Utah education news

Jordan School District eyes $10 million boost to teacher pay

Teachers in Jordan School District are about to see more green for their time at the blackboard. Representatives of the district’s school board and education association are nearing agreement on a package of salary reforms that would pump roughly $10 million into teacher compensation. Both groups support the broad contours of the plan and are scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss final details. If those revisions are accepted by the union, school board president Janice Voorhies said, the board ...

Salt Lake City School District commits to protecting privacy of undocumented students

Members of the Salt Lake City School District board took a stand against the harassment and deportation of undocumented students on Tuesday, voting unanimously for a safe schools resolution pushed by an immigration advocacy group. The resolution directs district employees to reject efforts by individuals or agencies to enforce federal immigration law on school grounds, “except in the rarest cases,” and to avoid collecting or maintaining information on the immigration status of individual studen...

Gov. Herbert touts work-related school programs in Utah

Gov. Gary Herbert wants Utah to continue improving its school system — and he said Tuesday pairing education and the private sector furthers that goal. Herbert on Tuesday announced that $2.1 million in grants would be available to “develop and enhance programs to meet industry needs, build career pathway programs and provide work-based learning opportunities,” according to a news release. “All our sectors are growing and we have an opportunity to bring together these sectors and education,” Herb...

After funding cuts, SLC schools hope to keep teacher mentoring

Backman Elementary teacher Daniel Mills doesn’t mince words about his lack of teaching experience, limited to a year as an assistant educator and two years overseeing gym classes. “I want to teach,” Mills said, “but I have zero knowledge about theory and skills.” Since last fall, he has been in charge of his own fourth-grade classroom through the state’s Alternative Routes to Licensure program, which allows teachers to complete on-the-job certification in lieu of a university education program. ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Ogden School District taps state administrator as next superintendent

One of Utah’s top public education managers is headed back to the Ogden City School District. The district announced Thursday that Rich Nye, currently a deputy state superintendent for the Utah Board of Education, would succeed Sandy Caroles as Ogden’s superintendent. Nye previously worked as the Ogden district’s director of assessment under then-Superintendent Brad Smith. After Smith was appointed to the state superintendency in 2014, Nye was hired as part of Smith’s executive team at the Utah...

Southern Utah University sees unexpectedly large student exodus

Southern Utah University officials aren’t quite sure why they lost more than 1,000 students between fall and spring semester this school year. Some of the dip is being attributed to 286 students graduating early, administrators said, and current enrollment numbers may not account for students who register for classes throughout the year “pursuing individual professional development plans.” But SUU spokeswoman Ellen Treanor said the unusual decline this year — 1,050 between semesters in the 2016... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

U. med school among top 50 nationally for research, primary care

Utahns who want to be physicians have only one option for medical school in the state, but a recently released report found that choice is a good one. U.S. News & World Report this week released its 2018 rankings of best graduate schools — from medicine to business to law — and determined that the University of Utah School of Medicine was among the top 50 in the country for both research and primary care. The school also improved significantly from last year’s rankings. It was No. 40 in research...

Utah school board passively repeals revision for student-athlete transfers

The Utah Board of Education walked back three months of debate over transfer rules for student-athletes on Monday, effectively repealing a new policy adopted in December. Board members have debated transfer rules since September, including various proposals to eliminate or loosen restrictions on athletes switching teams. Those proposals generated significant resistance, including near-unanimous opposition from school administrators and prep sports representatives. But in a debate Monday, board... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Tiny Navajo Mountain school reaches Utah robotics contest

Everyone stood around with blank stares, not knowing where to start that first day of robot building at Navajo Mountain High School. The newly formed team only had five weeks before their deadline to enter the annual Utah Regional FIRST Robotics Competition — taking place Friday and Saturday at the Maverik Center in West Valley City— and nobody in the room had actual experience assembling a robot. But science teacher and team supervisor Daniel Conrad was hopeful. His students translated the in...

Utah teachers see give-and-take during legislative session

The 2017 legislative session was boom and bust for education advocates on all sides of the ideological spectrum. Included in more than $230 million in new public school spending, lawmakers voted to cover the cost of teacher license fees and offer $5,000 bonuses to high-performing educators in high-poverty schools. But while organizations such as the Utah Education Association have long advocated for higher teacher pay, the UEA opposed the $5,000 performance bonus for its reliance on test score... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Utah lawmakers give final approval to this year's school-grading overhaul

A seven-year tradition of passing school grading bills continued Wednesday when the Utah Senate gave the final vote of approval for SB220. The new proposal, which awaits the signature of Gov. Gary Herbert, creates a report card listing various performance metrics in addition to labeling schools with a single grade of A, B, C, D or F. Under SB220, the calculation for grades would place greater emphasis on student performance growth, and would be expanded to include additional metrics beyond stan... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Salt Lake City schools seek more input before vote on immigration-enforcement policy

The Salt Lake City Board of Education declined Tuesday to pass a resolution that lays out what school district employees can do to protect students from immigration officials, opting instead to gather more input. Passing such a resolution is a priority that supporters said gained urgency after people recently parked four unmarked vehicles and donned U.S. Department of Homeland Security vests and guns on Salt Lake City School District property. Yet postponing the vote is exactly what supporters w...

House approves revised system with a one-year break from school letter grades

School grades would be suspended for one year under a possible compromise bill approved Tuesday by the Utah House. House members voted 56-18 for SB220, which expands school grading to place a greater emphasis on student improvement and to include metrics beyond standardized test scores. The bill also removes the grading curve, which sees schools punished if too many campuses improve, in lieu of a criteria-based system allowing any — or potentially all — Utah schools to receive high marks. “It... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Complaints accuse Utah lawmaker of bullying, berating school officials in front of students

Students who visit Utah’s Capitol during the legislative session get a civics lesson on state history and government, and, for at least one group of Utah County fifth-graders, a front-row view to rancorous politics. That’s what Jenna Wood described in a letter to Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, after witnessing an “agitated” Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, threatening to sue Alpine School District administrators during a Feb. 24 confrontation in the Capitol Rotunda with several ...

Senate approves $5,000 bonuses for teachers at high-poverty schools

Both the House and Senate have approved a bill that would give a $5,000 bonus to top-performing teachers who work in high-poverty schools. Senators voted 25-0 on Tuesday for HB212, but amendments require an additional vote in the House, which voted 51-23 in favor of the bill last month. Under HB212, roughly 100 high-performing Utah teachers — identified through a test score metric called median growth percentile, or MGP — would be eligible for an annual bonus when they remain at or move to one...

Senate approves symbolic bill letting state school board ask for money

The Utah Board of Education’s ability to request state funding to cover the cost of ignoring federal mandates would be enshrined in law under a bill approved by the Utah Senate on Tuesday. Senators voted 20-8 for HB136, which directs the state board to review federal programs and determine whether those programs comport with state goals. Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork and the Senate sponsor, said federal funding often has “strings attached” that can be onerous to local schools. She gave... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Got a favorite educator? Nominations open through March 17 for Huntsman Awards

The Huntsman Awards for Excellence in Education — now celebrating 25 years of honoring Utah educators ­— are open for nominations through 5 p.m. on March 17. The awards committee selects 11 winners from around the state, including six teachers, three administrators, a special education teacher and a volunteer. The Jon M. Huntsman family presents a crystal obelisk and a check for $10,000 to each of the winners. Meet 2016’s winners here. Nomination forms for this year’s awards are available from p...