Education News Roundup: Sept. 26, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

2018 Utah Teacher of the Year Aaryn Birchell

Utah State Board of Education releases 2017 school grades.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMJ (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aNp (DN via KSL)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aMK (SLT)
and Sidebar: High schools: http://gousoe.uen.org/aMY (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aN7 (OSE)
and Sidebar: Student data: http://gousoe.uen.org/aN8 (OSE)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aML (UP)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aNK (KTVX)
or all the grades
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMM (USBE)

College Board releases 2017 SAT scores and Utah public school 2017 AP scores. The Utah scores are looking good.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMX (SLT)
or http://gousoe.uen.org/aMZ (USBE)
Nationally
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNt (WaPo)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aNv (Ed Week)

Utah Policy looks at Our Schools Now ahead of the 2018 election.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNL (UP)

2018 Utah Teacher of the Year Aaryn Birchell discusses how she got there.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aN0 (SLT)

New ECS study looks at the portability of teaching licenses.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNx (Ed Week)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNy (ECS)

Is ninth grade the key to high school success?
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNz (Ed Week)
or a copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNA (University of Chicago Consortium on School Research)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Did your neighborhood school make the grade?
Scores dip slightly in latest report card for Utah public schools

Utah students score high on AP tests for 2017
More students are taking – and passing – Advanced Placement tests for college credit, data show.

Don’t expect lawmakers to forge a compromise with Our Schools Now before the 2018 election

Teacher salary wars leave Utah school districts scrambling

Salt Lake City, county mayors highlight new emergency response program at schools
Nearly 170 schools are participating in the new SAFE program.

It’s OK to say the ‘S’ word

Pushing her limits: Timpanogos senior runner Kate Pinder motivates with every cross country finish

Second-graders get medical experience at Logan Regional

Retired Marine now teaching in Utah receives Purple Heart at halftime

Bluffdale Elementary students raise money for Houston students displaced by Hurricane Harvey

Provo elementaries ‘adopt’ Houston school

Crimson View Elementary celebrates retiree volunteers

Students in 2nd Congressional District invited to enter Congressional App Challenge

Utah ranks among top 15 states for teachers, but is that true?

TeenChef Pro is moving to Utah’s CW30

Virtual reality shows Provo kids grim realities of distracted driving

Mascots team up to tackle 8th-grade football teams, raise funds for charity

Provo Bicycle Collective donates bikes to local school

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Tina McCulloch

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Kahissa Corniel

Quiz: Can you name which city in Utah these high schools are in?

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Utah middle schoolers deserve a well-rounded education

Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Utah Teacher of the Year: How did I get here?

Identifying resources for bullied children with disabilities
Seeking Change for Victims of Bullying

It’s not teacher salaries that are to blame

School day should start later

Reinstatement of Roy High Teacher is Unacceptable

Why do Ridgeline tickets cost more?

Dear Secretary Betsy DeVos, Don’t Overlook Parents
School choice policies can create a ‘tremendous burden’ for families

NATION

Betsy DeVos: Principals Should Be Able to Focus on People, Not Paperwork

More States Are Making It Easier to Transfer Your Teaching License

9th Grade GPA May Be the Most Important Predictor of High School Success. Here’s How.

Education Isn’t the Key to a Good Income
A growing body of research debunks the idea that school quality is the main determinant of economic mobility.

Home schooling was once a rising trend. New data shows something different.

Segregation lingers in US schools 60 years after Little Rock

Teacher Salary Schedules Were Meant to Equalize Pay. Do They Have the Opposite Effect?

Trump Pledges $200M to Boost STEM Programs

Businesses give $300M toward K-12 computer science education

Saudi ministry of education sacks undersecretary over viral King Faisal, Yoda photo

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Did your neighborhood school make the grade?
Scores dip slightly in latest report card for Utah public schools

SALT LAKE CITY – Slightly more Utah elementary and middle schools received D’s and F’s in 2017, slightly more earned C’s, and fewer earned A’s and B’s, according to data state education officials released Monday.
Among high schools, there was a slight increase in schools that earning A’s, a decrease in schools that received B grades and increases in schools with grades C, D and F, according to new data.
Utah law requires public schools to be given a letter grade based on student proficiency and growth on Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence tests. For high schools, ACT test results and graduation rates also figure into the grades. For elementary schools, literacy test results factor into the letter grades.
“The Utah State Board of Education continues to look into the reasons behind student scores as well as school grades,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson said in a statement.
“We are working with our governing partners both in the state and school districts and charters to take steps to improve student achievement,” Dickson said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMJ (DN)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/aMK (SLT)

Sidebar: High schools: http://gousoe.uen.org/aMY (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aN7 (OSE)

Sidebar: Student data: http://gousoe.uen.org/aN8 (OSE)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/aNK (KTVX)

All the grades
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMM (USBE)

 

Utah students score high on AP tests for 2017
More students are taking – and passing – Advanced Placement tests for college credit, data show.

Utah’s high school students bested their national peers in taking and passing Advanced Placement exams this year, earning college credit for subjects like English, mathematics and science.
Statewide, 26,544 public school students took a combined 40,755 AP tests in 2017, according to data released Tuesday by College Board, a 5.4 percent increase in the number of participating students compared to 2016.
The state also saw an AP pass rate of 67 percent, determined by students earning a score of three or higher on a five-point scale, up from 66 percent in 2016 and ahead of the national pass rate of 56 percent this year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMX (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aMZ (USBE)

Nationally
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNt (WaPo)

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

 

Don’t expect lawmakers to forge a compromise with Our Schools Now before the 2018 election

Although Utah lawmakers will probably do something in the 2018 Session to try and boost school funding, they’re admitting it won’t be enough to stop the Our Schools Now ballot initiative from going forward.
“We’re operating under the assumption that Our Schools Now will get their proposal on the ballot next year,” said President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy.
UtahPolicy.com has learned that some lawmakers are considering legislation to boost school funding next year in an attempt to try and make the Our Schools Now tax hikes less appealing to voters.
Niederhauser says he hasn’t been privy to any of those discussions, but he doesn’t think there’s much lawmakers can do, especially when OSN is hoping to boost school funding by an estimated $700 million per year if their initiative passes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNL (UP)

 

Teacher salary wars leave Utah school districts scrambling

SALT LAKE CITY – The bidding war for teachers that has led several northern Utah school districts to significantly raise starting salaries is leaving other districts that haven’t raised pay scrambling to fill classrooms.
Tooele School District Superintendent Scott Rogers told the Utah Legislature’s Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday that 42 educators left for better pay elsewhere, and four left midyear while under contract.
“It sounds and feels a lot to me like a form of cannibalism,” Rogers said. “We’re so competitive with salaries trying to get there, and we can’t get to the $40,000 rate. But we’re having other districts actually email our staff, our whole staff list, and saying, ‘We pay better than your district. Why don’t you come to our district?’ ”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNa (AP)

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

 

Salt Lake City, county mayors highlight new emergency response program at schools
Nearly 170 schools are participating in the new SAFE program.

If a natural disaster were to hit hard along the Wasatch Front, how prepared would residents be?
It’s a question worth asking given the images of devastating hurricanes, wildfires and a powerful earthquake that have dominated the news in recent weeks.
It’s also one that’s long-nagged government leaders in Salt Lake City and County, where the homes of more than a million Utahns sit precariously perched on a fault line that could someday crack without warning.
Such a disaster would quickly overwhelm government agencies, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said on Monday at a joint city/county news conference.
“Our success, our best hope is neighbors helping neighbors,” she said.
To that end, city and county leaders have launched SAFE – or Safe Schools Aid Families in Emergencies – a program designed to organize communities in the wake of a disaster.
Under the SAFE plan, neighborhood elementary schools are transformed into receiving centers where families and residents can gather after an event such as an earthquake.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMP (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aNo (KTVX)

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

 

It’s OK to say the ‘S’ word

Suicide. We’re scared to say the word because we think that if we say it, we’re putting the idea into someone’s head. But asking someone who seems troubled if he or she is considering suicide could actually save a life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Many people are uncomfortable with the topic of suicide. As a result, people rarely communicate openly about suicide. Thus, an important public health problem is left hidden in secrecy, which can hinder effective prevention efforts.”
This month is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. Anytime is a good time to reach out to help others, but during the month of September, we have been hearing many reminders about reaching out to help prevent suicide. Saying the word suicide – asking a friend if he or she is considering suicide – is one way to reach out.
“Talking about suicide is one of the best ways to prevent it,” according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. But how we talk about it is critically important. Messages of hope, healing and help must be conveyed.
Those messages of hope are being shared by over 5,000 elementary school, middle school, high school and university students in Utah. These students are members of their schools’ Hope Squads. Through the Hope Squads, other students in our schools are encouraged to befriend others, show kindness, stop bullying and watch out for those who may need help from adults, including mental health professionals. Lives are being saved.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNM (PDH)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aNN (KTVX)

 

Pushing her limits: Timpanogos senior runner Kate Pinder motivates with every cross country finish

During his career, Timpanogos High School head cross country coach Jody Benson has watched his athletes cross the finish line thousands of times.
But earlier this season, he saw a finish that brought an extra level of emotion.
No, it wasn’t a state-record time or even a first-place winner. It was a runner who was back in the pack but one who inspires everyone in cross country with every step she takes.
When Timberwolf senior Kate Pinder came running across the line for her first race finish, it thrilled teammates, peers and spectators alike. When you hear her story, it’s clear why her run had such a dramatic impact.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNe (PDH)

 

Second-graders get medical experience at Logan Regional

Visiting the hospital can be scary no matter how old you are, but on Monday second-graders from around Cache Valley had an up-close look in an attempt to take the fear factor out of doctor visits.
The Cache County Medical Alliance-sponsored event in conjunction with Intermountain Logan Regional Hospital will educate over 600 students from the valley schools in areas of pediatrics, surgery, cardiology, laboratory, pediatrics and X-ray and emergency room procedures during the two-day “Our Friend the Hospital” event.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNi (LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aNk (CVD)

 

Retired Marine now teaching in Utah receives Purple Heart at halftime

MAGNA, Utah — Retired Marine Corporal John. W. Angell Jr. proudly received the longest standing medal in the military under the Friday night lights at Cyprus High School.
“I’m definitely emotional, but I’m a Marine: You’re not going to see it,” Angell said.
He said he is grateful for the honor.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNT (KSTU)

 

Bluffdale Elementary students raise money for Houston students displaced by Hurricane Harvey

BLUFFDALE – On Friday morning, hundreds of students from Bluffdale Elementary School crowded into their school’s gymnasium to make a video conference call. On the other end of the call were students in Houston.
After Moore Elementary was flooded by Hurricane Harvey, the Texas students lost classroom supplies, computers and more than 20,000 books from their school library. Upon hearing about the troubles faced by their fellow students in Texas, children at Bluffdale Elementary emptied their piggy banks, took on extra chores and sold baked goods to raise money.
During the Friday morning call, the students of Martianne White’s fourth-grade class presented a check for $2,763.57 to Moore’s students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aN3 (DN)

 

Provo elementaries ‘adopt’ Houston school

Tiffany Evans watched her social media feeds as Hurricane Harvey hit her hometown of Houston as friends posted about people and students who needed to be rescued by anyone who had a boat.
“My heart was with them, watching this even though I was here in Utah and wanted to find a way to help,” said Evans, who is the Title I coordinator for Sunset View Elementary School in Provo.
As the wreckage was revealed, rescue requests turned into links for Principals Helping Principals, a grassroots movement that was matching Houston schools in need with schools around the country that were willing to help.
She saw it as the perfect opportunity to show students about being global citizens and helping other communities. After getting immediate approval for the plan from Principal Chris Chilcoat, Sunset View Elementary School adopted Alvin Elementary School.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNd (PDH)

 

Crimson View Elementary celebrates retiree volunteers

First graders at Crimson View Elementary School in St. George celebrate a milestone with the one volunteer they call “Grandpa.”
Earl Gilberts and his wife of 62 years, Marilyn, have volunteered for a combined 25 years.
The Gilberts’ years of service have helped children become more proficient readers and spellers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNm (KUTV)

 

Students in 2nd Congressional District invited to enter Congressional App Challenge

SALT LAKE CITY – Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, is inviting high school and elementary students from Utah’s 2nd Congressional District to participate in the third annual Congressional App Challenge.
Students are invited to create and submit original apps by Nov. 1. The contest is open to all students who meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of coding experience.
Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and be given congressional recognition for their achievements. Their apps will be featured in a display at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on house.gov, and on the Congressional App Challenge website.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aN4 (DN)

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

 

Utah ranks among top 15 states for teachers, but is that true?

While a report earlier this year showed a high turnover of schoolteachers in the Beehive State, a new survey concludes Utah is a good place for those seeking a career in education.
A recent WalletHub report identified the best and worst states for teachers, ranking each state on how well they treat and pay their educators. WalletHub identified each state’s “teacher-friendliness” on 21 metrics, including income growth potential and student-to-teacher ratio, among many other factors.
Utah ranked at the No. 11 spot on the list, just ahead of Michigan, Rhode Island, North Dakota and Indiana within the top 15.
New York topped the list, beating out New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut and Pennsylvania for the top five.
Arizona bottomed out as the worst state for teachers, followed closely by Hawaii, South Carolina, Mississippi and Florida.
Despite Utah’s high marks, it had the second-highest student-to-teacher ratio, seen as a negative in this study. It also had the second lowest public school spending per student.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMO (DN)

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

 

TeenChef Pro is moving to Utah’s CW30

Emmy Award-winning TeenChef Pro is moving to Utah’s CW30 beginning October 7th.
You can watch every Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
TeenChef Pro is a culinary educational program based on Utah ProStart, which is a school-to-career curriculum in over 60 Utah high schools. It gives teens a jumpstart on a career path in the restaurant industry. It has been in Utah high schools for 20 years and is continuing to grow in popularity.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNO (KTVX)

 

Virtual reality shows Provo kids grim realities of distracted driving

PROVO, Utah – Tears welled up in Independence High School students’ eyes as they watched a PSA in which a woman recounted how a distracted driver killed her parents.
The video, part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, served as a stark wake up call for many students, who admitted to using their smartphone while driving…daily.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNn (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aNq (KSL)

 

Mascots team up to tackle 8th-grade football teams, raise funds for charity

Lehi’s Jaxon Christensen gets tackled by Gorilla, the Phoenix Suns mascot, during the 14th annual Mascot Bowl at Skyridge High School in Lehi, on Monday. Imagine Jazz Bear whizzing through the air on a zip line, Bumble recovering a fumble and Real Salt Lake’s Leo tackling a young running back. The masked maniacs for college and professional teams from in and outside of Utah took a break from taunting each other in order to tackle the Skyridge and Lehi eighth-grade football teams Monday. The game raised money for Utah Jazz-affiliated Firemen & Friends for Kids, as well as Bear Hugs.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aN5 (DN)

 

Provo Bicycle Collective donates bikes to local school

Provo Bicycle Collective is proud to announce its gift of 27 bikes to Timpanogos Elementary, 2 bikes to Dixon Middle and 2 bikes to Provo High schools during Provo’s Bike to School week. Our hope is that these bikes will be given to children who could not otherwise afford one so they too can ride their bikes to school.
These bikes came to Provo Bicycle Collective donated, were refurbished by volunteers, and safety checked by our trained mechanics. We are always looking for worthy organizations to give bikes to and interested volunteers to fix bikes with us. Contact provo at bicyclecollective.org with any questions.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNQ (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Tina McCulloch

Tina McCulloch, a fifth grade teacher at Provo Peaks Elementary School in Provo, has been selected as the Daily Herald Educator of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNf (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Kahissa Corniel

Kahissa, a first-grader at Franklin Elementary School, is very helpful, caring and concerned student. She is always willing to help the students in her class. She takes students by the hand when they are lost and guides students to the office when they are hurt. She is a great example to those around her.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNg (PDH)

 

Quiz: Can you name which city in Utah these high schools are in?

http://gousoe.uen.org/aN2 (DN)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Utah middle schoolers deserve a well-rounded education
Deseret News editorial

Local communities and the state have a responsibility to provide middle-school students with a well-rounded educational experience.
The State School Board’s recent decision to eliminate physical education, arts and health courses as core statewide requirements for middle-school students is seen as a way to give local districts more flexibility in designing curriculum, which is a positive development in the context of allowing more local control over education policy. But, in the context of guaranteeing that students receive an adequate education, the decision has potential consequences that deserve additional study.
The board opted to solicit public comment on the decision only after it was made by a vote of 9-6. Typically, we would expect a move of such import to be preceded by a campaign of ascertainment of public attitudes. Though, by accepting comment in the wake of the decision, the board may be implying it is not opposed to reconsidering the move, which ultimately may be in the state’s best interest.
There are persuasive arguments on both sides of the question, as was evident in a public hearing that drew a contentious discussion among a large audience of attendees. Advocates for keeping physical education classes as a requirement for graduation spoke of their importance in combating childhood obesity and other health problems.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMN

 

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

THUMBS DOWN: To Fremont and Davis coaches calling out officiating to a reporter after a game ended in a draw last week.
In college and in the pros coaches can be fined or punished for publicly admonishing the refs. It’s not acceptable conduct. There are channels to appropriately complain about calls made during a high school game. Disagreeing is not bad, if done in a way that sets a better example.
Overtly complaining to the media is unsportsmanlike, even if both sides agree.
Aside from teamwork and sportsmanship, other valuable lessons that comes from playing high school sports are that sometimes the game doesn’t go your way. Sometimes it’s not your fault. Sometimes life just isn’t fair. When faced with adversity, you can dwell on whose fault it is, or you can hold your head high and grow, learn and cope with the loss.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNc

 

Utah Teacher of the Year: How did I get here?
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by 2018 Utah Teacher of the Year Aaryn Birchell

How did I get here?
I am the product

  • of a mother who made whole wheat bread and read out loud to us each night books like Little House on the Prairie and Little Britches.
  • of a father who died at 28 from colon cancer, and another father who married a widow to raise us on a ranch in Jensen, Utah, surrounded by cousins.
  • of eating breakfast while watching the sun rise from the belly of beautiful Split Mountain.
  • of public library books and piano practicing.

I am the product

  • of public education teachers like Mrs. Anderson who took me to McDonald’s for an ice cream treat in second grade for saving all my reward points, of Mr. Ray who walked with a limp and loved us, Mrs. Nelson who made us artists, Miss Heeney who kept me lovingly accountable for missing homework.
  • of 6th grade science fairs. To study the effects of music on behavior, I bought rats. Rats! and played classical pieces and hard rock music, and made mazes with my dad – for rats!
    I am the product
  • of Mr. Ika, a Tongan immigrant, shorter than most of us in band, who could slam dunk!
  • of my debate teacher Mrs. Forsgren, Mr. Dickson the tough high school musical director, Mr. Hansen in Choir, Mr. Browning in AP history, Ms. Cowan in Criminal Law, Miss Baker in algebra and Mrs. Hawkins – the hardest English teacher at Uintah High School – who gave me their world of teaching.

http://gousoe.uen.org/aN0

 

Identifying resources for bullied children with disabilities
Seeking Change for Victims of Bullying
(Provo) Daily Herald commentary by columnist Monica Villar

American comedian Groucho Marx has been quoted as saying “I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member.”
Many of us have heard the quote used over the years in reference to country clubs, sports teams or even religions. But what if the club was our community and what if the prospective member was a person with developmental disabilities?
As an advocate for children and adolescents with learning and developmental disabilities, I feel it is necessary to often revisit the connection between this vulnerable group, bullying and harassment and the resources to share on this important topic.
The PACER Center, an organization founded in Minnesota, is a parent training and information center for families of children and youth with all disabilities from birth to young adults. One area of focus of PACER Center is bullying prevention. “Bullying and Harassment of Students with Disabilities: Top 10 facts parents, educators, and students need to know” is an information sheet that raises awareness of the connection between bullying and children with disabilities.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNh

 

It’s not teacher salaries that are to blame
Deseret News letter from Dave Wolfe

Why did I become a teacher? Like my colleagues, I enjoy teaching, and I enjoy working with kids and youth. But let’s be honest; I do it for the paycheck. So why do I feel like the only teacher infuriated at the talk of raising teachers’ wages?
Raising teachers’ wages is a smokescreen, a red herring, a cover-up to the real problems. For starters, I have four degrees (including a master’s) and even a Utah teaching license. Yet in seven years of teaching, I have never been qualified for my positions in Utah. Can you explain that? All the pointless hoops to jump through to get the license, and it’s been harder to maintain.
Then there are the teachers unions who want a cut of my money.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aN6

 

School day should start later
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Christy Bills

What a heartbreak that the leading cause of death for Utah teens is suicide, higher than the national average. Though the exact reason why isn’t understood, there is one measure that is proven to make a difference.
Many studies have shown the benefits of later school start times, from increased attendance to better graduation rates and even reduced depression, anxiety, car accidents and suicidal ideation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aN1

 

Reinstatement of Roy High Teacher is Unacceptable
Daily Utah Chronicle letter from Shaelyn Barber

A questionnaire asking about teens’ personal drug use, alcohol use and sexual activity was recently distributed as part of a graded assignment for an “Adult Roles” class at Roy High School taught by Candace Thurgood. Each question was given a point value indicating the impurity of the given act. These points were added up at the end to indicate where one would lie on a scale ranging from “A nerd: just where you should be at your age” to “hopeless and condemned.” Points were given for experimentation with the same sex, unprotected intercourse and even to students who had been victims of sexual assault.
After a brief suspension Thurgood has been reinstated in her teaching position, with nothing more than a slap on the wrist and a promise from the school that the survey would not be used again. This is unacceptable.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNR

 

Why do Ridgeline tickets cost more?
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Todd Sadler

To whom it may concern. Wondering why a game ticket for football at Sky View, Green Canyon, Logan and Mountain Crest is $5.00 but at Ridgeline it’s $6.00? Anyone?
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNj

 

Dear Secretary Betsy DeVos, Don’t Overlook Parents
School choice policies can create a ‘tremendous burden’ for families
Education Week op-ed by Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, associate professor of education policy at Seton Hall University

Just over seven months have passed since you assumed the role of U.S. secretary of education, and the controversy over your support of school choice has not waned. Critics and supporters of school choice policies alike have raised concerns about what your proposed expansion of school choice could mean for the future of public education in the United States. I share many of those apprehensions, especially given the lack of convincing evidence that vouchers improve students’ academic outcomes and the problems we’ve seen with poor accountability and limited oversight in the charter sector, including in your home state of Michigan.
Today, I write to you about another important issue that has received only minor attention: the implications of choice policies for parents. You have been upfront about your belief that more choice will put pressure on schools to improve and adapt, in large part because of parents’ demand for certain kinds of schools in an education marketplace. Echoing some of the original school choice advocates’ claims, you’ve argued that “every [schooling] option should be held accountable, but they should be directly accountable to parents and communities, not to Washington, D.C., bureaucrats.”
According to that logic, parents are, in essence, the school accountability system. If granted the freedom to choose what is best for their children, they are expected to enact this accountability through their school selections. What you fail to acknowledge with this argument is that choice policies can also create a tremendous burden for families and that not all families have the same social and financial resources or time to effectively navigate choice systems and make informed decisions.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNB

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Betsy DeVos: Principals Should Be Able to Focus on People, Not Paperwork
Education Week

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos told a roomful of secondary school principals Monday that she wants to cut the federal red tape that she thinks is holding them back from serving students to the best extent possible. And she’ll encourage state and district leaders to give them as much autonomy as possible.
“I see you when you’re bearing the brunt of the regulatory burden that local, state, and federal governments-including the U.S. Department of Education, though I’m working to change that-put on you,” DeVos said at the 2017 Principal of the Year Institute, which was hosted in Washington by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. “You should be able to spend more time focusing on the people, not on the paperwork.”
DeVos said she’s trying to give state leaders as much leeway as possible to implement the new Every Student Succeeds Act. And, in turn, she told the principals, she’ll urge state and local superintendents to follow suit and “give as much flexibility and decision-making power [as possible] to you and your colleagues across the country.”
The secretary also gave a shout-out to ESSA’s weighted student-funding pilot. That’s a sign that DeVos and her department may want to get started on implementing the pilot, something they haven’t moved to do yet.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNw

 

More States Are Making It Easier to Transfer Your Teaching License
Education Week

It’s a problem that teachers, doctors, and lawyers have in common: When they move from state to state, their licenses may not go with them.
In the teaching realm, a handful of states offer full reciprocity-meaning certified teachers can come from any other state and be considered fully licensed right away. But the majority of states require incoming teachers to at the least take some additional coursework or assessments.
More states, though, are trying to simplify the license transfer process, according to a new analysis from the Education Commission of the States.
Since 2016, 11 states have passed regulations making it easier for out-of-state teachers to get their licenses.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNx

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNy (ECS)

 

9th Grade GPA May Be the Most Important Predictor of High School Success. Here’s How.
Education Week

Freshman year of high school, as nearly anyone can attest, is a lot to digest, from new locker combinations to lunchroom politics to catching the right bus and avoiding rowdy juniors.
Aside from those social concerns, there’s increasing evidence that it is one of the most important academic years in students’ lives. Freshman year grade point average is a powerful signal of how students will do in later years-and even whether they will enroll in college, a new research study says.
Or to put it in a more urgent way: When students experience a rough freshman year of high school, they usually don’t recover from it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNz

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNA (University of Chicago Consortium on School Research)

 

Education Isn’t the Key to a Good Income
A growing body of research debunks the idea that school quality is the main determinant of economic mobility.
Atlantic

One of the most commonly taught stories American schoolchildren learn is that of Ragged Dick, Horatio Alger’s 19th-century tale of a poor, ambitious teenaged boy in New York City who works hard and eventually secures himself a respectable, middle-class life. This “rags to riches” tale embodies one of America’s most sacred narratives: that no matter who you are, what your parents do, or where you grow up, with enough education and hard work, you too can rise the economic ladder.
A body of research has since emerged to challenge this national story, casting the United States not as a meritocracy but as a country where castes are reinforced by factors like the race of one’s childhood neighbors and how unequally income is distributed throughout society. One such study was published in 2014, by a team of economists led by Stanford’s Raj Chetty. After analyzing federal income tax records for millions of Americans, and studying, for the first time, the direct relationship between a child’s earnings and that of their parents, they determined that the chances of a child growing up at the bottom of the national income distribution to ever one day reach the top actually varies greatly by geography. For example, they found that a poor child raised in San Jose, or Salt Lake City, has a much greater chance of reaching the top than a poor child raised in Baltimore, or Charlotte. They couldn’t say exactly why, but they concluded that five correlated factors-segregation, family structure, income inequality, local school quality, and social capital-were likely to make a difference. Their conclusion: America is land of opportunity for some. For others, much less so.
A new working paper authored by the UC Berkeley economist Jesse Rothstein builds on that research, in part by zeroing in on one of those five factors: schools. The idea that school quality would be an important element for intergenerational mobility-essentially a child’s likelihood that they will one day outearn their parents-seems intuitive: Leaders regularly stress that the best way to rise up the income ladder is to go to school, where one can learn the skills they need to succeed in a competitive, global economy. “In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education,” Barack Obama declared in his 2010 State of the Union address. Improving “skills and schools” is a benchmark of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan’s poverty-fighting agenda.
“The whole conversation around education has become so focused on helping individuals ‘escape’ their bad circumstances.”
Indeed, this bipartisan education-and-poverty consensus has guided research and political efforts for decades. Broadly speaking, the idea is that if more kids graduate from high school, and achieve higher scores on standardized tests, then more young people are likely to go to college, and, in turn, land jobs that can secure them spots in the middle class.
Rothstein’s new work complicates this narrative.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNE

A copy of the paper
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNF (Washington Center for Equitable Growth)

 

Home schooling was once a rising trend. New data shows something different.
Washington Post

Home schooling was once a rising trend in the United States, with the percentage of students from kindergarten through high school learning at home going from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 3.4 percent in 2012. New data just released by the Department of Education shows that enrollment has stopped growing since then.
A report on parent and family involvement in education released Tuesday by the department’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) says that for the year 2015-16, the latest data available, 3.3 percent of students ages 5 to 17 were home-schooled, meaning that there has been a slight decrease since 2012. Home schooling accounted for about 4 percent of these students in rural areas, compared to 3 percent in both cities and suburban areas, and around 4 percent in towns.
The vast majority of U.S. schoolchildren attend traditional public schools. The percentage of students in charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately operated, depends upon whom you ask. The latest Education Department figures show that between fall 2004 and fall 2014, charter enrollment jumped from just a million to 2.7 million, increasing the percentage of students in the sector from 2 to 5 percent. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools said in a recent report that nearly 2.9 million, or more than 6 percent of students, now go to charter schools. NCES says that about 10 percent of students attend private schools.
The top reasons why parents wind up home-schooling their children have remained the same for years.
A recent NCES report on home schooling in 2012 found that the most commonly selected reason among parents in that school year was school environment, including factors such as “safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure.” Other commonly reported reasons in 2012 included “a desire to provide moral instruction,” 77 percent; “a dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools,” 74 percent; and “a desire to provide religious instruction,” 64 percent.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMQ

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

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMR (NCES)

 

Segregation lingers in US schools 60 years after Little Rock
Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Among the most lasting and indelible images of the civil rights movement were the nine black teenagers who had to be escorted by federal troops past an angry white mob and through the doors of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Sept. 25, 1957.
It had been three years since the Supreme Court had declared “separate but equal” in America’s public schools unconstitutional, but the decision was met with bitter resistance across the South. It would take more than a decade before the last vestiges of Jim Crow fell away from classrooms. Even the brave sacrifice of the “Little Rock Nine” felt short-lived – rather than allow more black students and further integration, the district’s high schools closed the following school year.
The watershed moment was “a physical manifestation for all to see of what that massive resistance looked like,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
“The imagery of these perfectly dressed, lovely, serious young people seeking to enter a high school … to see them met with ugliness and rage and hate and violence was incredibly powerful,” Ifill said.
Six decades later, the sacrifice of those black students stands as a symbol of the turbulence of the era, but also as a testament to an intractable problem: Though legal segregation has long ended, few white and minority students share a classroom today.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aND

 

Teacher Salary Schedules Were Meant to Equalize Pay. Do They Have the Opposite Effect?
Education Week

When teacher salary schedules first came into vogue in the early 20th century, they were designed to equalize wages among public school teachers across race, ethnicity, and gender. Today, teachers’ unions still tend to support these schedules, typically printed in a grid format that show how much a teacher earns, with increases for each year the teacher has worked in the district and for higher levels of education.
But in an attempt to make wages fair and transparent, are salary schedules creating other types of inequities? That’s the case made by a provocative new report from the Brookings Institution.
It argues that, in continuing to pay premiums for experience and educational attainment, teacher salaries are potentially making it harder to recruit and hold onto teachers of color and young teachers, despite concerns about the lack of diversity in the teaching force and high rates of teacher turnover.
Here are some takeaways:
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMV

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMW (Brookings)

 

Trump Pledges $200M to Boost STEM Programs
Associated Press

President Donald Trump is directing the Department of Education to prioritize science and technology education and to spend at least $200 million annually on competitive grants so schools can broaden access to computer science education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aMS

http://gousoe.uen.org/aMT (Politico)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aNJ (WSJ) $

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

A copy of the memo
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNG (White House)

 

Businesses give $300M toward K-12 computer science education
Associated Press

DETROIT – A coalition of businesses including Amazon, Google and General Motors has agreed to give $300 million to boost K-12 computer science programs across the U.S.
Internet Association CEO Michael Beckerman announced Tuesday that the private-sector contribution will come in over the next five years. Beckerman led a panel discussion at a downtown Detroit high-rise that featured President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump.
Her visit to Detroit came a day after the president announced a plan to spend at least $200 million annually on competitive grants so schools can broaden access to computer science education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNu

 

Saudi ministry of education sacks undersecretary over viral King Faisal, Yoda photo
(Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) Arab News

JEDDAH: Saud Arabia’s education minister has sacked an undersecretary in the ministry after the discovery of a photo in school text books showing the late King Faisal at the United Nations with the “Star Wars” character “Yoda” superimposed next to him.
Minister of Education Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa announced the termination on Tuesday of Mohammed bin Attia Al-Harthi, undersecretary for educational curricula and programs, along with the team of supervisors that reviewed and approved textbooks in the government agency.
Despite the teams of staff tasked with checking educational material, the spoof photo went unnoticed. It was only spotted in the text books by social studies students during a lesson on the United Nations,
The historic photo showing the late King Faisal signing the UN charter in 1945 has become iconic, so the addition of the little green “Jedi master” should have been easily spotted before the book went to print.
Al-Essa has assigned the printing and reviewing of school books to the Tatweer Company for Educational Services. A committee has also been formed headed by Deputy Minister of Education Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Asimi.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aNH

http://gousoe.uen.org/aNI (Newsweek)

 

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UEN News
http://www.uen.org

October 2:

Administrative Rules Review Committee meeting
9 a.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00004164.htm

October 4:

Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee meeting
9 a.m., 210 Senate Building
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00004176.htm

October 12:

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

October 13:

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

October 17:

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

October 18:

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

November 1:

Education Interim Committee meeting
10 a.m., Utah Valley University, Orem
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=INTEDU

November 9:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
https://www.utahscsb.org/2017

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