Education News Roundup: Oct. 5, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Trib looks at the funding backing Our Schools Now ballot initiative.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQB (SLT)
or the filings for Our Schools Now
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQD (Utah Lt. Governor’s Office)

Legislature looks at immunization opt out.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQq (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aQF (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aRbm (AP)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aRc (AP via OSE)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aRl (AP via LHJ)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aRn (KUTV)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aRv (AP via MUR)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aRR (AP via Ed Week)
or immunization rules
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQr (Utah Legislature)

Congrats to Millard Supt. David Styler, Utah’s new Superintendent of the Year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQU (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aRO (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aRq (DN via KSL)

Nationally, the Hispanic high school dropout rate reaches a new low.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQw (Ed Week)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQx (Pew Research Center)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Big money fueling ballot drives for schools and medical pot and against gerrymandering
So far, campaigns have stacked up a combined $800,000.

Lawmaker says immunization ‘risk’ statement creating confusion

Career Millard School District educator named Superintendent of the Year

Want to win the Nobel Prize? Graduate from Logan High School
Logan-born theoretical physicist Kip Thorne wins share of Nobel Prize in Physics

Utah Valley school districts unconcerned with state school grades

Utah Among States With Underpaid Early Childhood Educators

Chevron’s Fuel Your Schools grants in Utah widened to cover basic student needs such as food, clothing
Oil company will now accept ‘Life Essentials’ requests from teachers as part of up to $750,000 in donations for classroom projects in Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties.

Orem community rallying for and against school consolidation

Davis School District alters new high school boundary proposal

Granite School District proposes bond to build better and safer schools

House passes Rep. Mia Love’s SITLA legislation

Thousands attend STEM expo to learn ‘how it all works’

Women Tech Council starts student program

Liberty Elementary introduces structured recess program to reduce playground issues

Salt Lake City Council votes to have Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Columbus Day

Former Utah chemistry teacher sent to prison for sexually abusing teen girl

District apologizes for student-led ‘build the wall’ chant at Woods Cross game

Alta High graduate receives Canyons Foundation scholarship

Paint a plow: High schoolers paint yeti on UDOT snowplow

Young adult sci-fi, fantasy author Brandon Mull coming to Ogden High School

Driver safety: Being aware of students and buses

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Utah sees measured success in addressing poverty

All these ballot pushes offer more evidence that Utah lawmakers aren’t doing what Utah voters want

Support 21st-century education – vote for the Ogden bond initiative

Be a Nebo Hero

Want an education revolution? Empower parents.

Want Change In Education? Look Beyond The Usual Suspects (Like Finland)

Ivanka Trump: Why we need to start teaching tech in Kindergarten

7 Ways to Get More Girls and Women into STEM (and Encourage Them to Stay)
A recent forum brought together industry and academic experts to consider how to get more girls interested in science and engineering and keep them engaged.

Celebrate Charter School Success
The Education Department should cheer charter school replication and expansion.

Millennials, especially of color, are disrupting charter school debate

NATION

High School Dropout Rate Among Hispanics Reaches All-Time Low, Study Finds

Teachers Say State Standards Are Good for Instruction. But Testing? Not So Much.

International counselors blast ACT and College Board, citing ‘lack of confidence’ over testing

Why the school ‘accountability movement’ based on standardized tests is nothing more than ‘a charade’

State’s plan could go national
Backers see help for poor kids; critics say not so fast

The Evolution of Betsy DeVos
The education secretary came in as a federal private school choice champion. What happened?

Innovation, Civil Rights, and DeVos Focus of Senate ESSA Hearing

State Chiefs: We Won’t Walk Away From Disadvantaged Groups Under ESSA

Trump Taps Common-Core Foe Mick Zais for No. 2 Post at Ed. Dept.

Trump nominates state Rep. Tim Kelly to Department of Education post

Who are the world’s most valued teachers?

Appeals Court Strikes Down District’s Rules for Speakers at Meetings

Kansas Supreme Court rules new school finance formula is unconstitutional

Why Have Homeschooling Numbers Flattened Out After a Decade of Growth?

If Your Child Acts Up at School, Do You Want to Know in Real Time?

Growing Fab Lab Network Brings the High-Tech, Hands-On STEM Education Out to Rural K-12 Students

Lawsuit alleges Missouri district allowed bullying of girl

What Happens When Music Vanishes From Schools? Enter Donick Cary’s MUSACK Charity

Participant in Matt Damon Public School Doc Lashes Out at Filmmakers
Jeanne Allen claims that producers misled her about the nature of the film.

Save the Children warns Syrian schools targeted

Syrian girl, who tweeted from Aleppo, documents horrors in new memoir
“I am sad because the children in Syria they don’t have school, they aren’t learning anything. They (stay) in their house and are dying every day”

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Big money fueling ballot drives for schools and medical pot and against gerrymandering
So far, campaigns have stacked up a combined $800,000.

Campaigns pushing three ballot initiatives – seeking to raise taxes for schools, allow medical marijuana, and form an independent commission to draw political boundaries – are attracting big donations, according to new disclosures.
Two other initiatives have raised little to nothing so far – but they have just launched. One seeks to approve Medicaid expansion for the poor while the other is pushing for Utah to use a direct primary, not the caucus-convention system, to choose party nominees.
The Our Schools Now initiative to hike taxes for schools raised $347,740 so far this year; Better Boundaries, campaigning to stop gerrymandering, brought in $243,468; and the Utah Patients Coalition seeking to allow medical marijuana raised $214,480.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQB (SLT)

The filings for Our Schools Now
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQD (Utah Lt. Governor’s Office)

 

Lawmaker says immunization ‘risk’ statement creating confusion

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah lawmakers asked state health officials Monday why parents seeking personal exemptions to immunizing their children are asked to sign a statement holding them responsible for any “risk” incurred by doing so.
The statement in question is a line on a form that says, “I understand I am responsible for the risk of not vaccinating this child.”
Some legislators say they’re worried the statement passes on legal liability to parents, which is not required or provided for under state law.
“Many see (the language) as an assumption of risk, an admission against interest that could be used against them in a future legal proceeding if there were charges of child endangerment, child abuse, things of that nature,” Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, said at a meeting of the Utah Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQq (DN)

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

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/aRl (AP via LHJ)

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

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

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

Immunization rules
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQr (Utah Legislature)

 

Career Millard School District educator named Superintendent of the Year

SALT LAKE CITY – David Styler, a career educator in the Millard School District, has been named 2018 Superintendent of the Year by the Utah School Superintendents Association.
Styler has served as superintendent since 2010, and has spent his entire 33-year career in education in the rural school district based in Delta starting as an eighth-grade history teacher. He is also a product of Millard County schools.
After working as a classroom teacher, Styler transitioned into school administration, first as an assistant principal at Delta Middle School and later, principal of Delta High School, a position he held for 10 years. He was promoted to superintendent of schools eight years ago.
Styler has implemented new incentives to attract and retain new teachers to Millard County and has worked to boost pay for new teachers, according to a press release by the Utah School Superintendent Association.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQU (DN)

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

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

 

Want to win the Nobel Prize? Graduate from Logan High School
Logan-born theoretical physicist Kip Thorne wins share of Nobel Prize in Physics

SALT LAKE CITY – Theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, born and raised in Logan, was among three Americans awarded the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for their discovery of four signals of gravitational waves that had been predicted by Albert Einstein nearly a century ago.
California Institute of Technology collaborators Thorne, Barry Barish and Ronald Drever, along with Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Rainer Weiss, in 2016 confirmed the existence of ripples through space-time triggered by massive gravitational events such as the merging of black holes. Drever was not recognized for his contributions because he died in March, and nominees must be alive at the time of their nomination.
The discoveries by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, collaborators were widely considered the biggest development in physics in 2016, and many observers were surprised the physicists were not awarded the Nobel Prize last year.
An announcement was made early Tuesday at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.
Thorne, 77, graduated from Logan High School in 1958. His parents, D. Wynne Thorne and Alison Thorne, were professors at Utah State University, an agronomist and an economist, respectively.
Thorne was editor of Logan High’s yearbook, the “Amphion,” and was one of its photographers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQW (DN)

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/aQX (Nobel Committee)

 

Utah Valley school districts unconcerned with state school grades

School grades are out, but Utah County districts aren’t putting much stock in them.
“Data provided to schools through SAGE testing is helpful for schools to get a bigger picture of how students perform in comparison to other students in Utah,” a statement from Alpine School District regarding the grades reads. “The current school grading process is not reliable in showing what happens daily in our schools. We look forward to a modification of the school accountability process.”
The Utah State Board of Education released the grades in late September. Grades decreased statewide, as did scores from the Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence tests, known as SAGE tests. The tests are a factor in the grades that schools receive.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRi (PDH)

 

Utah Among States With Underpaid Early Childhood Educators

A national movement to help educate the public about the benefits of early childhood educators is focusing on an increase pay rates and decrease in work hours.
The Council for Professional Recognition includes Utah among the states that need to better compensate professionals who work with their children.
Valora Washington is CEO of the Council for Professional Recognition based in Washington D.C. She said early childhood educators in Utah are underpaid, work in poor conditions and have a low occupational status.
“The research has consistently shown over decades that when children have a high-quality early childhood education experience, it benefits them now and in the future. It benefits their children, it also benefits the economy of your state,” Washington said. “The most important factor in having high quality and getting the goals that science tells us is possible, is the person who is actually working with the child.”
To help improve working conditions for teachers, the Council for Professional Recognition offers early childhood credentials – focusing on skills in health and safety, how to foster intellectual curiosity and building social and emotional skills in children.
“We’re also working to help them really increase their working conditions that they face,” Washington said. “For example, in Utah, the average early childhood person is making $22,000 a year.”
That salary, Valora said, would be about $10.27 an hour.
“That means that many of them are eligible for public assistance,” Washington said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRQ (UPR)

 

Chevron’s Fuel Your Schools grants in Utah widened to cover basic student needs such as food, clothing
Oil company will now accept ‘Life Essentials’ requests from teachers as part of up to $750,000 in donations for classroom projects in Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties.

Midvale . Recent efforts to address homelessness in downtown Salt Lake City through what’s been dubbed Operation Rio Grande have pushed The Road Home shelter in Midvale to capacity, with nearly 300 families being housed on site and in hotels throughout the city.
Since the family shelter opened in Midvale in late 2015, it has not only underscored the needs of the homeless, officials said, but also brought to light the severe challenges that lack of access to housing, food, clothing and hygiene can present for school children.
Oil company Chevron announced on Tuesday it had opened up charitable giving through its Fuel Your Schools program to allow teachers in Midvale and elsewhere on the Wasatch Front to submit “Life Essentials” requests, aimed at helping students going without basics.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQE (SLT)

 

Orem community rallying for and against school consolidation

It’s still about a month away from when the Alpine School District Board of Education could vote to close two elementary schools, and parents on both sides of the argument are spending that time waiting.
Members of the Orem community have packed two school board meetings to speak for and against closing Hillcrest Elementary School and consolidating it with Scera Park Elementary School, while those against consolidation have gone door-to-door gathering petition signatures to keep Hillcrest Elementary School open.
The idea of closing schools is new to the booming Alpine School District, which, on its west side, is gaining students faster than it can open new schools. However, in Orem, schools have seen years of declining enrollment.
The district’s proposal, released last month, would close Geneva Elementary School and send its students to Suncrest and Bonneville elementary schools beginning in the 2018-19 school year. At the time, Geneva Elementary School is projected to have about 360 students enrolled. The school property would be kept for potential future use.
The proposal also includes closing Hillcrest Elementary School and sending its 335 students to Scera Park Elementary School. The Scera Park Elementary students would be at the Geneva Elementary School building for the 2019-20 school year as Scera Park Elementary School is rebuilt. The students would move into the new school in 2020 and Hillcrest Elementary School property would be potentially sold.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRg (PDH)

 

Davis School District alters new high school boundary proposal

FARMINGTON – The Davis School District’s proposed high school boundary changes have been altered after much public feedback.
The district is working on boundary changes ahead of the new Farmington High School opening in 2018. The changes will impact six of the district’s high schools and the Board of Education is slated to vote on final boundaries in December.
At a board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 3, boundary consultant Darrell White said they’ve received 612 emails since the boundary proposals were first released in August.
Taking that feedback into account, the new proposed boundary expands the southern Viewmont High School boundary down to 500 South. This will leave more students at Woods Cross High School instead of sending them to Bountiful High School because the latter school saw more students enrolled than expected this year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aR3 (OSE)

 

Granite School District proposes bond to build better and safer schools

SALT LAKE CITY – The Granite School District says some of its schools are no longer fit for teaching or keeping students safe. The district is proposing a $238 million dollar bond to rebuild 13 schools and renovate 17 more.
“There’s no good time to raise taxes,” said Ben Horsley, Granite School District Spokesperson. “The school board has put a lot of time on this, and this provides funding mechanism for the long term so we can rebuild and renovate all of our schools over the next 40 years.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRt (KSTU)

 

House passes Rep. Mia Love’s SITLA legislation

The House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Mia Love’s ‘Confirming State Land Grants for Education Act’ (H.R. 2582). It now heads to the Senate for approval.
The bill will ultimately raise revenue for the benefit of Utah students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRS (UP)

A copy of the bill
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRT (Congress)

 

Thousands attend STEM expo to learn ‘how it all works’

SANDY – When 11-year-old Henry Durham starts talking about science, his eyes light up.
“I think it’s really interesting to know what’s going on around you and how it all works,” said Henry, who attends Freedom Elementary in Highland.
He added that he sees “all these questions that surround” commonplace things like a flower. There’s no one he idolizes more than his older brothers, who know “a whole ton of stuff about science” and can usually answer his questions.
He excitedly recounted a memorable family hiking trip when his brother explained the mysteries of photosynthesis to him.
“All my kids love a wide breadth of science stuff,” said his mother, Julie Durham. “Every time there was anything science-y, I would take my kids to it.”
She was one of hundreds of parents attending the 2017 Utah STEM Fest on Tuesday, an annual exposition at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQV (DN)

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

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

 

Women Tech Council starts student program

The Women Tech Council recently launched the Student Innovators program, also known as WTCSI, to increase the number of women in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM fields and careers. The goal of the Student Innovators program is to help more women complete STEM degrees by integrating students within the industry, provide visibility and leadership opportunities, facilitate mentoring experiences and increase access to workforce pathways.
“With more than 40 percent of the women in STEM degrees dropping out during their second or third year because they lack students, teachers or role models to relate to and engage with, there is an enormous need to support these women,” said Cydni Tetro, president of the Women Tech Council and a computer science graduate, in a press release. “WTCSI is designed to reach these students at this critical time, and by doing so increase the number of women in STEM fields by integrating them into a community that will help them become successful.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRh (PDH)

 

Liberty Elementary introduces structured recess program to reduce playground issues

This fall, there have been less issues on Liberty Elementary’s playground, thanks to introducing Playworks, a structured recess program.
For fourth-grade teacher Toni Wilkins that means her class can settle right back into studying.
“It was not only during recess, but after recess I’d have to listen to playground concerns and take up class time in front of 25 students to solve issues,” she said. “Now, that has been reduced by kids knowing how to play games, having common rules for the games, knowing what games they can play and having enough playground equipment to play them.”
Beforehand, Wilkins said there would be issues about a student bringing out a ball and taking ownership of a game or the students would get in groups and just talk. Those who would play at recess tried to create playground games from videogames they played.
“It wasn’t playing the games we used to like basketball, four-square or hopscotch. They didn’t know how to play those,” she said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRM (Murray Journal)

 

Salt Lake City Council votes to have Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Columbus Day

The Salt Lake City Council has designated Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday in October – also known as Columbus Day.
“Celebrating the two holidays the same day is a way to inform our understanding of each’s contributions to our national fabric without demeaning the significance of either,” council Chairman Stan Penfold read from a prepared statement.
Tuesday night’s unanimous vote came after advocates for the resolution gathered around a drum circle in front of City Hall, then turned east toward the Wasatch Mountains to join in prayer.
“These prayers are much older than the city of Salt Lake,” said Utah League of Native American Voters co-founder Moroni Benally. “Much older than America. So we honor these prayers.”

A central aim of the resolution is to better educate the community and improve the self-esteem of American Indian youths, Benally said. Council members called upon Salt Lake City’s public schools “to teach about the culture, government and history of indigenous peoples on this day and encourages residents, businesses, organizations and public institutions to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRK (SLT)

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

 

Former Utah chemistry teacher sent to prison for sexually abusing teen girl

A former Davis County high school chemistry teacher has been sentenced to prison for sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl.
Douglas B. Tate, 70, of Kaysville, was a part-time chemistry teacher at Viewmont High School in Bountiful when he had sexual contact with the teen last year, according to charges filed in 2nd District Court.
The teen was not a Viewmont student and knew Tate through “a secondary acquaintance,” Farmington police Chief Wayne Hansen has said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQY (SLT)

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

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

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/aR0 (KSTU)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aR1 (Gephardt Daily)

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

 

District apologizes for student-led ‘build the wall’ chant at Woods Cross game

WOODS CROSS – The Davis School District has issued an apology after students at a Woods Cross High School football game chanted “build the wall” Friday night.
The chant took place during a game against Bountiful High School and was in reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico.
A statement via the district’s Twitter account said the student-led chant raised some “serious concerns.”
“Many introspective discussions have taken place at Woods Cross High since that time and school administrators, as well as students involved in the chant, apologize for it and will move forward in a greater effort to treat everyone with respect and kindness,” the statement said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aR5 (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aR6 (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aR7 (KSTU)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/aR9 (USAT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aR8 (Breitbart)

 

Alta High graduate receives Canyons Foundation scholarship

This fall, as Alta High School graduate Vinnie Vala’au may be attending a counseling class at Southern Utah University, he will be thankful for all the support he received from Alta High faculty and staff as well as the Canyons Education Foundation.
Vinnie received a $2,500 Rising Star Scholarship from the foundation.
“I was called down to the counseling office and I thought I was in trouble. I saw balloons and a camera behind me. I saw my counselor crying. Then, they told me I received the Rising Star Scholarship and it hit me I had money for college,” he said. “It’s very cool to get the scholarship – any support I receive is so helpful with my next level of education.”
This scholarship, along with six $1,000 Bright Star Scholarships, was awarded based on applicants’ abilities to overcome difficulties in their life, said Foundation Officer Laura Barlow.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRU (Sandy Journal)

 

Paint a plow: High schoolers paint yeti on UDOT snowplow

SMITHFIELD – Many Utah drivers hope for a light winter with sparse storms. A snowplow blade decorated with a painting of the abominable snowman, however, might brighten an otherwise dreary, frosty day.
Art students at Sky View High last week had the rare opportunity to paint two Utah Department of Transportation snowplow blades. UDOT Region One Spokesperson Vic Saunders said the Cache Valley school is one of three in the state to “Paint a Plow.”
He said it’s part of an effort to raise awareness about safety around snowplows. By giving students an up-close look at the massive blades, he said they might gain some more respect.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRk (LHJ)

 

Young adult sci-fi, fantasy author Brandon Mull coming to Ogden High School

OGDEN – Utah science fiction author Brandon Mull will be at this year’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Day.
The event on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Ogden High School and is free and open to the public.
Event organizer Kathy Gambles said workshops will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on a variety of topics, including the history of comic books, publishing and writing. The keynote event featuring Mull will begin at 4 p.m.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aR4 (OSE)

 

Driver safety: Being aware of students and buses

School has been back in session for just over a month and with school buses out and about and students traveling to and from school, it’s always a good reminder to be aware of those around to keep everyone safe.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRL (Tremonton Leader)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Utah sees measured success in addressing poverty
Deseret News editorial

It’s been a generation since the nation launched the so-called “war on poverty,” creating a host of social programs and other initiatives in the 1960s. By the 1980s, however, many of those programs had fallen out of political favor. The poverty rate, meanwhile, has largely remained stagnant. In Utah, a concerted effort to fight intergenerational poverty is now raising hopes that the right kind of public policy can again help reduce the number of people living in destitution – though that process will move slowly and incrementally.
The latest annual report on the state’s six-year campaign to help those caught in a cycle of poverty shows modest gains in employment, income and educational attainment, which offers evidence the effort may be having a beneficial impact. While the rate of progress is slow, it’s important to note that beyond the statistics, a significant number of people have gotten help in escaping a cycle of impoverishment.
Intergenerational poverty is defined as two or more generations living below the poverty line – qualifying for welfare assistance for at least 12 months as children, and 12 months as adults. The state’s campaign included formation of the Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission, charged with formulating a strategy to help individual families and offer different forms of direct assistance through public and private sources. The commission has pushed for local government participation and has encouraged county leaders across the state to embark on their own initiatives.
The latest report shows that average annual wages for adults in families in the targeted category rose by 18 percent from 2013 to 2016. There has been a substantial increase in access to qualified pre-school programs for children in those families. Graduation rates for children in risk of remaining in poverty rose to 63 percent last year, compared to 50 percent in 2013. There are also improvements in language arts proficiency. But the numbers also show there is significant room for progress.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aR2

 

All these ballot pushes offer more evidence that Utah lawmakers aren’t doing what Utah voters want
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Paul Rolly

Here’s the latest example of Congress’ disconnect from the public: Polls show that upward of 90 percent of Democrats and Republicans want better background checks for gun purchases even as GOP lawmakers recite the party line that now is not the time to “politicize” the shootings in Las Vegas.
That type of gap between what the public wants and what federal lawmakers do helps explain why Congress has a dismal 16 percent approval rating.
There is ample evidence that you can say the same about the Utah Legislature.
Activists are gathering signatures to put five initiatives on the 2018 ballot dealing with proposals that appear to enjoy widespread support among Democrats and Republicans but have been largely ignored by the Legislature.
Let’s look at each proposal and the disparity between what Utahns want and what the Legislature does.

Education funding . A new poll shows the Our Schools Now ballot initiative enjoys solid backing as it seeks a spot on the 2018 ballot.
A majority of registered Utah voters – 57 percent – said they either “somewhat” or “strongly” support a proposal to raise roughly $700 million for public education through a combination of income and sales tax hikes.
That backing points to frustration with the Legislature’s level of funding for public schools. Lawmakers already have been pushing back against this education push.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRP

 

Support 21st-century education – vote for the Ogden bond initiative
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Danette Pulley

Ogden, we have an opportunity to invest $106.5 million in our schools – without increasing our tax rate – if we vote yes on the Ogden school bond. I have two students who attend schools in the Ogden School District. I support the bond not only for them, but for all Ogden children, present and future.
There are nine Ogden elementary schools that are almost 70 years old. All three of our junior high schools need additional space. I know that improvements for everyone would be ideal. This, however, is not a financial possibility with the cost required to take care of all the facility needs. Therefore, we must do the best we can, with the money we have – for the most students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRd

 

Be a Nebo Hero
Serve Daily letter from Lauren Bush

Nebo School District kicked off the school year with an opening message centered around being a hero. The theme for this year is “Be a Nebo Hero,” and each school is encouraging students and teachers to take initiative and be a little more heroic in their daily life.
This does not mean that everyone in the district needs to don a cape and fly around like Superman saving people from burning buildings. Being a hero is much more than being depicted in a superhero movie. There are everyday heroes all around us, and each of us can step to the plate to be the hero for someone else.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRj

 

Want an education revolution? Empower parents.
Washington Post commentary by columnist Esther J. Cepeda

CHICAGO — Education policy geeks are perpetually trying to figure out how to move the needle on academic achievement, yet they rarely include parents in the complex calculus of getting children to succeed in school.
It makes sense: There’s not a whole lot that teachers or school administrators can do to either persuade or require parents to make the best possible choices for their kids.
In many cases, teachers and school staff are just thankful that students have parents and intact families they can rely on. At least on this point, Latino students — who currently make up roughly 1 in 4 of all children in the United States — have a leg up.
A new data analysis from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families (NRCHCF) has found that “most low-income Latino and white children lived in two-parent households at the beginning of kindergarten (69 percent and 62 percent, respectively), mainly with biological or adoptive parents.”
And this proportion held fairly consistently through the third grade, with low-income Latino kids being slightly likelier than low-income white kids and significantly likelier than low-income black children to live with two biological parents.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRf

 

Want Change In Education? Look Beyond The Usual Suspects (Like Finland)
NPR commentary by columnist Anya Kamanetz

In a tiny hamlet in Tanzania, children who have never been to school, and can’t recognize a single letter in any language, are about to start learning basic math and reading. They’ll do this with the help of a cutting-edge, artificially intelligent “tutor” who can hear what they are saying in Swahili and respond meaningfully.
In the slums of Bogota, Colombia, children play with special board games, dominoes and dice games that can teach them math and reading in a matter of months. Youth volunteers in the community help bring the games to younger children.
On the outskirts of Tokyo, a kindergarten is built more like a giant playground. There is a circular park on the roof. You can reach classrooms by climbing a tree. A slide that goes from top to bottom of the building and the furniture is made of lightweight wooden boxes that the children can reconfigure themselves.
These three ideas have something in common. Each is part of a distinct global effort underway right now to identify important innovations in education and to help them spread.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRu

 

Ivanka Trump: Why we need to start teaching tech in Kindergarten
New York Post op-ed by Ivanka Trump, an adviser to her father, the president of the United States

As technology transforms every sector of the global economy, it’s more important than ever to provide our citizens with the education and training necessary to put them on a pathway to well-paying jobs and rewarding careers. And that must begin well before college or trade school.
The fact is that, in 2017, nearly every industry is a “tech industry.”
More than two-thirds of all technology jobs are now outside of the tech sector. Health care, sports, medicine, manufacturing, education and financial services all rely on programming to expand their business functionality, productivity or to improve products or services.
Our nation’s schools and workforce-training programs need to align the skills they teach with the jobs that define the modern economy. A cornerstone of our administration’s approach is the integration of coding and computer science into the fabric of not just what we teach, but how we teach.
It’s not simply about learning to use computers, but about the problem-solving skills that come with it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRH

 

7 Ways to Get More Girls and Women into STEM (and Encourage Them to Stay)
A recent forum brought together industry and academic experts to consider how to get more girls interested in science and engineering and keep them engaged.
THE Journal commentary by columnist Dian Schaffhauser

What ambitious young person wouldn’t want to be in a STEM field? Job growth continues to outpace other industries. Ninety-three in 100 STEM-related occupations pay wages above the national average. And programming jobs, specifically, are growing 12 percent faster than the market average and paying $20,000 more than jobs that don’t require coding skills.
Well, apparently, women in substantial numbers are making that choice. Women make up only a third of the world’s STEM graduates, and they hold just under a quarter of IT jobs. Plus, the pipeline isn’t looking very promising; less than 25 percent of the students who took the advanced computer science placement exam were women.
Those were some statistics shared by Karen Quintos, chief customer office for Dell, during a forum hosted by the Atlantic Monthly titled, “Cracking the Code: The Next Generation of Women in STEM.” The event drew participation from youth, academia, non-profits and the corporate sector to examine questions around what it means “to raise and become a woman in STEM.”
While much of the discussion hammered home some expected themes – that young girls at some point begin thinking they’re not as smart as boys or that the culture of Silicon Valley can be brutally discouraging towards women – a lot of the conversation also offered practical advice worth considering in schools and colleges as people seek strategies for drawing more female representation in science, technology, engineering and math.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQv

 

Celebrate Charter School Success
The Education Department should cheer charter school replication and expansion.
U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Neil Campbell, director of innovation for the K-12 education team at the Center for American Progress Action Fund

With little fanfare last week, the Department of Education announced $52 million in grants for the replication and expansion of proven charter schools and another $200 million in state grants for charter schools. On the day of the announcement, the department’s 1.28 million Twitter followers saw two tweets about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), one tweet announcing the 2017 Blue Ribbon Schools, one about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos meeting the Chinese vice premier and 23 quoting from the secretary’s speech focused on private school vouchers – but nothing about the Charter Schools Program.
It is a shame to overlook the success of the Charter Schools Program and its long history of bipartisan support. The program made its first awards in 1995, just four years after the first charter school law was passed in Minnesota. Its original design made grants to states, which ran a second competition to provide start-up funds to open charter schools. This two-step process and limited funding meant it could take years for successful charters to access funds for expansion.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRI

 

Millennials, especially of color, are disrupting charter school debate
(Washington, DC) The Hill op-ed by SHAVAR JEFFRIES, national president of Democrats for Education Reform

As the number of children attending public charter schools increases, the debate over the role of charter schools in our public education system has intensified.
Are public charter schools better than traditional public schools? Do charter schools serve the same kids as traditional public schools? Should states place a moratorium on charter growth?
These questions, among others, imply false choices that mask the ways traditional public schools and public charters complement one another. But there’s hope for a path forward that pierces the polarized fire-fight that too often characterizes current discussions about charters – Millennials.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQL

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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High School Dropout Rate Among Hispanics Reaches All-Time Low, Study Finds
Education Week

The high school dropout rate among Hispanic students has dropped sharply in the past decade, reaching an all-time low of 10 percent, according to a new study.
In 1996, 34 percent of Hispanic students had left high school before earning their diplomas, but by 2016, that number had fallen to 10 percent, an all-time low, according to the Pew Research Center. The Pew report, released last week, was based on new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Hispanic students are enrolling in college at higher rates, too. In 2016, 47 percent of Hispanic students in the 18-to-24 age group were enrolled in college, compared to 35 percent a decade earlier, according to the Pew study.
The national high school dropout rate has been declining, reaching 6 percent in 2016, Pew reports.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQw

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQx (Pew Research Center)

 

Teachers Say State Standards Are Good for Instruction. But Testing? Not So Much.
Education Week

About 9 out of 10 math and English/language arts teachers say having state standards is good for classroom instruction, according to a recent survey from the RAND Corporation. But less than one-third of teachers say they support the use of the current state tests to measure whether students have mastered those standards.
“I didn’t know there would be this blanket, ‘Yeah, we support the use of state standards for instruction,” said Julia Kaufman, the report’s lead author. “Most teachers don’t seem to have an objection to that.”
The analysis, released today, looked at how teachers feel about standards and testing, as well as the factors that might affect their stances. RAND administered the survey in February 2016 to a nationally representative sample of teachers.
Support for state standards was high-above 85 percent-across teacher subgroups, including among teachers in low-income schools, those with high percentages of English-learners, and those with high percentages of students with special needs. Teachers who reported being in states using the Common Core State Standards and those who reported being in non-common-core states were both overwhelmingly supportive of using state standards.
The study also suggested that, among teachers who do not support standards, a key reason is they believe they contain an unmanageable number of topics.
When it came to state assessments, teachers were much more skeptical.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQQ

A copy of the survey
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQR (RAND)

 

International counselors blast ACT and College Board, citing ‘lack of confidence’ over testing
Washington Post

An organization representing nearly 3,000 school counselors working around the globe just issued a scathing statement rebuking the College Board and ACT Inc. for their handling of international administration of the SAT and ACT college admissions exams, citing a “lack of confidence” in the testing giants.
The International Association for College Admission Counseling, with members in 100 countries who work with hundreds of thousands of overseas students and U.S. citizens living abroad, attacked the two organizations for frequently canceling tests in countries at the last moment and then failing to communicate in a timely fashion. The statement (see in full below) also said U.S. students now “have an advantage in the U.S. admissions process” because more test administrations are given every year and overseas students have fewer chances to take the tests.
The College Board, which owns the SAT, and ACT Inc. are nonprofit organizations that earn millions of dollars each year from their testing and other programs; both pay high salaries to top executives. Their overseas testing has faced security problems for years, most commonly in Asia, which prompted cancellations of test administrations or the rescinding of scores.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQP

 

Why the school ‘accountability movement’ based on standardized tests is nothing more than ‘a charade’
Washington Post

There is a new book out with a title that in eight words explains a good part of the mess that school reform based on standardized tests has been in recent years. The title is “The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better,” and the author is Daniel Koretz, the Henry Lee Shattuck professor of education at Harvard University. Koretz is an expert on educational assessment and testing policy, and he has focused his work on the consequences of high-stakes testing. Before going into academia, he taught emotionally disturbed students in public elementary and junior high schools.
The school “accountability movement” has relied in large part on standardized test scores to evaluate students, schools, teachers, principals and districts. It started under the No Child Left Behind Act, which went into effect in 2002 under President George W. Bush, grew during the Obama administration and is continuing with somewhat less fervor today.
The movement led to classrooms dominated by test prep and a severe narrowing of the curriculum to a primary focus on subjects being testing: reading and math. More and more tests were piled on during the school year, eventually sparking a grass-roots resistance nationwide in which parents opted their children out of tests. Even some supporters of using high-stakes tests as a key assessment tool came to realize that the movement had gone too far.
There are big questions that remain about the test-based accountability movement, including who allowed it to happen. Below is a Q&A with Koretz about his book and what he calls a “testing charade.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRy

 

The Evolution of Betsy DeVos
The education secretary came in as a federal private school choice champion. What happened?
U.S. News & World Report

In her most resolute wording to date, the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said that the federal government should not create a new private school choice program – a far cry from where she stood on that issue upon her confirmation eight months ago.
“I wholeheartedly believe the future of choice does not begin with a new federal mandate from Washington,” she said Sept. 28 during a speech at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
“That might sound counterintuitive to some, coming from the U.S. Secretary of Education,” DeVos said. “But after eight months in Washington – and three decades working in states – I know if Washington tries to mandate ‘choice,’ all we’ll end up with is a mountain of mediocrity, a surge of spending and a bloat of bureaucracy to go along with it.”
The slow slide to this new reality comes after months of political pushback from both sides of the aisle to directing any new federal funding toward private school choice, a chorus of conservative education policy experts voicing their concerns over such a program opening up private schools to federal oversight, and a more realistic understanding of what’s possible to achieve given the political landscape.
“This was really the clearest statement to date that she thinks school choice should be a state and local issue,” Lindsey Burke, director for the center for education policy at the Heritage Foundation, says.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQy

 

State’s plan could go national
Backers see help for poor kids; critics say not so fast
Fort Wayne (IN) Journal Gazette

Reyna Rodriguez is a poster child for Choice.
From a family of six children and two hard-working parents – a nurse and a firefighter – she used a tax-paid voucher to graduate from Bishop Luers High School last year in Fort Wayne.
She is now a freshman at Indiana University.
“Without the continued support from all those in favor of the School Choice Program, I would not be where I am today academically and spiritually,” Rodriguez wrote in a speech she gave at a school choice rally in January. “I firmly believe that the School Choice Program and Bishop Luers forever changed my life and will continue to help my family and many other families that are financially burdened.”
That speech garnered attention nationally, and in May Rodriguez was standing beside U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as a special guest at a conference in Indianapolis.
That’s because Indiana’s voucher program – the largest in the nation after just six years – could be a guide for a national initiative.
But not everyone is on board with using tax dollars to pay for religious education at a private school. GOP lawmakers implemented the program and have tweaked it little-by-little to expand its reach and possibly its entire premise.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQT

 

Innovation, Civil Rights, and DeVos Focus of Senate ESSA Hearing
Education Week

State education chiefs at a Senate hearing Tuesday outlined how they are using the Every Student Succeeds Act to initiate and expand on efforts to improve college- and career-readiness and help low-performing schools. Senators, meanwhile, expressed concerns along partisan lines about the proper balance of power between Washington and the states.
Congress has been mostly silent this year on public school policy in terms of hearings and other events. But Tuesday’s hearing at the Senate education committee allowed for Candice McQueen of Tennessee, Christopher Ruszkowski of New Mexico, and John White of Louisiana to share their approaches to ESSA and how it was affecting their approach to public school more broadly.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the committee chairman, specifically praised the states represented by the chiefs testifying at the hearing. For example, he highlighted his home state of Tennessee’s work under ESSA to determine whether students are ready for the military or the workforce after high school, not just college. He also gave a thumbs-up to New Mexico for increasing access to services ranging from extra math help to early education through its ESSA plan.
“These states … have taken the most advantage of the flexibility we offered under the law in creating innovative plans,” Alexander said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQG

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

 

State Chiefs: We Won’t Walk Away From Disadvantaged Groups Under ESSA
Education Week

Washington — When the Every Student Succeeds Act passed in 2015, there was widespread worry that states would walk away from making sure that particular groups of students-English-language learners, students in special education, and racial minorities-mattered in their school accountability systems.
Now that pretty much every state has filed its plan to implement the law have those fears become the reality?
States are working to make sure that’s not the case, said several state chiefs who spoke on a panel here moderated by Chris Minnich, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQz

 

Trump Taps Common-Core Foe Mick Zais for No. 2 Post at Ed. Dept.
Education Week

President Donald Trump has tapped Mitchell “Mick” Zais, the former South Carolina chief state school officer and a vehement opponent of the Common Core State Standards, as deputy secretary, the number two position at the U.S. Department of Education.
Trump ran on getting rid of the common core-something he doesn’t have the power to do. But it’s hard to imagine Zais cheerleading the common core from his new post. As state chief in he tried to persuade South Carolina to dump the common core. And the state ultimately did shift to new standards, although it’s debatable how different they are from the common core. In 2014, Zais decided to pull South Carolina out of the Smarter Balanced testing consortia, one of two federally funded groups of states creating exams that align with the standards, even though the state board had just voted to remain in the consortium.
Zais was also a big-time supporter of school choice when he worked in the Palmetto State. He championed the expansion of charter schools and other school-choice programs, including a tax-credit scholarship program for special-needs students.
And Zais will fit right into U.S. Secreary of Education Betsy DeVos’ push for more local control. He elected not to compete in a special round of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program that would have rewarded states, including South Carolina, that garnered high scores in earlier rounds but ultimately didn’t get funding.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQI

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/aQK (Charleston [SC] Post and Courier)

 

Trump nominates state Rep. Tim Kelly to Department of Education post
Lancing (MI) State Journal

President Donald Trump has nominated Michigan state Rep. Tim Kelly to a position with the U.S. Department of Education.
Kelly, R-Saginaw Twp., currently chairs the House Education Reform Committee and the House Appropriations subcommittee on school aid and is serving his third term in office. He is in line to become assistant secretary for career, technical and adult education if his nomination is approved by the U.S. Senate.
Prior to his career in the Michigan Legislature, Kelly, served in former Gov. John Engler’s administration as an education policy adviser and as a special adviser to the director of the Michigan Department of Career Development.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRG

 

Who are the world’s most valued teachers?
CNN

All over the world, proud parents drop their children at the gates of schools, dreaming about what they might accomplish after years of study and homework. They entrust teachers with the duty of nurturing their development and opening their eyes to a world of possibilities. It’s a huge responsibility — but is that responsibility reflected in their social status and pay?
October 5, is World Teachers’ Day, so here’s a look at how the world values teachers.
A 2013 study by the Varkey Foundation looked at the social status of teachers and found that there was great respect for teachers in many Asian societies — especially in China, South Korea and Singapore. For much of the Western parts of the world, levels of respect were lower.
The Global Teacher Status Index found that of the 21 countries surveyed, on average, teachers ranked 7th in a poll on 14 respected professions, just above social workers and librarians. China was the only country where teachers were considered as highly skilled as doctors.
Professor Peter Dolton, author of the Global Teacher Status Index which compared attitudes to teachers in 21 countries, said that teacher status measures differently “based on the history and values and mores of a particular culture”.
For example, he cites New York City, where society is focused on financial earnings, status correlates to how much a teacher is earning. Whereas in China, where cultural norms are to respect your elders, teachers are given higher status despite the lack of a high salary.
Countries with a higher respect for teachers are more likely to encourage their child to enter the profession, the report states. China, South Korea, Turkey and Egypt are most likely to give encouragement to children to become teachers, while Israel, Brazil, Portugal and Japan are the least likely to provide positive encouragement, the report noted.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRB

Global Teacher Status Index
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRC (Varkey Foundation)

 

Appeals Court Strikes Down District’s Rules for Speakers at Meetings
Education Week

A federal appeals court has struck down a Georgia school district’s policy limiting public input at its board meetings, ruling that the policy gave “unbridled discretion” to the superintendent in a way that could lead to censorship of potential critics.
The decision involves an issue that sometimes vexes school boards across the nation-how to regulate speakers to keep matters civil, but also respect free-speech rights.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, unanimously ruled that a key aspect of the Walker County school district’s policy violated the First Amendment on its face.
The policy requires prospective speakers at the school board’s regular meetings or planning sessions to get together with the superintendent to “discuss their concerns.” The superintendent is then supposed to report back within 10 days. Speakers must then file a written request to speak at least one week before a particular meeting.
Because the superintendent controls the timing of that initial meeting with a prospective speaker, he may also “control the clock and control the game,” the appeals court said in using a basketball analogy.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRD

A copy of the ruling
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRE (11th Circuit Court of Appeals)

 

Kansas Supreme Court rules new school finance formula is unconstitutional
Kansas City (MO) Star

TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Monday that the state’s new school finance system is unconstitutional, striking a definitive blow to the Legislature’s latest effort.
The decision found the state failed to meet the Kansas Constitution’s requirements to adequately fund education, but it did not specify a dollar amount to reach constitutional muster.
The ruling also ordered a fairer distribution of state funding to ensure that students in poor districts have the same educational opportunities as their peers in wealthier communities.
With Monday’s decision, the latest stage of the Gannon v. Kansas school finance case, the justices sent the issue back to lawmakers as they head into an election-year legislative session in January.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQs

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

A copy of the ruling
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQu (Kansas Supreme Court)

 

Why Have Homeschooling Numbers Flattened Out After a Decade of Growth?
Education Week

After doubling over the last decade, the number of home schooled students in the United States appears to have leveled off, according to federal data.
That could be the product of more school choices-such as charter schools and private school vouchers-coming online.
From 1999 to 2012, the proportion of homeschooling students ballooned from 1.7 percent of all students to 3.4 percent, according to survey data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
But by 2016, that growth had stalled, and the number of homeschoolers has remained basically the same: 1.7 million students nationwide, or 3.3 percent of the overall K-12 student population. (That number is likely an underestimate, because it’s very hard to count home schoolers.)
What could have caused this tapering off? We can’t know for sure, but Christopher Lubienski, a professor of education policy at Indiana University who has studied home schoolers for a couple of decades, says there may be several factors at play.
For one, the conservative Christian home schooling movement isn’t as concentrated on growth as it once was, said Lubienski.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQA

 

If Your Child Acts Up at School, Do You Want to Know in Real Time?
Wall Street Journal

On a recent schoolday, Lisa Smith’s iPhone notified her that her fourth-grader Aidyn listened in math class that day, showed teamwork and stayed on task in the classroom.
That’s thanks to an app called ClassDojo, which elementary and middle school teachers are using to provide real-time reports to parents throughout the day. As of September, 101,000 schools, kindergarten through eighth grade, are using the app, up 17% from a year ago.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQM $

 

Growing Fab Lab Network Brings the High-Tech, Hands-On STEM Education Out to Rural K-12 Students
The 74

Traveling south about an hour from downtown Pittsburgh along Pennsylvania Route 43, visitors roll into Coal Center, home to Intermediate Unit 1, a regional education service agency. Intermediate Unit 1 also serves as home to a Fab Lab – a highly technical maker space packed with the latest machines and programs to spur hands-on STEM learning.
As Fab Labs branch out across the nation, thanks in part to a $10 million, three-year push by Chevron to locate 10 labs where they can serve a diverse population of school-age children, rural communities that otherwise wouldn’t have access to such sophisticated technical equipment have reaped the benefits for their students.
Since 2014, rural Fab Labs outside Pittsburgh and Odessa, Texas, and six other more-urban locations have given 12,000 students the opportunity to engage in hands-on STEM-styled experiments, encouraging them to try new things – and try them over and over.
Not every lab is identical, but each is similarly equipped with a suite of materials that gives students access to 3-D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, routers and other woodworking machinery, and digital workspaces for creating circuits. Some even have such things as sewing machines to allow STEM to grow artistic or fashion-forward.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQS

 

Lawsuit alleges Missouri district allowed bullying of girl
Associated Press

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The mother of a Missouri girl says in a lawsuit she filed that the St. Joseph public school district did not help her daughter when classmates bullied her and left her suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Frances Keitz contends the bullying involved physical and verbal abuse, The Kansas City Star reported. She alleges that students threatened to kill her daughter or urged her to kill herself. She says it happened during the 2015-2016 school year while the girl was a student at Skaith Elementary School.
The girl, who is now 13, was diagnosed with PTSD, depression and anxiety in January 2016 and had to be hospitalized, according to the lawsuit. Keitz says in the lawsuit she frequently asked district administrators to help her daughter, but that they did nothing and school personnel “engaged in a pattern of blaming and ignoring victims of bullying.”
“Defendants did not employ effective remedial measures against the harassing behavior and the bullying continued for several months,” the lawsuit states.
Superintendent Robert Newhart said in a statement that the concerns raised in the lawsuit were addressed and the district can’t discuss specific disciplinary action against any student.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aQN

http://gousoe.uen.org/aQO (Kansas City [MO] Star)

 

What Happens When Music Vanishes From Schools? Enter Donick Cary’s MUSACK Charity
Billboard

“When you’re a teenager, music can feel like your only outlet,” says Hollywood executive Donick Cary, speaking while he prepares for his MUSACK organization’s seventh annual Rock n’ Roll Carnival on Oct. 7. And that’s a reality that is close to Cary’s heart. In 2008, the writer/producer, who has worked on television shows such as The Simpsons, Parks & Recreation and Silicon Valley throughout his career, launched MUSACK as a charity focused on providing musical instruments, scholarships and support to underprivileged students. This week, MUSACK’s annual event — a “mini-Coachella benefit concert,” as Cary calls it, that takes place in his “sprawling” Hancock Park, Los Angeles back yard — will feature rock legends, comedians and a curated display of art and memorabilia that will be up for auction. Each year, the proceeds from the benefit concert cover the costs of instruments for financially struggling schools.
MUSACK’s inception came as a response to a teen suicide epidemic that had swept Cary’s hometown of Nantucket, Mass., 10 years ago. News of the small island’s local tragedies deeply affected the producer, who recalls his own experiences on Nantucket which never left him; after reflecting on his teenage years, an idea was born.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRJ

 

Participant in Matt Damon Public School Doc Lashes Out at Filmmakers
Jeanne Allen claims that producers misled her about the nature of the film.
Hollywood Reporter

A documentary that is narrated by Matt Damon and takes aim at school choice and other ways of introducing competition to public school systems is itself being critiqued by the woman who inadvertently named the film: Backpack Full of Cash.
In the trailer, Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform is seen using her metaphor along with a cartoon visual of a student with dollar bills flying from his backpack. Allen now fears she’s been made the villain in the movie, and acquaintances who have seen it tell her “it’s five times worse than you imagine.”
Allen claims that Turnstone Productions, Stone Lantern Films and producers Vera Aronow and Sarah Mondale misled her about the nature of the film they interviewed her for, then turned her into the antagonist while her “nemesis,” American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, was made one of the heroes.
In emails obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Allen demands the raw footage of her interview and she asks to see the movie, though she says the filmmakers will only offer her a screening several weeks in the future as they are busy now negotiating distribution and broadcasting rights.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRF

 

Save the Children warns Syrian schools targeted
Associated Press

BEIRUT – Save the Children says the escalation in fighting in Syria has also forced hundreds of schools across the country to suspend classes over the past two weeks, with teachers sending children home in terror as bombs and shells fall nearby.
Thursday’s statement from the group says that vital education and psychological support for tens of thousands of Syrian children has been disrupted and at least three schools have been attacked in the past week.
The statement also says that 55 of the 60 schools and learning spaces that it supports in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo – attended by nearly 20,000 children – have had to shut for days at a time to try and keep the children safe.
Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Syria director, says “education in Syria is yet again coming under attack, and it is too dangerous to keep the schools open while bombs are falling all around.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRA

 

Syrian girl, who tweeted from Aleppo, documents horrors in new memoir
“I am sad because the children in Syria they don’t have school, they aren’t learning anything. They (stay) in their house and are dying every day”
Reuters

BEIRUT – A Syrian girl, whose tweets from war-torn Aleppo captured a worldwide audience, has written a harrowing memoir of life under siege, recalling her terror of daily bombardments and her sorrow at being kept out of class.
In “Dear World”, to be published on Tuesday, eight-year-old Bana Alabed, who now lives in Turkey, delivers an unadulterated account of war through the eyes of a child.
She writes vividly about the death of her best friend and neighbour Yasmin, killed when a bomb fell near her house.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aRz

 

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

October 11:

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

October 12:

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

October 13:

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

Utah State Board of Education-Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Advisory Council joint meeting
1:30 p.m., 1655 E 3300 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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