Education News Roundup: July 25, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Point of the Mountain Development Commission looks at coming explosive growth in south Salt Lake and north Utah counties.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awi (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/awl (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/awj (PDH)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/awk (Utah Business)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/avK (AP)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/awg (AP via MUR)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/avL (Utah Legislature)

Ogden School District help group working to help central Ogden residents.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aw6 (OSE)

Congratulations to new Carbon School District Superintendent Lance T. Hatch.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awD (Price Sun-Advocate)

Congratulations to Utah’s 2017 President’s Education Awards Program winners.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awm (ED)
or Utah’s winners
http://gousoe.uen.org/awn (ED)

Secretary DeVos touts local control in her meeting with ALEC in Denver.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avH (Denver Post)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/avI (WaPo)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/avJ (Ed Week)
or a copy of the Secretary’s remarks
http://gousoe.uen.org/awo (ED)

Study finds free ACT or SAT exams for all increases college enrollment for low-income students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awt (Ed Week)
or a copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/awu (Education Finance and Policy)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Report predicts Utah area will be overwhelmed with growth

Community group looks to improve Central Ogden education, housing, health

Carbon School Board names new superintendent

San Juan County welcomes redrawing of election districts

How America Is Failing Native American Students
Punitive discipline, inadequate curriculum, and declining federal funding created an education crisis.

South Salt Lake invests in helping refugees learn, succeed and thrive in Utah — and it’s working

Utah high school course may offer model for strengthening teacher prep pipeline

Ogden Schools seek to put tax money toward innovation center, Title I positions

Organization asking voters to increase taxes, Curt Webb questions idea

Tax increase initiative draws support from teachers, superintendents

Utah did $427 million in liquor sales last year

Six Utahns receive Pioneers of Progress Awards

Cedar City girl cuts acting teeth on Shakespeare

‘I’m a real person’: Teachers who wear different hats

Utah teen says he will plead guilty to causing two crash-related deaths
Courts » Two died in a prom-night rollover

Officials: Owner of home where bodies found possibly spotted

Secretary DeVos Announces Recipients of the 2017 President’s Education Awards Program
Nearly 3 Million Elementary, Middle and High School Graduates at More Than 30,000 Schools Nationwide Receive This Prestigious Award

Top student designs awarded at AWFS Fair

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

These are the students who will shape America’s future

Preparing our children for a more social school year

Utah teacher disciplinary records are clearly public

Randy Weingarten’s ‘Racism’ Rant
Betsy DeVos is inside the head of the teachers union chief

Florida’s education system — the one Betsy DeVos cites as a model — is in chaos

Don’t Mourn or Applaud the End of $2 Billion in Teacher-Training Money Just Yet

Please keep this guy away from rousing charter school debate

NATION

Betsy DeVos delivers local control message at conservative summit in Denver

American Federation of Teachers President Under Fire
The union leader compared private school choice to segregation, prompting outrage.

Free ACT and SAT Exams Drive Up College Enrollment for Poor Students

Missouri will no longer offer the ACT for free to juniors

3 STEM Insights for U.S. Teens From International Students
Participants in a robotics competition shared how persistence, experimentation and more are key to math and science success.

The Next Generation Science Standards’ Next Big Challenge: Finding Curricula

States’ Top Teachers Went to Capitol Hill to Lobby for Education

Maker of Dash & Dot Robots Releases Coding Lessons

Fierce Debate Over Sign-Language Use by Some Deaf Students
Debate over sign language’s use for some deaf students

‘We’re Begging for Education.’ Meet the Teacher Who Panhandled to Buy Her Class School Supplies

Meet The 5 New Inductees Of The National Teachers Hall Of Fame

Homeless students drawn to Seattle schools by sports are often cast aside when the season’s over

Work, nap, clean: Parents and the first day of school

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Leaders warn that the Point of Mountain is destined to become a congested mess without careful planning
Commission works on plans that could improve area, guide development.

Unless current trends and practices change, officials say Point of the Mountain will be a mess by 2050 — with traffic often at a standstill amid a crowded mishmash of developments that missed opportunities to attract world-class businesses and jobs.
“We will not be fully competitive as a state in high-tech if we create a place that may just be business as usual,” Robert Grow, president and CEO of Envision Utah, warned the Point of the Mountain Development Commission on Thursday.
“We need to do some things that are really powerful as attractive for business that brings those jobs that our kids and grandkids will want and need,” he said.
Envision Utah researched how the area will likely look if current trends, zoning and policies continue. In coming months it will offer alternatives for improvements to help guide growth as the state plans to move the state prison from the area, which is expected to trigger extra growth.
The “baseline scenario” released Thursday is “to flag the issues and problems now” to seek improvements, Grow said. It projects that Point of the Mountain will be packed with 220,000 new people by 2050, and 180,000 more jobs.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awi (SLT)

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/awk (Utah Business)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/awg (AP via MUR)

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/avL (Utah Legislature)

 

Community group looks to improve Central Ogden education, housing, health

OGDEN — A group has formed with the goal of trying to improve East Central Ogden.
Ogden Civic Action Network, or Ogden CAN, is still in the early phases of trying to improve three aspects of life from Harrison to Washington boulevards and between 20th and 30th streets: education, housing and health.
Melissa Hall, executive director of the Weber State University Center for Community Engaged Learning, said the group came together in the summer of 2016 in response to a civic action plan presented to the National Campus Compact, a coalition which encourages university and city partnerships.
“We have a name and we have these priorities but we’re still working on the governance structure and those kinds of things,” Hall said.
Hall works with the housing committee and said they’re hoping to hold meetings and focus groups to find out what the people who live in Central Ogden need when it comes to housing.
A large piece of what they want to do, Hall said, is connect existing services to the people who need them. Examples include showing people what grants they can apply for to restore Ogden’s old historic homes or what resources are available if they, for instance, have a bad landlord.
This will be done through collaborating with other area entities. Brenda Kowalewski, an associate provost at Weber State who is helping get Ogden CAN off the ground, said the other “anchor institutions” involved with their efforts aside from the city, school district and Weber State are the area’s two hospitals, the Weber-Morgan Health Department and Ogden-Weber Technical College.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aw6 (OSE)

 

Carbon School Board names new superintendent

The Carbon School Board announced the appointment of Lance T. Hatch as the new Superintendent of Schools on July 19.
He will start work August 1.
“I am excited to be here,” said Hatch during a short interview. “My wife is from here and I attended the College of Eastern Utah to get my Associate Degree. I really like the Price area.”
Hatch is from La Sal, a small town south of Moab in San Juan County.

Hatch replaces Steve Carlsen, who departed June 30 to become superintendent in the Box Elder County schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awD (Price Sun-Advocate)

 

San Juan County welcomes redrawing of election districts

SALT LAKE CITY — Commissioners in a southeastern Utah county are welcoming a federal judge’s order that an independent expert redraw the county’s commission and school board election districts because they’re unconstitutional.
San Juan County’s commissioners said in a statement Friday that they asked for an independent expert to oversee the redrawing of the boundaries two years ago. They say it will allow all county residents to have an equal say.
U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby ordered San Juan County to redraw the election maps last year after finding they were unconstitutional. He ruled on Friday that the new maps are still unconstitutional and primarily drawn based on race, violating the rights of American Indians who make up roughly half the county’s population.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avM (AP)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aw4 (AP via DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aw2 (AP via KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aw3 (KSTU)

 

How America Is Failing Native American Students
Punitive discipline, inadequate curriculum, and declining federal funding created an education crisis.

In public schools across the country, American Indian and Alaska Native students are more likely to be suspended than any other racial group, with the exception of African Americans. According to a 2015 report by the University of California at Los Angeles’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies, Native students are disciplined at roughly two times the rate of their white peers. And though they represent approximately 1 percent of the student population, they account for 2 percent of all school arrests and 3 percent of all incidents referred by school staff to law enforcement, according to 2014 data collected by the National Congress of American Indians. Native students also disproportionately attend virtual schools like Bridges, according to an analysis conducted for this article by UCLA. Recent studies show that most students who attend these schools learn less math or reading than their peers in traditional public schools. (More than 90 percent of American Indian students attend public schools, while a majority of the rest attend schools administered by the Bureau of Indian Education, where students have some of the lowest graduation rates and test scores nationwide.)
The high levels of poverty on Native American reservations do create barriers to educational success. But a number of studies have shown that, even when researchers control for poverty, race still determines whether students are more harshly disciplined in the public-school system—and students of all ethnicities who are suspended or expelled are more likely to leave school for good, a phenomenon that researchers refer to as being “pushed out.”
Frequent suspensions or expulsions can also lead to gaps in learning, a cycle reflected in the poor math and reading scores of Native students on a national level. Native students are less likely to graduate in four years than any other racial group; by the time they reach their senior year, only 10 percent are proficient in math, according to the results compiled for the year 2015 by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. (Less than 5 percent of Native 11th graders in Oregon’s 509J School District met math-proficiency levels in 2016.)
Harsh discipline and low graduation rates can limit the economic and social opportunities for students beyond their teenage years. Low graduation rates contribute to high unemployment on reservations, as well as diminished levels of home ownership. Though Native Americans are regularly omitted from national studies, in large part due to their small population size, studies of other minority groups have found that being expelled or dropping out of school is also associated with higher incarceration rates. Plus the suicide rate among Native teens is one and a half times higher than the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control; it’s likely that negative experiences in school, including expulsion or suspension, are associated with this epidemic, said Dr. R. Dale Walker, the director of Oregon Health and Science University’s Center for American Indian Health Education and Research.

Kids also need champions and advocates, said Sheldon Spotted Elk, director of Indian Child Welfare at Casey Family Programs. He pointed to the work of Eileen Quintana, a celebrated Title VI administrator in Utah who, through her Ute dancing classes and dedication to students, is credited with raising American Indian graduation rates in her district from 37 percent when she started 20 years ago to 100 percent last year. A bill introduced earlier this year in the US Senate aims to develop more such teachers: It creates incentives, such as loan forgiveness and scholarships, for teachers who work in schools with a large population of Native students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awE (The Nation magazine)

 

South Salt Lake invests in helping refugees learn, succeed and thrive in Utah — and it’s working

South Salt Lake • Something remarkable is happening in South Salt Lake.
The city of 25,000 has 14 community centers — including one specifically dedicated to refugees, called the Hser Ner Moo Community Center.
They promise this: Every child has the opportunity to attend and graduate from college; every resident has a safe, clean home and neighborhood; and everyone has the opportunity to be healthy and prosper.
The department that oversees the centers is called Promise South Salt Lake. Its 150 employees specialize in education and outreach to connect every resident with a host of resources.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avW (SLT)

 

Utah high school course may offer model for strengthening teacher prep pipeline

Two high schools in Utah are offering a new course aimed at helping interested students pursue a career path in education, which some believe could help stem massive teacher shortages if scaled, according to Education Week.
Nearby colleges and universities have expressed interest in the new “Careers in Education” course, hoping that the high school classe can help them fill their own programs for teacher preparation, and Utah Valley University is already offering college credit for students taking the course.
Provo City School District Superintendent Keith Rittel says it’s vital to attract teachers interested in leading the course, and he imagined the class will introduce students to the different kinds of work available in education and also offer case studies for students to speak about how they might respond.
The approach the dual Utah high schools are taking matches renewed interest in career and technical education programs, and the reason such programs are receiving strong support from educators and policymakers. Everyone notes that there are concerning gaps in qualified applicants in certain fields, so targeted education could help to allay the concerns that those gaps will widen. Research indicates that high school career academies, where schools offer career specific learning for future professional endeavors, can have positive impacts on certain student demographics, if not all.
Offering a “teacher track” of sorts for K-12 students is reminiscent of the “Future Teachers Clubs,” an approach advocated by New York Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. That program aims to build educator pipelines in-house and encourage more students to return to educate in their own communities.
The moves by nearby colleges and universities to join in the efforts of the Utah high schools could also indicate opportunities for future partnerships, as well as the chance that there could be funding streams for such programs
http://gousoe.uen.org/awB ([Washington, DC] Education Dive)

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

 

Ogden Schools seek to put tax money toward innovation center, Title I positions

OGDEN — In June, the Ogden School District Board of Education approved a budget for the coming fiscal year which will allow the district to funnel some tax dollars into the construction of an innovation center.
The money will also be used to offset some general fund expenditures, including district-level Title I positions that can no longer be supported with federal dollars​.
Compared to the previous year, residence taxes levied by the district will most likely increase by about $45 for 2017, which is technically fiscal year 2018 for the school district.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aw7 (OSE)

 

Organization asking voters to increase taxes, Curt Webb questions idea

PROVIDENCE – Our Schools Now is an organization asking voters in 2018 to approve a half-percent increase in the personal income and state sales tax rates. Those in the organization claim the plan would raise $700 million dollars more each year for public education.
A local legislator, Republican Curt Webb of Providence, said there is no question that Utah schools need more money, but said the proposal would actually increase the income tax and he’s not sure if people would accept that.
Webb said tax policy is very complicated, and gave an example.
“They also want to raise sales tax,” he said. “If you raise sales tax our brick-and-mortar businesses in the state are disadvantaged by having that, if you don’t have to pay taxes online. The more you raise it then the more disadvantaged they are. That is just one of the slight complications. I’m not sure that tax law is best made in an initiative form.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/awG (CVD)

 

Tax increase initiative draws support from teachers, superintendents

PLEASANT VIEW — Many of the people who spoke at an Our Schools Now open house this week were educators — and all of them said they support the initiative.
The specifics have been changed since the group started campaigning earlier in 2017, but the most recent iteration of Our Schools Now is pushing to increase the state income and sales tax rates, both by .5 percent, and generate about $1,000 per student in additional public education funding.
The group has held public meetings throughout Utah, campaigning and gathering signatures before a public vote in November 2018.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aw8 (OSE)

 

Utah did $427 million in liquor sales last year

SALT LAKE CITY — The state of Utah did more than $427 million in liquor sales last year, a $21 million increase over the year before.
Officially, Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control reported on Tuesday $427,264,990 in retail sales for fiscal year 2017. In fiscal year 2016, the DABC reported $405,911,383.
When you look at bottle sales, the DABC reported selling more than 46 million in fiscal year 2017 compared to 44 million in 2016. On average, state-run liquor stores sold 154,558 bottles a day.
They are impressive numbers considering the DABC is legally forbidden from promoting its own product. It also only opened one new liquor store in the past seven years. The DABC’s own studies have shown the liquor control agency could open 19 more state-run stores just to keep up with consumer demand.
Utah is one of 17 liquor control states. Money raised from liquor sales goes toward a school lunch program for underprivileged kids, public safety and the state’s general coffers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awH (KSTU)

 

Six Utahns receive Pioneers of Progress Awards

SALT LAKE CITY — Days of ’47 trustees honored six Utahns “who perpetuate a legacy of industry and integrity” during their annual banquet at which Pioneers of Progress awards are bestowed.
The awards honor Utahns — nominated by the public — whose lives and achievements commemorate principles of pioneering such as faith, courage, industry, integrity and sacrifice, and whose work benefits present and future generations.
The honorees on Thursday were:

Kathleen Christy Education, health and humanitarian assistance
Christy has spent her life working in education and has served in many different positions, including a teacher, an equity specialist at the Utah State Office of Education, an elementary school principal and an assistant superintendent for the Salt Lake City School District. In addition, she currently serves on the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, the Utah Foster Care Foundation board and the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum board.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avY (DN)

 

Cedar City girl cuts acting teeth on Shakespeare

Some say it takes a village to raise a child. If the same can be said for raising an actor, there aren’t many villages better built for the task than Cedar City.
Abigail Rose Nakken grew up with Shakespeare in her veins. She was only 6 years old in 2004 when her parents first placed her in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s Playmakers program.
“I think it was one of those ‘My child has a lot of energy and I need to give her something to do,’” Nakken says of her parents’ decision to introduce her to Shakespeare at an early age.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awc (SGS)

 

‘I’m a real person’: Teachers who wear different hats

LOGAN, Utah — Middle school math teacher Marc Muir said delivering Domino’s pizza gives him a different outlook.
“Some teachers, they’re excited for Friday to come, and I think Friday is my worst day,” he said.
After he turns off the lights in his South Cache Middle School classroom at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon, he has a short break before donning his Domino’s uniform for an eight-hour shift.
Muir started delivering pizza 11 years ago when he was attending Utah State University and kept the gig when he started teaching three years later. He said the money was nice and he wanted to save up to buy a house. Since then, he has worked nearly every Friday and Saturday night year-round.
He said it’s tough to work two jobs, but if he dropped shifts during the school year he would probably miss out during the summer when college students are looking for extra cash.
As Muir teaches more and more students throughout the valley, he has the possibility of delivering pizzas to more former and current students. He said that can lead to the occasional classroom pestering.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avN (AP)

 

Utah teen says he will plead guilty to causing two crash-related deaths
Courts » Two died in a prom-night rollover.

Monticello • A Moab teen involved in a crash that caused the death of two of his peers in March was ordered to face charges in adult court, and one of his lawyers said Friday that he will plead guilty.
Gage Colton Moore waived his right to a preliminary hearing in 7th District Juvenile Court and agreed to have his case moved to the adult system.
By waiving the hearing, Moore’s lawyers say their client decided to “accept responsibility for this horrible accident” and save affected families the emotional trauma of going through several different court proceedings. One such attorney, Tara Issacson, said Moore plans to plead guilty to four charges against him: two second-degree felony counts of automobile homicide and two counts of reckless endangerment, class A misdemeanors. Moore will enter the pleas on Aug. 14, during his first appearance in adult court, Isaacson said.
Moore turned 18 four days after the March 5 accident, which occurred in the early morning hours after Grand County High School’s junior prom. Moore was driving a sedan when he lost control on a curve on the La Sal Mountain Loop Road outside of Moab, ejecting three passengers and claiming the lives of Taylor Bryant, 14, and Connor Denney, 16.
Two other passengers, a 17-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl, were critically injured in the crash.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avZ (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aw0 (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aw1 (DN via KSL)

 

Officials: Owner of home where bodies found possibly spotted

SWAN VALLEY, Idaho — Law enforcement officials say a man wanted in connection with the deaths of three women in southwestern Idaho may have been seen in the backcountry near eastern Idaho’s Swan Valley.
Deputies with the Bonneville County Sheriff’s office have searched the area but so far have not located 60-year-old Gerald “Mike” Bullinger.
The badly decomposed bodies of Bullinger’s wife — 56-year-old Cheryl Baker of Ogden, Utah — a teenager and another adult woman were found last month hidden outside a rural farmhouse in Caldwell, Idaho. The property belonged to Baker and Bullinger. Each victim died from a gunshot.
A Ford Focus that authorities said was connected to Bullinger was found at a remote campsite in northwestern Wyoming last week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avO (AP)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aw9 (AP via OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/awe (AP via KUTV)

 

Secretary DeVos Announces Recipients of the 2017 President’s Education Awards Program
Nearly 3 Million Elementary, Middle and High School Graduates at More Than 30,000 Schools Nationwide Receive This Prestigious Award

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today congratulated the 2017 President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP) recipients, recognizing nearly 3 million elementary, middle and high school graduates for their educational accomplishments. These students represent more than 30,000 public, private and military schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Outlying Areas – American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands.
“The future of America lies in the strength of our students, so it is a pleasure to recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of our nation’s next generation of leaders,” said Secretary DeVos. “All of you have proven your commitment to furthering your education, and this award is a testament to your perseverance, long hours of study and passion.”
“President Donald Trump and I encourage each of you to not treat education as a path with a definitive end, but one that you will continue for your entire lives. There is always more to learn, study and gain, and I’m confident you will continue to find the rewards education can provide long after you’ve left the classroom.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/awm (ED)

Utah’s winners
http://gousoe.uen.org/awn (ED)

 

Top student designs awarded at AWFS Fair

LAS VEGAS − Cody Campanie, a student at Seattle Central College won The Best of Show Award, in the 2017 AWFS Fresh Wood Competition after judges reviewed the projects of 41 finalists from 16 different high schools and colleges in the U.S. and Canada at the 2017 AWFS Fair. Twenty-seven students went home with monetary prizes ranging from $250 to $1,000, along with trophies and software prizes.
Campanie was awarded a special sculpture made by renowned woodworker and artist Garry Knox Bennett, for his project Azulejos Table. He received $1,000 and he, his school, and his instructor received KCD Software Packages. He also received First Place in the Post Secondary Tables category of the competition, which included another $1,000 prize and a Certificate of Merit. The Best of Show award is sponsored by KCD Software.
Fair attendees awarded the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Wagner Meters, and a $750 prize to Sarah Provard of West Jordan High School (Utah), for her Musically Inclined cabinet with themed inlay, which also won First Place in the High School Case Goods category.
For both students, this was the first time that students from their schools were finalists in Fresh Wood. In addition, six schools received awards for multiple projects: Art Center College of Design (California); Center for Furniture Craftsmanship (Maine); College of the Redwoods (California); Corner Canyon High School (Utah); Palomar College (Utah); Princeton Day School (New Jersey).
http://gousoe.uen.org/awC (Woodworking Network)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

The Standard-Examiner Editorial Board hashes out the positions we take on the Opinion page. Here’s what members recommended last week for praise and criticism.
THUMBS UP: to Weber State University and Ogden School District for pairing up to make art and science in the park programs happen — and including free lunch, too.
Arts in the Park, hosted by Weber State University, is in its eighth year. Science in the Park, another summer offering with free lunch, has been around for 10 years.

THUMBS DOWN: to the vandals responsible for damage at Roy High School.
Police say at least four people broke padlocks and spray painted lines, profanity and a face on doors and windows, a side of the school, a wall near the baseball field and the dugout.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awa

 

These are the students who will shape America’s future
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by DAVID FERRO, dean of the College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology at Weber State University

From what I have seen and heard, this summer has been great for feeling great about the future of this country and the world in which we live. Not from the conversations emanating from Washington, D.C. (with any interpretation of that sure to quickly divide us). I mean the conversations of seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students and their parents at this summer’s closing ceremony July 19 for Weber State University’s Pre-Engineering Program.
In past years, the halls of my college, the College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology were fairly quiet in the summer. Faculty are away doing research, working in industry and leading Boy Scout camps. Students are taking a break, working and taking classes in the evening or online. I passed through the halls looking forward to the buzz of fall semester.
Initiating PREP three years ago, changed that. PREP is a seven-week, summer camp for junior high-aged students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aw5

 

Preparing our children for a more social school year
(Provo) Daily Herald commentary by columnist Monica Villar

With about four weeks of summer vacation left, my grandson Jagger informed me that he is ready to go back to school. Although he is a good student, I know that it is not the scholastic part of school that he is looking forward to but rather the social. Even at the age of seven, he understands what many of do at an early age and continue to realize as we enter and grow in the workplace: the value of friendships and social connections.
One thing that we should be mindful of are the many children with “visible” and “invisible” disabilities and how we can teach our children at a young age, to feel confident in getting to know them, learning about their differences and building relationships with them.
In teaching our children about being open to all types of friendships and relationships we need to remember that children mirror what they see.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awb

 

Utah teacher disciplinary records are clearly public
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Joel Campbell, associate professor of journalism, School of Communications, Brigham Young University

The Utah Education Association is misguided in its suit against the Utah Board of Education because the board has chosen to publish already “public” records online about teacher disciplinary actions. According to the Tribune, the UEA lawsuit is challenging the “retroactive” nature of the online database teacher disciplinary records. Attorneys are also suggesting that stipulation agreements, similar to plea deals, aren’t public records. They are wrong on both counts.
During the hard-fought negotiations that resulted in Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), those at the table assumed that government employee disciplinary actions would be considered “public.” To make that intention crystal clear, the law says “past and present” employee disciplinary records are public if appeals have run out and charges or disciplinary actions are sustained.
UEA attorneys are misreading GRAMA on two levels. GRAMA was carefully crafted to be platform neutral. Whether on parchment or in a computer database, the law is blind. Records are designated “protected” or “private” based on content, not because of how the government chooses to store or disseminate the information.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avX

 

Randy Weingarten’s ‘Racism’ Rant
Betsy DeVos is inside the head of the teachers union chief
Wall Street Journal editorial

Betsy DeVos must be doing something right. Why else would Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, devote a speech late last week to blasting the Education Secretary for using the word “choice”—and then tying it to racism?
Sounding like Hillary Clinton in full deplorable mode, Ms. Weingarten says the movement to give parents more say over where their kids go to school has its roots in “racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia and homophobia.” Adapting the theology of the climate-change censors who seek to shut down debate, she goes on to call Mrs. DeVos a “public-school denier.”
What really frosts the AFT president is that she recognizes that the public-school monopoly her union backs is now under siege, morally and politically, for its failure to educate children, especially minority children.
It’s not that there are no excellent public schools. It’s that citizens are beginning to see that the public money the unions increasingly demand is more likely to go into pensions than the classroom. And access to excellent schools increasingly depends on a good zip code.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avR $

 

Florida’s education system — the one Betsy DeVos cites as a model — is in chaos
Washington Post commentary by columnist Valerie Strauss

The K-12 education system in Florida — the one that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos likes to praise as a model for the nation — is in chaos.
Traditional public school districts are trying to absorb the loss of millions of dollars for the new school year that starts within weeks. That money, which comes from local property taxes, is used for capital funding but now must be shared with charter schools as a result of a widely criticized $419 million K-12 public education bill crafted by Republican legislative leaders in secret and recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott — at a Catholic school.
Critics, including some Republicans, say the law will harm traditional public schools, threaten services for students who live in poverty and curb local control of education while promoting charter schools and a state-funded voucher program.
The law creates a “Schools of Hope” system that will turn failing traditional public schools into charter schools that are privately run but publicly funded. The law also sets out the requirement for districts to share capital funding.
The man behind the Schools of Hope initiative was Republican House Speaker of Florida Richard Corcoran, whose wife founded a charter school in Pasco County. But as this recent Miami Herald opinion piece notes, a number of Republican lawmakers in the state legislature have financial stakes in the charter industry. “Florida’s broad ethics laws are a joke,” wrote Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago
http://gousoe.uen.org/avS

 

Don’t Mourn or Applaud the End of $2 Billion in Teacher-Training Money Just Yet
Education Week analysis by columnist Andrew Ujifusa

What’s the most eye-catching provision in the House education funding bill? That’s easy: It’s the elimination of $2 billion for educator training and class-size reduction. How anxious or pleased should you be about it? Here’s the answer: Slow your roll.
Why? Part of the answer is obvious. The $66 billion spending bill, which would be a $2.4 billion cut to the U.S. Department of Education, hasn’t been approved by the full House yet. It has only gone through committee. But moreover, the odds that the bill will come to the full House floor are actually very long—in fact based on recent history, it would be unusual if it did make it to a final House vote.
The education funding bill is one of the “problem children” as far as spending legislation, said Erik Fatemi, a senior vice president at the Cornerstone Government Affairs lobbying firm and former Senate staffer.
“It’s very controversial. It’s very hard even for Republicans alone to get a consensus on that bill,” Fatemi said.
Sometime this week, the full House will consider a set of spending bills, but those pieces of legislation are focused on national security issues.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awx

 

Please keep this guy away from rousing charter school debate
Washington Post commentary by columnist Jay Mathews

Along with many Americans, I enjoy intense arguments about charter schools, the tax-supported institutions independent of school districts. I happily air my biases and skewer the squishy defenses of my foes.
People like me have to watch out for Zachary W. Oberfield, an associate professor of political science at Haverford College. He spoils our fun. On the charter school issue he is scholarly, precise and balanced.
Security? Get that guy out of here!
Oberfield’s new book is “Are Charters Different? Public Education, Teachers, and the Charter School Debate.” It is the fairest, deepest and thus most frustrating book on that subject in a long time. People on both sides of the debate will find facts in it we don’t like. That is why we should be required to read it.
Oberfield unleashes, for instance, a flood of data about how charter and non-charter teachers answer vital questions. He has responses from 35,000 teachers queried nationwide in the federal Schools and Staffing Survey; 235,000 teachers in four states who answered the Teaching, Empowerment, Leading and Learning Survey; and 1,000 teachers who responded to the Delaware Teachers Survey that Oberfield designed to explore questions not asked elsewhere.
He offers results that will please charter fans. For instance, he says that “teachers in charter schools reported greater autonomy (at least in some respects) and less red tape than do teachers in public schools” and “teachers in charter schools reported exercising greater leadership in their schools — on issues as diverse as establishing curriculum to developing professional development programming — than did teachers in public schools.”
Yet charter critics will be pleased to learn from Oberfield that those favorable reports from teachers seem to be fading and in some cases don’t reflect reality. “Initially teachers in charter schools were more likely to report higher levels of shared mission,” he says, but “in the two most recent surveys these differences evaporated.” The big four-state survey, he says, “shows that teachers in charter schools reported feeling as if they had more time to collaborate but that they did not in fact spend more time collaborating than teachers in public schools did.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/awr

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Betsy DeVos delivers local control message at conservative summit in Denver
Denver Post

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, booed at a college commencement and reviled by teacher groups across the nation, found a cozier audience Thursday in Denver at a gathering of conservative thinkers and policy advocates.
DeVos garnered two standing ovations from members of the American Legislative Exchange Council. She, in kind, delivered what they wanted to hear during a roughly half-hour speech, attacking teacher unions and education policies of the Obama administration and pledging her support for ensuring the most important educational decisions be left up to local schools and families.
“My job is to get the federal government out of the way, so you can do your job,” DeVos said. “The era of the top-down, one-size-fits-all mandate is over.”
She urged local school districts to create flexible learning plans mandated by the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, that emphasize local control. “I have urged states to use flexibility and to break away from the compliance mentality,” she said.
DeVos spoke during a luncheon meeting of ALEC, an influential conservative group that crafts model legislation advocating free-market principles and solutions to policy issues including tax limitations, gun safety and environmental controls.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avH

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

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

A copy of the Secretary’s remarks
http://gousoe.uen.org/awo (ED)

 

American Federation of Teachers President Under Fire
The union leader compared private school choice to segregation, prompting outrage.
U.S. News & World Report

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, the head of the 1.6 million member teachers union, is under fire for controversial remarks linking private school choice to racial segregation.
“Make no mistake: This use of privatization, coupled with disinvestment are only slightly more polite cousins of segregation,” Weingarten said last week during a major speech at the union’s annual convention in Washington, D.C.
While the remarks energized thousands of teachers in town to protest the Trump administration’s education agenda and proposed budget cuts to education programs, they fell heavy on a spectrum of education organizations, including so-called reformers as well as school choice groups that represent large numbers of students of color.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avV

 

Free ACT and SAT Exams Drive Up College Enrollment for Poor Students
Education Week

Sharpen those No. 2 pencils: States that pick up the cost of college-entrance exams for all students can boost four-year college enrollment among low-income students, new research suggests.
In effect, a mandatory entrance-exam policy helps remove one of the hurdles standing between those students and the track to a college degree.
“The college-application process is complicated, and the only reason a lot of us go through it is because of parents and guidance counselors,” said Joshua Hyman, an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Connecticut, who conducted the study. “This exam is a gateway to four-year colleges.”
The research would seem to support the steady trend in states toward adopting the tests since the early 2000s, though that progress is uneven; Missouri just announced it would no longer administer the ACT.
About half the states now require all high school students to take the ACT or its main competitor, the College Board’s SAT.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awt

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/awu (Education Finance and Policy)

 

Missouri will no longer offer the ACT for free to juniors
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Starting next year, Missouri will no longer pay for all public high school juniors to take the ACT for free after Gov. Eric Greitens cut $4 million in assessment funding.
In 2016, the year after Missouri began offering the free college entrance exam, the percentage of public school graduating seniors who took the test increased from 67.6 percent to 92 percent, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Offering the test for free is considered valuable because it can encourage more students to apply for college and it gives a more accurate picture of statewide student performance.
But 2016 also saw a noticeable drop in the average composite ACT score for Missouri students. It fell to 20.2 from 21.7 the year before. That’s slightly under the national average of 20.8.
At the same time, however, the percentage of Missouri graduates who tested at or above the national average increased from 30.9 percent to 39.5 percent, according to the state education department.
Average composite scores are expected to drop as more students take the ACT, since more students who may not have planned or prepared to take the test or attend college end up taking it if it’s free.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awz

 

3 STEM Insights for U.S. Teens From International Students
Participants in a robotics competition shared how persistence, experimentation and more are key to math and science success.
U.S. News & World Report

A robotics competition brought together high schoolers from more than 150 counties to Washington last week.
The event, organized by nonprofit FIRST Global, aimed to bring young students together to develop their STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – skills, while also teaching them how to solve worldwide problems together.
Prior to the event, each team received the same kit to build a robot, which they brought to the competition in the U.S.
Building robots required students to work on their math and science skills, topics U.S. teens struggle with more compared with many of their international peers.
Students and their adult mentors from all over the world at the event shared with U.S. News their thoughts on the keys to success in math and science.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avU

The Next Generation Science Standards’ Next Big Challenge: Finding Curricula
Education Week

As states wrestle with putting the Next Generation Science Standards into action, one question I’m hearing more and more: What to do about curriculum?
It’s also a question that’s been on the mind of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which provided major support to the groups that developed the framework and standards that evolved into the NGSS. Earlier this year, it convened a group of curriculum experts, many of whom worked on curricula development for groups like the National Science Foundation. This week they’re putting out a summary report on what they found (it’ll be posted here for free download).
In the meantime, I spoke with Jim Short, a program director at Carnegie, about what he (and the conveners) concluded some of the major challenges are in developing strong curricula aligned to the standards. They fall into several different buckets.
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia, along with dozens of individual school districts, have adopted the standards, which put a heavy emphasis on engineering and having students apply their scientific knowledge, among other things.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avT

 

States’ Top Teachers Went to Capitol Hill to Lobby for Education
Education Week

Washington — On Wednesday, dozens of state teachers of the year were at the Capitol here, armed with talking points, compelling stories from their districts, and a fierce determination to protect education funding.
Following the National Network of State Teachers of the Year’s annual conference this week, the teachers had set up about 80 meetings with senators and representatives in Congress.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avQ

 

Maker of Dash & Dot Robots Releases Coding Lessons
(Chatsworth, CA) THE Journal

An education technology company that produces a pair of robots for use by kids has just released lessons to help young students learn how to code. Wonder Workshop, which makes the Dash and Dot robots, worked with Kodable to develop the curriculum.
Lessons introduce students to robotics as well as programming concepts. The coding is done with Blockly, using preset programs. Blockly was created by Google as an open source visual programming language; Wonder Workshop has released app versions of the program that control its robots through mobile devices.
The curriculum covers six levels, for grades K through 5. In the level intended for the earliest learners, students get an introduction to robotics and learn about sequences, algorithms, loops and design thinking. By grade 5, they learn about variables. Students work through “challenge cards” that give them tasks to practice. Currently, there are a total of 24 lesson plans and 72 challenges.
http://gousoe.uen.org/avP

 

Fierce Debate Over Sign-Language Use by Some Deaf Students
Debate over sign language’s use for some deaf students
Education Week

New research is stirring fierce debate over the use of sign language among young deaf children who use surgical implants that create a sense of sound.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, suggests that the long-term use of sign language holds back the speech and reading skills of children who use devices known as cochlear implants. These implants bypass damaged parts of the ear and send electrical impulses directly to a user’s auditory nerve.
Supporters of sign language, on the other hand, say that a visual language is an essential foundation of literacy for deaf children, even for those who use cochlear implants.
Pediatrics has published a flurry of critical responses to the study since it was published in June. The lead author has added her own lengthy counter-response, addressing what critics say were the weaknesses of the study’s design. Outside of the research realm, parents of deaf children are hashing out the findings on social media and comparing them to their own experiences.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awv

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/aww (Pediatrics)

 

‘We’re Begging for Education.’ Meet the Teacher Who Panhandled to Buy Her Class School Supplies
Time

An Oklahoma teacher stood at a highway intersection panhandling for school supplies last week. She was surprised when she made $52 in 10 minutes and “overwhelmed” by the support she received online in the days that followed. But the interaction that affected her most was a young woman who approached her, donated her waitressing tips and said, “I’m alive today because of a teacher like you.”
“That just choked me up,” said Teresa Danks, a third-grade teacher at Grimes Elementary School in Tulsa, Okla., who set out to raise money for her classroom and send a message about education funding challenges that she thinks too few people understand.
Oklahoma has recently led the nation in cuts to general education funding per student, according to a report by the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Oklahoma also ranked 49th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia for average teacher salary, which was $45,276 in the state in 2016, according to a report by the National Education Association.
Danks, 50, said she typically spends $2,000 to $3,000 of her $35,000 salary on classroom supplies each year. Recent budget cuts have worsened the financial burden on teachers, who are often tasked with purchasing their own classroom supplies.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awp

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

 

Meet The 5 New Inductees Of The National Teachers Hall Of Fame
NPR

Emporia, Kansas is home to rolling prairies, wheat fields, and the world’s biggest frisbee golf tournament.
But the reason we went there: the National Teacher Hall of Fame, which gives the place it’s most revered title, Teacher Town USA.
In 1989 the members of the Emporia local school board and Emporia State University asked, ‘Why doesn’t anyone honor teachers?’
To fill the void, they created the museum and hall of fame, where the top five teachers in the nation are honored every year. To be eligible, you must have taught for 20 years or more.
To date, 130 teachers have been inducted. We sat down with this year’s inductees to hear the trials, tribulations, and valuable lessons they learned in their years in the classroom.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awf

 

Homeless students drawn to Seattle schools by sports are often cast aside when the season’s over
Seattle Times

Sixteen years ago, the federal government passed a law aimed at creating a bit of stability in the lives of homeless students. Kids whose families lacked a consistent address, migrating between shelters and friends’ couches, could sidestep standard residency requirements and remain at one school despite their transient lives.
But for a growing number of Seattle athletes, the intent behind the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act has been turned upside down.
For these ballplayers, homeless-student status allows them to move from school to school, following celebrity coaches and dreams of sports stardom while excused from rules that bind other athletes — such as maintaining a solid grade-point average.
Framed as an important opportunity for kids in need, the law also has been used to exploit their hopes. Because when sports end, many of these students find themselves adrift.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awy

http://gousoe.uen.org/awA (USAT)

 

Work, nap, clean: Parents and the first day of school
Associated Press

NEW YORK — After a packed, hot summer of family vacations, camp or kids underfoot, what’s a parent or caregiver to do with all that free time on the first day of school?
For some, the first drop-off of the new year will mean the usual: Head to work. Others plan to double down on organizing and cleaning their summer-traumatized homes. How about a nap?
Los Angeles mom Jill Simonian, with the youngest of her two daughters starting kindergarten, will be doing most of the above, with a breakfast bash thrown in for her mom friends in mid-August.
“Nothing like a good party with girlfriends to boost our happiness, motivation and to commemorate this new chapter of having a little bit more freedom with all our kids in school,” she said. “I always feel reinvigorated when I spend time with friends and us moms don’t do enough of that. Getting the kids back in school means we can celebrate our lives and friendships, too.”
Latisha Jones in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a lawyer, professor and mother of three, including a year-old son. Her other two kids, 5 and 11, head back to school Aug. 9. She’ll be mourning a little as she puts “vacation mom” into hibernation.
“Immediately after I drop my kids off for the first day of school, I cry at the thought of them growing up and another year of milestones,” she said. “Five minutes later I rejoice at the thought of some alone time. Ten minutes after that it’s back home to prep for them coming home and then off to work. The start of school signals the return of planning and prepping and order,” she said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aws

 

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CALENDAR
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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/Interim/2017/html/00003171.htm

July 26:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00003173.htm

July 27:

Retirement and Independent Entities Interim Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 210 Senate Building
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00003166.htm

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=INTED

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