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Tweaks to school grading and turnaround programs get early OK of Utah Senate

Utah education news -

Senators gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a pair of bills that adjust Utah’s school grading and turnaround programs. The grading bill, SB220, would end the practice of grading schools on a curve, put more emphasis on student growth and expand performance metrics beyond standardized testing. Bill sponsor Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, said the bill allows for expectations to be set for each letter grade level, allowing any school to receive an A or B independent of the performance of their siste... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Utah lawmaker abandons pledge to run bill only with state school board's support

Utah education news -

A Utah lawmaker is taking heat online for breaking a promise to abandon legislation if it didn’t earn the support of the Utah Board of Education. In late January, Rep. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, posted on Instagram and Facebook about pitching his bill, HB136, to the school board. The bill directs the school board to review federal education mandates and, if those mandates conflict with state goals, to request funding from lawmakers to allow Utah schools to ignore the federal Department of Education...

Robots to help teach children with autism? A House committee decides it is worth a shot

Utah education news -

Schools looking to purchase humanoid robots for work with autistic children would get extra help from taxpayers under a bill that gained committee approval Monday. Members of the House Education Committee signed off on HB418, which would set aside $200,000 to reimburse school districts and charter schools for half the cost of a robot designed for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. At a cost of $5,000 each, bill sponsor Rep. Brad Last, R-Hurricane, said: “The districts or the charters w...

The nose knows

News in Price, Utah -

Drug-sniffing dog shows talent at CHS demo Students at Carbon High School were in a brief lock-down exercise Thursday morning

House panel OKs requiring teachers to pass a skills test

Utah education news -

A bill requiring the equivalent of a board exam for Utah teachers passed a House committee on Monday after a lengthy debate. The proposal was approved by the Senate earlier this month in a 22-3 vote. But it split the Republican members of the House Education Committee and would have failed if not for supporting votes by the committee’s two Democrats. Sponsored by Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, SB78 would require graduates of a university education program to pass a test of pedagogical skills — suc...

Bill to stop the flow of funding from Utah K-12 schools to colleges hits committee roadblock

Utah education news -

A proposal to cap the amount of income tax revenue awarded to higher education faced a cool reception in the Senate Education Committee on Monday. The committee voted to move on without a vote on SB255, which would place a five-year moratorium on expanding the pool of Education Fund money diverted from elementary, middle and high schools to public colleges and universities. “Any growth in the income tax would be retained by K-12 education,” bill sponsor Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, said. ...

House votes to give power, independence to School Children's Trust director

Utah education news -

The director of Utah’s School Children’s Trust would receive independent authority and the potential for unlimited six-year terms under a bill approved Monday by the Utah House of Representatives. The Utah Board of Education currently hires — and is able to fire — the director of the School Children’s Trust Section, which oversees distribution of education funding from the $2.3 billion Permanent State School Fund. But under HB291, the school board would appoint the section’s director, with a c...

Board places Utah County charter school on probation over student safety, financial mismanagement

Utah education news -

Vineyard’s Franklin Discovery Academy was reprimanded Saturday, making the school’s future uncertain beyond the current academic year. The state charter school board voted to place the Franklin Discovery under formal probation, giving administrators and staff until June to address a series of perceived lapses in financial management, campus operations and student safety. “I would like to see if the current board and the current staff can make this work,” state charter school board member Dean ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

School board staff describe disarray, dysfunction and safety concerns at Utah County charter

Utah education news -

Administrators from Vineyard’s Franklin Discovery Academy defended themselves Friday against allegations of running an unsecured, disorganized campus where a former employee was inappropriate with a student. At a hearing of the Utah Charter School Board, staff members of the board who visited the campus this week reported witnessing a lack of adult supervision, safety hazards and a largely disorganized class schedule with little instructional learning. “Children are coming and going all the time...

House votes to eliminate letter grades for schools

Utah education news -

The House voted Friday to end the practice of assigning letter grades to public schools. “We have put so much pressure and so many labels on the schools,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Marie Poulson, “that it has a very demoralizing effect and we can’t get teachers to work with our kids who need the most help.” The House voted 54-18 to pass her HB241, and sent it to the Senate. Poulson, D-Cottonwood Heights, a teacher, is proposing to maintain a statewide school accountability system, but includ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Black students at BYU report ignorant comments, cultural isolation

Utah education news -

Dhina Clement vividly remembers the day she realized Brigham Young University students looked at her differently because she is black. She was on campus when a male student commented on her hair. She was flattered — until he followed up with an “ignorant” statement that made her uncomfortable. He was from New York, he told her, and “He said, ‘Ya know, I’m used to girls like you ... ya know, girls who wear weaves all the time,’ ” she said in a YouTube video posted earlier this month. Clement didn... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Plan takes shape for spending Our Schools Now tax money

Utah education news -

Since the launch of the Our Schools Now ballot initiative in November, organizers have emphasized that an individual school’s slice of $750 million would hinge on improved performance. But beyond raising Utah’s income tax from 5 percent to 5.875 percent, the initiative has been short on specifics for how schools would spend the infusion of cash. On Thursday, Our Schools Now shared the draft elements of its performance plan, which would see all schools receive additional funding on a per-student ...

Most Utah school districts say Trump transgender-bathroom reversal changes nothing, but one applauds move

Utah education news -

Though at least one Utah school district is cheering President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of a federal directive to public schools to let transgender students choose which restroom they use, most others say it changes nothing. Canyons, Granite, Jordan and Weber school districts say they will continue addressing the needs of their students on a case-by-case basis — as they did before President Barack Obama’s 2016 “Dear Colleague” letter set guidelines for public schools to allow transgender stude... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

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