Category Archives: Education

Evaluating (and paying) teachers more effectively

The Deseret News recently published an article discussing how educators and education researchers are investigating new ways to evaluate the effectiveness of school teachers. Those ways include: (1) rigorous classroom observation, based on specific teaching behaviors associated with student learning … Continue reading

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Interim Day: Grim impact of fed spending cuts on schoolchildren

At the Education Interim Committee on Capitol Hill this week, the committee heard a presentation about the potential impact of the pending federal sequestration policy on Utah’s public school and higher education systems. The sequestration policy would be enacted early … Continue reading

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What's the big rush to pick a new state superintendent?

Last week, four legislators issued a statement of concern about the apparent rush to replace Utah State Superintendent Larry Shumway, pointing out that the application window closes before November’s elections – in which half the school board will be replaced. … Continue reading

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Harvard-Brookings study finds vouchers increased college enrollment for black students

A first-of-its-kind study of a private school voucher program in New York City, published by Harvard University and the Brookings Institution, found “large, statistically significant positive impacts” from the voucher program on college enrollment among African-American children. The researchers reported … Continue reading

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UHSAA cites administrative headaches as justification for denying transfer to depressed student

In a stunning display of callous disregard for a child’s emotional health and well-being, a spokesman for the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) recently justified denying depressed children seeking to transfer schools the opportunity to immediately play sports at … Continue reading

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How Utah’s universities are exploring digital learning potential

We have blogged regularly here about the many ways that digital learning is improving public education across the country by creating educational opportunities customized to the needs of individual children, and by focusing teachers’ time on one-on-one teaching rather than … Continue reading

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'Roam school': the future of education

A first-person story in the Wall Street Journal points out the exciting developments in homeschooling and digital learning and the growing possibilities of being able to “mix and match” different options to create the best K-12 schooling for our children. … Continue reading

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Fact-checking USOE claims on Common Core

As the debate about Common Core carries on, many interested parties are making claims about what effect the new standards will have on public education and children in Utah. The latest comes from Brenda Hales of the Utah State Office … Continue reading

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New report: Common Core not best for Utah children

Should Utah’s education standards, or learning goals, be crafted to meet the needs of children, or the desires of adults like administrators and teachers? In a new report, “Common Core: Is It Best for Utah Children?” Sutherland answers this question … Continue reading

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Children with learning disabilities left behind?

Federal law requires schools to identify children who have learning disabilities and provide them an education appropriate to their needs. Two recent stories have surfaced showing that Utah school districts may be breaking this law. Watch this video to hear … Continue reading

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Interim day: license plate scanning and Common Core

Today, the Utah Legislature held its first interim committee meetings of the year. These meetings occur once each month from May through November, except in July. Legislators address a range of issues, including ideas for future bills, implementation of past … Continue reading

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Video: Was Utah teacher punished for testifying on union bill?

According to Heartland Institute, Utah teacher Cole Kelley was released from his position as athletic director one week after testifying in favor of a bill that would penalize school districts for not granting equal access to all teacher organizations. Heartland … Continue reading

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Video: What do Utahns think about Common Core?

Last week, hundreds of Utahns packed a room to express their views on Common Core. We interviewed several attendees to hear their thoughts on the issue: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BugMs2K5CDs You can watch the entire two-hour meeting here: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5osFHHpTuw What do you think? … Continue reading

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Give Utah principals more authority over their schools

Utah’s public school system has become top-heavy. At Sutherland, we have advocated for a more bottom-up approach, particularly one that is parent-driven. Over at The Atlantic, Chester E. Finn Jr. of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute makes a strong case … Continue reading

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Debunking the myths (and outright lies) about digital learning

  Though digital learning is growing rapidly across the country, including here in Utah, many people have little to no interaction with it and so are unfamiliar with what it is and what it isn’t. This allows supporters of the … Continue reading

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