Education News Roundup: Oct. 2, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

High School Activities Association sues the State Board of Education and the state.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOy (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aOz (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aOM (AP)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aPZ (AP via CVD)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aPA (AP via MUR)

Latest state intergenerational poverty report shows some gains in education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aP4 (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aP7 (DN)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aP5 (Utah DWS)

Latest poll shows weakening support for Our Schools Now tax plan.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPP (UP)

Ed Week takes a look at how states plan to handle opt outs in their ESSA plans.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPD (Ed Week)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

UHSAA sues Utah, state board of education, alleging unconstitutional control over its affairs

Despite modest gains, ‘intergenerational poverty’ is still a challenge in Utah, report says
Seventh annual report focuses on data to better target resources.

Poll shows weakening support for proposal to raise taxes to boost school funding

Salt Lake area school seeks distance from its controversial namesake

More teachers needed in Utah schools

Plaintiffs in legal battle over ‘no promo homo’ law in Utah speak

As Park City state school grades decline, district disagrees
Scores fall while opt-outs for state test rise

School grades under fire from local educators

District plans from the ground up after bond delay
An open meeting will take place Oct. 2

Controversial fencing around Park City schools back in the works
The district plans to fence three of the elementary schools for safety

Park City, Centerville elementary schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools

STEM blossoms at Creekview

Woods Cross High students chant “build the wall” at football game

What are high school officials doing to eliminate targeting in football?

Welcoming autistic boy into their ‘family’ helped Kearns players appreciate gifts of the game

Bat scratches person; more than 40 people are vaccinated for rabies after colonies of creatures camp out at Utah high schools

2 Davis County schools adjust, get by without running water after main break

Will Utah’s Buildings Stand Strong In A Major Earthquake?

Dixie hosting Tween Author Boot Camp

Brand-new ride: Sunrise sixth graders rally after bike accident

Sand Ridge students raise $20,000 for new electronic school sign

Spanish Fork Sophomore crowned Miss Utah’s Outstanding Teen

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Mandy Young

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Rachel Wasden

Behind the Badge: Protecting and Serving High School Students

OPINION & COMMENTARY

There’s more to a grade than test mastery

Thumbs up, thumbs down

The power of sharing ideas for education reform

Sutherland Institute supports R277-700

No Fun Zone

The benefits of children reading poetry

Competition in the Classroom Limits Learning, Improvement

Expeditionary Learning: A leap into un-‘chartered’ territory?

Wirth Watching: Back to School

Goal of ‘Our Schools Now’ petition has merits

Don’t eliminate grades for students

Utah high schools are graded unfairly

Latest academic tests underscore California’s education crisis

Why is Virginia, cradle of America, killing its U.S. history tests?

How Betsy DeVos is quietly erasing Obama’s education legacy
From dropping protections for transgender students to fostering a friendlier climate for for-profit colleges, DeVos has made an immediate mark.

New Book Sheds Light on Anti-Trump Agenda in Public Schools and Politicization of the Classroom
Safety, religious bias, sexualization of the classroom are factors bolstering school-choice argument

NATION

Inside ESSA Plans: How Do States Want to Handle Testing Opt-Outs?

The high school grads least likely in America to go to college? Rural ones
Fewer than one in five rural adults aged 25 and older have college degrees, federal data show

College Enrollment Projected to Grow by 15% by 2025

The Purpose of Education-According to Students
Teens respond to questions about the role of schools and teachers in their lives.

Students’ progress stalls on California’s standardized tests

California board approves 10 textbook families, rejects 2

U.S. Putting $253 Million Into Charter School Expansion

Huge Stakes for Teachers’ Unions as Fees Case Reaches High Court
Huge financial stakes seen For AFT, NEA, and affiliates

Non-traditional Hires Surge Amid Idaho’s Teacher Shortage

Former Basic High student among the dead in Strip massacre

Puerto Rico public schools may not reopen for weeks

Preschool’s Hidden Value May Be in Combating Poverty
Head Start may not boost school test scores, but researchers find long-term, multi-generational benefits in the program.

Research: Preschool Teachers Are Uncomfortable with Science, Teach It Rarely

This Master Teacher Is Teaching Educators How to Have Fun

‘Exposing’ in schools raising concern for educators, counselors

Cambridge says it ‘did not authorize’ rejection of Melania Trump’s book donation

Are Student Athlete Protests Fair Game Under 1st Amendment, Or Can Schools Cry Foul? It’s ‘Murky,’ Expert Says

Cost of Contact in Sports Is Estimated at Over 600,000 Injuries a Year

Betsy DeVos names John Engler to chair national education assessment board

 

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UTAH NEWS
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UHSAA sues Utah, state board of education, alleging unconstitutional control over its affairs

The Utah High School Activities Association on Wednesday filed suit against the Utah State Board of Education, State of Utah and Sean Reyes, the state’s attorney general over what it claims is unconstitutional overreach into its affairs.
The UHSAA, which governs the athletics and extracurricular activities of Utah’s high schools, filed the case in Third District Court in an attempt to get recently passed legislation -specifically Title 53A Chapter 1 Part 16 of the Utah Code – ruled unconstitutional.
That section of the code, passed last March by the Legislature, bans public schools in the state from paying dues or being a member of any organization that does not comply with the state’s Open and Public Meetings Act, dictates the membership of the governing body of the organization, requires a report to the State Board of Education and addresses disputes and appeals with the organization.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOy (SLT)

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

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

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

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

 

Despite modest gains, ‘intergenerational poverty’ is still a challenge in Utah, report says
Seventh annual report focuses on data to better target resources.

Childhood poverty continues to decline modestly in Utah, according to a state evaluation, but intergenerational poverty, in which two or more generations remain at low-income levels, remains stagnant.
In 2016, 39,376 adults and 59,579 children were in intergenerational poverty, according to the state’s seventh annual Intergenerational Poverty Report released Monday.
In the past year, however, there were signs of improvement for families experiencing poverty.
For children, educational outcomes improved. High school graduation rates improved from 50 percent to 63 percent from 2013 to 2016, the report said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aP4 (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aP7 (DN)

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aP5 (Utah DWS)

 

Poll shows weakening support for proposal to raise taxes to boost school funding

Support for the Our Schools Now tax hikes for public education has fallen, just as the group begins its citizen initiative petition drive that, if adopted by voters next November, would raise around $700 million a year for Utah’s cash-starved school system, a new poll by UtahPolicy.com finds.
The results may be expected, as Utah GOP lawmakers and Gov. Gary Herbert have been speaking against the proposed tax increases recently.
The new Dan Jones & Associates survey shows that 48 percent of Utahns “strongly” or “somewhat” support increasing the state sales tax by 0.45 percentage points and increase the state’s personal income tax by a similar 0.45 percentage point.
Forty-nine percent now oppose the proposed tax increase, while 3 percent don’t know.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPP (UP)

 

Salt Lake area school seeks distance from its controversial namesake

SALT LAKE CITY – Long before national tensions flared this summer over statues honoring Civil War figures, a Salt Lake school quietly decided to distance itself from fiery 19th century President Andrew Jackson.
But at a meeting Wednesday to discuss the next steps for deciding a new name for the elementary school in the Fairpark neighborhood, administrators faced questions about the need for a name change in the first place.
“The single biggest thing that he did was in defeating the British, and had he not done that, we would probably still be under a very oppressive tyrannical government,” longtime resident Russell Jacobsen said during the meeting at Jackson Elementary School.
Jacobsen called the seventh president of the U.S. instrumental in continued American independence through victories during the War of 1812.
Jackson Elementary Principal Jana Edward said the decision to revisit the school’s name started more than a year ago when the school’s community council and other parent organizations asked for clarification on who the school was named after. Research showed the school was, in fact, dedicated to Andrew Jackson since it was established in 1892.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOA (DN)

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

 

More teachers needed in Utah schools

Not enough students are choosing education as a career.
As the need for educators increases, the number of students enrolled in teacher preparation programs around the nation is decreasing. In Utah, there is an average of 22 students to each teacher; the national average is 16.
Lower wages for teachers, compared to other jobs with the same level of education, are contributing to the problem. The average salary for teachers in Utah is between $52,000 and $55,000 per year – much lower than the average salary for other jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPQ (BYU Universe)

 

Plaintiffs in legal battle over ‘no promo homo’ law in Utah speak

SALT LAKE CITY — While raising money for their legislative battles, Equality Utah revealed three young plaintiffs at their annual Allies Dinner Saturday night.
Josh Greer, 18, Katy Smith-Gish, 17, and Kaiden Turkel, 8, are the students behind the so-called no promo homo lawsuit, which was overturned this year.
For two years, they remained anonymous.
“We’ve been fighting alongside people being so silent,” says Smith-Gish.
Now, the three plaintiffs are coming out to share their stories and celebrate their victory.
“We won and I feel like Utah won. The state is progressing and things are going to get better, not just for my child, but all of Utah’s children,” says Kaiden’s mother, Anna Turkel.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPz (KSTU)

 

As Park City state school grades decline, district disagrees
Scores fall while opt-outs for state test rise

State school grades are out, and Park City School District’s report card is not looking great.
Trailside Elementary School dropped from a B to a C and Treasure Mountain Junior High School went from a C to a F. Jeremy Ranch Elementary School, Parley’s Park Elementary School, Ecker Hill Middle School and Park City High School all remained the same while McPolin Elementary School jumped up a grade from a D to a C.
The district explained the decline by pointing to the opt-out rates for the Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence (SAGE), which the state uses to calculate the school grades. Earlier this month, SAGE scores revealed a district average of 51.9 percent and an opt-out rate of 21 percent. At the high school, 47 percent of students chose not to take the exam.
Yesterday, a message was sent to parents from the principal of Treasure Mountain, Emily Sutherland, saying, “I am disappointed to see such a complex school year boiled down to this one school grade, which is an entirely false and invalid measurement of the teaching and learning that takes place in our building.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOY (PR)

 

School grades under fire from local educators

School grades are – in the words of Helen M. Knight Elementary Principal Taryn Kay – “inflammatory.” And the latest grades for the 2016-2017 school year are unlikely to quell the controversy among local educators and school administrators surrounding the state’s grading system.
The Utah State Board of Education gave Grand County Middle School a “B” for its performance during the last school year, while Helen M. Knight Elementary and Moab Charter School received “C” grades, and Grand County High School received a “D.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPY (Moab Sun News)

 

District plans from the ground up after bond delay
An open meeting will take place Oct. 2

After a divisive past couple of years in planning, the Park City School District is starting from scratch with the help of community members.
On Monday, Oct. 2, parents, students, teachers and Board of Education members are invited to gather to define the district and its future. The strategic planning meeting is set to take place at the Blair Education Center at the Park City Hospital from 6 to 8 p.m.
Ember Conley, superintendent, is hopeful that various members of the community will come to share their opinions and work together to find solutions.
“It’s been seven years since the strategic plan was reviewed,” she said. “As we have grown, it is time to revisit the mission, vision, values and goals. We need to realign them with how we are evolving and changing.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOX (PR)

 

Controversial fencing around Park City schools back in the works
The district plans to fence three of the elementary schools for safety

In the past year, Park City School District has added panic/lock-down buttons in the offices, backed up information technology equipment and public address systems to generators and changed the doors – all to increase safety. Now, fences at the elementary schools might be added to that list.
At the last Park City Board of Education meeting, the district approved a $3 million budget for safety updates, which include fences and updated front offices. The district was able to pay for these improvements because of reallocating funds from high school renovations as well as from regular funding for maintenance.
Todd Hansen, director of buildings and grounds for the district, said fences have been planned since 2014, ever since the Utah Division of Homeland Security paid a visit in 2013 in reaction to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. But, there was so much opposition from the public that the Board backed down from all but one fence, around Jeremy Ranch Elementary School, which does not have any neighbors.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPV (PR)

 

Park City, Centerville elementary schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools

SALT LAKE CITY – Two Utah elementary schools – J.A. Taylor in Centerville and Jeremy Ranch in Summit Park – were named National Blue Ribbon Schools Friday by the U.S. Department of Education.
The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The Utah schools are among 342 recognized nationally. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released the names of the schools Friday.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOW (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aP6 (SLT)

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

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

 

STEM blossoms at Creekview

The Utah State Board of Education officially designated Creekview Elementary School as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) school last May, making it the only school in the state east of Highway 89 to earn the distinction. On Wednesday, the special STEM van arrived at the school to spark student involvement.
“We are excited about this designation,” said Creekview Principal John Thomas. “We have worked hard, and it has been a long process to get to this level.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPU (Price Sun-Advocate)

 

Woods Cross High students chant “build the wall” at football game

A chant of “build the wall” at a Utah high school football game has led to an apology from school administrators after video of the chant surfaced on social media.
The ten-second video shows students at the Friday night game at Woods Cross High School shouting “build the wall,” a call-back to chants at campaign rallies for Donald Trump, who ran for president in 2016 on a promise to build a wall on the U.S. – Mexico border.
Students who were at the game, many of whom come from Hispanic families, expressed outrage at the display.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPR (KUTV)

 

What are high school officials doing to eliminate targeting in football?

Olympus senior Nick Ward stretched in midair, extending his right arm toward the football that spiraled out of his reach. His eyes followed the ball, and as his foot touched the turf, a force from behind sent him flying the opposite direction. He crumpled.
Darkness.
When Ward came to, the trainers were running to treat him. His neck ached. They told him to lie still.
No flag had been thrown on the play. From the sidelines, someone yelled, “We’ve got to protect our players.”
Injuries always are a risk in football, but as Utah struggles to fill officiating positions in a nationwide shortage of youth and high school officials, it becomes harder to enforce consistently new safety rules across the state.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPB (SLT)

 

Welcoming autistic boy into their ‘family’ helped Kearns players appreciate gifts of the game

KEARNS – The grind of a football season can obscure aspects of its beauty.
All it takes to reveal it, however, is the opportunity to see that monotony through the eyes of someone who’s never experienced it.
For Kearns running back Sese Filila, that gift came when an eighth-grader began hanging out on the sideline of their summer practices.
“I noticed he was always hanging around our practices,” said the senior. “I was wondering why he was there, and then one day (running backs) coach (Juan) Henderson called us over and said, ‘Hey, this is Gavin. He really loves football and he’ll be hanging out with us.’ After that we just welcomed him into our running back drills.”
Head coach Matt Rickards said he received an email from Gavin Rausch’s mom during the summer.
“She just asked if he could hang out and watch,” Rickards said, noting that he’s an eighth-grader who is home-schooled. “I told her he could come and hang out on the sideline if he was comfortable.” At first he was shy, some of his reluctance maybe due to the fact that he’s autistic. But eventually, his love for football overcame any trepidation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPi (DN)

 

Bat scratches person; more than 40 people are vaccinated for rabies after colonies of creatures camp out at Utah high schools

Call it the bat invasion.
Thousands of the winged mammals found West High School in Salt Lake City and Layton High School to be quite comfortable in recent weeks as they looked to escape chilly temperatures outside. West High also sits in a bat migratory path, and many are southbound this time of year.
County health officials say nearly 50 people may have come into contact with the bats, many of them students. That declaration triggered a swift response from Salt Lake and Davis counties in case any students may have been exposed to rabies.
“Once you show symptoms [for rabies], it is almost 100 percent fatal,” Davis County Health Department Deputy Director David Spence said. “That’s why it’s taken so seriously.”
One person from West High has reportedly been scratched by a bat, confirmed Nicholas Rupp, Salt Lake County Health Department spokesman. Rupp didn’t know whether the scratched person is an adult or a student, or how the scratch occurred.
That person has received the rabies vaccination, Rupp said, adding that the precautions for a scratch are the same as with other contact.
About 40 students or adults from West High and one Layton student had received vaccinations as of Thursday afternoon, with another Layton student likely taking the precaution soon. Officials were trying to track down another five Layton students who may have come into contact with bats.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aP8 (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aP9 (DN)

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/aPd (Gephardt Daily)

 

2 Davis County schools adjust, get by without running water after main break

CLEARFIELD – Students at South Clearfield Elementary likely noticed one minor change as they arrived for classes Wednesday morning: blue portable restrooms spread around the outside of the school.
“This is just the standard protocol for things like this,” Principal Buck Ekstrom said. “Things like this happen, and we just carry on.”
The interruption in water service came as a result of a main break along 700 South, where a new I-15 on-ramp is being built. The pipe broke apart Tuesday afternoon.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPy (KSL)

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

 

Will Utah’s Buildings Stand Strong In A Major Earthquake?

After a string of natural disasters, many Utahns are wondering if the state is ready for an emergency. With a high likelihood of a large earthquake in the coming decades, building safety is a frequent worry.
Just because a building is built to code doesn’t mean it will be damage-free after an earthquake, according to structural engineer Gerald McKenzie.
“It’s all built around that Life Safety [Code]. Can we get people out and minimize the injuries to people?”
“And then if the building has to be torn down, it has to be torn down,” said McKenzie, who also sits on the Utah Seismic Safety Commission.

There are also outdated schools. According to a 2011 survey, 60 percent of Utah schools need seismic retrofits.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPT (KUER)

 

Dixie hosting Tween Author Boot Camp

ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University is partnering with Utah’s Book Festival, sponsored by the Utah Humanities Council, to host a Tween Author Boot Camp, a writing conference for children 9 to 12 years old.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, in the Gardener Center Ballroom, 225 S. 700 East.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPh (DN)

 

Brand-new ride: Sunrise sixth graders rally after bike accident

SMITHFIELD – Bevan Austin loves to ride his bike. Even through the heavy snow and freezing cold of the Northern Utah winter, the Sunrise Elementary sixth grader rides to school everyday.
“It’s clean,” Austin said, referring to the lack of harmful emissions.
During a routine ride with some friends earlier this month, however, the front tire of his trusty steed fell off and he flew over the handlebars. Thankfully, he was wearing a helmet. He got off with a few stitches on his chin and some road rash on his face and chest. His bike, on the other hand, was totaled.
As Austin recovered in the hospital for three days, his classmates sent group selfies, baked cookies and wrote get-well-soon cards. The six graders, all part of the Portuguese dual-language immersion program, have grown close after being in the same class since second grade.
Two of his classmates, including Brevin Egbert, wanted to do more. They hatched a plan to get Austin a new bike.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPr (LHJ)

 

Sand Ridge students raise $20,000 for new electronic school sign

ROY – Sand Ridge Junior High School has a new digital marquee on the school sign thanks in part to how much the students there like chocolate.
Over the course of last school year, students raised about $20,000 in chocolate bar sales which went toward the purchase of a new electronic marquee and school sign.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPq (OSE)

 

Spanish Fork Sophomore crowned Miss Utah’s Outstanding Teen

PROVO, Utah – A sophomore from Spanish Fork High School was crowned the new Miss Utah’s Outstanding Teen during the scholarship pageant held Saturday night in Provo.
Axuray (Au-zhu-ray) Talbot won the pageant, also known as the little sister program to the Miss America and Miss Utah Scholarship Organizations.
Axuray is a Sophomore at Spanish Fork High School with extensive dance training.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPv (KTVX)

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Mandy Young

Mandy Young, a teacher at Diamond Fork Jr. High School in Spanish Fork, has been selected as the Daily Herald Educator of the Week.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPl (PDH)

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Rachel Wasden

On paper, Rachel Wasden, a ninth-grader at Diamond Fork Jr. High School, has a 4.0 GPA, takes multiple honors classes and loves to work hard. For two years now, Rachel has been selected to help tutor math other students in other grades. She is part of the National Junior Honor Society and has been on the tennis team for the past several years, most recently being on the varsity second singles team.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPn (PDH)

 

Behind the Badge: Protecting and Serving High School Students

ST. GEORGE, UTAH – For two decades he has served and protected high school students. And he says his job is still as enjoyable today as it was when he started. In this week’s Behind the Badge report, Don Hudson heads to Southern Utah and catches up with St. George Police Officer Travis Brown.
Meet Officer Travis Brown. “There’s never really a dull moment – the kids – they keep you young – they keep you on your feet.” For the past eleven years he has walked the hallways and watched over the students at Snow Canyon High School in St. George. And before that – the student resource officer spent nine years doing the same thing at Pineview High School. “There is something to learn every single day. Maybe you implement something or they’re implementing something to you – you’re growing and learning along the way.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPw (KTVX)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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There’s more to a grade than test mastery
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

If your student brought home an F grade on his report card, there would likely be weeping, wailing and perhaps even some gnashing of teeth. Or at least he’d lose his car keys.
But how do school administrators react when their schools receive an F grade? Indifference.
And that’s probably the right reaction. Because school grades, as we have argued before, multiple times, aren’t the best way to evaluate our schools. Which is why the state Board of Education is suspending the program and starting over.
And honestly, there’s nothing more frustrating than your kid coming home with a grade you know isn’t indicative of his smarts or his potential.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOV

 

Thumbs up, thumbs down
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

THUMBS UP: To Provo’s Sunset View Elementary School for adopting Alvin Elementary School in Houston. Many students that attend Alvin Elementary were affected by Hurricane Harvey and the Provo students are raising money and writing letters to those students in Houston.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPo

 

The power of sharing ideas for education reform
Utah Policy op-ed by Sutherland Institute education policy analyst Christine Cooke

Innovation – and sparking a fire within local leaders for more of it – is how Utah will find solutions in education, not simply through heaps of money or top-down initiatives.
In fact, the teacher shortage may simply be an idea shortage. Last week a panel about innovations for addressing the teacher shortage showed that many of the best ideas for fixing this problem have struggled to spread across the state.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQ0

 

Sutherland Institute supports R277-700
Sutherland Institute commentary by education policy analyst Christine Cooke

Sutherland Institute supports R277-700, Elementary and Secondary Core, because it appropriately balances local control with the need for elective course access.
Education is about the learning and potential of the individual person. All individuals are different. This reality requires that we give local leaders and parents the choices, flexibility, and local control necessary to meet the needs of a diverse body of individual students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPs

 

No Fun Zone
Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist Katharine Biele

Arts schmarts! Who needs it? And who needs health education? Can’t you get that info from dear old Mom and Dad? Then there’s physical education. Wouldn’t it be best if we just let kids sit and study all day-of course, after they’ve eaten a hearty meal of mac ‘n’ cheese and doughnuts? The state school board considers these programs unnecessary. This is again an argument for local control, as Deseret News quoted Royce Van Tassell, executive director of the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools, saying. In 2003, the Legislature cut funding for arts-and guess what happened? Charter schools focusing on the arts. A petition from the Utah Cultural Alliance explains why this is unwise: “… Schoolchildren exposed to drama, music and dance are often more proficient at reading, writing and math.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPX

 

The benefits of children reading poetry
(Provo) Daily Herald commentary by columnist Lydia Olsen

Many parents take the time to read picture books and board books to their young children every day. But did you know poetry can also be very beneficial for children? Reading poetry aloud to and with your young children can have benefits that last for years.
There are many reasons why poetry is significant for young readers. Research has shown that poetry motivates children to read, builds phonemic awareness and builds essential skills like vocabulary, fluency, expression, and writing. Each of these is crucial for children to develop in order to become strong readers.
According to Reading Rockets, good readers are “phonemically aware, understand the alphabetic principle, apply these skills in a rapid and fluent manner, possess strong vocabularies and syntactical and grammatical skills, and relate reading to their own experiences.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPm

 

Competition in the Classroom Limits Learning, Improvement
Utah Daily Chronicle commentary by columnist Alisa Patience

Some like to argue that it’s a part of human nature to compete. However, competition, is in my opinion – a social construct. The only thing that’s natural for humans to do is survive and love.
Everything seems to be a competition nowadays. School is no longer about learning or betting yourself. It’s about getting the best grades. Having a job isn’t about surviving anymore, or providing for your family. It’s about having the most money. Being beautiful is a competition. Casual hobbies have been made into competitions on television with things like tattoo design, baking, construction, owning pawn shops, cooking, dancing, singing, painting, you name it. If it’s a hobby somewhere in the world it’s likely a television show conveying it in the form of a competition. Even love itself is a competition, with shows like the Bachelor or Bachelorette.
Competition isn’t only present but is encouraged in schools. We are encouraged to want to crush the enemy schools’ sports teams or get the best overall combined scores in the state. However, competition is dangerous in schools, especially to young children.
Here’s the problem with competition: if you win, you are proud of your hard work and revel in your joy. However, if you lose, you develop a disdain for those who win and consider your hard work a waste, letting discouragement ruin your motivation for improvement. There are negative aspects to winning as well. You start to look down on those who have lost. This attitude will cause an already upset person or group of people to feel even worse about themselves.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPW

 

Expeditionary Learning: A leap into un-‘chartered’ territory?
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by SIERRA CLARK, a junior at Venture High School

Many students are inclined to think that schoolwork is not something worth doing. A quick search about “Why I hate school” will easily yield hundreds of rants about why students hate the education system and why everything in it is wrong.
But it’s about time for a checkup on the education process.The good news is we have schools all around the state that are making strides to improve education and make learning meaningful. These are Expeditionary Learning (EL) Charter Schools.
The basic idea of Expeditionary Learning, as explained by its website, is “to create classrooms where teachers can fulfill their highest aspirations, and students achieve more than they think possible, becoming active contributors to building a better world.” In essence, to help students own their learning.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQ2

 

Wirth Watching: Back to School
KTVX commentary by columnist Craig Wirth

Now that it is fall and school is back, Craig Wirth goes ‘old school’ with memories of handling classroom discipline back in the 1950’s. It is Wirth Watching
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPu

 

Goal of ‘Our Schools Now’ petition has merits
St. George News letter from Steve Dunham, Washington County School District director of communications

In the Sunday, Sept. 24 edition of St. George News, Earle Richardson authored a letter to the editor that is worth responding to.
The “Our Schools Now” petition is the work of a private organization attempting to provide more funds for teachers and education. While we can’t speak to their plan, their goal of providing more education funding to teachers in the lowest funded state in the nation has merits in concept. It is too early in its development for Washington County School District (WCSD) to take a stand either way.
Now, let’s address the rest of the editorial which concerns the current educational environment.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQ1

 

Don’t eliminate grades for students
Deseret News letter from Fred Ash

I recently read an editorial by two very respected members of the Utah public education community (“What happens when teachers aren’t in control,” Deseret News, Sept. 8). I very much agreed with most of the article, but I wonder about their suggestion that we “eliminate . . . grades and grade-point averages….” I was kind of surprised to read that. When I was a teacher a long time ago, grading was one of the education issues being debated.
I can in no way give all the arguments in favor of eliminating grades, but the main arguments seem to be that grades tend to discourage students who struggle with learning, and grades encourage some students to work for the grade and not learning the subject material.
If grades were no longer used to indicate how well a student is performing, there would still be some kind of progress assessment.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPj

 

Utah high schools are graded unfairly
Deseret News letter from Andrew Platt

Utah school grades come out recently and they show a clear bias. Only one Utah public high school received an A. Twenty-six high schools failed. The one public high school that received an A was Davis High, and 10.4 percent of Davis High students are economically disadvantaged, 0.8 percent are English language learners, 7.8 percent are ethnic minorities and 7.7 percent are in special ed.
Compare that to a typical failing school. For example, 73.9 percent of Granger High’s students are economically disadvantaged, 19.6 percent are English language learners, 73.8 percent are ethnic minorities and 11.5 percent are in special ed.
You might think that schools are graded to identify schools in need and help them. This is not the case.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPk

 

Latest academic tests underscore California’s education crisis
Sacramento (CA) Bee op-ed by DAN WALTERS, of CalMatters.org

California has spent tens of billions of extra dollars on its K-12 school system in recent years on promises that its abysmal levels of academic achievement – especially those of disadvantaged children – would be improved.
And what have those massive expenditures – a 50 percent increase in per-pupil spending – and a massive reworking of school curricula accomplished?
Not much, the latest results from annual testing indicate.
Mathematics and English tests based on “Common Core” standards were administered last spring to half of the state’s 6-plus million K-12 students, those in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11.
It was the third round of such testing and the so-so gains seen in last year’s version stalled out in 2017 with virtually no change in the numbers of children meeting or exceeding standards in both vital learning areas.
The more important data point is that with essentially no gains in 2017, fewer than half of California’s children are meeting English standards and fewer than 38 percent are making the grade in math.
That should be seen as a major crisis, but when one looks at the numbers for black and Latino kids, and those classified as poor or “English learners,” they are even more shameful.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aP1

 

Why is Virginia, cradle of America, killing its U.S. history tests?
Washington Post commentary by columnist Jay Mathews

My entire life I have heard complaints about how little we Americans know about our history. So why is Virginia killing its annual U.S. history tests, while still requiring state exams in English, math and science?
I always liked Virginia’s Standards of Learning tests, particularly U.S. History to 1865 in fifth grade, U.S. History 1865 to Present in middle school and the high school exam, U.S and Virginia History. Twenty years ago, my first front page story as a Post education writer was about other states admiring Virginia’s new guide to key parts of our nation’s story.
Shortly after the courses and tests began in the 1990s, I read the history exams, which were locked in a room in Richmond. They covered a wide range of vital topics, were not too difficult and did not demand obscure memorization, despite an anti-test Fairfax County schools superintendent claiming (falsely) that the tests asked for the name of J.E.B. Stuart’s horse.
Few people shared my affection for those exams. Many students scored poorly. At one point, the state school board tried to solve the problem by lowering the passing score, but that didn’t help. In 2014, the Virginia legislature ordered a cut in the number of tests taken by the state’s children, and specifically eliminated the fifth grade and middle school U.S. history tests. The U.S. and Virginia history exam in high school is also about to disappear. The history courses remain without the required tests.
I predict this will happen in other states, too. Politicians seem to think the best way to reduce testing pressure is to dump tests, no matter how important.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aP0

 

How Betsy DeVos is quietly erasing Obama’s education legacy
From dropping protections for transgender students to fostering a friendlier climate for for-profit colleges, DeVos has made an immediate mark.
Vox commentary by columnists Ella Nilsen and Carly Sitrin

US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos came into the Education Department with a bold vision: that parents should be able to send their kids to school wherever they wanted, by way of government-funded vouchers.
Nine months later, she’s made little progress on that goal. But her Education Department has made other, quieter changes that affect millions of students.
Many of those changes involve rolling back Obama-era regulations. It’s now harder for recent graduates of for-profit colleges to get their loans forgiven. Transgender students know the federal government isn’t backing them up as they fight to use the facilities that match their gender identity rather than the sex assigned to them at birth. And on college campuses, survivors of sexual assault wonder how seriously the Education Department is taking their claims.
So while Congress rejected DeVos’s proposed cuts of $9 billion to the Education Department, and with it, her strategy to implement school choice programs nationwide, it doesn’t mean she’s powerless. By rescinding Obama-era policies, DeVos has made an immediate mark.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPH

 

New Book Sheds Light on Anti-Trump Agenda in Public Schools and Politicization of the Classroom
Safety, religious bias, sexualization of the classroom are factors bolstering school-choice argument
Washington Free Beacon commentary by columnist Ali Meyer

In his newly published book, The Corrupt Classroom, Lance Izumi of the Pacific Research Institute illustrates how the public school classroom has become increasingly politicized, with liberal teachers indoctrinating students with an anti-Trump and leftist agenda.
Izumi makes the case that while many school choice supporters rely on academic school performance data to show that public schools are failing, there are many other equally important reasons to support it.
“Many parents, for example, are rightly concerned about the growing politicization of the classroom,” Izumi explains. “Far from being mere anecdotal incidents-and there are lot of those-political bias is becoming systemic in public school systems and has turned many public schools into indoctrination centers for progressive ideologies and causes.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPL

 

————————————————————-
NATIONAL NEWS
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Inside ESSA Plans: How Do States Want to Handle Testing Opt-Outs?
Education Week

Parents who opted their children out of state exams in recent years became the focal point of major education debates in the country about the proper roles of testing, the federal government, and achievement gaps. Now, under the Every Student Succeeds Act, states have a chance to rethink how they handle testing opt-outs.
So how are states responding in their ESSA plans they submitted to the federal government? In short, it’s all over the place, an Education Week review of the ESSA plans shows.
Keep this in mind: ESSA requires that students who opt out of those mandatory state tests must be marked as not proficient on those tests. Those not-proficient scores will in turn, obviously, impact accountability indicators. So while some states highlight this as their approach to handling testing opt-outs, it’s really no more than what the law requires.
But there’s also this touchy issue: Whether states will lower a school’s final rating directly because it missed the law’s threshold of testing 95 percent of eligible students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPD

 

The high school grads least likely in America to go to college? Rural ones
Fewer than one in five rural adults aged 25 and older have college degrees, federal data show
Hechinger Report

When Dustin Gordon’s high school invited juniors and seniors to meet with recruiters from colleges and universities, a handful of students showed up.
A few were serious about the prospect of continuing their educations, he said. “But I think some of them went just to get out of class.”
In his sparsely settled community in the agricultural countryside of southern Iowa, “There’s just no motivation for people to go” to college, Gordon said.
“When they’re ready to be done with high school, they think, ‘That’s all the school I need, and I’m just going to go and find a job'” on the family farm or at the egg-packaging plant or the factory that makes pulleys and conveyor belts, or driving trucks that haul grain.
Variations of this mindset, among many other reasons, have given rise to a reality that’s gotten lost in the impassioned debate over who gets to go to college, which often focuses on racial and ethnic minorities and low-income people: The high school graduates who head off to campus in the lowest proportions in America are the ones from rural places.
Understanding and addressing this “is critical to our future, not just for employment but for civil discourse and kids feeling like they can contribute and achieve and not feeling lost and ignored,” said Jeff Hawkins, executive director of the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative, which works to encourage students in that state’s coal-mining southeast corner to go on to college.
It’s not that rural students aren’t academically prepared.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOC

 

College Enrollment Projected to Grow by 15% by 2025
Inside Higher Ed

A new federal report projects that enrollment in American postsecondary institutions will climb 15 percent from 2014 to 2025, with larger proportional increases among adult than traditional-age students, women than men, graduate students than undergraduates, and minority students than white students. That growth would represent about half the increase in actual enrollments between 2001 and 2014, but is larger than many college leaders might fear.
The report from the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics projects a broad range of demographic and other data about education to 2025. It projects the number of high school graduates to grow 5 percent from 2012-13 to 2025-26, compared to the 22 percent actual increase that occurred from 2000-1 to 2012-13.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOD

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

 

The Purpose of Education-According to Students
Teens respond to questions about the role of schools and teachers in their lives.
Atlantic

Radio Atlantic recently examined a question that underpins many, if not most, debates about education in the U.S.: What are public schools for? Increasingly, it seems many American parents expect schools to first and foremost serve as pipelines into the workforce-places where kids develop the skills they need to get into a good college, land a good job, and ultimately have a leg up in society. For those parents, consistently low test scores are evidence that the country’s education system is failing. Conversely, other parents argue that public schools’ primary responsibility is to create an educated citizenry, to instill kids with the kinds of values integral to a democratic society-curiosity, empathy, an appreciation for diversity, and so on.
Nuanced answers to that core question abound, shaping public policy and inciting PTA debates. But rarely do students get asked what they expect out of school. What does the promise of education mean to public-school students? Magdalena Slapik, a photojournalist working on an oral-history book project, has been interviewing public-school K-12 students across the country over the past several years to see what they have to say.
The Hechinger Report, which produced this project in partnership with The Atlantic, is running longer excerpts for 10 students, exploring questions such as: What do kids really think about school? How would they change it? Do they agree with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s conclusion that the U.S. school system is a “mess”? The Atlantic has published an abridged version of those excerpts to zero in on what students think their schools, teachers, and educations are for.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPG

 

Students’ progress stalls on California’s standardized tests
Los Angeles Times

When California rolled out new standardized tests, experts said scores would improve when students got used to them. But three tests in, rather than showing strides from familiarity, their scores have stagnated – essentially flatlining in English and math.
About 3.2 million students in third through eighth grade and 11th grade took the tests in the spring. This year, 49% passed the English exam, compared with 48% in 2016. In math, 38% of students met or exceeded the state’s standard, compared with 37% last year. Fifth graders’ scores dropped slightly in English.
The previous year, students’ scores had improved in both subjects, prompting California’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to travel from Sacramento to Los Angeles and hold a news conference to highlight the gains.
This year, state officials delayed releasing the scores for a month, citing problems with the data. Torlakson issued a statement describing the results as sustained progress.
“I’m pleased we retained our gains, but we have much more work to do,” he said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOB

 

California board approves 10 textbook families, rejects 2
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A California education panel on Thursday recommended that 10 families of textbooks receive the state’s blessing after incorporating dozens of changes requested by LGBT groups and Hindus.
The Instructional Quality Commission rejected two textbook families, saying the publisher submitted more than 1,000 pages of changes during a process that should include only include minor edits.
The State Board of Education will make the final decision in November about which textbooks comply with state curriculum standards and earn the state’s recommendation for use in kindergarten through eighth grade classrooms.
To earn the state’s recommendation, books must comply with a detailed framework published last summer, which reflects a 2011 state law that requires teaching about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aON

 

U.S. Putting $253 Million Into Charter School Expansion
Dow Jones Newswires via Fox Business

The federal government is pumping $253 million into the expansion and creation of charter schools, with hopes of helping students in low-income communities.
The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday announced Charter Schools Program grants. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos says the funding will provide students with more education options.
Nine state education agencies received about $144.7 million, with the rest going to two state agencies, 17 nonprofit charter management organizations and six other nonprofit groups.
The money will be used in various ways, including for state-level grant competitions to replicate and expand charter schools and provide aid for planning, program design and launching of the schools. It also provides funding to charter management organizations on a competitive basis to enable them to replicate or expand high-quality charter schools.
New this year, some of the grant funding will target credit enhancement for charter schools to enable them to access nonfederal funds to acquire, construct and renovate facilities at a reasonable cost. Acquiring facilities is often a challenge for charter schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOQ

http://gousoe.uen.org/aOS (The 74)

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

 

Huge Stakes for Teachers’ Unions as Fees Case Reaches High Court
Huge financial stakes seen For AFT, NEA, and affiliates
Education Week

In a case with enormous financial implications for teachers’ unions, the U.S. Supreme Court once again has agreed to take up a dispute that threatens a 40-year-old precedent giving unions the right to collect fees from nonmembers.
The justices last week granted review in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31, which could affect the treasuries and political might of all public-employee unions, including the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and their state and local affiliates.
At risk is the precedent in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the 1977 Supreme Court decision that authorized public-employee unions to charge so-called agency or fair-share fees to employees in the bargaining unit who refuse to join the union. (Twenty-two states allow such arrangements.) Last term, in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the justices deadlocked 4-4 in a case in which a group of nonunion teachers had asked it to overrule Abood.
Various members of the court’s conservative bloc have been signaling in several decisions since 2012 that they would like to overrule Abood. In the oral arguments in Friedrichs in January 2016, Justice Antonin Scalia had appeared ready to join them. But he died the next month, leading that case to end in a tie, which preserved a lower-court victory by the unions.
The court is now back at full strength with the addition of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, and formally opened its term on Oct. 2. On Sept. 28, the justices jumped at the first opportunity to add the Janus case to their docket for the new term. Oral arguments are likely in January or February.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPC

http://gousoe.uen.org/aOF (NYT)

 

Non-traditional Hires Surge Amid Idaho’s Teacher Shortage
Idaho Education News

As Idaho’s teacher shortage continues, school districts and charter schools are being forced to improvise.
They are hiring more and more professionals with no teaching experience or college graduates who didn’t major in education. They are moving some veteran teachers into new subjects and disciplines to fill holes.
The numbers put this change into focus. In 2016-17, nearly 4.9 percent of Idaho teachers entered the classroom through some form of alternative authorization – up from 2.7 percent in 2013-14.
Education leaders don’t necessarily agree on the cause, or the solution. But they agree on one point. The alternative authorization numbers aren’t going to drop anytime soon.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOO

 

Former Basic High student among the dead in Strip massacre
Las Vegas Review-Journal

A Basic High School graduate has been identified as one of the victims of the mass shooting on the Strip Sunday night.
In a Facebook post, a woman who identified herself as the former student’s aunt announced that Quinton Robbins was at the concert and had been shot. Early Monday morning, she posted that he had passed away.
“He was the most kind and loving soul. Everyone who met him, loved him. His contagious laugh and smile. He was truly an amazing person,” Kilee Wells Sanders wrote. “He will be missed by so many, he is loved by so many. So many awesome talents.”
Robbins’ Facebook profile says that he graduated from Basic High and studied at UNLV.
UNLV spokesman Francis McCabe said Robbins’ was a student at the university through July 2015, but was not currently enrolled.
Two high-school students at Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School also were injured at the event, Principal Sarah Harper confirmed Monday. She said they underwent successful surgeries.
Harper also confirmed that one alumni of the school was injured, but was expected to survive. She would not provide the names of the victims, but said the student body met and prayed on Monday morning.
Clark County schools remained in session on Monday following a mass shooting on the Strip Sunday night, but all after- school sports and activities were canceled.
“Students and staff directly impacted by the tragedy will be excused,” the district wrote in a message to the public. “All student absences will be excused today. Those impacted by the incident should contact their school or supervisor directly.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPK

 

Puerto Rico public schools may not reopen for weeks
CNN

Twelve days after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, officials said only 5% of the island has electricity and its schools are not close to reopening.
Julia Kelleher, Puerto Rico’s secretary of education, told CNN on Sunday that some public schools might not resume classes until October 16 because of storm damage, though decisions will be made on a regional basis.
There are 1,113 public schools and a student population of 350,000 on the island but only 400 schools have been assessed for damage, she said.
“I have come up with a target date of October 16th,” Kelleher said. “We used to make system-wide decisions before, but this time we’re going to allow the different regions to make their own decision as to when they can reopen.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOZ

 

Preschool’s Hidden Value May Be in Combating Poverty
Head Start may not boost school test scores, but researchers find long-term, multi-generational benefits in the program.
U.S. News & World Report

It’s been hard to prove that attending preschool makes a difference for kids, academically. Many research studies have found that children who didn’t go to preschool catch up to those who did in just a few years. By third grade, there’s often no difference in math and reading scores between the preschooled and the non-preschooled child. Experts call it “fadeout.”
That hasn’t sat well with advocates of early childhood education. They point to other studies that have looked beyond elementary schools’ test scores, and have found that preschooled children are more likely to graduate from high school, be employed and raise families in stable marriages.
Now a pair of researchers has taken this line of research one generation further, and found that the offspring of preschooled children are living significantly better young-adult lives than the offspring of non-preschooled children. In that second generation, whose parents lived in a community that offered a free, federally funded Head Start preschool program in the 1960s, people were graduating from high school and attending college in much higher numbers, and were far less likely to be involved in crime or become a teen parent themselves.
“We wanted to ask the question of whether programs can disrupt the transmission of poverty from one generation to the other,” said Chloe Gibbs, an economist at the University of Notre Dame who presented the as-yet-unpublished paper “Breaking the Cycle? Intergenerational Effects of an Anti-Poverty Program in Early Childhood” to economists over the summer. “We think we have some strong proxies.”
The researchers said it’s too soon to conclude whether the second generation is no longer living in poverty and earning a good income.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPI

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPJ (Hechinger Report)

 

Research: Preschool Teachers Are Uncomfortable with Science, Teach It Rarely
THE Journal

Preschool teachers in the United States are not as comfortable with science as they are literacy, according to researchers at Michigan State University.
The researchers, led by Hope Gerde, an associate professor in Michigan State’s department of human development and family studies, found the preschool teachers they surveyed reported higher enjoyment and ability for literacy than for science or math. Nearly all – 99 percent – of those surveyed said they worked with students on literacy education three or four times a week, but only 75 percent said the same about math and a paltry 42 percent about science.
Gerde and her team followed 67 Head Start classrooms with students aged 3-5 years, a time when children are developing knowledge and skills for scientific learning.
“Providing quality early-childhood science education is one way to improve the very low science achievement of US elementary school children,” said Gerde in a prepared statement. “However, it seems the preschool teachers in our study were more confident of their ability in literacy than in science – likely creating a gap between children’s literacy development and science skills.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOG

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOH (Journal of Early Education and Development)

 

This Master Teacher Is Teaching Educators How to Have Fun
NBC

ST. LOUIS – Dr. Richard Overfelt’s teaching style comes from a different kind of lesson plan.
Dancing, singing, marching and the whacking of cymbals are all part of a formula he says is aimed at getting teachers to take themselves less seriously.
His students are teachers from schools all across the St. Louis area. Many arrive exhausted, perhaps drained from a long day’s work instructing kids all the way up to the high school level. But Overfelt greets them with a boisterous “happy day.”
On the first day of classes each semester at Truman State University, the 88-year-old lifelong educator surprises his students by coming in dressed as a clown – unusual methods for a profession now characterized by test scores and no-nonsense school administrators.
“I teach that if the heart is empty, it doesn’t make any difference how full the head,” said Overfelt.
Given how many demands are placed upon teachers, from school districts right down to parents, it’s easy to become discouraged. But Overfelt sees it as his life’s work to help teachers rediscover the joy of their craft.
“We cover teachers up today with statistics, with data, and testing almost every other day,” Overfelt said. And as a result he says “there isn’t enough time and energy to really teach the kids.”
That’s why teachers all across St. Louis have been flocking to his classes based at Rose Acres Elementary School in Chesterfield, Missouri, for years.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPF

 

‘Exposing’ in schools raising concern for educators, counselors
Nashville Tennessean

It’s a practice some Nashville kids have nicknamed “exposing:” Secretly taking a cell phone video or photo of other kids, in a compromising sexual position, then sharing those images on social media or via cell phone.
The images have proliferated on some social media sites in Nashville under multiple variations of the name “exposing” or “THOT” – shorthand for, among other similar phrases, “that h- over there.”
Counselors and educators say “exposing,” a form of cyber-bullying, can be devastating to its victims.
Its proliferation has the attention of education, law enforcement and child welfare groups. At the beginning of the school year, officials with the Department of Children’s Services, Metro Schools and the District Attorney’s office convened their first meeting to discuss how to respond to “exposing” incidents.
“Exposing” is also central to four lawsuits filed against Metro Schools within the last two months.
Each of the lawsuits each allege school officials failed to follow federal Title IX rules in properly responding to alleged sexual assaults captured in cell phone images – then shared online and via cell phone.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPO

 

Cambridge says it ‘did not authorize’ rejection of Melania Trump’s book donation
Boston Globe

Officials at Cambridge Public Schools are distancing the district from a letter penned by a school librarian rejecting books donated by first lady Melania Trump.
In the blog post, published Tuesday on the Horn Book, Liz Phipps Soeiro, a library media specialist at the district’s Cambridgeport School, began by thanking the first lady for the 10 Dr. Seuss books sent to her school “for its high standards of excellence.” But she went on to explain why they would not be keeping the gifted titles.
“Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit are suffering through expansion, privatization, and school ‘choice’ with no interest in outcomes of children, their families, their teachers, and their schools,” she wrote. “Are those kids any less deserving of books simply because of circumstances beyond their control? Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos?”
The school district said in a statement that while it supports its employees right to voice their personal opinions, Phipps Soeiro’s letter wasn’t an official school position.
“The opinions expressed in the Horn Book editorial were those of the writer, and not a statement on behalf of Cambridge Public Schools,” the school said in Thursday statement. “This was not a formal acceptance or rejection of donated books, but a statement of opinion on the meaning of the donation.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOI

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/aOK (The Hill)

 

Are Student Athlete Protests Fair Game Under 1st Amendment, Or Can Schools Cry Foul? It’s ‘Murky,’ Expert Says
The 74

It’s a lovely fall Friday, and everyone knows what that means: high school football. But for anyone who plans to attend or participate in a high school sporting event this weekend, prepare for a ruckus. Not just everyday mayhem, like teens charging each other headfirst; expect the national anthem to become the big spectacle.
What began as a silent protest by National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick – kneeling rather than standing during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” in response to police brutality against blacks – has become a full-blown national debate, which has quickly made its way to high school football fields, gymnasiums, classrooms, and even school board meetings across the country. The debate intensified last week after President Trump said athletes who kneel during the anthem should be fired, calling such a protester a “son of a bitch.”
As protests intensify in the professional realm, school districts across the country are bracing for even greater participation among high school athletes.
On Thursday, a Louisiana high school principal’s letter quickly went viral after he warned student athletes they could be punished – up to being removed from their team – for protesting during the playing of the national anthem. As districts grapple with how to respond, some backing student protests and others clamping down, the letter raises an important question: Can schools punish student athletes who kneel during the national anthem?
http://gousoe.uen.org/aPE

http://gousoe.uen.org/aPN (NYT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aPM (NPR)

 

Cost of Contact in Sports Is Estimated at Over 600,000 Injuries a Year
New York Times

It seems obvious that there would be more injuries, and more serious ones, among high school and college athletes in football or soccer or lacrosse than, say, in running or tennis. But, how many more, and at what economic cost?
Those figures turned out to be hard to come by, researchers at Yale discovered, but, using the best data available, they calculated that if contact sports could be made noncontact – like flag football, for example – there would be 49,600 fewer injuries among male college athletes per year and 601,900 fewer among male high school athletes.
The savings – which include estimates of medical costs and time lost – could be as much as $1.5 billion per year for colleges and $19.2 billion per year for high schools. And that takes into account only the immediate consequences of an injury, a paper by the researchers says, not the long-term effects of concussions or repeated jarring of the brain in collisions. Or the repercussions of ligament tears, which can lead to a greater than 50 percent risk of arthritis a decade later, said Dr. Mininder Kocher, a professor of orthopedics at Harvard Medical School.
“The issue really is that contact is the driving force in all these major injuries,” said Ray Fair, an economics professor at Yale and the senior author of the paper.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aP2

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/aP3 (Yale)

 

Betsy DeVos names John Engler to chair national education assessment board
Detroit Free Press

WASHINGTON – U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos today named former Michigan Gov. John Engler – with whom she worked as a state Republican Party official when he was in office – to a national education assessment board as chairman.
DeVos appointed Engler and five others to four-year terms on the 26-member National Assessment Governing Board, beginning Oct. 1. The board helps set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which conducts periodic assessments on student performance in nearly a dozen subjects.
Engler was a driving force behind education reforms in Michigan in the 1990s including the push for charter schools in the state. DeVos was brought on as education secretary by President Donald Trump this year after a long history as a school choice advocate and, along with her family, active Republican fundraisers and financial supporters.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aOU

 

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CALENDAR
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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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