Kim Burningham: Legal action needed to avoid partisan State School Board elections

Tragically, Utah will–if something isn’t changed—select the State School Board through an unconstitutionally partisan election starting in 2018. Some may be surprised by this statement.  This year, the election is proceeding in an orderly non-partisan fashion to select members of the State School Board, but in a weird compromise fashioned by the State Legislature in the waning hours of the 2016 session, this is the last time the election will be non-partisan. The Legislature could remedy the ill-advised move, but I believe this is highly improbable.   The most certain and appropriate…

The Smart Questions Club: Utah Ed Science and Engineering Standards [streaming live]

Join Utah Board of Education members Brittney Cummins and Stan Lockhart as they talk science standards. The Utah Board of Education is implementing new science standards in September. Some have expressed concern that the standards include controversial topics such as global warming and evolution. What should you know and understand about the Utah Board of Education’s process to adopt these standards and what does it really mean? Like what you see? Get the Hub in your Inbox. * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name Email Format html…

Highlights from the Attorney General’s Common Core Report

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fulanna/8482679716/

Let’s dispel with the fear-mongering surrounding education and the Common Core standards. Here are the highlights from the report, as well a cautionary note for where our focus should lie. On Tuesday afternoon, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes released a report on legal questions surrounding Common Core. Before he had even completed the press conference, activists had already started using his comments as fodder to support their preconceived positions. Haters gonna hate. And activists are gonna activate. None of them had read the report, let alone considered that the report was…

The Utah Education Bureaucracy Could Use a Dose of Transparency

Last week, the Utah Legislature was recognized for its efforts at transparency by an award from a national group. While “how a bill becomes a law” is still an obtuse process to most Utahns, it has to make Jason Williams proud to see the Legislature make efforts to inform citizens. Meanwhile, elsewhere… Perhaps a similar effort could be made by Utah’s education establishment to inform Utahns on how Utah’s education complex works.

What does the NCLB waiver vote mean?

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) votes whether to renew the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver on Friday August 8. While the ostensible result of the vote will be to renew or not renew the waiver, there will be efforts by all interested parties to label what the vote means. Common Core: if the USBE decides not to renew the waiver, Common Core standards foes will see it as a victory and a step towards extracting Common Core standards from our education system. Utah would still need to replace…

An Analysis of the Libertas Common Core Lawsuit

Lawsuits should never be a first resort. Unfortunately, all too often lawsuits are the only way policy makers listen. Whether it’s civil rights, healthcare, the environment, or education standards, lawsuits are a part of our national political system, turning to courts to address issues that we have been unable to resolve by political action. Enter the Libertas Institute, a local libertarian leaning non-profit, which just last week filed a lawsuit challenging the process by which Common Core educational standards were adopted by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) in…

BUZZ: Libertas Sues Utah Board of Education Over Common Core

In a lawsuit announced on July 31, 2014, Libertas is suing the Utah Board of Education over the implementation of Common Core standards. “When violations of the law occur, it’s important that justice be served and accountability be had,” said Connor Boyack, President of Libertas.  “That’s what this lawsuit aims to do with the State Board of Education—state law requires them to have provided for substantive public input, which they denied others by rushing through Common Core’s adoption.” The lawsuit appears to be limited to addressing the Board’s responsibility as…

Utah Should Reapply for the NCLB Waiver

In the August 8 meeting, the Utah State Board of Education will make an important decision. I earnestly believe Utah should reapply for the waiver from the onerous requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Frankly, the State Board is relatively divided on the issue. As I view the matter, however, the best course for Utah students is to seek waiver renewal. A perspective on NCLB and the waiver NCLB was instituted by the Bush Administration in 2002. (Interestingly, it was sponsored in the U. S. House of Representatives by…

State School Board Considering Returning to No Child Left Behind

Utah State Superintendent Finalists Announced: Backup Plan for Some? John Barge, Martin Bates, Rich Crandall, Brad Smith

Tonight, the Utah State Board of Education will debate whether to apply for another one-year Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver.  The ESEA Waiver allows Utah to not comply with certain federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates through the creation of its own state systems.  Utah’s current waiver is set to expire in August. By choosing not to apply for the ESEA waiver, Utah would return to No Child Left Behind.