Education News Roundup: Aug. 1, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Our Schools Now reduces its requested tax hikes for public education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aze (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azf (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azt (SGN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azr (AP)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azs (AP via CVD)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azA (AP via MUR)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azM (AP via USN&WR)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azU (AP via Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azO (Utah Business)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azP (KSTU)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azz (KUER)

Granite School Board prepares for a truth-in-taxation hearing aimed at increased teacher salaries.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azg (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azx (DN via KSL)

Kairos Academy appeals State Charter Board’s decision to terminate its charter to State Board of Education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azo (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azp (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azw (DN via KSL)

State Charter Board Member Greg Haws resigns.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azh (SLT)

UEA President Heidi Matthews discusses equity and teacher shortages.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azQ (PR)

Ed Week takes a closer look at the skills gap.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azD (Ed Week)

Are Latino children being shortchanged in a dual immersion in D.C.?
http://gousoe.uen.org/azJ (Hechinger Report)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/azG (Univision) en español

Wyoming wrestles with how to compare its schools with schools nationally.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azR (Casper Star-Tribune)

An Indianapolis kindergarten teacher involves a whole lotta flower girls and ring bearers in her wedding.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azH (ABC)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah’s Our Schools Now initiative trims its proposed tax hikes
Our Schools Now » Organizers reduce amount requested from $865M to $700M.

Granite School Board to hold hearing on proposed 12% property tax hike for teacher pay raises

Ed board to hear appeal from charter school for teen moms
Kairos » School with low graduation rates, attendance may be closed.

State Charter School Board member resigns
Resident of St. George cites difficulty with commute to Salt Lake City, health issues as reasons for resignation.

UEA president, former Park City educator, sees no shortage of challenges ahead
Matthews hopes to address equity among districts, teacher shortage

SSHS’s Morgan named teacher adviser for WGBH

Officials take next steps for flood aid – but don’t expect feds to pay for home repairs

West Bountiful Elementary to be demolished in 2019, rebuilt in 2020

Demolition begins on Bountiful’s historic Stoker School
112 year old structure being torn down to make way for a plaza

STEM Bus takes STEM education on the road

Campaign helps outfit military children for back-to-school

Nearly Two-Thirds of New Science Educators Lack Training in Their Subjects

Utah’s school system ranks within the top 25. Here’s one reason why it wasn’t No. 1

How to help kids succeed this school year

What does online preschool look like in Mississippi?
UPSTART program says early success is promising for kids in the Magnolia state

Twin Falls School District will provide free online classes for homeschoolers

Trump donated $100,000 for a science camp. What should it look like?

Painting the future of education in Utah
Schools all across the country are getting older and becoming less conducive to providing a positive teaching environment.

OPINION & COMMENTARY

For 1.3 Million Homeless Youths, ESSA Is a Beacon of Hope
ESSA is a new opportunity to help homeless students succeed academically

Demonizing School Choice Won’t Help Education
Critics of public schools aren’t the Bible-thumping racists that some liberals make them out to be.

A Call for Social Responsibility and Suicide Risk Screening, Prevention, and Early Intervention Following the Release of the Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why

Backing the Wrong Horse
The Story of One State’s Ambitious But Disheartening Foray Into Performance Pay

NATION

Is There Really a ‘Skills Gap’?
Millions of jobs are going unfilled because U.S. employers can’t find workers with the right skills. What’s really behind companies’ hiring difficulties? Experts debate whether a “skills gap” is the main culprit

Rising popularity of dual-language education could leave Latinos behind
In D.C., native English speakers clamor for a program once designed for Latino immigrants. Who should get priority?

Lawmakers, educators weigh how to compare Wyoming’s education system to rest of the country

A million more web searches about suicide after ’13 Reasons Why’

Guess What? We’re All Born With Mathematical Abilities

Report: What States Are the Best for Data Innovation?
Nonprofit think-tank the Center for Data Innovation rated states for data innovation based on their use of data and technology, and their interaction with people and companies.

Microsoft targets Google and Apple in schools with ‘Surface Plus’ hardware subscription program

How college fast-trackers save time and money

Spend on schools and hospitals, ECB tells euro zone

Teacher invites 20 of her students to serve as flower girls, ring bearers in her wedding

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah’s Our Schools Now initiative trims its proposed tax hikes
Our Schools Now » Organizers reduce amount requested from $865M to $700M.

Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to raise more money for Utah public schools have reduced the amount of extra taxes they want voters to approve next year.
Our Schools Now organizers announced Monday that the initiative’s Teacher and Student Success Act has been amended to call for income and sales tax hikes of 0.45 percentage points, down from an earlier proposal of 0.5-point increases.
The change follows 14 regional meetings hosted by the initiative in July and a cost analysis by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget that labeled the campaign with a $865 million price tag. That number differed significantly from Our Schools Now’s internal estimate of a $700 million to public education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aze (SLT)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/azt (SGN)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/azs (AP via CVD)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/azM (AP via USN&WR)

http://gousoe.uen.org/azU (AP via Ed Week)

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/azz (KUER)

 

Granite School Board to hold hearing on proposed 12% property tax hike for teacher pay raises

SOUTH SALT LAKE – Faced with 300 open positions and challenges of attracting new teachers and retaining veterans, the Granite Board of Education took a bold step this spring.
It raised salaries by a total of 11.6 percent for teachers and administrators, which means starting pay for teachers is now about $41,000 a year.
“This literally was a market-directed decision to compensate teachers based on supply and demand,” said Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley.
The pay raise was made possible, in part, when the Utah Legislature approved a 4 percent increase in the value of the weighted pupil unit earlier this year. The WPU is a building block of education funding that is used primarily for compensation and benefits.
Funding the salary hike also required local effort, an average 11.95 percent increase in property taxes on homes and businesses in the school district’s boundaries.
On Tuesday, the Granite Board of Education will conduct a truth-in-taxation hearing to allow members of the public to comment on the proposed property tax increase. The hearing is at 6:15 p.m. in the board meeting room at 2500 S. State.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azg (DN)

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

 

Ed board to hear appeal from charter school for teen moms
Kairos » School with low graduation rates, attendance may be closed.

A West Valley City charter school for pregnant teens and young mothers has one last chance to keep its doors open.
Members of the Utah Board of Education will hear an appeal by Kairos Academy, board spokeswoman Emilie Wheeler said Monday, following the termination of the charter school in July by the State Charter School Board.
Wheeler said state school board chairman Mark Huntsman is currently in the process of selecting a panel of board members to hear the school’s appeal and that a hearing date has not yet been set.
“We want to do this in a timely fashion in order to ensure the students have appropriate educational options to start the school year,” Wheeler said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azo (SLT)

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

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

 

State Charter School Board member resigns
Resident of St. George cites difficulty with commute to Salt Lake City, health issues as reasons for resignation.

A member of Utah’s State Charter School Board has stepped down, citing time constraints and difficulty attending meetings.
Greg Haws, who joined the charter board last year, resigned his seat on July 24 during a personal conversation with board chairwoman Kristen Elinkowski.
Haws said he has missed board meetings because of the commute to Salt Lake City from St. George – where he resides for roughly half the year – and expected more absences due to an upcoming surgery.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azh (SLT)

 

UEA president, former Park City educator, sees no shortage of challenges ahead
Matthews hopes to address equity among districts, teacher shortage

Like teachers and administrators throughout Utah, Heidi Matthews understands the many challenges educators are facing as budget crunches and a teacher shortage ripple through the state. But unlike many of her peers, she is in prime position to do something about them.
Matthews, a former librarian in the Park City School District, is entering her second year as the president of the Utah Education Association (UEA), the union that represents thousands of teachers statewide. The position provides her a prominent pulpit and makes her one of the most influential educators in the state.
After observing the educational landscape in her first year, Matthews is hoping to use the UEA’s might to move the needle on some of the biggest issues affecting school districts and their students. Chief among them, she said, is ensuring all students around the state receive high-quality educations – not just the ones who live within the boundaries of wealthier districts.
A lack of equity in that respect, she said, is perhaps what has stood out to her most since taking the helm of the UEA. In many areas of the state, students attend lower-performing schools while the boundaries of better districts are just miles away.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azQ (PR)

 

SSHS’s Morgan named teacher adviser for WGBH

MONROE – While most high school students are in the middle of enjoying their summer vacations, their teachers are already preparing for the upcoming academic year.
South Sevier High School’s Debbie Morgan continues to find new ways to bring excitement to her earth science classroom. Her work has qualified to be selected by Boston’s public television station, WGBH, to be a teacher adviser for Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms.
The program is designed to create new digital media resources for classes involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics – STEM.
The information is being produced in collaboration with NASA, and will be distributed free of charge through PBS LearningMedia, potentially reaching millions of students and teachers nationally.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aA2 (Richfield Reaper)

 

Officials take next steps for flood aid – but don’t expect feds to pay for home repairs

SALT LAKE CITY – In step two toward obtaining federal financial assistance for Salt Lake City after a 200-year storm flooded schools, libraries and homes, Salt Lake County has now issued its emergency declaration.
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams signed the proclamation Monday following Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s declaration last week, launching the process so the state may eventually ask for federal assistance if eligible damage costs rise to the appropriate level.
According to the county’s state of emergency declaration, the damages caused by the storm appear to have exceeded $6 million.

In addition to homes, East High School, Highland High School and Emerson Elementary School were damaged by flooding last Wednesday. The damage was most extensive at East High, where repair costs are expected to reach between $3 million to $5 million.
However, Yándary Zavala Chatwin, spokeswoman for the Salt Lake City School District, said Monday the district has been informed that its insurance will cover the costs.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azS (DN)

 

West Bountiful Elementary to be demolished in 2019, rebuilt in 2020

WEST BOUNTIFUL – West Bountiful Elementary School is going to be demolished and rebuilt on the same site.
Rebuilding the school was part of the plan for spending a $298 million bond initiative passed by voters in 2015.
Building design will begin this fall, and construction is slated to start in early 2019. The new building will open in August 2020, according to Board of Education documents from a July 18 meeting.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azq (OSE)

 

Demolition begins on Bountiful’s historic Stoker School
112 year old structure being torn down to make way for a plaza

BOUNTIFUL – School’s out forever at historic Stoker School, built in 1905.
112 years of history started tumbling down Monday as a backhoe ripped away at the brick structure on the corner of 200 South and 100 East.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azv (KTVX)

 

STEM Bus takes STEM education on the road

STEM education is now on wheels as Utah’s first STEM bus takes the show on the road.
The STEM bus is a 1997 UTA bus that used to take people around town. UTA retired the bus. It sat for a little bit before it was donated to become a mobile classroom. The bus has been completely gutted and instead of seats, there are tables and chairs. It’s also filled with the concepts of STEM with robotics, video game design, computer programming, structural engineering and spacial math.
“This bus is going to be in mostly classrooms, that’s our target. It’s going to go statewide. It’s going to travel to all of the schools that request us throughout the entire state,” said Program Coordinator Abby Dowd.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azu (KUTV)

 

Campaign helps outfit military children for back-to-school

Supporting our troops also includes supporting their families and making sure military kids have what they need to go back to school this fall.
Hill Field Elementary Principal Doug Forsgren talks more about the Operation Homefront Back to School Brigade.
Hill Field Elementary School and Operation Homefront are teaming up on the Operation Homefront Back to School Brigade on Friday, Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azT (KTVX)

 

Nearly Two-Thirds of New Science Educators Lack Training in Their Subjects

After spending four years learning how to teach physics, Ryan Nixon landed a job teaching science. Soon, he found himself in front of a room full of 8th graders; the only problem was he was there to teach them geology, a subject he hadn’t delved into since he was an 8th grader himself.
“When you’re a new teacher and you want a job, you take the job the principal gives you,” Nixon, who is now a professor of science education at Brigham Young University, told the university’s news service. “And if you’re assigned out of field, maybe you figure it out and do a good job with it, but it makes your life hard.”
Nixon undertook a research project to find out just how often newbie science educators were asked to teach in areas in which they had minimal formal training, which he defines as having either a major or minor in the area in which they are teaching. Nixon, and some other researchers from the University of Georgia, found that almost two-thirds of new science teachers (64 percent) taught at least one course outside of their field in their first five years in the classroom, while 40 percent taught mostly or entirely out of field during that period. The researchers also found that out-of-field teaching was more prevalent in rural and urban schools and in schools with high numbers of English-language learners. The survey was completed by 137 teachers who taught in secondary schools in five states in the Midwest and Southwest. Researchers followed the teachers across their first five years in the classroom and response rates dropped off through the years. The researchers said that the sample was nationally representative in terms of gender, age, certification, and school placement.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azj (Ed Week)

 

Utah’s school system ranks within the top 25. Here’s one reason why it wasn’t No. 1

Utah’s education system isn’t the best in the country, but it’s far from the worst, according to a new WalletHub report.
Utah ranked at No. 17 on WalletHub’s recent list of states with the best schools. It trailed Pennsylvania, Kansas, Colorado and North Carolina.
Utah finished ahead of Oklahoma, Maryland, North Dakota, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Washington in the top 25.
Massachusetts led the nation, beating out New Jersey, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Vermont within the top five.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azi (DN)

 

How to help kids succeed this school year

As people do their back to school shopping, one thing at the top of everybody’s mind is “How will we make this school year a success?”. Victor Camacho joined Good Things Utah to talk about things parents and children can do to prepare for the school year. He is the owner and founder of High Performance Tutoring, a Utah-based tutoring a test prep company open since 2011.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aA1 (KTVX)

What does online preschool look like in Mississippi?
UPSTART program says early success is promising for kids in the Magnolia state

A free online preschool pilot program is wrapping up in Mississippi, and program officials say early results are promising, indicating the new offering may boost kindergarten readiness.
The pilot is run through the non-profit Waterford Institute, which launched the first online preschool offering in Utah in 2009. The program, UPSTART, received an $11.5 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2013 to expand its program to Utah’s rural children. The program currently serves nearly 30 percent of the state’s 4-year-olds, according to program officials. Since then, with a mix of local and private funding, UPSTART has expanded its online, home-based kindergarten readiness programs to kids in Idaho, South Carolina, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi.
UPSTART provides families computers and Internet, if needed, as well as an online curriculum with daily reading lessons, math and science instruction and suggested at-home activities that complement the curriculum. Parents receive in-person training, support administering the curriculum, and frequent calls from UPSTART officials to check in.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azW (Hechinger Report)

 

Twin Falls School District will provide free online classes for homeschoolers

TWIN FALLS – Twin Falls homeschoolers: You’ll soon have access to free curriculum and online classes through the Twin Falls School District.
The district is launching a new partnership with Harmony Educational Services, based in Springville, Utah.

But not everyone has been pleased.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported in May 2014 that two Utah charter schools cut ties with Harmony.
One of the school leaders called the company “predatory” during a meeting with the Utah State Charter School Board, saying taxpayer money wasn’t used wisely.
It came after a 2014 audit report from the Utah State Board of Education, scrutinizing distance learning and online programs in Utah schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azV (Twin Falls [ID] Times-News)

 

Trump donated $100,000 for a science camp. What should it look like?

The U.S. Department of Education announced last week that President Donald Trump will donate $100,000 from his salary to the agency to support a summer camp for students focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
“We want to encourage as many children as possible to explore STEM fields, in the hope that many develop a passion for these fields,” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said at a 26 July White House press briefing where she accepted the gift.
But the White House and the department released no details about the planned camp, leaving many STEM professionals uncertain about what the Trump administration has in mind. But in interviews with ScienceInsider, they offered DeVos and Trump some unsolicited tips for running a successful camp.

At Utah State University’s App Camp in Logan, smart hiring has meant training high school girls how to lead groups of middle school-aged girls in using App Inventor, a program that helps people build their own computer applications. “Here in northern Utah we have a hard time getting girls to attend STEM camps,” says Jody Clarke-Midura, who directs the program. “We train these high school girls on how to be mentors and run the camp so that they’re just as empowered in STEM as the young girls they’re leading.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/azX (Science magazine)

 

Painting the future of education in Utah
Schools all across the country are getting older and becoming less conducive to providing a positive teaching environment.

Education is one of the vital cornerstones of our society, providing the foundation young people all across the country need in order to flourish in their professional and personal lives. The facilities in which our children learn provide formative experiences that heavily influence their success and view of the world. Schools all across the country are getting older and becoming less conducive to providing a positive teaching environment. As part of a much needed educational expansion for the Davis School District in Farmington, Utah, two new schools were recently commissioned to better serve the local student body, including Odyssey Elementary School.
Designed by VCBO Architecture, plans for the new school called for 84,785 square-foot of total environmentally conscious construction. Composed of two multi-story educational wings centered around a common dining area, Odyssey Elementary was also devised to obtain LEED Gold certification through its use of 1,200 solar panels, natural lighting and use of sustainable materials. Along with its creative interior design and overall mass, the defining features of the school’s architecture are the exterior metal panels installed in two curving bands atop the building’s main entrance.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aA0 (Building Design & Construction)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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For 1.3 Million Homeless Youths, ESSA Is a Beacon of Hope
ESSA is a new opportunity to help homeless students succeed academically
Education Week op-ed by Barbara Duffield, executive director of SchoolHouse Connection, a national advocacy organization for homeless youths, & John Bridgeland, CEO of Civic Enterprises, a public-policy firm in Washington

Collectively, public schools identified more than 1.3 million homeless students in the 2015-16 school year. Although that number is just 2.5 percent of all public school enrollment, it represents an estimated 30 percent of all school-age children living in extreme poverty. Homelessness is a threat to everything young students want to achieve in life, including strong attachments to family and community, graduation from high school and college, employment, and civic engagement. This vulnerable population has growing support, including through federal legislation, that has the power to put it on a path to a productive life-but only if states fully embrace the opportunity to help those in need.
The Every Student Succeeds Act provides a framework to help states do so. ESSA’s amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act (the federal law originally passed in 1987 that ensures educational stability and enrollment protections for homeless children and youths) reflect a growing understanding that homelessness has an impact on academic achievement over and above the impact of poverty. Only five states currently report graduation rates for homeless students, and all have found that they have lower graduation rates and higher dropout rates than those of housed, poor students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azE

Demonizing School Choice Won’t Help Education
Critics of public schools aren’t the Bible-thumping racists that some liberals make them out to be.
Bloomberg commentary by columnist Megan McArdle

Katherine Stewart doesn’t like Donald Trump’s language about “failing government schools.” School choice, she suggests, has some unsavory ancestors. Libertarianism, for one, “for which all government is big and bad.” And (presumably) even worse: “American slavery, Jim Crow-era segregation, anti-Catholic sentiment and a particular form of Christian fundamentalism.”
One could quibble with some of Stewart’s summation. But it’s certainly fair to note that people opposed to desegregation decided that one way to solve the problem was to get rid of public schools, allowing racists to choose a lily-white educational environment for their children. Maintaining Jim Crow is a vile motive, and it can’t be denied that that was one historical reason some people had for supporting school choice.
Only the proper answer to this is, So what? You cannot stop terrible people from promoting sound ideas for bad reasons. Liberals who think that ad hominem is a sufficient rebuttal to a policy proposal should first stop to consider the role of Hitler’s Germany in spreading national health insurance programs to the countries they invaded. If you think “But Hitler” does not really constitute a useful argument about universal health coverage, then you should probably not resort to “But Jim Crow” in a disagreement over school funding.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azK

http://gousoe.uen.org/azL (National Review)

 

A Call for Social Responsibility and Suicide Risk Screening, Prevention, and Early Intervention Following the Release of the Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why
JAMA Internal Medicine op-ed by Kimberly H. McManama O’Brien, PhD; John R. Knight Jr, MD; Sion K. Harris, PhD, CPH

The national suicide rate has risen steadily in recent decades, making suicide now the second leading cause of death among young people, accounting for more than 1 in 6 deaths. Adolescent reports of suicide ideation and attempts are on the rise. According to national high school Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the percentage of high school respondents who reported that they seriously considered attempting suicide during the 12 months preceding the survey rose from 13.8% in 2009 to 17.7% in 2015; during this same interval, the percentage of high school students making a plan for how they would attempt suicide increased (10.9% to 14.6%), as did the percentage who actually attempted suicide (6.3% to 8.6%).
Ayers and colleagues found that suicide-related internet searches increased following the release of the series 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, with increases in specific query terms suggesting that the series had both a positive effect of elevated suicide awareness as well as a deleterious effect of increased suicide ideation. We cannot ascertain whether the searches on “how to kill yourself” were made out of idle curiosity or by suicidal individuals contemplating an attempt. While it is likely that far more were due to the former, the producers of the series should have taken steps to mitigate the latter, as encouraged by suicide prevention specialists.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azn

 

Backing the Wrong Horse
The Story of One State’s Ambitious But Disheartening Foray Into Performance Pay
National Council on Teacher Quality analysis

There’s no silver bullet to attract and retain effective teachers. In order to recruit and retain top talent in the classroom, schools must implement a multi-pronged strategy. An essential component of that strategy is a competitive compensation package. Pay matters. Indeed, research demonstrates that teachers who are satisfied with their pay are less likely to be interested in leaving their jobs.
As is true in any job sector, salaries set by a school district reflect its priorities and values, along with the priorities and values of the state. Although it is not necessarily true that the employee with the highest salary is also the most valued employee, the salary an employee earns is a partial reflection of particular attributes valued by the employer. For example, new employees typically earn relatively small salaries compared with salaries earned by long-term employees because many organizations highly value employee experience.
This paper examines these issues by reviewing the compensation structures in a subset of large districts in Florida. Specifically, we review implementation of the ambitious performance pay policy that the Florida legislature passed in 2011, which requires its most effective teachers to earn the district’s highest annual salary awards.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azF

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Is There Really a ‘Skills Gap’?
Millions of jobs are going unfilled because U.S. employers can’t find workers with the right skills. What’s really behind companies’ hiring difficulties? Experts debate whether a “skills gap” is the main culprit
Education Week

It’s an ominous-sounding argument, and it’s making the rounds among policymakers: Millions of jobs are going unfilled because U.S. employers can’t find workers with the right sets of skills.
The theory that a “skills gap” is hobbling business recently led President Donald Trump to propose a massive expansion of apprenticeships to fuel the jobs pipeline and let students “earn while they learn.”
But the skills-gap argument isn’t new, and it’s vigorously debated. Theories differ about what’s causing companies’ hiring difficulties, and how to solve them.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azD

Rising popularity of dual-language education could leave Latinos behind
In D.C., native English speakers clamor for a program once designed for Latino immigrants. Who should get priority?
Hechinger Report

WASHINGTON – Meri Kolbrener moved to a gentrified neighborhood in northwest D.C. so her children could get a guaranteed spot in the Oyster-Adams Bilingual School. The public school is not far from where Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner live, a neighborhood that used to be predominantly Latino but changed color years ago. Now, many wealthy white parents, who once kept their children out of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), are flocking to programs like Oyster-Adams’ because, as Principal Mayra Canizales put it, “dual language became sexy.”
The school has a waitlist of nearly 800 applicants, the vast majority of whom are native English speakers; from that majority, maybe five will get in. Kolbrener, though, doesn’t have to worry. Families who own a home within the school’s attendance boundary have a guaranteed right to enroll. It’s only those outside of the neighborhood who end up on the waitlist.
While neither Kolbrener nor her husband speak Spanish, all three of their children do. At Oyster-Adams, half of the classes are taught in Spanish, so their kids get about three hours of instruction in the language every day, plus additional supports as necessary.
Rosa Zelaya’s child, on the other hand, gets just one 45-minute Spanish class per week at Truesdell Education Campus, north of downtown. There, 67 percent of students are Latino and nearly half speak Spanish better than they speak English, but they don’t get to build on their native language during the school day. Zelaya worries that her children won’t ever learn to read and write in Spanish. Even with the head start they get at home, Zelaya’s children will almost certainly leave DCPS with lower literacy skills in Spanish than Kolbrener’s.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azJ

http://gousoe.uen.org/azG (Univision) en español

 

Lawmakers, educators weigh how to compare Wyoming’s education system to rest of the country
Casper (WY) Star-Tribune

In the background of broader discussions about how to fund education in Wyoming, lawmakers and educators have discussed and often debated how to compare Wyoming schools – and its students’ results – to other states.
Should officials look at nearby states, such as Utah, which spends significantly less per student than Wyoming? Should those act as a blueprint of how to fund schools here and of how students should be performing on tests?
Several lawmakers, including Sen. President Eli Bebout and Sen. Majority Leader Drew Perkins, have pointed out that the Equality State spends more than $16,000 per student – more than $6,000 more than some other Western states.
Or should lawmakers look at the very best education systems in the country – like those in Massachusetts and Vermont – for a way to become their peer in test results?
The answer lies somewhere in the middle, officials have said. In the past, the question of comparability has served as a way for some cut-minded lawmakers to point out how well funded the Wyoming school system is. But now, as educators, consultants and legislators begin examining the education funding model, the question of how Wyoming stacks up is more pressing and vital to discussions about the fiscal future of schools here.
Sen. Chris Rothfuss, a Laramie Democrat, summed it up at a key legislative meeting in Casper last week.
“If all we want to do is beat our neighbors, we’re doing that,” he said. “What do we want? To be the best of seven (nearby) states and then stop trying to compare to rest of the country? Or do we want to have education system that’s equal to East Coast states or West Coast states?”
http://gousoe.uen.org/azR

 

A million more web searches about suicide after ’13 Reasons Why’
Reuters

Online searches related to suicide spiked right after Netflix released “13 Reasons Why,” a popular series about a teen girl who takes her own life, a U.S. study suggests.
Google search volumes for queries about suicide were 19 percent higher than expected in the 19 days following the show’s release, reflecting 900,000 to 1.5 million more searches than there otherwise would have been, researchers report today in JAMA Internal Medicine.
“The more someone contemplates suicide, the more likely they are to act,” said lead study author John Ayers of San Diego State University in California. “Searches often foreshadow offline behaviors.”
Many of the searches in the study focused on suicidal thoughts.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azk

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

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/azl (JAMA Internal Medicine)

 

Guess What? We’re All Born With Mathematical Abilities
NPR

As an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, Kristy vanMarle knew she wanted to go to grad school for psychology, but wasn’t sure what lab to join. Then, she saw a flyer: Did you know that babies can count?
“I thought, No way. Babies probably can’t count, and they certainly don’t count the way that we do,” she says. But the seed was planted, and vanMarle started down her path of study. The person who made that flyer, Karen Wynn, became her mentor and they have since co-published several studies together.
I spoke with vanMarle, an associate professor at the University of Missouri whose research focuses on children’s early cognitive development, to find out what she’s been up to lately. The interview that follows has been edited and condensed.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azy

 

Report: What States Are the Best for Data Innovation?
Nonprofit think-tank the Center for Data Innovation rated states for data innovation based on their use of data and technology, and their interaction with people and companies.
Government Technology

In the premiere edition of a new report, a nonprofit think tank has recognized states for their innovation when it comes to data.
The Best States for Data Innovation, released on Monday, July 31 by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Data Innovation, ranked Massachusetts, Washington and Maryland as the No. 1, 2 and 3 states overall.
Delaware followed fourth-ranked California in rounding out the top five, while Utah placed sixth; Virginia got spot No. 7; Oregon placed eighth; transportation innovator Colorado ran ninth; and New York was 10th.
The survey examined state and federal information compiled over the past two years to populate 25 indicators in areas of data and technology, and people and companies.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azY

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/azZ (Center for Data Innovation)

 

Microsoft targets Google and Apple in schools with ‘Surface Plus’ hardware subscription program
GeekWire

Microsoft is launching a new subscription program for buying Surface computers and tablets in much the same way that many people now purchase smartphones, with no-interest financing for two years and the ability to upgrade to a new device before the term is up.
Announced this morning at the launch of back-to-school season, the initiative is part of a broader push by Microsoft to gain new momentum in U.S. schools, where Google Chromebooks have taken the lead vs. Microsoft and Apple.
Microsoft’s new subscription program, called Surface Plus, will be available starting later today through the Microsoft Store in person and online. Microsoft’s Surface Laptop, Surface Pro, Surface Book and Surface Studio are all options under the program. The program lets participants upgrade to a new machine after 18 months when they return their existing hardware in good condition.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azN

How college fast-trackers save time and money
Reuters

NEW YORK – For most students, getting their college bachelor’s degree takes four years. For some, five.
For Michelle Schroeder-Gardner? Three.
The 28-year-old financial blogger from St. Louis graduated in business administration and management in 2010, and then later got a finance MBA. By stacking credits while still in high school and taking a heavy course load in college, she shaved a full year off her college experience at Webster University. “I saved at least $40,000,” she says.
Schroeder-Gardner’s college-on-steroids experience is an instructive one. What if one solution to the nation’s student debt crisis were right in front of our noses this whole time: Finishing your degree as quickly as humanly possible?
http://gousoe.uen.org/azB

 

Spend on schools and hospitals, ECB tells euro zone
Reuters

FRANKFURT – Governments in the euro zone should raise spending on health, education and infrastructure if they are to grow out of their debt quagmire, the European Central Bank said on Tuesday.
The ECB’s study adds weight to calls for greater investment in the bloc, where many countries have high public debt and meager long-term growth prospects despite a recent cyclical upswing.
After years of flat or shrinking government budgets, the ECB recommended channeling spending towards “growth-friendly” categories such as education, health and infrastructure.
“Particular care should be devoted to redirecting more resources towards the areas of health, education or infrastructure, as such spending has been shown to have positive long-term effects on growth, while cutting less productive spending,” it said in the study.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azC

 

Teacher invites 20 of her students to serve as flower girls, ring bearers in her wedding
ABC

A very special group of flower girls and ring bearers accompanied teacher Marielle Slagel Keller down the aisle last month.
Twenty kindergarten and first-grade students from IPS Butler Lab School in Indianapolis played a special role in their teacher’s June 24 wedding.
“They’re the kids that mean the most to me. They’re a part of who I am,” Marielle Slagel Keller, 25, told ABC News.
http://gousoe.uen.org/azH

 

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UEN News
http://www.uen.org

August 3:

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

August 4:

Utah State Board of Education meeting
8 a.m., 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

September 19:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPPED

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