Education

United Way of Salt Lake

13 Title-I schools in Salt Lake are now providing on-site after-hours dental clinics thanks to a complex partnership of 11 groups including United Way of Salt Lake and Intermountain Healthcare.

Utah Foundation

New research on Utah’s higher education system is pointing out ways the state can improve its low college graduation rate.

Grades evaluating the performance of Utah schools were released today, but they won’t be all that useful to parents who want to compare the results to last year. This year’s grades were calculated based on SAGE, the states’ new year-end student assessment.

Whittney Evans

Utah Governor Gary Herbert presented his 2016 budget proposal today. He wants to significantly increase education funding and he says the state has the ability to pay for it thanks to a strong economy.

Katie Stiel

The University of Utah has a new pantry for students who are experiencing food insecurity. It’s called the Feed U Pantry.

The facility opened in October and is the result of a partnership between the Utah Food Bank, the Center for Student Wellness and the Campus Store. Abbey Reyes manages the pantry and says all students need to qualify is a current student ID and to fill out a confidential survey for research purposes. Students can then grab a bag and start choosing groceries. 

Whittney Evans

Officials with the nation’s largest teacher’s union are in Utah celebrating the work of school cafeteria workers, secretaries, bus drivers and other Education Support Professionals.

File: Marriott Library

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will have its first major change since the seismic upgrade about six years ago.  The Katherine W. Dumke Fine Arts and Architecture Library is expanding its space on the first and second floors on the library’s north side. The addition of a changeable indoor/outdoor sculpture garden is being funded by Katherine Dumke.

Ogden School District

Brad Smith, the new Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction was sworn in Friday morning at the Utah State Office of Education. Smith is replacing Superintendent Martell Menlove who announced his retirement in March.

At least three state school board members lost their re-election bids this year, and three others decided not to seek another term.

Election Day was an upset for every incumbent running for re-election to the state school board-although the jury is still out on the race between incumbent Teryl Warner and David Clark. Clark is leading by just 57 votes, which is too close to call until the tally is finalized November 18th.

Bob Nelson

Students and teachers in Salt Lake City’s YouthCity program announced Thursday a half a million dollar boost to their program with a new grant for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM education.  YouthCity has centers throughout the city that provide out-of-school activities for young people. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says the programs are offered free to middle and high school students in the city.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah business leaders unveiled a five-year plan on Tuesday to improve the educational system in the state. The plan comes just one day after test results revealed that less than half of Utah students are proficient in math, language arts, and science. Business leaders say Utah’s student performance is on a downward trend relative to the rest of the country.

Flickr: biologycorner

The Utah State Office of Education has released the results of the new Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence, or SAGE, testing and proficiency numbers are quite low.

Ogden School District

The Ogden School District Board of Education has appointed a new interim district superintendent to replace Brad Smith.

Brad Smith is leaving the Ogden School District to become the new state superintendent of public instruction. To replace him, at least temporarily, the Ogden School District Board of Education has selected Assistant Superintendent Sandy Coroles. She’s worked in the Ogden school district for 25 years. She also worked closely with Smith in helping implement new programs aimed at improving education outcomes in the district.

Photo courtesy curiosityunleashed.com

Utah held its first ever statewide broadcast focused on STEM education Tuesday. It was designed to inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math. 

Tami Getz, Executive Director for Utah STEM Action Center, spoke with KUER before the broadcast. She says it’s the beginning of a grassroots outreach and engagement campaign to get children thinking about a STEM related career.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Students at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorsville got an unusual lesson Monday. The children heard a presentation about pornography. The assembly is part of a pilot project organized by Salt Lake County to educate kids and parents about the dangers of what some are calling the “new drug.”

This year’s Utah Education Association convention gave teachers an opportunity to learn new skills, improve their practice and compare notes with other educators. It also gave teachers a venue to speak up about their lack of voice in education policy.

Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh is president of the Utah Education Assocation. She says public education is too often micromanaged by policy makers, adding there has been too much emphasis on assessments as a means of labeling schools, teachers and students.

Bob Nelson

The 53rd National Convention of the Girl Scouts opened this week in Salt Lake City. The event runs through Sunday at the Salt Palace Convention Center with up to 5,000 girls and leaders participating.

It’s estimated there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts in the program in the U.S. and 10 million worldwide. Debbie Nielson is the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Utah and a national board nominee. She says she is encouraged to see so many girls participating in the program.

Ogden School District Superintendent Brad Smith has accepted a position as Utah’s next Superintendent of public instruction. A divided school board picked Smith out of four candidates on Friday. 

Bob Nelson

The University of Utah celebrated the groundbreaking for the Lassonde Studios on the campus’s east side Friday.

Brian Grimmett

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has completed an analysis of Utah’s involvement in what is known as the common core standards.

Governor Gary Herbert requested the report in order to get to the bottom of the debate over the common core.

“I want the truth and I can handle the truth," he says. "As I know the people of Utah can do so also and want and desire the truth.”

University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections

  Former University of Utah president Chase Peterson passed away on Sunday at the age of 84.  Peterson had deep Utah roots and a national reputation.

Joe Gratz via flickr

U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups ruled this morning that Utah must add two candidates who were rejected by the state’s controversial state school board election process to the November election ballot. The order comes after Waddoups ruled last week that the current process is unconstitutional.

University of Utah

The University of Utah worked out an agreement with the Northern Ute Tribe this year to continue using the Ute name for its athletic teams. That agreement includes new academic scholarships for members of the tribe.

The University has now established a scholarship fund for enrolled members of the Ute tribe. They’ll be able to get eight thousand dollars a year, enough to cover tuition and fees for a full-time undergraduate.

Brigham Young University

New Brigham Young University President Kevin J Worthen says a BYU education should elevate and etherealize. That was his message during Tuesday’s inauguration, at which Worthen was sworn in as the University’s 13th president.

Worthen offered the mountains surrounding the Brigham Young University campus as religious symbols of enlightenment. He asked that they be reminders of the learning environment he wishes to create at BYU-- one that not only inspires new learning experiences and spiritual insight, but that also allows students to become different, better people.

Whittney Evans

Jon Huntsman Junior was at Rose Park Elementary school in Salt Lake City Wednesday. He was there highlighting Chevron’s Fuel Your School Program, but the former Utah Governor also took the time to chat with reporters about his political ambitions for the future.

The 2012 presidential candidate spoke to students about the importance of science and technology in the global marketplace.  

A new poll sponsored by Utahpolicy.com shows most Utahns do not understand where the Common Core comes from or what it does. Meanwhile, proponents continue to defend the education standards against what they say is false information and unfounded fears about federal intrusion.

The Utah State School Board decided Thursday to name Joel Coleman as interim Superintendent of Public instruction. Coleman will hold the place until the board chooses a permanent replacement this fall. But the board was divided on the appointment. 

Coleman was an LDS seminary teacher, a city councilman and a member of the state board of education. Most recently he held the post of Superintendent of Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Dave Thomas is the vice chair of the state school board. He says Coleman will be an effective interim leader of Utah schools.

Brian Grimmett

Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart wants to be the next state schools chief. Lockhart announced today  she’s officially applied for the position of State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

Less than a year ago, Lockhart signaled she might challenge Republican Governor Gary Herbert for his seat in 2016, but those speculations might have come too soon now that Lockhart is lining up to capture the state’s highest office in public education.  

Lockhart, who is a Registered Nurse, sent an email to members of the media Friday confirming her decision. 

Utah State Office of Education

Utah students have the highest ACT scores in the nation-- among states that test all of their high school juniors. This is the second year the state has topped the list since officials began paying for all public school students to take the college entrance exam, back in 2012.

Last year, Utah trumped eight states on ACT scores. This year it outscored 12, as more states have decided to offer the exam to students for free.  The exam costs upwards of $40 per student.

Mark Peterson is a spokesperson for the Utah State Office of Education.

The Utah State School Board has voted to extend a waiver that allows the state to forego key parts of the federal No Child Left Behind law. This comes as critics slammed the waiver for tying Utah to a set of college and career-ready education standards known as the Common Core.

School Board members are calling their decision a compromise--- guarding the state against onerous requirements under NCLB while promising to make a firm statement to the federal government that Utah has control of its academic standards, testing and accountability.

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