Utah education news

Utah governor tells state school board to ‘own’ Common Core education standards

Gov. Gary Herbert said Friday that he continues to receive calls and letters complaining about the Common Core State Standards despite encouraging the Utah Board of Education to move beyond the controversial grade-level benchmarks last year. Those complaints typically lack specificity, Herbert said, and often lump unrelated areas of academic concern under the umbrella of Common Core, which outline the minimum math and English skills students are expected to master each year. Herbert said beyond ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Park City School District offers new teachers $50K starting pay, state's highest

Park City School District appeared to cement its status as Utah’s highest-paying school district on Wednesday with the approval of a entry-level pay rate of more than $50,000. Public school teachers in Park City will see across-the-board raises of $7,000 as the district lifts its starting salary from $43,700 to $50,700 plus benefits. Wednesday’s announcement follows weeks of jockeying among school districts across the state as administrators tapped into increased state funding, budget reserves a... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Former Dixie State student says school mishandled her report of harassment, discrimination

Former student Victoria Willard says faculty members in Dixie State University’s art department made sexual comments to her and in class that made her feel uncomfortable and, at times, unsafe. Describing remarks made over about a year, beginning in 2014, Willard alleges that one faculty member graphically described to her class a dream in which he was “sexually intimate” with clay. Another told her in a text message that he wanted to touch her husband’s “heinie” because it was “so hot,” she sai... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Ceremony honors 241 who donated bodies for U. medical studies

Christie Evans and her mother, Norma Kjelstrom, made a pact in the 1970s to donate their bodies to the University of Utah for medical study. Their decision became an inside joke for the mother-daughter duo, Evans said. “We prayed we’d both live long and become old ladies,” she said Friday. “So instead of donating our bodies for parts and organs, we figured they’d only want us for medical research since we were going to live so long.” Kjelstrom died Dec. 7 at age 90 — holding up her end of the ...

Utah lawmaker takes aim at campus free-speech rules

College and university policies aimed at promoting civility are overly subjective and could inappropriately limit free speech, a Utah lawmaker told colleagues on Thursday. National news is full of “campus craziness” stories, Rep. Kim Coleman said, the result of recent trends in higher education that attempt to tamp down insulting, offensive or alternative viewpoints. “We have campus explosions all over this country,” Coleman, R-West Jordan, said. “Both students who want to shut down speech and... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Utah's Hogle Zoo to welcome two new polar bears

Two young polar bears, Nora and Hope, will join the animal family at Utah’s Hogle Zoo this fall, the zoo announced Wednesday. Both bears are roughly 18 months old, Hogle spokeswoman Erica Hansen said, and are expected to make their public debut in Salt Lake City in October or November following a one-month quarantine for observation. “We’ll watch them for 30 days and then we’ll put them out in exhibit,” she said. The announcement comes after the April death of Rizzo, Hogle’s resident polar bea...

Lorris Betz making $67K per month as interim CEO of U. Health Care

The interim leader of the University of Utah’s health sciences department and health care system will earn $67,000 for each month he remains in the position, U. documents show. That salary, which translates to more than $800,000 over a year, represents roughly three-fourths the pay of Vivian Lee, who resigned last month after six years as senior vice president for health sciences, dean of the U. School of Medicine and CEO of University of Utah Health Care. A Lorris Betz’s position as interim C...

Report: School discipline down in Utah, but racial disparities worsen

Between 2012 and 2014, Utah public schools issued 8,635 fewer disciplinary actions against students, according to a report released Monday by Voices for Utah Children and the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. The downward trend meant roughly 30 percent fewer suspensions, expulsions, law enforcement referrals and in-school arrests compared to the 2011-2012 school year. “It’s nothing short of a good thing that the total number of actions is down,” said researcher Vanessa Walsh, a...

U. graduates its first class of future dentists

Tears streamed down Rachel Smith’s face as she paid tribute to each of her fellow University of Utah School of Dentistry graduates at Saturday morning’s commencement ceremony. Smith described inside jokes among students and faculty, challenging course work and human bonds that could not be matched — while thanking the school’s Director of Student Admissions Gary Lowder for putting the historic class all together. “I’m not sure how Dr. Lowder and the selection committee did it, but I don’t thin... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Vivian Lee wins praise, standing ovation from University of Utah medical school grads, speaker

As A. Lorris Betz took the stage Friday during commencement ceremonies for the University of Utah’s School of Medicine, he acknowledged he wasn’t the speaker most graduates expected to see. Betz, interim vice president of U. health sciences, took that job only after the resignation of Vivian Lee at the end of April. And he kicked off the U. medical school’s 2017 graduation at Kingsbury Hall with praise for her accomplishments and leadership during a six-year tenure. “[Lee] is one of the brightes... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Tooele High School website redirects to 'lingerie girls' page after domain lapses

Online visitors to tooelehigh.org won’t find the academic calendar for Tooele High School or info on Buffalo athletics. Instead, they’ll see galleries of young women posing in lingerie. After transitioning to a new web address, the high school’s old domain was purchased and held for “ransom,” according to a letter sent to parents and community members by Tooele High School principal Jeffrey Hamm. “We want you to know that every effort is being made into regaining access to the tooelehigh.org ...

SLC schools offers 9 percent raises, $44K starting salary to teachers

Utah’s race to pay teachers more money has a new leader in Salt Lake City School District. The district announced Thursday that teachers will receive 9 percent raises, with the salary for first-year educators increased from $39,954 to $43,887. Those salary figures are part of a tentative agreement with the Salt Lake Education Association, and are subject to ratification by union members and a final vote by the district school board. In a prepared statement, Salt Lake City Schools Superintenden...

Advocates: Utah sexual assault bill could harm victims

A Utah lawmaker is gearing up to run a bill that could require colleges give amnesty to sexual assault victims for conduct code violations related to alcohol and drugs and allow school officials to report serious assaults to police. But a sexual assault survivor and an advocacy group are pushing back against the measure, saying it wouldn’t stop schools from investigating many sexual assault victims. Turner Bitton, of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, says many assaults don’t involve alc... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

More Utah school districts approve pay hikes for educators

Administrators in the Davis, Murray and Alpine school districts signed off on teacher raises this week, adding to a cascade of new salary plans that will boost the pay for Utah’s public school educators next year. School board members for Davis and Alpine — Utah’s two largest school districts — voted Tuesday for compensation packages that include cost-of-living adjustments and the funding of scheduled salary increases, commonly known as “steps and lanes.” And on Monday, the Murray Board of Educ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Long and Winding Road: John Lennon-inspired musical bus visits Utah

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus visited Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. In its 20th year, the state-of-the-art mobile audio, video and live production facility — named after late Beatles member John Lennon — travels the country, offering young people career-informing tours of its studios and free digital media production workshops. Students learn how to write, record and produce original songs as well as music videos and documentaries, as part of the bus’s mission ...

Whooping cough outbreak at charter school driving uptick in county infections

Salt Lake County health officials hope summer break will run out the clock on a lingering outbreak of pertussis — or whooping cough — at the American International School of Utah. The outbreak was reported last month, when roughly a dozen cases of pertussis led to 30 unvaccinated AISU students being excluded from classes, and the school closing one day early for its annual spring break. But the outbreak has since spread to include 32 confirmed or suspected cases of whooping cough, said Salt La...

Trump, DeVos embolden Utah school voucher supporters

Emboldened by the new White House administration, the money man behind Utah’s ambitious voucher proposal that was crushed by voters a decade ago says there is a renewed appetite to expand school choice in the state. Overstock founder Patrick Byrne said the school vouchers movement has been rekindled in his home state now that his longtime acquaintance and fellow school vouchers advocate Betsy DeVos has been appointed education secretary by President Donald Trump. DeVos was in Utah on Tuesday at ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Murray School District chooses its first female superintendent

A woman will lead Murray School District — a first in its 111-year history. Jennifer Covington, principal of Hillcrest Junior High School since 2009, will step into the role July 1, according to a news release from the district. Covington has been a Murray educator for 23 years, starting in 1994 as a business and information technology teacher at Murray High School, then serving as vice principal for five years at Hillcrest Junior High School before being promoted to principal, the release said....

Planet discovery a lesson in persistence, BYU astronomy students say

Provo • A group of recent Brigham Young University graduates can already put “discovered a planet” on their resumes. A paper describing their first discovery, the planet KELT-16b, was published shortly before they completed their bachelor’s degrees at BYU this spring. They’re now training the Provo school’s next generation of planet finders. Kyle Matt, one of the team’s first members, describes KELT-16b as being larger than Jupiter, but located closer to its star than Mercury — so close that it ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>