Education

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...

Bob Nelson

The 53 rd 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. “The commitment they’re making...

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. Attorney Brad Smith became superintendent in the Ogden School District back in 2011 and was almost immediately deemed a controversial figure. In his first year, school principals were uprooted and reassigned. In the spring of 2013, 20 school librarians were laid off and about half the teachers in the...

Bob Nelson

The University of Utah celebrated the groundbreaking for the Lassonde Studios on the campus’s east side Friday. The building will include resident space for more than 400 students. A massive open garage space designed for innovation and collaboration will be for all students at the U. Mining magnate Pierre Lassonde is a Quebec, Canada native and a University MBA alumnus. He says this creative space would not be possible at a long list of Ivy League schools or MIT because the structure...

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.” Herbert asked Attorney General Sean Reyes to examine five key issues, including whether or not the state of Utah is somehow...

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. In his autobiography The Guardian Poplar , Chase Peterson described an idyllic childhood in Logan, where his father was president of what is now Utah State University. He attended Harvard University, became a medical doctor and part of the Harvard administration before he came back in 1978 as Vice-President for Health Sciences at the University of...

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. During Thursday’s hearing at the federal courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City, Waddoups initially considered invalidating this year’s state school board election altogether. But after attorneys...

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. Mary Parker, the university’s associate vice-president for enrollment...

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 13 th 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...

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. “In the years to come when you grow up and you’re as old as I am, we’re going to be competing with a lot of...

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. Orem Republican Representative Dana Layton sponsored a bill during the 2014 general session that would have axed the Common Core in favor of Utah-developed standards. She says her constituents were concerned the state...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Connor Boyack

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in 3 rd 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. Libertas President Connor Boyack’s organization and others have vocally opposed Common Core, citing federal overreach, social engineering and the quality of the standards. But Boyack says those...

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. South Jordan City officials and many residents are concerned that the Jordan School District isn’t keeping pace with the city’s growth—and in the process they say much-needed schools and other facilities aren’t getting built. Earlier this summer, the city commissioned a study by...

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. Utah accepted the waiver in 2012, but in exchange was required to come up with its own plan regarding teacher evaluations, school accountability and student achievement. Many in the education community, including state school board member...

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. In a conversation with the media and public education officials Thursday, Herbert stressed that in Utah, parents and teachers, principals, local school board members and the state...

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. The next Utah superintendent of public instruction will replace Martell Menlove, who announced earlier this year he is retiring after less than two years on the job. The selection committee, which is made up of a handful of state...

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. It’s clear from Wednesday’s council meeting that leaving the Jordan School District is not a popular option for West Jordan residents or council members. During the meeting several school teachers expressed concern with a district...

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. Lily Eskelsen Garcia’s journey to becoming president of the National Education Association is full of twists and turns. After graduating from Box Elder High School, she became a cafeteria worker at a head start program in Colorado. Eventually she became an assistant to a Kindergarten teacher who suggested she go to college...

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 66 th 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...

UVU Purchases 125 Acres At Old Geneva Steel Site

Jun 19, 2014
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. In 2011 Utah Valley University bought their first 100 acres at the Geneva site located west of I-15 north of Orem. It currently houses intramural fields. The new 125-acre acquisition doubles their footprint at Geneva which now nearly matches the 235-acre site the campus currently sits on in Orem. UVU President Matthew Holland says the purchase was necessary because...

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 . 100 black and white photos were plastered on the exterior wall of the school, selected to reflect the current demographics of the student body. The project was intended to spark conversation about Utah’s...

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. Nolan Karras Chair of the State School Board Nominating committee says candidates are being asked to expand on how the board should interact with the governor, the state legislature and the...

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. It’s the last day of class for Horizonte bridge students at Salt Lake Community College. The group is gearing up for graduation next Tuesday by...

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. Granger High had the biggest improvement in seatbelt use at 13 percent while Herriman...

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. Larry St. Clair, the museum director, says there’s still a focus on taxidermy, with lions, giraffes,...

Dan Bammes

The University of Utah will become the new owner of the historic Wall Mansion at 4 th 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 20 th 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. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is donating the mansion and other buildings on the site to the University...

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