Education

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.”

Former U of U President Chase Peterson Dies at 84

Sep 15, 2014
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.

New Scholarships for Ute Students at U of U

Sep 11, 2014
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.

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.

BYU Reopens Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum

May 29, 2014
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.

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