Education

Connor Boyack

 

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in 3rd District Court, the libertarian group Libertas Institute alleged the Utah school board violated state law by adopting the common core state standards. And the group says the governor’s recent call to investigate the standards will likely overlook that violation. 

David Sallay via Wikimedia Commons

South Jordan City will likely not be asking voters to decide whether to split from Jordan school district this November. The five-member council has decided instead to join an agreement with the Jordan School Board.

For the past two years, the federal government has allowed Utah to waive key parts of the No Child Left Behind law. Now that waiver is up for renewal and the state board of education is questioning if it should instead go back to the largely unpopular law.  

Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert is calling for a comprehensive legal review of the state’s adoption of the Common Core Standards. He’s hoping a legal analysis performed by Utah’s Attorney General will quash any misconceptions and ease ongoing concerns that the state has lost control of academic standards and curriculum.

The committee tasked with finding a new state school superintendent has hired a private search firm to seek out potential candidates. Salt Lake City-based SEARCH Group Partners will work alongside the committee to help recruit applicants and sift through resumes.

Michelle Edgar via flickr

The West Jordan City Council decided last night it will not look into separating from the Jordan School District. But some members of the council, including the mayor say without investigating all the options, West Jordan residents could end up paying higher taxes.

National Education Association

A Former Utah Teacher of the Year who was just elected president of the nation’s largest teacher’s union plans to use her authority to fight over testing in public schools.

Whittney Evans

Fourteen inmates at Salt Lake County’s Oxbow jail graduated today from a program that helps them successfully transition from cell to society.

Today is the 66th commencement ceremony for inmates who’ve completed the rigorous five-week, 200- hour Life Skills program. The class takes up to 16 volunteer inmates willing to learn about things like parenting, personal health, cognitive behavior, the social impact of crime and personal finance. During the ceremony Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder spoke passionately to the graduates.

Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University has acquired 125 more acres at the new development located on the old Geneva Steel site in Utah County.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

As the school year comes to an end, we checked back in with some East High students who took part in a public art exhibit. The We Are One: Inside Out Project was initiated by East High sophomores taking part in a new college prep course in partnership with the Utah Humanities Council.

Utah State Board of Education

The nominating committee tasked with narrowing the pool of Utah State School Board candidates began interviewing applicants this morning. The governor-appointed group is questioning 36 candidates from 6 districts about funding, the role of the state board and the controversial common core standards.

Whittney Evans

Every year, Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, an alternative high school in Salt Lake City awards college scholarships to dozens of graduates. And every year, many of those scholarships go unused. A new partnership between Horizonte and Salt Lake Community College helps grads stay the course and enroll in college, despite the obstacles.

Utah Zero Fatalities

A group of Salt Lake valley high schools increased their overall seatbelt use 9 percent this school year by participating in various student-created programs. The Salt Lake County Health Department program to increase seatbelt use among young drivers works in collaboration with the “Don’t Drive Stupid Campaign” and the Utah Highway Patrol’s Adopt-A-High School. Six high schools participated in the program.

Dan Bammes

  The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University has re-opened after a two-year renovation project.  

The museum first opened in 1978 to showcase Monte Bean’s collection of big game trophies from a lifetime of hunting.  With an additional 30-thousand square feet, there’s lots of new exhibit space as well as room to house a number of research collection of animal specimens.

Dan Bammes

  The University of Utah will become the new owner of the historic Wall Mansion at 4th East and South Temple in Salt Lake City.

The Wall Mansion was built in the 1880’s and renovated by mining millionaire Enos Wall early in the 20th Century.  In the 1960’s, it became the home of  LDS Business College, but it’s been empty since the college moved to the Triad Center  in 2006.

http://hcap.artstor.org/cgi-bin/library?a=d&d=p1966.1

In five days, 977 students will graduate from Westminster College. That’s a record for the private liberal arts school.

The 2014 graduating class includes 610 undergraduates and 367 graduate students. It’s made up of students from 35 U.S. States and more than two dozen foreign countries.

John Baworowsky is Vice President for Enrollment Management.  He says a variety of degree programs have motivated more undergraduate and graduate students to enroll at Westminster.

The University of Utah will be closing its Red Zone retail stores after the year 2017. The Utah Board of Regents decided Friday to allow the stores to complete their contracts. The decision comes in light of a 2013 audit that accused the stores of unfairly competing with private businesses.

    

Utah’s superintendent of public schools is apologizing for a political endorsement that was posted earlier this week on the state office of education blog. An official with the lieutenant governor’s office says the endorsement is a criminal offense, but the office doesn’t plan to pursue charges.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Westminster College held a celebration on campus Friday for the 23 students who recently competed in Sochi. The liberal arts school had more student-athletes in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games than any other college or university in the country.

Leading the parade was the Westminster Griffin, followed by a stream of Olympic athletes. Halfpipe skier Maddie Bowman came in with a gold medal around her neck, and stepped up to the podium with the help of some crutches.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Department of Workforce Services is launching a $6 million grant program to help public schools in Utah fund science, technology, engineering and math or STEM programs.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is recommending employee pay raises and continued funding for air quality initiatives in his 2014-2015 budget proposal. He’s also calling on the state auditor to look into why the city’s property tax revenue is lower than expected. 

Speaking to the press Tuesday afternoon Becker once again stressed the city’s role in addressing poor air quality.

“ It is very much at the heart of this city’s financial success and prosperity," Becker says. "It is a dark cloud hanging over the city.”

File politico.com

Ann Romney, the former First Lady of Massachusetts, delivered the keynote address to the Class of 2014 at Southern Utah University this morning. She quoted evangelical Christian Pastor Rick Warren in urging the graduates to live a purpose-driven life. She recalled the day when her husband, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, got the call from Kem Gardner asking them to take over the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Brian Grimmett

Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he supports school grading, but he says a single letter grade isn’t enough information to determine how well a school is performing. Herbert was speaking at his monthly televised news conference on KUED.

Governor Herbert says it’s important to have an accountability system that clearly illustrates a schools successes and weaknesses. He says his education advisor Tami Pyfer has come up with an alternative system that would do that.

Foxy1219 via Wikimedia Commons

Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s education advisor is working to replace Utah’s two school accountability systems with one easy-to-read, yearly report card. The newest school grading system received mostly negative responses when letter grades were first released last fall.

Utah’s school accountability systems use factors like end of year tests, student growth and graduation rates to show how schools are performing. School grading assigns letter grades A through F and the Utah Comprehensive Accountability System or UCAS grades schools based on a 600-point-scale.

Joseluis89 via wikimedia commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the state of Michigan’s ban on affirmative action. Utah lawmakers have considered a similar ban in the past. But advocates say marginalized groups still need protections.

Whittney Evans

Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is featured in Next month’s issue of National Geographic. The article explores Utah’s ancient history as a hot and swampy island teeming with dinosaurs.

The article follows a group of researchers, hunting fossils in the remote landscapes of Southern Utah, which about 75 million years ago, looked more like the Louisiana Bayou.

University of Utah Campus Store

  The University of Utah’s athletic teams will continue to be known as the Utes under an agreement worked out with the Northern Ute Tribe.

University President David Pershing and other university officials traveled to the Ute tribal headquarters in Fort Duchesne on Tuesday to announce the agreement.  The university will use the Ute name with the full support of the tribe.  The U’s trademarked drum and feather logo is not part of the agreement, though tribal leaders are encouraging its continued use.

Whittney Evans

The walls are up at the new  Guadalupe School in Rose Park. And school administrators say the fundraising campaign is on target for an August opening. 

Bob Nelson

 The first annual Exposition of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, was held on Saturday at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy. The free event was hosted by Beehive Science and Technology Academy, a STEM charter school in Sandy. Hundreds of students in grades 6 through 12 demonstrated their STEM skills to the crowd of parents and spectators.

University of Utah

Utah’s higher education system has been chosen to collaborate with 11 other states to improve college participation and completion rates. The state has received about $200,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the time and resources the project will require. Higher education officials have identified three key issues the state will focus on.

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