Education News Roundup: Aug. 2, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Granite District Board approves a 12% tax hike.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAa (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aAu (KUTV)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aAv (DN via KSL)

Weber Board considers bonds rather than a tax hike.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAr (OSE)

ED approves the first state ESSA plan; or should we say First State since it was for Delaware.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAi (Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aAj (ED)

New survey finds 90 percent of parents think their kids are doing just fine in math and reading. The reality? Not so much. How much of this is due to education jargon getting in the way?
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAe (The 74)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAf (Learning Heroes)

Should writing instruction focus on expression or grammar?
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAx (NYT)

What changes when you teach reading via print and via computers?
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAD (Ed Week)
or a copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAE (Review of Educational Research) $

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Granite School Board unanimously adopts 12% property tax increase

Weber school officials lean toward bond initiative with no tax increase

Bountiful lawyer, 96, recalls Stoker School’s heyday as demolition proceeds

Rock Canyon Elementary community grieving teacher after her unexpected death

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

Prepare your children for classrooms and learning with these back-to-school picture books

Layton Hills Mall sponsoring back-to-school sweepstakes

Can consultant under ethics investigation save troubled Charlotte-area charter school?

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Frustrated, ignored voters are taking matters into their own hands

Six Secrets to Private Schools’ Success, and How Public Schools Can Steal Them
Public education has a lot to learn from independent schools

NATION

Betsy DeVos Approves Delaware’s ESSA Plan, After Blowback

DeVos defends Trump-backed education cuts

90% of Parents Think Their Kids Are on Track in Math & Reading. The Real Number? Just 1 in 3, Survey Shows
“The education community continues to use a language that parents don’t speak”

When Charter Schools Open, Neighboring Schools Get Better: A New Study Finds 7 Reasons

In Minnesota – and School Districts Across the Country – Last In, First Out No Longer the Rule for Teacher Layoffs
Minnesota no longer uses LIFO as a default. Will that change the state’s teacher layoff landscape?

The Real Legacy of Crazy Horse
The Oglala Sioux leader prophesized an economic, spiritual, and social renaissance among Native American youth. Now the Seventh Generation is here-and they’re determined to live up to the legend.

A Wakeup Call on Writing Instruction (Now, What’s an Adverb?)

What We Still Don’t Know About Digital Reading

Who Gets Hurt When High School Diplomas Are Not Created Equal?

Arne Duncan criticizes Betsy DeVos on civil rights, says she hasn’t asked for his advice

Pennsylvania district settles transgender bathroom lawsuit

“Pattern” of school district ignoring child’s bullying before suicide, mom says

‘No shots, no school’? Vaccination rates lag in California charter schools

Illinois governor rejects school funding legislation

Top Trump Cabinet officials take part in weekly Bible study class

Mississippi high school football player dies after practice

How Canada became an education superpower

Japan’s School System Is More Equitable-and Less Costly
The country’s government makes sure areas with low income levels and property values get good teachers too.

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Granite School Board unanimously adopts 12% property tax increase

SOUTH SALT LAKE – Despite pushback from patrons who argued that the school board hadn’t justified raising their taxes, the Granite School District Board of Education on Tuesday night unanimously adopted a new budget for the coming school year that will be supported by a 12 percent increase in local property taxes.
“I don’t get this kind of increase,” said Roger Mott of Holladay.
“Yes, I agree, teachers need to be paid accordingly. But right now, I have seen no justification whatsoever why the increase,” he said.
School board members said they took the step of awarding an 11 percent pay raise to teachers and administrators to better compete for new teachers and to retain educators now on the job.
While many board members acknowledged that the property tax increase would be challenging for some in the district to afford, they maintained the school district needed a “market adjustment” to compete for the best teachers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAa (DN)

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

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

 

Weber school officials lean toward bond initiative with no tax increase

OGDEN – Weber School District officials are in favor of pursuing a bond initiative this fall that wouldn’t increase taxes.
Board of Education members and district staff spoke in favor of a $97 million bond initiative at a work session meeting Tuesday, Aug. 1. A formal decision won’t be made until the scheduled board meeting Wednesday, Aug 2.
The $97 million option includes a $22 million new elementary school in a northern area of Farr West called Remuda, a $22 million new elementary school in Pleasant View, a $5 million 12-classroom addition on Fremont High School, a $38 million renovation of Roy Junior High School and a $10 million addition at Weber Innovation High School.
Two other options would have increased taxes and included other projects: a new elementary school in Kanesville, a new junior high in West Haven, renovating Roosevelt and Canyon View elementary schools and rebuilding T.H. Bell Junior High School.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAr (OSE)

 

Bountiful lawyer, 96, recalls Stoker School’s heyday as demolition proceeds

BOUNTIFUL – Stoker School here helped lay the foundation for George Fadel’s long career as a lawyer.
Some of his early lessons in the red brick building back in the 1920s sparked an abiding interest in the Revolutionary War and U.S. history. He remembers D.R. Tolman, the school’s second principal, with reverence.
“He was an honorable gentleman, but he didn’t tolerate any monkey business,” said Fadel, 96, a long-time lawyer and former mayor here who attended Stoker School in the late 1920s and early 1930s. “They loved him but feared him.”
As such, as talk evolved of demolishing the old city-owned structure at 75 East 200 South – part of city leaders’ grander plan of developing a public plaza there – he listened with increasing dismay. “It would create a real void in my life to see Stoker School is no longer there,” said Fadel, who served as Bountiful’s mayor in the 1950s.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAs (OSE)

 

Rock Canyon Elementary community grieving teacher after her unexpected death

Two years after the death of four members of the Openshaw family rocked the Rock Canyon Elementary School community, the school is working its way through the loss of the teacher who helped her students navigate their grief.
Christy Yardley, a sixth-grade teacher at Rock Canyon Elementary School in Provo, died Friday after complications of a minor surgery, according to a GoFundMe account to aid the family. The 40-year-old Yardley lived in Provo, was a mother to four and was beloved by parents and students at the school.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAt (PDH)

 

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

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – On August 5th, 2017, Salt Lake City Mission will give more than 600 children from low income families the necessary school supplies they need to succeed in school.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAw (KCSG)

 

Prepare your children for classrooms and learning with these back-to-school picture books

It might still feel like summer outside, but back-to-school is close upon us. Below is a collection of back-to-school picture books to help get children excited and in the mood for classrooms and learning. To round out the pack, there’s also a few fall- and Halloween-themed books to build some excitement for fun the upcoming season brings.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAp (DN)

 

Layton Hills Mall sponsoring back-to-school sweepstakes

LAYTON – Layton Hills Mall is sponsoring a back-to-school sweepstakes for all mini-fashionistas heading back to class this fall.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAq (DN)

 

Can consultant under ethics investigation save troubled Charlotte-area charter school?

CORNELIUS — A year after narrowly averting a forced closing, Thunderbird Prep charter school has turned to a consultant who is under ethics investigation in South Carolina for help making a fresh start.
Last summer North Carolina charter school officials put the small suburban school, which got about $1.6 million in public money last year, under extra supervision because of state concerns about finances and parent complaints about building safety and school leadership.
Now the school, which continues to spend more than it takes in, is seeking new leadership and grappling with questions about its consulting firm.
The ongoing struggle for state officials to monitor Thunderbird’s operation – and for school leaders to rebuild in the glare of public scrutiny – illustrates a national challenge as school choice flourishes: How should states encourage charter-school innovation and excellence while cracking down on those that shortchange students or waste tax dollars?
The Charlotte region has seen both extremes in recent years, with some schools thriving and growing while others have closed amid academic and financial turmoil. Thunderbird, which opened in 2014, has hovered on the bubble for the past year. Now the school is working with a consultant who inspired South Carolina’s inspector general to urge that state to tighten its scrutiny of charter schools.

Leadership churn continues, with managing director and principal Emmanuel Vincent resigning in June as a new board took office. Founding board chair Peter Mojica, a Charlotte-area tech entrepreneur who had vowed to restore the state’s confidence in the school, was among those who stepped down.
Two of the five current members live in Utah. The board is chaired by Taft Morley, an executive with Utah-based American Charter Development, which financed the former board’s purchase of the former Montessori school in 2014. Most board meetings require conference calls so Morley and Angela Hansen, a Utah educator and nonprofit operator, can participate. North Carolina law allows up to half of charter board members to live out of state.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAP (Charlotte [NC] Observer)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Frustrated, ignored voters are taking matters into their own hands
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Robert Gehrke

There’s something happening in this state that we frankly haven’t seen in a long time.
Voters, frustrated at not being heard in the halls of the Utah Capitol have had enough, and three – and very likely four – initiatives appear to be headed for the 2018 ballot. What’s more, the recent Hinckley Institute-Salt Lake Tribune poll indicates that the three filed initiatives all enjoy broad support.
Utahns overwhelmingly, by a margin of 78-20, support legalizing medical marijuana, as most other states already have done. By a nearly 3-to-1 margin, they back the creation of an independent commission to draw Utah’s legislative and congressional boundaries. And a sizable majority, 57-40, supports a proposal to impose tax hikes to bolster Utah’s underfunded education system.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aA9

 

Six Secrets to Private Schools’ Success, and How Public Schools Can Steal Them
Public education has a lot to learn from independent schools
Education Week op-ed by Stephanie J. Hull, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

Where school reform is concerned, it’s easy to imagine that the divide between well-resourced independent schools and their often more economically challenged public counterparts would be impossible to bridge. True, the many benefits inherent to private education-selective enrollment, smaller classes, greater resources, greater autonomy-may make it seem as though considering independent schools’ opportunities for transformation alongside those of their public counterparts is the proverbial comparison of apples and oranges.
Yet a number of the ways in which many (admittedly privileged) independent schools achieve their impressive learning outcomes-such as high standardized-test scores, strong graduation rates, and distinguished college admissions-are actually well within reach of public schools. Indeed, there are six things independent schools routinely do that are less often attempted in public education, but well worth exploring.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAF

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Betsy DeVos Approves Delaware’s ESSA Plan, After Blowback
Education Week

After some serious drama, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Tuesday gave Delaware the green light for its Every Student Succeeds Act plan.
You read that right. Delaware, aka the state whose Feedback Shook the World, is the first state to get the all-clear to proceed on ESSA.
What drama are we talking about? Here’s some quick background: DeVos had been hitting the local control theme hard in speeches since taking office. But her team’s response to the submitted plan from Delaware, one of the first states to get ESSA plan feedback from the Trump education department, seemed out of line with that rhetoric.
The department questioned the ambitiousness of the First State’s student achievement goals and criticized the state for wanting to use Advanced Placement tests to gauge college and career readiness. (The department said this was a no-go because the tests and courses aren’t available in every school.)
That got many important people pretty upset, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the Senate education chairman and an ESSA architect. Chris Minnich, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, also said he was disappointed. Both said that DeVos’ team had essentially overstepped the bounds of the law.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAi

http://gousoe.uen.org/aAj (ED)

 

DeVos defends Trump-backed education cuts
Detroit News

Grand Rapids – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Tuesday defended cuts to teacher training programs proposed in President Donald Trump’s budget.
When pressed by reporters about whether she supports the cuts following a tour of technical training facilities at the Grand Rapids Community College campus, DeVos didn’t directly answer the question but said she and Trump support teachers and will continue to do so.
“Actually, President Trump and I are very big proponents of continuing to support teachers and develop teachers,” DeVos told reporters.
Trump’s proposed budget would cut $2.25 billion from a program that provides federal grants to states to train and recruit teachers and would trim another $43 million from a different program that offers professional development and training to current and prospective teachers. Other cuts would hit federal work study and literacy grants.
The Trump administration has called the programs unnecessary and burdensome on the budget.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAO

 

90% of Parents Think Their Kids Are on Track in Math & Reading. The Real Number? Just 1 in 3, Survey Shows
“The education community continues to use a language that parents don’t speak”
The 74

One parent thought teachers with emergency certificates had CPR training. Another heard the phrase “school climate” and thought her child’s school had a broken air-conditioning system.
These are just a few of the misconceptions the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Learning Heroes has heard while trying to help parents understand the jargon-heavy education landscape at their children’s schools. And though they may be amusing examples, they reveal a concerning communication gap between schools and parents.
“The education community continues to use a language that parents don’t speak,” said Bibb Hubbard, Learning Heroes founder and president.
This communication gap creates a significant disconnect in how parents think their children are doing in school versus reality. In its second national survey, Learning Heroes found that 9 in 10 parents think their children are performing at or above grade level in math and reading – but results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the Nation’s Report Card, shows that only 1 in 3 U.S. eighth-graders are proficient in math and reading.
Parents have high hopes for their children’s education, the survey revealed: 74 percent expect their child to get a college degree, and 60 percent are confident their child will be well prepared for college coursework. But this, too, may be a misconception: Data from Complete College America show that 50 percent of students entering two-year colleges and 20 percent of students entering four-year colleges must take remedial classes.
“The heartbreaking part of this is parents – without that knowledge, the accurate picture of where their child is – they can’t do the job they’re intending to do as well as they should be able to,” Hubbard said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAe

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAf (Learning Heroes)

When Charter Schools Open, Neighboring Schools Get Better: A New Study Finds 7 Reasons
The 74

Few education policy battles have burned as hot as debate over the practice of requiring traditional public schools to share under-used space with charter schools. Co-location, as the practice is called, is often cited as damaging to students in mainline district schools.
But groundbreaking new research from Temple University assistant professor Sarah Cordes finds that at least in New York City, the arrival of a charter school has a positive effect on students in the traditional school already located in the building.
The first peer-reviewed research released on co-location, the study looked at nearly 900,000 students in grades 3-5 who attended a traditional public school in an attendance zone that included a charter school serving at least one of those grades between 1996 and 2010. Many of the schools studied shared a building with a charter school, something that’s common in cities where real estate is at a premium.
Other researchers have asked preliminary questions such as whether co-location facilitates the sharing of innovations birthed in successful charter schools, but Cordes says her research shows that just the existence of an option sparks change.
“Just the presence of an alternative does it,” Cordes told The 74 in a far-ranging interview. “It doesn’t really matter how great that alternative is – it’s just the fact that that alternative is there, it’s in the building, and people see it every day.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAk

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

 

In Minnesota – and School Districts Across the Country – Last In, First Out No Longer the Rule for Teacher Layoffs
Minnesota no longer uses LIFO as a default. Will that change the state’s teacher layoff landscape?
The 74

Nobody wants to be handed that dreaded pink slip. Just ask veteran educator Tom Rademacher.
Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year in 2014, Rademacher had taught for six years at a Minnesota middle school before heading off to openings in other districts. He returned to that middle school last year, but his stay was short-lived. When budgets were cut and layoffs were announced, Rademacher was among the educators who were let go – a casualty of last in, first out (LIFO), which prioritizes seniority in teacher layoff decisions.
For Rademacher, things could’ve ended a lot differently had state lawmakers worked more swiftly. After years of debate, legislators approved new rules this spring that remove LIFO from state statute, effective July 2019. Current law requires LIFO as a fallback if teachers and school administrators cannot reach a consensus on how to conduct layoffs.
Although a precise count doesn’t exist of how many districts nationwide rely on LIFO, the landscape in recent years has undergone a “significant shift” toward layoff decisions based on teacher performance, said Sarah Heaton, managing director of district policy and practice at the National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates performance-based layoffs.
Among America’s 50 largest school districts in 2010, according to data NCTQ provided to The 74, only one used performance as the most important factor in layoff decisions, while more than 60 percent relied on LIFO. By 2013, 16 of the districts had adopted policies that rely on performance, while half favored on seniority.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAg

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAh (NCTQ)

 

The Real Legacy of Crazy Horse
The Oglala Sioux leader prophesized an economic, spiritual, and social renaissance among Native American youth. Now the Seventh Generation is here-and they’re determined to live up to the legend.
Atlantic

It’s not our fault,” Jacob Rosales said. I had asked the recent high-school graduate what he wants people to know about life on the reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. “There’s a liquor store right across from the border,” he continued after a pause, pointing off into the distance. “Right over there.”
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is a striking 3,469-square-mile expanse of sprawling grasslands and craggy badlands that sits in the southwest corner of South Dakota, touching Nebraska’s northern edge. Traversing the reservation by car, along its rugged matrix of two-lane highways and unmarked roads, reveals just how vast it is.

Pine Ridge doesn’t get much national attention except when the news is sad. Unemployment and gang violence are rampant. The life expectancy for men is just 48. A youth-suicide epidemic has plagued the reservation in recent years, with a cluster of nearly 200 teens killing or attempting to kill themselves in the span of a few months starting in late 2014. And even though Pine Ridge remains a “dry” reservation, alcoholism is widespread; until recently, residents could, as Rosales pointed out, easily drive just a few miles south into Whiteclay, Nebraska, to buy booze. Mary Frances Berry, the former chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, once remarked, “Whiteclay can be said to exist only to sell beer to the Oglala Lakota.”
When Rosales spoke about culpability, he was referring to both present-day realities-the liquor stores in Whiteclay, for example-and historical ones: the legacy of centuries of oppression at the hands of European settlers and their ancestors. It’s not our fault that one-third of us drop out of school. That we participate in the labor force at a lower rate than any other racial group. That our men are incarcerated at four times the rate of their white peers.
Those realities help explain why, as Rosales explained, “it’s kind of unheard of for Native kids to go far and be successful.”
But it’s becoming less unheard of, and that’s largely because of students like Rosales who see educational attainment as key to reclaiming Native identity and culture. He is spending the summer in the Washington, D.C., area for an internship at the National Institutes of Health, after which he’ll be heading up north to start college at Yale University. Rosales has long been on a mission to attend a prestigious university, but if he hadn’t gotten in to Yale, he had plenty of backups: He was accepted to six other Ivy League schools.
Rosales, who plans on going to medical school after college and eventually working as a primary-care doctor on the reservation, is in many ways the poster child of what students at his alma mater, Red Cloud Indian School, can achieve despite growing up in one of the most destitute places in the country. A Jesuit K-12 institution at the end of a pine-tree-lined driveway in the town of Pine Ridge, Red Cloud boasts an ever-growing roster of alumni who are leaders in fields ranging from medicine to the arts and a network of faculty members with elite-college degrees. Red Cloud also has a record-high 72 Gates Millennium Scholars, more than any other school its size in the nation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAM

 

A Wakeup Call on Writing Instruction (Now, What’s an Adverb?)
New York Times

On a bright July morning in a windowless conference room in a Manhattan bookstore, several dozen elementary school teachers were learning how to create worksheets that would help children learn to write.
Judith C. Hochman, founder of an organization called the Writing Revolution, displayed examples of student work. A first grader had produced the following phrase: “Plants need water it need sun to” – that is, plants need water and sun, too. If the student didn’t learn how to correct pronoun disagreement and missing conjunctions, by high school he could be writing phrases like this one: “Well Machines are good but they take people jobs like if they don’t know how to use it they get fired.” That was a real submission on the essay section of the ACT.
“It all starts with a sentence,” Dr. Hochman said.
Focusing on the fundamentals of grammar is one approach to teaching writing. But it’s by no means the dominant one. Many educators are concerned less with sentence-level mechanics than with helping students draw inspiration from their own lives and from literature
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAx

 

What We Still Don’t Know About Digital Reading
Education Week

Every day, students consume hundreds of words on their iPads, mobile phones, Chromebooks, and Kindles. Increasingly, educational publishers are delivering curriculum on these devices, including several start-ups focused on getting informational texts and news stories into students’ hands. But fundamentally, is reading online different from using the old class copies of Ethan Frome or The Federalist Papers?
As it turns out, what we don’t know outweighs what we do know about how people comprehend texts on a digital screen rather than on the printed page, a new research review concludes.
There’s some good evidence that readers seem to process longer texts for understanding better in print than digitally, but beyond that there are a lot of question marks, concludes the review, which was published online in July in the Review of Educational Research.
For example, does this pattern show up across genres? How does the age range of the reader affect the equation? And how aware are students of the fact that they may not grasp as much when reading online versus in print? And what about differences across the various types of digital devices? What about pared-down online texts, versus those with bells and whistles?
It’s not so much a question of a “horse race” between reading in print or reading digitally that needs exploration, said Patricia A. Alexander, a University of Maryland professor in the department of human development and quantitative methodology and one of the review’s authors. Rather, knowing “when it matters, for whom, and under what conditions is the question that constantly needs to be examined, again and again,” she said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAD

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAE (Review of Educational Research) $

 

Who Gets Hurt When High School Diplomas Are Not Created Equal?
Education Week

One of the uncomfortable truths of the high school graduation business is that not all diplomas are created equal. Some are strong, and signify that students are well prepared for good jobs or postsecondary schooling. Others are weak, and leave students unprepared to do much of anything.
A new study finds that U.S. schools hand out 98 different kinds of high school diplomas, and 51 of them fail to prepare students adequately for college or careers. A disproportionate share of those weaker diplomas go to students of color and students from low-income families.
The uneven quality in high school credentials begs for attention in the national conversation about high school completion, even as the country boasts an all-time-high graduation rate of 83.2 percent, the report says.
“High school graduation rates are an important but incomplete indicator of success. In addition to measuring whether students receive a diploma, it also is critical to gauge the value of the diploma itself,” says “Paper Thin,” the study by the Alliance for Excellent Education. “Allowing students to walk across the stage at graduation with paper-thin diplomas-that do not signify readiness for postsecondary education-is a disservice both to students and to the economic potential of the United States.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAH

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAI (Alliance for Excellent Education)

 

Arne Duncan criticizes Betsy DeVos on civil rights, says she hasn’t asked for his advice
Chalkbeat

When Arne Duncan became U.S. Secretary of Education, he asked predecessors of both parties for advice. That’s why he’s disappointed that he hasn’t gotten a similar call from the new secretary, Betsy DeVos.
“I reached out to everybody, not as a courtesy but because I had so much to learn – whether it was Secretary Riley who happened to serve a Democratic president or whether it was Secretary Spellings or Rod Paige,” both of the George W. Bush administration, Duncan said. “You’re going to agree on some things and disagree on others, but at the end of the day you’re all there for the same reason, theoretically.”
“What I learned from them was invaluable,” he said.
Duncan has become a sharp critic of DeVos’s tenure to date, especially the education department’s decision to rescind guidance related to transgender students and the Trump administration’s budget proposal. He’s gone so far as to tell charter leaders to refuse federal charter dollars if they came alongside large cuts to all public schools. He said that it would amount to “blood money.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAK

 

Pennsylvania district settles transgender bathroom lawsuit
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania school district will allow students to use restrooms that correspond to their “consistently and uniformly asserted gender identity” in settling a federal lawsuit brought last year by three transgender students.
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund announced the settlement Tuesday in Pittsburgh with the Pine-Richland School District in the city’s North Hills suburbs.
A federal judge in February blocked the Pine-Richland School District from enforcing interim rules that made bathroom use conditional upon a student’s biological gender only. U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak said then that the district had not demonstrated its policy advances an important governmental interest. Nor was there evidence that personal privacy was being threatened save for a complaint by a parent whose child reported a “boy in the girl’s bathroom” in October 2015, according to the judge.
Two students born anatomically male who now identify as female and one born anatomically female who identifies as male sued in October to overturn the policy.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAm

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

 

“Pattern” of school district ignoring child’s bullying before suicide, mom says
CBS

ROSELAND, New Jersey — In New Jersey, the parents of a 12-year-old girl who killed herself claim she was bullied online for months and the school district did nothing to stop it. Now, they plan to sue.
“She’s just your average American little girl — she’s what you hope your children will grow up to be, that’s who Mallory is,” said Diane Grossman, whose 12-year-old daughter, Mallory, killed herself in June.
Six weeks after her daughter’s suicide, Grossman made it clear who she held responsible for her daughters death — the school.
“There was a pattern, a regular history pattern of who the school district dismissing my concerns,” Grossman said.
Mallory, a gymnast and a cheerleader, killed herself one week before finishing sixth grade after months and months of allegedly relentless bullying.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAo

http://gousoe.uen.org/aAB (Bergen [NJ] Record)

 

‘No shots, no school’? Vaccination rates lag in California charter schools
(Pasadena, CA) KPCC

Vaccination rates in California schools reached an all-time high last school year, but one subset of public schools still appears to be lagging behind: charter schools.
A KPCC analysis of recently-released state vaccination rate data shows students in charter schools are much less likely than their peers in traditional, district-run public schools to be up-to-date on all of the shots California law says they should receive by seventh grade.
That’s not necessarily because charter schools – which are managed by non-profit entities and independent boards, not school districts – are openly flouting the rules. Many charter schools operate as virtual schools or “independent study” home school programs, meaning their students would be exempt from the state’s immunization laws.
“A majority of charter schools operate like the regular public schools do – it’s ‘no shots, no school,’ and they’re very strict about it,” said California Immunization Coalition executive director Catherine Martin.
“But,” Martin added, “there are also some charter schools that I believe get the [immunization] records, but if they feel like they’ve gone as far as they can in requesting those records [from parents], then I think they let it go and they don’t follow up.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAJ

 

Illinois governor rejects school funding legislation
Reuters

CHICAGO – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner on Tuesday blocked hundreds of millions of new state dollars from going to cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools (CPS) by rewriting parts of a state school-funding overhaul bill, potentially imperiling the entire legislation and the flow of state money to all school districts.
The Republican governor said he used his amendatory veto on the bill, which creates a new model for education funding, to remove “an unfair diversion” of money to help fund CPS teacher pensions.
“Senate Bill 1, in its current form, took a significant increase in school funding I advocated for and diverted hundreds of millions of dollars from classrooms around the state to Chicago, unfairly hurting children across the state and unfairly advantaging one school district, a school district that has mismanaged its pension systems for decades,” Rauner told reporters in the state capitol.
His action marks a return to the political gridlock that left Illinois without a complete budget for an unprecedented two-straight fiscal years.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAb

http://gousoe.uen.org/aAc (Chicago Tribune)

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

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

 

Top Trump Cabinet officials take part in weekly Bible study class
Fox

Key members of President Trump’s Cabinet take part in weekly Bible study classes, according to a report by the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Regular attendees at the sessions include Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Agriculture Secretary Sunny Perdue, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions also attend when their schedule permits.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAy

http://gousoe.uen.org/aAz ([Washington, DC] The Hill)

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

 

Mississippi high school football player dies after practice
Associated Press

ECRU, Miss. – A Mississippi high school football player has died after his team’s first preseason practice.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports that Ty Rayford was found unresponsive at his home Monday night after the practice.
He was about to start his senior year at North Pontotoc High School.
Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green says Rayford had a history of elevated blood pressure. After being found at home, he was pronounced dead at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAC

 

How Canada became an education superpower
BBC

When there are debates about the world’s top performing education systems, the names that usually get mentioned are the Asian powerhouses such as Singapore and South Korea or the Nordic know-alls, such as Finland or Norway.
But with much less recognition, Canada has climbed into the top tier of international rankings.
In the most recent round of international Pisa tests, Canada was one of a handful of countries to appear in the top 10 for maths, science and reading.
The tests, run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), are a major study of educational performance and show Canada’s teenagers as among the best educated in the world.
They are far ahead of geographical neighbours such as the US and European countries with strong cultural ties like the UK and France.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAN

 

Japan’s School System Is More Equitable-and Less Costly
The country’s government makes sure areas with low income levels and property values get good teachers too.
Atlantic

KAWAMATA, Japan-In many countries, the United States included, students’ economic backgrounds often determine the quality of the education they receive. Richer students tend to go to schools funded by high property taxes, with top-notch facilities and staff that help them succeed. In districts where poorer students live, students often get shoddy facilities, out-of-date textbooks, and fewer guidance counselors.
Not in Japan. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a group of 35 wealthy countries, Japan ranks highly among its peers in providing its rich and poor students with equal educational opportunities: The OECD estimates that in Japan only about 9 percent of the variation in student performance is explained by students’ socioeconomic backgrounds. The OECD average is 14 percent, and in the United States, it’s 17 percent. “In Japan, you may have poor areas, but you don’t have poor schools,” John Mock, an anthropologist at Temple University’s Japan campus, told me.
Perhaps as a result, fewer students in Japan struggle and drop out of school-the country’s high-school graduation rate, at 96.7 percent, is much higher than the OECD average and the high-school graduation rate in the United States, which is 83 percent. Plus, poorer children in Japan are more likely to grow up to be better off in adulthood, compared to those in countries like the U.S. and Britain (though Scandinavian countries lead in this regard). “It’s one of the few [education] systems that does well for almost any student,” Andreas Schleicher, who oversees the OECD’s work on education and skills development, told me, adding, “Disadvantage is really seen as a collective responsibility.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aAL

 

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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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