (TN) Times Free Press

A federal judge on Monday ruled the Hamilton County Department of Education violated multiple federal guidelines protecting students with disabilities when it removed a second-grader with Down syndrome from Normal Park Elementary School in 2013.
In the ruling, federal Judge Curtis Collier said the school district violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, a federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
The case, which has been winding through the court system for more than three years, revolves around Luka Hyde, whose parents, Deborah and Greg Hyde, argue he shouldn’t have been removed from Normal Park and segregated from his peers in a comprehensive development classroom at Red Bank Elementary.
The Hydes’ attorney, Justin Gilbert, said Collier’s ruling is important for children in Tennessee and across the country.
http://gousoe.uen.org/av4

 

Private School Is Becoming Out of Reach for Middle-Class Americans
America’s most affluent still go to private schools. They’re increasingly alone.
Bloomberg

These days, private school really is just for rich kids.
While the enrollment rate for children from middle-income families in U.S. private elementary schools has declined significantly over the last five decades, the level for high-income families has been relatively steady, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research study released this month ― a trend that could come to perpetuate the nation’s growing wealth divide.
The shift is most apparent in urban areas, where the enrollment gap between kids from high- and median-income families increased from 5 percentage points in 1968 to 19 points in 2013, according to the study, which used national survey data on private elementary-school enrollment by family income over the last half century.
Part of the decline in middle-class enrollment coincided with the closing of many Catholic schools, though it’s unclear how much of that that was due to changes in the religious makeup of cities and how much stemmed from the Catholic Church’s struggle to maintain schools with the same relatively low tuition rates that parishes had historically offered.
But it’s not just Catholic-school closures causing the fall in middle-class enrollment. Soaring tuition has kept private-school education out of reach for most American families, for whom household income has risen at a much slower pace.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avb

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/avc (National Bureau of Economic Research) $

 

Transgender student guidelines for Minn. schools draws impassioned crowd
(Saint Paul) Minnesota Public Radio

State education officials have approved a set of optional guidelines for transgender students to be distributed to Minnesota school districts, but they also heard strongly worded views on both sides in a meeting Wednesday.
The “toolkit” has suggestions for district professionals on topics like field trips, sports and restrooms. It summarizes state and federal non-discrimination laws and advises schools on how they apply to transgender students. For example, the toolkit says transgender students should have access to restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.
“Students should be given the option that feels comfortable to them,” said Charlene Briner, deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education. “We want to respect the families and the students who are dealing with issues of gender nonconformity, and we also want to respect the rights of students who may not feel comfortable.”
A recent state survey found transgender students are more likely to be bullied or attempt suicide than other students.
The department created the toolkit in response to requests for help from schools, but some at the meeting this week said it would undermine parental rights and threaten privacy.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ava

 

Edwards says Louisiana superintendent not legally in the job
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards said Louisiana’s public schools superintendent hasn’t followed the legal requirements for keeping his job, wading into a dispute Wednesday that prompted a now-dismissed lawsuit but not saying whether he’ll file his own court challenge.
The governor has clashed with Superintendent of Education John White over education policy. But Edwards doesn’t have enough votes on the state education board to oust the superintendent directly.
On his monthly radio call-in show, Edwards said he believes White needed to be reconfirmed by the Louisiana Senate to stay in the position this term, which didn’t happen.
“We’re taking a look at that situation,” the governor said. He added: “That may be something that needs to be litigated.”
However, Edwards, a lawyer, stopped short of saying he’d challenge White’s legitimacy in the superintendent’s position overseeing Louisiana’s 700,000 public school students. The governor’s spokesman Richard Carbo later added that Edwards “is seriously reviewing his options.”
More than a dozen residents filed a lawsuit alleging White’s reconfirmation was needed, but a Baton Rouge judge dismissed that lawsuit last week, saying only a few elected officials have the legal ability to file such a petition. On the judge’s list: the governor.
http://gousoe.uen.org/auV

http://gousoe.uen.org/av7 (Baton Rouge [LA] Advocate)

 

At Cybersecurity Camps, Teen Girls Learn About Protecting Nation, Breaking Barriers
Young women who grew up in an era of identity theft and hacking study how to combat cyber crimes
Wall Street Journal

Talk to the teenage girls studying cybersecurity at New York University this summer, and you’ll get an earful about their determination to protect their country, safeguard privacy, and conquer their fair share of a male-dominated field.
The young women are attending one of a rising number of camps devoted to the niche field of cybersecurity. They came of age watching news about email hacking during the last presidential election and malware hurting companies. Some have seen friends struggle with identity theft. Now they want to flex their brainpower to prevent such abuses in a world that is increasingly online.
Beatrice Karp, a 16-year-old from Larchmont, N.Y., aims to join the military and is fascinated by the “war on keeping things secure,” she said. “The combination of computer science and serving my country would be the best thing ever.”
She joined 44 other young women in a free three-week camp this month at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering that aims to attract more of them to a specialty that is in great—and growing—demand.
http://gousoe.uen.org/av6

 

Lake Worth High principal asked teachers to do son’s math assignments
Palm Beach (FL) Post

LAKE WORTH — Lake Worth High School’s former principal asked teachers to do math assignments for his son, pressured teachers to change students’ grades and charged students $1 to attend pep rallies, a school district investigation found.
During George Lockhart’s time as principal, Lake Worth High also suspended students without reporting the suspensions to the district and submitted erroneous fundraising reports that concealed the fact that students were being charged to attend events during the regular school day, the investigation uncovered.
As the probe ended this spring, Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa concluded that Lockhart “misused (his) position and authority” and “compromised the integrity of the district.”
But after initially moving to fire Lockhart, records show that Avossa reversed course in May and allowed Lockhart to remain on staff. He has been reassigned to a management position at the school district’s charter school office, with his pay cut by $21,000.
http://gousoe.uen.org/av5

 

That Devious Plot to ‘Zombify’ Russia: The Fidget Spinner
New York Times

MOSCOW — The West in general and the United States in particular are hatching all manner of diabolical anti-Russian plots, if reports in the state-controlled news media are to be believed.
Yet the latest example of what is being portrayed as American skullduggery might be a stretch, even by the elastic standards of Russian television.
Beware the so-called fidget spinner, a hand toy that spins and has become a rage in Russia and the United States, particularly among middle school students.
Such a harmless trinket, you might think, would be destined for a moment in the spotlight followed by a long fall into oblivion, where it would join pet rocks, Beanie Babies and New Kids on the Block.
Perhaps not so harmless, according to one recent report on Rossiya 24 suggesting that Russia’s opposition parties were trying to lure young supporters and raise money by hawking spinners. (The fact that many of the participants in recent nationwide demonstrations organized by the anticorruption crusader Aleksei A. Navalny were young Russians had to be explained somehow.)
“It is a mystery why it has become so popular in Russia right now,” the television reporter said. “Who is promoting this to the masses so actively?”
Cut to a clip of a video blogger selling spinners during anticorruption demonstrations in June under the banner “Spinners from Navalny.”
The reporter then held up another piece of evidence from his investigation: a spinner bought at a Moscow children’s store packaged with writing only in English. “Not a word in Russian!” he cautioned
http://gousoe.uen.org/avr

 

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UEN News
http://www.uen.org

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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