Education News Roundup: July 26, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Legislative prognosticators predict a budget surplus this year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awK (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/awM (UP)
or a copy of the revenue update
http://gousoe.uen.org/awL (Utah Legislature)

Trib looks at upcoming property tax hikes, including some from school districts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axA (SLT)

BYU/Georgia study looks at science teachers who are teaching out-of-area (e.g., chemistry teachers teaching physics).
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax7 (KUER)
or a copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax8 (ResearchGate)

Utah branch of the AFT plans a march for public education this weekend in Salt Lake.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awN (SLT)

One of the proposed amendments for the GOP healthcare bill is one that would preserve Medicaid funding for schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axk (Ed Week)

How seriously are states taking federal ESSA critiques?
http://gousoe.uen.org/axo (Ed Week)

Stat of the week: There are 2.4 million fewer college students in the U.S. now than there were six years ago.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axn (Hechinger Report)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/axs (Atlantic)

And for those of you who really like stats, the just-released America’s Children 2017 has lots of them on the well-being of kids.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axi (Ed Week)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/axj (ChildStats.gov)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah headed to $130 million budget surplus, thanks to healthy economy
Analyst says low unemployment, fairly low wages prompt companies to move to Utah.

A surprise – not a happy one – could be coming to your mailbox
Residents will have a chance to oppose the plans in Truth in Taxation hearings.

Study Shows Science Teachers Often Teach Beyond Their Training

Utah unions, education advocates organizing march in response to Trump, DeVos policies
Rally » Groups hope to raise public support for state’s schools.

GOAL! Herriman scores a STEM high school

Park City High School debate team hits the national stage
Exposure to best competitors in the country inspires students to take next step

Summit Academy musicians score top awards at festival

Provo-Orem area ranked No. 7 on list of most educated U.S. cities

Utah Manufacturers Association’s Education Campaign Exceeds Enrollment Goal

Canyons School District names Union Middle teacher as teacher of the year

High school football: Coaching changes becoming the norm across the state

Everyday Learners: Dads help children succeed through reading

Preschoolers played online games for a year – and became kindergarten-ready

OPINION & COMMENTARY

There is more hope for youth suicide prevention

Don’t increase regressive taxes to fund education

What Has Betsy DeVos Actually Done After Nearly Six Months in Office?

The Complex History of School Choice
There’s no single reason people want more choice in education.

Betsy DeVos Is Making “School Choice” Toxic for Democrats
Conservatives frame privatization as a civil rights issue, but Trump’s extreme agenda is energizing racial justice and public education advocates.

Is Social-Emotional Learning a Hoax? Readers Respond
In letters to the editor, readers debate author on soft-skills instruction

Let Black Kids Just Be Kids

NATION

Senator Seeks to Protect Medicaid Services for Schools in GOP Health Care Bill

Are States Taking the Trump Ed. Dept.’s ESSA Critiques to Heart? Not Always.

Universities and colleges struggle to stem big drops in enrollment
New strategies include changing academic offerings and lowering prices

Texas Senate again OKs ‘bathroom bill’ over police criticism

Minnesota schools to get transgender toolkit

Proposal Would Let Charter Schools Certify Their Own Teachers

Facing a massive shortfall, Wyoming will explore new methods for funding education

Big Thought, Dallas ISD team up to teach social, emotional skills

U.S. Children Gain Ground in Home Supports, Federal Data Show

The challenge of reaching hungry kids when school is out

‘Staggering’ CTE results could lead to hard questions for kids, parents

Student Athletes Who Specialize Early Are Injured More Often, Study Finds

Betsy DeVos, Ivanka Trump team up for girls’ reading event at Smithsonian museum

Robots, race cars and weather: Girl Scouts offer new badges

New York bans electronic cigarettes at schools

Highest Dutch court orders government to fund new Islamic school

Rights groups ask Duterte to retract threat to bomb schools

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah headed to $130 million budget surplus, thanks to healthy economy
Analyst says low unemployment, fairly low wages prompt companies to move to Utah.

With strong growth in jobs, wages and taxable sales, Utah state government could end up with a surplus of as much as $130 million for the fiscal year that just ended on June 30.
That includes surpluses of up to $80 million in the education fund, $50 million in the general fund and $10 million in the transportation fund.
The Legislative Fiscal Analyst’s Office delivered that news, with caveats, to the Executive Appropriations Commission on Tuesday.
It projects that when final revenues are totaled for the fiscal year, the state will have a surplus somewhere between a high of $130 million and a deficit of $5 million. It said the midpoint of the projections is a surplus of $65 million.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awK (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/awM (UP)

A copy of the revenue update
http://gousoe.uen.org/awL (Utah Legislature)

 

A surprise – not a happy one – could be coming to your mailbox
Residents will have a chance to oppose the plans in Truth in Taxation hearings.

Property-valuation notices now arriving in mailboxes statewide are delivering expensive news: 64 local governments are proposing property tax hikes this year.
Officials say they are needed for a range of things, from keeping up with inflation to allowing school districts to compete in what has become “salary wars” to attract and retain teachers.
A few local leaders are again using creative arguments to contend that they are not really raising taxes – even though definitions in state law say they are.
Sanpete County is proposing the largest tax bump, in dollars, this year: $173 on a $250,000 home, up 58 percent. (Appearing even larger is a new $240 tax on a $250,000 home in the new town of Interlaken, Wasatch County – but it largely replaces a road fee residents previously paid to a homeowners association).
By percentage, the largest tax hike is a fortyfold increase – nearly 4,000 percent – in the South Davis Metro Fire Area. It is jumping from what had been a mere $1.24 a year to $50.60 on a $250,000 home.
Among proposed tax increases by dollar amount in some other Wasatch Front areas are: Granite School District, $90.34 on a $250,000 home; Bluffdale, $77; Centerville, $53.21; Davis County, $48.13; Salt Lake City School District, $46.47; West Valley City, $36.58; Salt Lake City, $19.80; and Salt Lake County, $2.61.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axA (SLT)

 

Study Shows Science Teachers Often Teach Beyond Their Training

A new study from researchers at Brigham Young University and the University of Georgia shows that new science teachers are often expected to teach beyond their subject matter training.
College students training to be Middle or High School science teachers, often choose a subject, like Biology, Chemistry or Physics. They then take the necessary classes to specialize in that subject area so they can achieve a “highly qualified” teacher status.
But, the majority of new science teachers across the country, 64 percent, are asked to teach more than their area of expertise.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax7 (KUER)

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax8 (ResearchGate)

 

Utah unions, education advocates organizing march in response to Trump, DeVos policies
Rally » Groups hope to raise public support for state’s schools.

Utah’s largest unions will join with political advocates this weekend to stage a march in downtown Salt Lake City in support of public education.
The demonstration is in response to the school-related policies and budget proposals of President Donald Trump and his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, according to Brad Asay, president of the Utah chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.
“Our purpose for the march is to invite the public to rally in support of our public schools,” Asay said in a statement. “Budget cuts from the current administration will drastically impact our kids. Furthermore, Secretary DeVos has a clear agenda of dismantling public education in pursuit of supporting private schools, for-profit charter schools and vouchers, which Utahns clearly voted against.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/awN (SLT)

 

GOAL! Herriman scores a STEM high school

There’s more to the new Real Salt Lake Academy High School than soccer.
“Any student can come, and they don’t have to play soccer,” said Academy Director Ryan Marchant. Of 300 enrolled students, only 50 spots are reserved for players who are part of Real U-18 soccer teams (25 for students relocating from the current Arizona training center/academy and the other 25 for local players). The majority of spots are open to any Utah resident, grades nine through 12.
“Our No. 1 priority is academics,” said Marchant. The curriculum’s emphasis is on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies.
Real Academy encourages students to choose their path of study and their pace of advancement through project-based learning, STEM curriculum, college preparatory classes and state-of-the-art online curriculum within a small, cohesive educational community,” said the school website. Students will have the option to choose a pathway of study, specializing in an area such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, or Sports Business.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axz (South Valley Journal)

Park City High School debate team hits the national stage
Exposure to best competitors in the country inspires students to take next step

The Park City High School debate team completed a climb that was years in the making last school year when it argued its way to the Class 3A state championship.
This summer, some members of the team got a glimpse of the next challenge. Seven students traveled to Birmingham, Alabama, last month to participate in the National Speech & Debate Association’s annual National Tournament. There, they got to witness some of the best high school debaters in the country, giving them another goal to conquer.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axv (PR)

 

Summit Academy musicians score top awards at festival

An eight-piece band claimed the top award at Music in the Parks festival.
That concert band consisted of musicians playing flute, clarinet, trumpet and trombone and performed two songs: “Clash of the Warriors,” by Rob Grice and “Nottingham Castle” by Larry Daehn under the direction of Alan Larson.
Summit Academy not only brought home the best overall junior high/middle school concert band trophy, but also got all superior marks.
The school also was honored with its Espirit de Corps trophy for good sportsmanship.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axx (Draper Journal)

 

Provo-Orem area ranked No. 7 on list of most educated U.S. cities

With two universities in the area, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Provo/Orem area was named as one of the most educated in the nation.
A new report report on the country’s most and least educated cities was released Tuesday by WalletHub. The Provo/Orem area came in at No. 7 on the most educated side.
The study analyzed 150 of the largest metropolitan statistical areas, looking at metrics including the share of adults with high school diplomas, some college experience, bachelor’s degrees or graduate and professional degrees. It also analyzed the quality of universities, quality of public school systems, racial education gap, gender education gap and the number of students enrolled in the top 231 universities per capita.
Provo also ranked at No. 5 for the highest percentage of high school diploma holders and second for the highest percentage or associate’s degree holders.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax4 (PDH)

http://gousoe.uen.org/ax5 (DN)

 

Utah Manufacturers Association’s Education Campaign Exceeds Enrollment Goal

Salt Lake City-Utah’s manufacturing community is committed to developing a skilled manufacturing workforce. As part of that commitment, Utah Manufacturers Association employers have led efforts this past year to create, track, and evaluate a targeted education and messaging campaign for talent pipeline development.
Through a $250,000 grant provided by DWS as well as financial and in-kind contributions from Utah manufacturers, over 400 companies and eight Utah post-secondary institutions piloted a comprehensive statewide outreach and messaging campaign: “Make Manufacturing Your Future”. The major objectives for the campaign were: (a) educate adult learners and graduating high school students about manufacturing as a valid career pathway; (b) increase statewide enrollment in technician level manufacturing training within one year by 150 students. Utah Manufacturers Association used a baseline of 674 total students enrolled Sept. 30, 2016 with a pilot goal to enroll 824 students by Sept. 30, 2017. As of July 21st, the number of new enrollees in programs such as advanced manufacturing, automation, welding, and CNC machining totaled 1,612 statewide, exceeding the project goal by 938 new enrollees. Approximately 33% of these new enrollees represented high school students who opted to jump start education through concurrent manufacturing coursework from a regional post-secondary institution.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax (Utah Business)

 

Canyons School District names Union Middle teacher as teacher of the year

Union Middle School teacher Drew Fosse has a system in places that motivates his students to be engaged and participate in class, but that’s not enough.
This summer, he’s revamping it.
“I want to make it better,” he said. “I want the opportunity to have them participate more to reinforce the material they are learning.”
This past year, students worked to win tickets, which they could trade in for prizes.
“Students like tangible rewards, so they’re actively participating to get a chance to wear something like Joe Esposito’s vest, trade seats for the day or get a snack from the ‘forbidden closet,'” Fosse said.
Being able to relate to his students was one of the reasons Fosse was selected as Canyons School District’s Teacher of the Year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axw (Sandy Journal)

 

High school football: Coaching changes becoming the norm across the state

An interesting trend is playing out in the high school football coaching profession the past couple of years.
When the 2017 season kicks off on Aug. 18, 51 of the 103 teams will have a head coach in either his first or second year at that particular school. It’s the highest percentage of young head coaches in state history, and six more than the previous high of 45 coaches in 2013.
Are coaches burning out faster on the profession than in the past or are all the changes just part of the natural cycle?
The Deseret News analyzed 10 years of high school coaching data to answer some of those questions, and the data revealed some interesting trends.

West Jordan’s Mike Meifu survived the two-year itch at his alma mater as he enters his third season as head coach, but he’s not surprised by the turnover rate of his peers. The demands outside of the Xs and Os of coaching can be exhausting.
“The biggest challenge that I’ve had as a young coach and the one that frustrates me the most is all the administrative stuff. When I started I don’t think I really understood how much goes into that,” said Meifu.
The paperwork associated with the job, everything from purchasing and fees and player eligibility – in addition to the need to recruit your own players to avoid transferring – can be tiring and takes away from coaching. It’s a sentiment shared by many coaches, and an estimated $3,000 coaching stipend hardly makes it seem worth it at times.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax2 (DN)

 

Everyday Learners: Dads help children succeed through reading

Amy Upchurch, parent engagement and transitions coordinator at Mountainland Head Start, has seen many benefits for children that come when their fathers read with them.
“Fathers reading to children can be powerful because it instills a love for literature and creates beautiful moments between that child and father,” said Upchurch. “It’s those moments that a child will remember and will grow from. In addition, it teaches children that even dad, who goes out and typically works all day, still has enough time to dedicate to that child and to reading.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax6 (PDH)

 

Preschoolers played online games for a year – and became kindergarten-ready

Karen McLean didn’t want her twins to fall behind in kindergarten.
“Kindergarten is not like it used to be,” said McLean, who is a literacy coach for New Albany-Floyd County Schools. “It’s not playtime anymore. It’s academic learning.”
That’s why McLean enrolled Andrew and Marcus in Upstart, an online preschool program billed as a way to prepare children for kindergarten “in just 15 minutes a day, five days a week.”
Andrew and Marcus were two of roughly a hundred Floyd County 4-year-olds to participate in a pilot program that brought the software to the Hoosier state, where lawmakers hoped it would be a game-changer for the state’s roughly 27,000 low-income children without access to quality preschool.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axy (Louisville [KY] Courier-Journal)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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There is more hope for youth suicide prevention
(Provo) Daily Herald op-ed by Laura Giles

Thanks to funding earmarked by the Utah State Legislature in 2017, 90 elementary schools in the state will be able to have suicide prevention programs beginning this coming school year. Many schools will be using this funding to start Hope Squads.
Elementary schools in Provo have had Hope Squads for over a decade and during the last two school years, about two dozen other elementary schools in Utah piloted the Jr. Hope Squads. Before that time, the squads were found primarily in junior high schools and high schools.
Hope squads are groups of students, nominated by their peers as good listeners, easy to talk to and kind, who are trained to watch for warning signs in other students. In elementary schools, the students in the squads learn about topics such as anti-bullying, safe and unsafe secrets, how to be good listeners, inclusion and when to go to adults with concerns. They are taught these concepts by teachers and other adult advisers through literature-based lessons.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax3

 

Don’t increase regressive taxes to fund education
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Jean M. Lown, Ph.D.

As a family economist, I am 100 percent in favor of increasing taxes to fund education. However, I strongly oppose the current “Our Schools Now” proposal to increase regressive taxes that will burden low and moderate income Utahns.
Do not increase the sales tax. While the proposed sales tax increase is only a one-half percent, sales taxes are regressive, meaning they fall most heavily on those who can least afford to pay.
The flat income tax is also regressive. It costs low and moderate-income earners more in relation to income than high earners.
As Robert Gehrke wrote: “Bring back the progressive income tax!”
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax1

 

What Has Betsy DeVos Actually Done After Nearly Six Months in Office?
Education Week analysis by columnist Alyson Klein

When U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos came into office, many in the education community were terrified the billionaire school choice advocate would quickly use her new perch to privatize education and run roughshod over traditional public schools.
Maybe they shouldn’t have been quite so worried. Nearly six months into her new job, a politically hamstrung DeVos is having a tough time getting her agenda off the ground.

  • Key Republicans in Congress have already dealt a big blow to her signature school choice ambitions by giving them the cold shoulder in the budget process.
  • She’s way behind in staffing up the Education Department, including top positions.
  • State chiefs and local superintendents complain about mixed messages coming from her department on just how free they are to set their own course on policy.
  • One of her closest allies on Capitol Hill has taken a key member of her team to task over implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, arguably the most important K-12 item on the department’s plate.
  • Protestors continue to dog her public appearances, making it harder for her to take advantage of one of the most important tools in her arsenal: the bully pulpit.

And DeVos, who was approved by the Senate after a bruising confirmation process, remains a polarizing figure far beyond the Beltway.
Some local school leaders continue to question DeVos’ qualifications for her job, given that she’s never worked in a public school and never sent her children to one.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axl

 

The Complex History of School Choice
There’s no single reason people want more choice in education.
U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Andrew J. Rotherham, cofounder and partner at Bellwether Education Partners

Even by the standards of the teachers unions’ “burn the village to save it” approach to maintaining political power, it was a remarkably cynical ploy: In a speech last week, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten called school vouchers the “only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.” It wasn’t an offhand remark, but rather a calculated escalation of the school choice fight and an appeal designed to address politics within her union.
Given the current climate on race in America, it was Trumpian in its naked political opportunism. It also wasn’t entirely wrong in its history. Too many school choice supporters suffer from a Trumpian historical amnesia about one aspect of school voucher history.
Contra Weingarten, there is not a singular history of school choice. In contemporary America, the idea of school choice came to the fore in the 1950s and 1960s. One aspect was resistance to desegregation. As part of “massive resistance” some southern states and communities enacted school choice schemes as a way to thwart the integration of schools in the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. By the 1970s, federal courts had struck down these plans and the focus of school choice jurisprudence had shifted to the conditions under which public dollars could flow to religious schools.
The wounds, however, understandably linger, and this is the scab Weingarten wants to pick at. While a majority of African-Americans support school vouchers and school choice more generally, that support is tempered along generational and geographic lines.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awX

 

Betsy DeVos Is Making “School Choice” Toxic for Democrats
Conservatives frame privatization as a civil rights issue, but Trump’s extreme agenda is energizing racial justice and public education advocates.
New Republic commentary by columnist GRAHAM VYSE

Last September, at a rally in Roanoke, Virginia, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump made a promise to black America. “I will fight to make sure every single African-American child in this country is fully included in the American dream,” he said. “That includes the new civil rights issue of our time: school choice.” This has been a familiar refrain for Trump. “At rallies last year across the country,” The New York Times reported in March, “Trump said over and over again that he would use the nation’s schools to fix what he described as failing inner cities and a virtual education crisis that most hurts black and Hispanic children. In North Carolina, he called school choice ‘the great civil rights issue of our time.’ In Florida, he declared that ‘every disadvantaged child in this country’ should have access to school choice.”
“School choice” is conservative-speak for charter schools and vouchers, both of which represent a different degree of privatization in education. Vouchers use taxpayer dollars to fund attendance at private and religious schools, while charters are publicly funded but, in many cases, privately controlled. Trump’s education policy advocates for both, and in his controversial appointment of Betsy DeVos as education secretary, he elevated a longtime champion of the cause. Like her boss, she has pitched school choice as a solution to racial inequities in education, saying in February that historically black colleges and universities “are real pioneers when it comes to school choice. They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality.” (This is flat wrong. These schools were created, the Times notes, “as a direct response to rigid racial segregation when the doors of white colleges were typically closed to African-Americans.”)
Trump and DeVos are among the many opponents of public education who, for more than a decade now, have cast school privatization as a civil rights mission, arguing that vouchers and charters extend opportunity to communities of color. Even many Democrats, while maintaining that education is a public good, have bought into this narrative. But last year, the NAACP and the Movement for Black Lives called for a moratorium on charters, with the former saying the schools exacerbate segregation and destabilize traditional public schools (not least by diverting funds away from them). These civil rights groups, the Times reported, “portray charters as the pet project of foundations financed by white billionaires, and argue that the closing of traditional schools as students migrate to charters has disproportionately disrupted black communities.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/axb

 

Is Social-Emotional Learning a Hoax? Readers Respond
In letters to the editor, readers debate author on soft-skills instruction
Education Week commentary

In a recent spirited Commentary, Chester E. Finn Jr. took aim at the “faux psychology” undergirding the social-emotional-learning movement. Education Week received a host of letters in response to Finn’s June 21 essay, “The Dirt-Encrusted Roots of Social-Emotional Learning.” While most readers jumped to the defense of teaching students about emotions, relationships, and problem-solving, others encouraged a more cautious approach to the trend.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axm

 

Let Black Kids Just Be Kids
New York Times op-ed by ROBIN BERNSTEIN, professor of African-American studies at Harvard

George Zimmerman admitted at his 2012 bail hearing that he misjudged Trayvon Martin’s age when he killed him. “I thought he was a little bit younger than I am,” he said, meaning just under 28. But Trayvon was only 17.
What may be most tragic about Mr. Zimmerman’s miscalculation is that it’s widespread. To many people, black boys seem older than they are: In one study, people overestimated their ages by 4.5 years. This contributes to a false perception that black boys are less childlike than white boys.
Black girls are subject to similar beliefs, according to a recent study by the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality. A group of 325 adults viewed black girls as needing less nurturing, support and protection than white girls, and as knowing more about sex and other adult topics.
People of all races see black children as less innocent, more adultlike and more responsible for their actions than their white peers. In turn, normal childhood behavior, like disobedience, tantrums and back talk, is seen as a criminal threat when black kids do it. Social scientists have found that this misperception causes black children to be “pushed out, overpoliced and underprotected,” according to a report by the legal scholar Kimberlé W. Crenshaw.
That’s why we must create a future in which children of color are not disproportionately caught up in the criminal justice system, a world in which a black 17-year-old can wear a hoodie without being assumed to be a criminal.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awO

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Senator Seeks to Protect Medicaid Services for Schools in GOP Health Care Bill
Education Week

Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., plans to introduce an amendment to the Senate Republicans’ health care bill that would shield Medicaid services for schools from cuts.
Hassan, who was elected last year and is on the Senate education committee, said Tuesday she wants to spare school districts from “decimating” reductions to Medicaid-backed programs in the GOP legislation.
By dollar amount, about $4 billion annually, Medicaid is the third-largest federal program that provides funding to public schools. A bill to overhaul health care that House lawmakers passed in May would change the funding structure of Medicaid. The change was supported by those who think states should have more flexbility over Medicaid money, but it alarmed school funding advocates. Similar concerns exist with Senate proposals for Medicaid that may be included in finalized legislation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axk

 

Are States Taking the Trump Ed. Dept.’s ESSA Critiques to Heart? Not Always.
Education Week

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ team have told states that they need to make bunch of changes in their plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act. But in some cases, states have said thanks-but-no-thanks to the department’s advice, turning in revised plans that may or may not be kosher under the new law.
That could put DeVos and company in a tough political-and legal-spot. Do they approve plans that they think don’t actually pass muster? Or do they hold the line, reject the plans, and risk the wrath of states, policy wonks, and conservative lawmakers who already think they’ve gone too far with the federal finger-wagging?
Case in point: The U.S. Department of Education, which has given official feedback to nine of the 17 state plans that have been turned in, dinged Tennessee for using super-subgroups, which combine different historically overlooked groups of students (think English-language learners and students in special education) for accountability purposes.
But the Volunteer State, which revised its plan based on the department’s feedback, decided to stick with its original vision. The state provided some data to explain its reasoning behind having a Black, Hispanic, and Native American subgroup, showing that more schools will actually be identified as needing help using the super-subgroup than would be otherwise.
So will the department buy that argument? Hard to say. Some folks, including the congressional staff who wrote ESSA, say super-subgroups are a no-no under the law. And civil rights groups, which argue super-subgroups mask achievement gaps, agree. But others say ESSA isn’t crystal clear on this point and that there may be room for interpretation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axo

 

Universities and colleges struggle to stem big drops in enrollment
New strategies include changing academic offerings and lowering prices
Hechinger Report


All of these changes are a response to a crisis few outside higher education even know exists: a sharp drop in the number of customers bound for small private, nonprofit colleges like this in particular, and also some public universities and other higher-education institutions.
A dip in the birth rate means there are fewer 18- to 24-year olds leaving high schools, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. This has coincided with an even more precipitous decline in the number of students older than 24, who experts say have been drawn back into the workforce as the economy improves, dragging down enrollment at community colleges and private, for-profit universities that provide mid-career education.
The result is that the number of students in colleges and universities has now dropped for five straight years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks this – and this year is the worst so far, with 81,000 fewer high school graduates nationwide heading to places like Ohio Wesleyan, whose entering freshman class is down 9 percent from last year.
How dramatic is the falloff? There were just over 18 million students enrolled in higher education nationally in the semester just ended – 2.4 million fewer than there were in the fall of 2011, the most recent peak, the National Student Clearinghouse reports.
“That’s unprecedented in the history of as long as data has been kept on higher education,” said Kevin Crockett, senior executive at the enrollment-management consulting firm Ruffalo Noel Levitz.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axn

http://gousoe.uen.org/axs (Atlantic)

 

Texas Senate again OKs ‘bathroom bill’ over police criticism
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas – A Texas version of a North Carolina-style “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people again passed the state Senate on Tuesday over opposition from police and major corporations, but still faces an uncertain path to becoming law.
It is the second time this year Texas has lurched toward putting restrictions on which bathrooms transgender people can use, but the same deep GOP divisions that sank the first try remain.
If anything, tensions are running even hotter. Now at stake for Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who faces re-election in 2018 and has gone against the tide of GOP governors who have shied from following the lead of North Carolina, is whether his party will deliver after ordering them to finish the job in a special legislative session that ends in August.
Big business and police -two usually important groups to Texas Republicans – have urged Abbott to drop it. Just as the bill came to floor inside the Senate, police chiefs and commanders from Texas’ largest cities stood outside on the Capitol steps and railed against the effort as a waste of time.

The bill would require transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate, including in public schools. It now moves to the House, where the original Senate version died earlier this year without a vote.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awP

http://gousoe.uen.org/awS (Texas Tribune)

 

Minnesota schools to get transgender toolkit
Rochester (MN) Post Bulletin

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Education will begin distributing a new guide for schools on dealing with transgender and gender nonconforming students.
Department deputy commissioner Charlene Briner said the toolkit of resources and best practices isn’t meant to be a mandate for schools but rather to help administrators and others deal with issues that may be uncomfortable, both for the community and families of transgender individuals.
The 11-page document has topics that include pronoun use for transgender students, as well as bathroom policies and locker room privacy concerns.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awQ

A copy of the toolkit
http://gousoe.uen.org/awR (MDE)

 

NAACP calls for end to for-profit charter schools
Baltimore Sun

The NAACP is calling for tighter restrictions on charter schools and the elimination of for-profit charters as part of a broad array of actions leaders want to see taken on the local and national level to improve public education for children of color.
In a report released Wednesday, the organization stepped back from a more controversial position it took last year when it called for a moratorium on charter school expansion. After leaders heard from African-American parents who wanted the option of sending their children to charter schools, the NAACP board launched a seven city listening tour to hear about the types of schools parents want to see in their communities.The recommendations were presented at the 108th NAACP National Convention being held at the Baltimore Convention Center.
During the listening tour, NAACP task force members heard from those who said charters shut out too many African American students and are sucking money away from traditional public schools. But they also heard from those who see charters as a good alternative to low-performing public schools. The NAACP’s stance has received more attention since the appointment of Betsy Devos as U.S. Secretary of Education. She has encouraged the expansion of charters and the use of vouchers to pay for private school, a move some public school supporters see as undermining public education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax9

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

 

Proposal Would Let Charter Schools Certify Their Own Teachers
New York Times

It is usually a sleepy civic exercise: A proposed change to a specialized bit of state regulations is published in the State Register, officially marking the beginning of a public comment period.
But on Wednesday, rules that would make it easier for some New York charter schools to hire teachers are scheduled for publication, and the debate is expected to be fierce.
Many charter schools rely on young, new teachers to staff their classrooms, and have struggled to hire enough of them, even as more schools are opened. The new rules, written by the State University of New York Charter Schools Institute, which authorizes charter operators, would let the schools it oversees design their own training programs and certify teachers, with some restrictions.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axr

 

Facing a massive shortfall, Wyoming will explore new methods for funding education
Casper (WY) Star-Tribune

The consultants hired to examine Wyoming’s education funding system will also study at least three alternative models that would overhaul how schools are paid for here, researchers from the firm testified Tuesday.
The consultants, Denver-based Augenblick, Palaich & Associates, will work through the process of recalibration for the rest of this year and into January ahead of a shortened legislative session in February. Four researchers from the firm presented their plan to lawmakers Tuesday in their first public appearance, which also provided a first look at their strategy for examining the funding model as the state tries to tackle a massive education deficit.
Recalibration normally takes place every five years – and last happened in 2015 – but lawmakers accelerated the timeline this year because of the looming shortfall. Last month, the Select Committee on School Finance Recalibration recommended – and legislative leadership approved – the hiring of the consulting firm, the first time since 2005 that the state made a change with the consultants it used.
Lawmakers have said the decision doesn’t necessarily mean they’re moving toward an entirely new funding model, which would overhaul how funding levels are determined for all 48 of Wyoming’s school districts. House Speaker and committee member Steve Harshman, a Casper Republican, said it was far too early to tell what path the committee would recommend in November.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awT

 

Big Thought, Dallas ISD team up to teach social, emotional skills
Dallas Morning News

Big Thought and the Dallas Independent School District have won a four-year grant from the Wallace Foundation to pilot a program that teaches social and emotional skills to elementary school students.
Dallas and Boston are two of six cities participating in the foundation’s new Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative. It’s expected to serve 15,000 children nationwide in kindergarten through fifth grade, including about 4,000 in up to seven DISD schools.
The curriculum builds skills such as knowing and controlling emotions, empathy, working with others, resiliency and making positive choices.
“Social and emotional learning makes a great impact on students’ academic achievement,” DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said.
“We think this is a huge opportunity to really be transformative in Dallas,” said Ed Meier, Big Thought’s interim executive director.
Wallace Foundation hasn’t set the funding yet, but the first-year budget is expected to be about $1.5 million, he said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axp

U.S. Children Gain Ground in Home Supports, Federal Data Show
Education Week

While child lead-poisoning problems have spurred concerns nationwide, new data from 23 federal agencies that work with children suggests children’s physical environments have become healthier and their homes more supportive, but both still show room for improvement.
The report “America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being,” tracks longitudinal data on more than 40 benchmarks in children’s education, family supports, health, physical safety, and behavior for the nation’s more than 73.6 million children from birth through age 17. It found U.S. children gaining ground in family supports such as income and parent involvement in education, but also in physical safety and health at home.
Overall, only 1 percent of children nationwide showed an elevated level of lead in their blood (defined as 5 micrograms of lead or more for every deciliter of blood.) That’s a historic low, and down from 26 percent of all children in 1994.
Air pollution remains a more widespread problem. Nearly 60 percent of children in 2015 lived in counties with air pollution-often from ozone-that exceeded national air-quality standards, a decline from more than 75 percent a decade ago.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axi

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/axj (ChildStats.gov)

 

The challenge of reaching hungry kids when school is out
NewsHour

Summertime is supposed to be fun for children and families, but for millions, the absence of free school meals or discounted lunches is a cause for worry.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awY

 

‘Staggering’ CTE results could lead to hard questions for kids, parents
Boston Herald

The “staggering” brain injury threat to football players detailed in an new CTE study could leave school kids and their parents questioning whether their love of the game outweighs the potential health hazards, a former player and local coaches say.
“A lot of people play for the passion of the game,” said Frank Nuzzo, a former player at Everett High and Brown University whose career was derailed by concussions.
“At some point if you have to start weighing your health, and there are direct studies – and you know that the only thing you’re playing for is the love of the game – is the love of the game enough?” Nuzzo said. “I think there are a lot of people who will make those types of decisions.”
Boston researchers released their bombshell findings yesterday, showing that of 111 brains of former NFL players they studied, all but one showed signs of the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
“I have to say, initially when I see those numbers it certainly is alarming,” said Blackstone Valley Tech football coach Jim Archibald. “The numbers are certainly higher than I would have expected. I guess maybe because all you hear about are the precautions taken toward player safety these days, 99 percent is a staggering number.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/axe

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

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/axf (JAMA)

 

Student Athletes Who Specialize Early Are Injured More Often, Study Finds
NPR All Things Considered

If you’re involved in high school athletics, you know the scene. There’s increasing pressure to specialize in a single sport and play it year-round.
The upside? Focusing on one sport can help give kids the edge they need to compete on elite club teams – or travel teams. Many athletes hope to attract the attention of college recruiters, or be offered a sports scholarship. This emphasis on competitive success has become widespread throughout the U.S., according to a consensus statement from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.
And, the downside? The “increased emphasis on sports specialization has led to an increase in overuse injuries, overtraining, and burnout, according to a 2016 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics .
Now, comes a study, published this week in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, that adds to the evidence that specialization may increase the risk of a range of injuries for high school athletes.
“We found that kids who had higher levels of specialization were at about a 50 percent greater risk of having an injury,” says study author Timothy McGuine, a senior scientist and research coordinator at the University of Wisconsin Health Sports Medicine Center. The injuries McGuine and his colleagues noted included ankle sprains, knee tendonitis, and stress fractures.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awZ

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/ax0 (American Journal of Sports Medicine) $

Betsy DeVos, Ivanka Trump team up for girls’ reading event at Smithsonian museum
ABC

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos teamed up with Ivanka Trump on Tuesday at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where the the pair read to a group of girls in an effort to excite them about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The pair took turns reading “Rosie Revere Engineer” — which Trump said is her 6-year-old daughter Arabella’s favorite book — to a group of 6-to-10-year-olds from the Boys and Girls Club and a local YMCA in the Washington, D.C., museum’s SparkLab.
The first daughter, who serves as an adviser to the president, tweeted a video of the event, describing the attendees as “amazing girls.”
According to a U.S. Department of Education press release, the reading was intended to “to encourage students to stay actively engaged in their education while on summer break … This event is a continuation of the Department of Education’s summer reading initiative and will focus specifically on getting girls excited about science, technology, engineering and math.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/axq

 

Robots, race cars and weather: Girl Scouts offer new badges
Associated Press

NEW YORK – Girl Scouts from tiny Daisies to teen Ambassadors may earn 23 new badges focused on science, technology, engineering and math.
It’s the largest addition of new badges in a decade for Girl Scouts of the USA. The effort takes a progressive approach to STEM and also nudges girls to become citizen scientists using the great outdoors as their laboratory.
Among the new badges are those that introduce kindergarten and first graders to the world of robots and engineering. Scouts can learn basic programming and build prototypes to solve everyday problems. Older scouts will have the chance to enhance those skills, learning more about artificial intelligence, algorithms and how to formally present their work.
http://gousoe.uen.org/awU

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/awV (CNN)

 

New York bans electronic cigarettes at schools
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York has kicked electronic cigarettes out of school.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed legislation immediately banning the use of e-cigarettes at all public and private schools statewide. He says the ban will help broader efforts to combat teen smoking.
The ban covers school buildings, grounds and buses.
A state Department of Health survey released earlier this year found that e-cigarette use by high school students nearly doubled between 2014 and 2016 to more than 20 percent.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axu

 

Highest Dutch court orders government to fund new Islamic school
Reuters

AMSTERDAM – The Netherlands’ highest court on Wednesday told the government it must fund an Islamic school in Amsterdam that authorities had tried to ban, tapping into a divisive debate about the role of Muslim culture in Dutch society.
Deputy Education Minister Sander Dekker withheld funding for the school in 2014, shortly after a member of its board expressed support for militant group Islamic State in a Facebook post.
But the Council of State reversed that decision, concluding there were “no valid grounds” to refuse funding as the person in question had since left the board, which had publicly condemned the posting.
Dekker said the government had no choice but to comply, even though the school “does not equate to what I believe is socially desirable.”
The public secondary school will offer Dutch-language education with a focus on Islam to approximately 180 students. It will be the second school of its kind in the Netherlands, it said on its website.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axc

 

Rights groups ask Duterte to retract threat to bomb schools
Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines – Human rights groups asked the Philippine president on Wednesday to retract a threat of airstrikes against tribal schools he accused of teaching students to become communist rebels, warning that such attacks would constitute war crimes.
U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said international humanitarian law “prohibits attacks on schools and other civilian structures unless they are being used for military purposes,” adding that deliberate attacks on civilians, including students and teachers, “is also a war crime.”
Left-wing Rep. Emmi de Jesus of the Gabriela Women’s Party asked Duterte to retract the threat, saying government troops may use it as a pretext to attack indigenous, or Lumad, schools and communities in the country’s south which have come under threat from pro-military militias in recent years.
http://gousoe.uen.org/axd

 

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

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 22:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
2 p.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPEXE

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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