Task force recommends changes to charter school funding model

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers may be changing the way charter schools are funded in the hope of improving equity between charters and district schools.

The Charter School Funding Task Force on Wednesday made several recommendations to the Education Interim Committee, one of which is to require charter and district schools to follow the same process in determining enrollment.

Currently, most charters choose to receive per-pupil funding based on an annual Oct. 1 student census, which then sets funding for the rest of the year, even if students leave the school or new students enroll. Districts, on the other hand, are given funding based on average daily membership, an ongoing measurement that allows funding to be adjusted.

Since the one-time head-count system used by charters is scheduled to sunset next year, those schools could move toward the same system used by district schools.

“It’s good policy for both of them to be on the same playing field,” said Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, House chairman of the task force.

But the change would come with a price. If charters switch over to the same enrollment model used by districts, charters could collectively lose about $6 million in annual student funding. Having

Former Eagle Gate College instructor sues school, alleges same-sex discrimination

SALT LAKE CITY — A former instructor at Eagle Gate College is suing the school for allegedly discriminating against his employment and benefits because he is married to another male teacher.

Dustin Kennedy is suing the school for back pay, reinstatement or forward pay, and other damages, saying Eagle Gate College management refused spousal benefits to the couple, then fired and refused to rehire Kennedy because of their relationship, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court of Utah.

“Eagle Gate treated Mr. Kennedy differently than employees in similarly situated positions because Eagle Gate perceived Mr. Kennedy as failing to conform to gender-based expectations or norms,” the lawsuit states.

Kennedy was hired as an adjunct instructor for Eagle Gate’s professional massage and bodywork program in October 2007. Eagle Gate College is a Salt Lake City-based trade school with campuses in Layton, Murray and online.

At the time Kennedy was hired, it was common knowledge in the company that he and Blayne Wiley, the school’s program director, had been romantic partners for nine years, the lawsuit states.

However, when Kennedy and Wiley married in October 2008 and Wiley requested spousal benefits for his husband, they were denied and told Kennedy’s

Is collective impact the answer for at-risk students

SALT LAKE CITY — Ensuring a capable and confident workforce for Utah’s economy first requires helping students see something in themselves they may not know exists.

It requires embracing cultural differences. It requires adopting an expectation of success for every student. It requires the combined efforts of teachers, policymakers and families.

All of it can be a difficult process, but community leaders say ensuring success for all of Utah’s children, regardless of their circumstances, is doable.

“We all know what it takes. This is bigger than any of us as individuals,” said Scott Ulbrich, chairman of United Way of Salt Lake’s board of directors. “We need to embody the principles of collective impact, which is working together, sharing data, being responsible for the data, and acting in different ways to move the needle to help these kids.”

That and other messages were shared at an education summit hosted Thursday by United Way of Salt Lake, the Salt Lake Chamber, Prosperity 2020 and the governor’s office. As part of United Way’s collective impact initiative, educators discussed ways to improve their students’ academic outcomes by looking at what happens outside the classroom.

Jose Enriquez is executive director of Latinos in Action,

Education intervention with residents improves understanding of transgender issues

The term “transgender” has made its way into mainstream media thanks to Caitlyn Jenner, previously known as Bruce Jenner, who came out as a transgender woman earlier this year. But for many physicians, or physicians-in-training, who do not typically treat transgender patients for issues specific to their gender identity, it’s still a mystery.

Joshua Safer, MD, FACP, endocrinologist at Boston Medical Center and associate professor of medicine and molecular medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), and his colleague Dylan Thomas, MD, conducted an intervention with physician resident trainees and found that by providing education about transgender identity, the residents’ knowledge and willingness to assist with hormonal therapy increased from 5 percent to as much as 76 percent. The findings are published online in advance of print in the journal Endocrine Practice.

“Many transgender patients face barriers to receiving appropriate and effective medical care due to physicians’ lack of knowledge about hormonal issues, or even due to some physicians’ belief that transgender persons have a reversible psychological problem,” Safer said. “By providing medical trainees with education early in their training, we are able to set the stage to provide effective, appropriate and compassionate care for transgender patients.”

Transgender patients often have a

Spending too much? Reign in your personal finances to reduce stress.

Mindfulness is Key to Control Spending

Are you spending too much? For many Americans, the answer is, “absolutely.”

It’s not surprising that managing personal finances ranks high on the list of major sources of stress. Why? The reasons are varied: lack of a budget or a desire to maintain appearances. But to better manage your spending, many financial advisors recommend tracking your cash flow and monitoring your emotional state.

Here’s how:

Plan. It’s not only big expenses that put you in debt. More likely it’s “death by a thousand tiny cuts” eating up your income. Track your spending with a notebook or online app; shop with a list; consider using only cash for a couple of months; and set up monthly automatic deductions from your savings or checking account into an emergency savings fund.

Be mindful. Try to understand why you’re overspending. Maybe you’re trying to keep pace with high-rolling friends or spending makes you feel better — temporarily, anyway. Regardless, when you feel compelled to buy something you maybe don’t need, wait 24 hours and consider why you’re buying it. Ask yourself, “How will I feel when the credit card bill comes?”

Set limits. Know what pleasures you

Advertise with us Report this ad National Edition Why it’s so hard for schools to find qualified special-education teachers

School districts around the country are scrambling to find qualified special-education teachers to handle one of the most demanding teaching jobs, NPR reported, leaving many districts improvising with uncertified special-ed teachers.

The shortage, NPR reported, is due partly to disillusionment and partly to burnout.

“The job is not what they thought it was going to be,” said David Pennington, superintendent of Ponca City public schools in Oklahoma, to NPR. “They feel like they’re under a microscope all the time.”

A huge problem is the steady growth in paperwork that has nothing to do with actually teaching children.

“It is not uncommon,” Pennington said, “for a special-ed teacher to tell me, ‘I did not get a degree in special ed to do paperwork. I got a degree to help kids.'”

A highly regarded Florida teacher quit the profession earlier this month, making a bang on her way out with a scathing Facebook post. In addition to the paperwork issues imposed on teachers, she argued, bureaucratization is also hurting kids in special ed.

“I just cannot justify making students cry anymore,” she wrote, according to a Huffington Post report. “They cry with frustration as they are asked to attempt tasks well out of their zone of proximal development.

Why it’s so hard for schools to find qualified special-education teachers

School districts around the country are scrambling to find qualified special-education teachers to handle one of the most demanding teaching jobs, NPR reported, leaving many districts improvising with uncertified special-ed teachers.

The shortage, NPR reported, is due partly to disillusionment and partly to burnout.

“The job is not what they thought it was going to be,” said David Pennington, superintendent of Ponca City public schools in Oklahoma, to NPR. “They feel like they’re under a microscope all the time.”

A huge problem is the steady growth in paperwork that has nothing to do with actually teaching children.

“It is not uncommon,” Pennington said, “for a special-ed teacher to tell me, ‘I did not get a degree in special ed to do paperwork. I got a degree to help kids.'”

A highly regarded Florida teacher quit the profession earlier this month, making a bang on her way out with a scathing Facebook post. In addition to the paperwork issues imposed on teachers, she argued, bureaucratization is also hurting kids in special ed.

“I just cannot justify making students cry anymore,” she wrote, according to a Huffington Post report. “They cry with frustration as they are asked to attempt tasks well out of their zone of proximal development.

Reading, writing and dental exams? New center to bring health care inside S.L. school

SALT LAKE CITY — In two years, Lincoln Elementary School students and their families will be able to get free dental, vision and preventive health care during the school day.

That’s the hope of education leaders and community organizations, who plan to build a new community learning center in a new school building at 1090 Roberta St. The plans were laid out Thursday along with the announcement of a donation from the Tye and Noorda Foundation that will contribute to the project.

Community learning centers combine basic health services from local providers with students’ regular school attendance in order to improve their ability to learn. This could include dental checkups, free glasses, and meals for students and their families, among other services. The Salt Lake City School District and the Salt Lake Education Foundation currently have several in operation.

“We’re seeing what’s possible when a community steps up and starts talking locally, not from the outside, about what are truly the needs to be able to break the cycle of poverty, what are the needs to address health issues for kids so they can become bright, capable learners in school,” said district Superintendent McKell Withers.

The new two-story building will include classrooms and regular

School enrollment counts show more student diversity, charter growth

SALT LAKE CITY — Charter schools now account for more than 10 percent of Utah’s public school student population, and the number of low-income students declined this year by roughly 5,000 students.

Those and other milestones came out in the results from an Oct. 1 student head count released Tuesday by the Utah State Office of Education.

Overall, Utah’s education system grew by more than 11,700 students — a 1.9 percent increase — bringing the state’s total K-12 population to 633,896 students. Most of the growth occurred in charter schools, which gained more than 6,000 students, an increase of about 9.9 percent. Charters now enroll 67,509 students.

This year’s growth among charters mirrors that of previous years, showing those schools as having the largest portion of enrollment growth and the most rapid increases in student numbers.

“I think that you’re seeing more people take advantage of the options that charter schools afford,” said Cate Klundt, spokeswoman for the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools. “Charter schools are a real integral part of the Utah public education system. I think you’re seeing people kind of branch out and make that choice.”

This year, Utah added six new charter schools, bringing the total to 104 schools on

Missouri student president School has racism, also unity

COLUMBIA, Mo. — When Payton Head ran as a gay, black man for student president at the University of Missouri — a school now known for one student’s hunger strike and other protests against the administration’s handling of racial bias and hostility on campus — he promised to “ignite Mizzou.”

“We’ve definitely done that,” Head, a 21-year-old senior from Chicago who is studying political science and international studies, told The Associated Press.

Recent racist incidents, including one directed at Head, and the perceived lack of response by administrators led to the hunger strike and a threatened boycott by the football team. Tensions seething at the school culminated early last week with the resignations of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe and Columbia campus Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

But despite the turmoil, Head is challenging a narrative that has come to define the university as a hotbed of hate and racism.

“The actions of a few members of our community don’t speak for the majority,” Head said. “The problem is when we have an administration, we have leadership who continues to send signals to these students that this kind of behavior will be tolerated on this campus.”

That “allows these incidents to keep

BYU student in Paris ‘People were confused’

SALT LAKE CITY — A BYU student interning in Paris was attending a highly anticipated soccer match between France and Germany on Friday when attacks that claimed at least 120 lives began.

The crowd heard an explosion during the game, Dennis Meservy said.

“No one really knew what it was right away,” the BYU student said during a Skype interview. “People were confused.”

Meservy, an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, said he knew something was wrong when the stadium’s atmosphere was subdued despite a victory in the match over soccer superpower Germany.

“It was kind of weird, like everyone was quiet at the end of a major win for France,” he said. “You can tell it’s a big deal.”

The attacks targeted nightspots in the city, including a Paris concert hall where most of the deaths occurred, according to French officials. Attackers, three of whom were later killed by police, reportedly threw explosives at scores of hostages inside the concert hall.

After the match, the crowd was ushered out of only a few exits as a safety measure, Meservy said. Reports of how many people had died varied wildly in Paris as the city tried to grasp the magnitude of the attacks, he said.

“It’s

Tooele County school officials planning to move high schools to new schedule

TOOELE — School officials are making plans to switch its high schools to a 5-by-5 schedule next year, meaning students will have one more class each day.

Currently, high schools in the Tooele School District are on a 4-by-4 schedule, meaning students take four core classes a day. If that switches to a 5-by-5 schedule, some parents are concerned it will mean more work for students, less time in classes and maybe an increase in class size.

The Tooele County School Board voted to switch to the new schedule to give students more class options and boost the district’s below-average test scores. Tooele County School Board President Maresa Manzione says the board took the action based on the test scores.

“That’s not good enough,” Manzione said. “We’re better than that, and we want to make a change.”

Administrators say the extra class will allow students to take different courses they may be interested in. And if a student is falling behind in a particular subject, they can get extra help with that additional class.

“If we have a student who is maybe struggling, or maybe not passing a math class or not passing an English class, maybe they can double up,” Manzione said.

But

University of Missouri protests grow after athletes jump in

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Long-simmering protests at the University of Missouri over matters of race and discrimination got a boost over the weekend when at least 30 black football players announced they will not participate in team activities until the university system’s president is removed.

For months, black student groups have complained of racial slurs and other slights on the overwhelmingly white, 35,000-student flagship campus of the four-college system. Frustrations flared during a homecoming parade Oct. 10 when black protesters blocked system President Tim Wolfe’s car and he would not get out and talk to them. They were removed by police.

On Saturday night, black members of the football team joined the outcry. By Sunday, a campus sit-in had grown in size, graduate student groups planned walkouts, politicians began to weigh in, and a special meeting of the university system’s governing body was set for Monday morning in Columbia.

Wolfe hasn’t indicated he has any intention of stepping down, but agreed in a statement Sunday that “change is needed” and said the university is working to draw up a plan by April to promote diversity and tolerance.

The athletes did not say explicitly whether they would boycott the team’s three remaining games this

University wants to make room for more California students

SAN FRANCISCO — University of California President Janet Napolitano is asking the system’s governing board for permission to enroll 5,000 more California residents next fall at the nine campuses that serve undergraduates.

The request, made public Monday in background materials for an upcoming Board of Regents meeting, is good news for high school seniors and community college students whose UC applications for fall 2016 are due at the end of the month.

If approved by the regents, the additional slots for freshmen and transfer students from within California would increase new in-state enrollment by 10 percent over this year, the biggest bump in at least a decade.

“What we want to do is expand access for California undergraduates,” said Napolitano, who also is proposing another 2,500 new in-state seats for fall 2017 and fall 2018.

Out of the estimated 61,700 students who entered UC schools as first-time freshmen or upper-division transfer students this fall, a little more than 49,000 were from California, preliminary system data show.

Lawmakers have pressured the university to make room for more Californians amid concerns that campuses were admitting more higher-paying students from other states and abroad to boost their budgets.

The state budget approved in June earmarked an extra

Teacher shortages leave schools sharing applicants

Schools are having to recruit year round and share job hopefuls amid a “drastic” shortage of teachers, a BBC investigation has found.

Figures compiled by TeachVac show the average English secondary school has advertised for 5.2 posts this year.

But some areas, such as Luton and Milton Keynes, have advertised at more than twice the national average.

The government said teaching “remains a hugely popular profession” with the highest numbers joining since 2008.

But head teachers say the number of new recruits is not keeping up with demand and sometimes there are no applicants for vacancies.

The figures from TeachVac – collated for the first time this year – are based on responses from 3,706 state and independent secondary schools about their vacancy advertisements since the start of 2015.

Of the 19,557 adverts placed, 3,406 were for science teachers, 2,988 were for maths and 2,767 were for English.

With figures from the Office of National Statistics suggesting the school population is likely to grow 10% from 9.4m to 10.4m by 2025, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) warned pressures on teacher numbers were likely to get worse.

Teacher recruitment adverts per secondary school
Region
London 6.88
East 6.74
South East 5.88
East Midlands 4.97
Yorkshire and Humber 4.75
North

How to balance digital devices and childhood development

A growing body of literature is now addressing the collision of the digital age with the rapidly advancing sciences of parenting, brain development and reading acquisition.

In March the Deseret News highlighted a new book by Dan Willingham at the University of Virginia on raising kids who enjoy reading. More recently the Deseret News spoke with Dana Suskind, a surgeon at the University of Chicago and director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative, which focuses on getting parents and caregivers to build a richer verbal environment for very young children.

“Tap, Click & Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens,” by Lisa Guernsey and Michael Levine, now takes its place on this bookshelf. It looks at how parents, caregivers and teachers can navigate digital media devices, using them to enhance learning.

The Deseret News spoke with both authors by phone. Guernsey is director of the Early Education Initiative at New America, and Levine the director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Street Workshop. This interview as been edited for clarity and length.

Deseret News: Your book is really not just about screens. You cover a lot of the groundbreaking research on early childhood brain development and reading acquisition. How do

Advertise with us Report this ad National Edition National test scores have fallen across the board

Much-anticipated national test scores released last week seem to show a country stagnating across the board in reading and math, with scores of almost every demographic group and region slipping since 2013.

Most experts agree that the new NAEP scores, derived from testing done last spring in 2015, present some difficulty for educational reformers who had become accustomed to touting progress in NAEP scores as evidence that new curriculum and accountability systems were paying dividends.

“We’ve gotten so used to NAEP scores going steadily up that these results are striking, and cause for concern,” said Rick Hess, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

“Combined with last week’s testing reversal by the White House, this could lend momentum for those pushing back against Obama-era centerpieces like test-based teacher evaluation,” Hess said.

But hasty most experts also warn against conclusions based on a single test year. “We’re not sure whether it is a blip or a trend, or what to do about it,” said Michael Petrilli, president of the Washington D.C.-based Fordham Institute.

Petrilli notes that, though it is very tempting, it is wrong to draw too much out of a single testing year like this. “We’ll have to wait to 2017 to

Here’s some good news about the rising cost of college

An annual report on the cost of college released Wednesday indicated parents who help their high school seniors plan for college should always take tuition increases into account.

But the report’s findings weren’t all gloomy: In-state tuition and fees increases at public universities for the 2015-16 school year were the lowest they’ve been since the ’70s, Kevin Walker wrote for U.S. News & World Report.

That contradicts people’s views on the financial side of higher education, the report, published by the College Board, read.

“Significantly, and perhaps counter to public impressions, price increases are not accelerating over time,” Walker quoted the trends piece as stating.

Julia Glum wrote for International Business Times the costs were up about 3 percent across the board. The report showed tuition and fees for an in-state student at a public, four-year college averaged $9,410 — $265 more than last year.

“Public, four-year out-of-state schools cost $23,893 — up $786 from the year before — and private colleges cost $32,405 — about $1,000 more,” Glum’s report read.

The 2.9 percent increase for in-state tuition was about the same as the prior two years, Karla Bowsher wrote for Money Talks News. In addition, the average federal loan per undergraduate student fell 6 percent

Most states link student learning to teacher reviews

WASHINGTON — The vast majority of states now require that teachers be evaluated, at least in part, on student test scores — up sharply from six years ago. And in many states, those performance reviews could lead to a pink slip.

The comprehensive state-by-state analysis released Wednesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality shows 42 states and the District of Columbia have policies on the books requiring that student growth and achievement be considered in evaluations for public school teachers. In 2009, only 15 states linked scores to teacher reviews.

In 28 states, teachers with “ineffective ratings are eligible for dismissal,” said the report by the Washington-based think tank.

A majority of states adopted performance-based teacher evaluations as part of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative, which has awarded $4 billion in grant money to states that promised reforms such as linking test scores to teacher reviews and adopting higher academic standards such as Common Core.

Other states have been pushed to adopt reforms in exchange for administration waivers giving states a pass on some of the requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law. More than 40 states have received waivers since 2012.

“The bottom line of teaching is

The skull of the real Pooh Bear goes on display

The skull of the bear that inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh books is going to be put on public display for the first time, in a London museum.

Christopher Robin’s teddy bear, which gave the name to AA Milne’s books, was named after Winnie, a black bear he liked to visit in London Zoo.

Winnie died in 1934, and her skull was kept by the Royal College of Surgeons.

It was identified by curators in a review of the collection and will be exhibited at the Hunterian Museum.

The black bear had been something of a celebrity at London Zoo in the 1920s, a star attraction for visitors and known for her friendliness.

Image copyright ZSL
Image caption Harry Colebourn brought Winnie from Canada in 1914

AA Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, was a regular visitor and was photographed inside Winnie’s enclosure feeding her honey from a spoon.

An examination of the bear’s skull has shown that she had lost most of her teeth in old age – and museum director Sam Alberti suggests that this could have been because of children feeding her honey or sticky buns.

Christopher Robin’s favourite teddy