Education | KUER 90.1

Education

Photo of Astrid Tuminez.
Lee Hale / KUER

The newest president of Utah Valley University, the state's largest university, began her tenure this week. Before this, Astrid C. Tuminez was a regional director for Microsoft in Southeast Asia, supervising 15 markets in 10 countries.

A nine-year-old boy in Colorado took his own life on the first week of school this year. The tragedy highlighted a pervasive problem in the state and in the Mountain West region as a whole -- the high suicide rate -- especially among youth. Goal Academy in Pueblo, Colorado is a charter program with high schools around the state that focuses on both academic and mental wellbeing.   

Veteran teacher Jody Lee-Chadde reads with fourth graders at Tsé'bii'nidzisgai Elementary School in Monument Valley. Utah officials are hoping to recruit more teachers who will stick around by recruiting educators who have experience in the classroom.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

Utah Governor Gary Herbert is asking teachers who have left the profession to consider returning to the classroom as schools are struggling with a shortage of educators. Speaking at the state capitol Wednesday, Herbert said the state needs to do a better job of “recruiting and retaining.”

Drawing of students in front of chalkboard that reads "refusal skills."
Renee Bright / KUER

 

On back-to-school night recently at Oak Canyon Junior High School in Utah County, eighth grade health teacher Staisha Sheffield was waiting for parents to arrive, and ready to explain — carefully — what she teaches their 12 and 13-year-olds about sex. In Utah, that’s an all-around challenge.

Red rocks with the word Dixie written in white paint.
istock

A music professor who was fired from Dixie State University this year has been offered a chance to return to the school with some stipulations. The professor, Ken Peterson, said agreeing to those terms would mean giving up what he has trained his whole life to do.

Students sit at a panel in front a large crowd.
Lee Hale / KUER

Speaking to a noisy, standing-room only crowd in Sandy on Saturday, student activists from Utah and Florida discussed gun control and school safety as part of the national March For Our Lives tour.

istock

Utah teachers are taking a different path to the head of the classroom, according to new data from a Salt Lake City-based think tank. And that may pose a problem as schools in the state struggle to recruit — and hold onto — educators.

Renee Bright / KUER

There has been little reprieve from news about school violence this year with yet another recent shooting casting a shadow as the 2018 academic year comes to a close.

Lee Hale / KUER

Last Friday, more than 2,000 high school students from all over Utah were treated to a special matinee performance of the hit musical "Hamilton," which chronicles the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton. But before the the cast took the stage at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, some of the students had turn.

istock

A school district just south of Salt Lake City has announced a bump in salary following Jordan’s teacher raise announcement last week. Teachers in Granite School District will get a 2.5 percent increase along with a new medical perk.

istock

While teachers in Arizona and Colorado are on strike for better pay, Jordan School District in Salt Lake County is giving its teachers a raise.

istock

In the past few weeks teachers have been on strike for better pay in a number of states. Walkouts have taken place in West Virginia, Kentucky and Colorado — places that pay about what Utah does. In fact, Utah is ranked No. 45 in the country when it comes to teacher salary. So, will teachers here walkout next?

Erik Neumann / KUER

Stakeholders from the Our Schools Now initiative met with Gov. Gary Herbert today at Meadowbrook Elementary School in Bountiful. They were there for a ceremonial signing of the legislative compromise to bring more money to public schools in Utah. But the deal isn’t finalized.

istock

Utah State University announced changes today following a sexual misconduct investigation into the school’s piano department. Speaking at a press conference on Friday, USU President Noelle Cockett did not shy away from taking responsibility.

A Payson family is withdrawing their lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America now that the organization has agreed to help their Boy Scout who has Down syndrome reach his Eagle rank.

istock

Yesterday, a police officer for Granite School District shot a teenager while out on patrol in West Valley. The teenager is in critical condition and an investigation is underway.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

This morning, students across the country participated in a walkout to honor the victims of last month's Parkland, Florida shooting and vocalize support for gun control. At Corner Canyon High School in Draper, students gathered at a nearby park.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

Hundreds of students across Utah are participating in a walkout this morning to protest gun violence. It's part of a nationwide demonstration following a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., exactly one month ago. 

Kelsie Moore / KUER


Teacher turnover is a struggle for a lot of schools. A new teacher is hired, they teach for a year or two and then *poof* they’re gone. It’s often the worst at schools where poverty is high and student achievement is low, but an elementary school in the heart of Utah’s Monument Valley might have a solution.

Lee Hale / KUER

As students across the country continue to speak out about gun violence and safety, some schools are trying to listen. That includes the superintendent and district administrators from Salt Lake City schools.

Austen Diamond / KUER

State lawmakers unveiled a funding compromise Tuesday that could sidestep a ballot initiative to raise money for schools.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

The deadly high school shooting in Florida earlier this month has reignited the age-old debate over gun control. Survivors of the attack are speaking out, and so are students across the country. Here in Utah, four high school seniors are organizing a march against gun violence next month.

istock

Just a week after the deadly shooting at a Florida high school, a student from Eastmont Middle School in Sandy took to Instagram. He was upset that a friend of his had been expelled and wrote that he was angry enough to bring a gun to school.

istock

The president of Utah State University, Noelle Cockett, held an early morning meeting with students in the music department on Friday. She acknowledged allegations of sexual assault that surfaced online this week involving music faculty and promised an investigation is underway.

Salt Lake City School Distirct

An elementary school in Salt Lake City previously named after former President Andrew Jackson will now be honoring NASA’s first black female engineer, Mary Jackson.

istock

The non-profit research firm Utah Foundation released numbers today that break down education spending in the state. While the information isn’t entirely new, it’s an attempt to give the public and policymakers a clearer picture.

Trevor Christensen for KUER


Teacher recruitment and retention is an ongoing battle for public schools in Utah. According to recent data nearly 50 percent of Utah teachers leave the classroom in the first five years. But outside of public schools there are some teaching jobs that never face a shortage.

Weber State University

Two of the fastest growing universities in the state are asking for additional funding from the legislature this year. Both Weber and Dixie State University are planning major construction projects to accommodate rising student numbers.

The Telegram

A student-led newspaper at Herriman High School was shut down briefly over the weekend following a controversial post. School administration has since assumed full publishing control of The Telegraph, causing the students to launch a new website.

University of Utah

Dr. Ruth Watkins has been named the new president of the University of Utah. Watkins has been serving as the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and will be the university’s first female president in its 168-year history.

Pages