Utah State Board of Education | KUER 90.1

Utah State Board of Education

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The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally altered education in Utah, when learning was forced from the classroom to the computer. For some teachers, the ongoing challenges of online learning, along with an uncertain health risk come fall, have them questioning if they can stick with teaching. 

Photo of students raising their hands in a classroom.
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Thursday evening, January 2, 2020

A woman sits at a long table speaking into a microphone at a public hearing. Two men and three women sit next to her.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Social workers in Utah schools say they face difficult problems on a daily basis: students dealing with trauma, mental health problems and other social needs.

Photo of the Utah State Board of Education seal on a wall inside the board building.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

People interested in serving on the Utah State Board of Education may have to run under a political party starting in 2020 after the Utah Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that partisan elections for the school board are constitutional. 

Photo of the Utah State Board of Education building
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Although still four months away, the Utah State Board of Education has begun discussion of its possible legislative policy requests for the 2020 Utah Legislative Session. 

Phot of a boy playing a handheld video game in front of an old camper trailer. The desert stretches out in the background.
David Fuchs / KUER

St. George — It’s Back to School Night at Diamond Valley Elementary, and the auditorium is filled with the usual suspects: tired, young parents and restless, wriggling children. But near the back of the room, seated at the edge of the aisle, is a 47-year-old woman with a blue streak in her hair. She’s equal parts exhausted, anxious and out of place. 

Photo of Utah State Board of Education Building
Courtesy of Utah State Board of Education

Gov. Gary Herbert has appointed new members to the Utah State Board of Education, the Utah Board of Regents and the Utah System of Technical Colleges.

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A Utah judge ruled this week against a law that would make state school board elections partisan.

Utah State Office of Education

Two state school board incumbents, including a school board chair, were likely eliminated in Tuesday’s primary election.

Utah State Office of Education

The first of several state school board candidate debates will occur on Tuesday night in St. George. The races have generated significant interest and participation as Utah transitions away from a limited nomination process to an open primary.

Brian Grimmett

In 2018, Utah voters will notice a D or an R next to names of candidates running for the state school board. The Utah legislature passed a bill Thursday that will make school board races partisan after the 2016 election.

The Utah Senate gave initial approval today to a stopgap measure that would make Utah’s State School Board election process legal. A judge ruled in 2014 that the process was unconstitutional.

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Members of Utah’s State Board of Education will be hearing  from practicing scientists on Friday who say that proposed science standards ignore some critical concepts about climate change.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has appointed Stan Lockhart to the state school board. Lockhart is the husband of late Republican Utah House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart.

Utah State Office of Education

The Utah State Board of Education on Thursday will consider asking the governor to veto a bill that aims to streamline the state’s education code.

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Two Republican State Senators are asking the Utah State Board of Education to do away with its new computer-adaptive SAGE test and replace it with a different system.

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Utah lawmakers in a Senate Education Committee voted Friday to support a constitutional amendment that would make state school board elections unnecessary. 

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.

http://schools.utah.gov/superintendent/

The Utah State Office of Education announced today State School Superintendent Martell Menlove will retire after only a year and three months on the job.

Menlove was appointed as State Superintendent of Public Instruction in January 2013 after serving as deputy to Superintendent Larry Shumway, before Shumway, himself retired in 2012. 

Menlove said in a statement his immediate plans are to spend time with family.

File: Office of Utah Governor Herbert

Governor Gary Herbert has appointed state school board member Tami Pyfer as his new education advisor. The Governor’s spokesman Marty Carpenter says Pyfer brings in a very broad-scoped education experience from administrator to parent volunteer in public and private classrooms.

Utah State Office of Education

Next month, schools in Utah will get two sets of report cards outlining their performance for the last year. One report is based on Utah’s Comprehensive Accountability System or UCAS, which is a grading method the State Office of Education is already using. The other system, state lawmakers approved during the 2013 legislative session.

With the new system, schools are given a letter grade of A through F to indicate their overall performance for the last school year. With UCAS, each school is graded on a 600 point scale.

The Utah State Office of Education is seeking the Attorney General’s opinion on what type of student data should be published. The board is asking the Attorney General to reconcile two state statutes they say cause the confusion. But not everyone believes a conflict exists.

Some argue classroom-level testing data allows the public to see how teachers perform. While others say the numbers could be read out of context.