Passing of ESSA

Written by Charice Carroll on . Posted in Advocacy

Everyone’s favorite Education Bill, No Child Left Behind, expired in 2007, and in 2015 Congress finally got around to doing something about it.  The new legislation is Every Student Succeeds Act, an effort that President Obama described as a “Christmas Miracle” because of its bi-partisan cooperation. But what does ESSA really do?

Well, in a nutshell the ESSA: A) Restores important authority over schools to the states, rather than the federal government, B) Provides $1.65 billion in grants for tech-related education programs (including professional development) and funds $1.6 billion per year in ongoing funds through 2020, C) Provides $1 billion to create “21st century community learning centers” to provide innovative ways of delivering education, D) Still emphasizes testing, but puts the responsibility in the state’s court, and E) Provides funding for training and retention of effective STEM teachers.

It is not a “perfect solution” by any stretch, and even the most ardent supporters of the legislation would like to see it do more, but all education groups seem to be supportive of the positive steps that the legislation does take toward restoring some autonomy to the states and funding new technology programs.

For more details regarding the new law, you can check these sites:

http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/fact-sheet-congress-acts-fix-no-child-left-behind

https://thejournal.com/Articles/2015/12/03/Blended-Learning-Professional-Development-Make-Gains-in-ESEA-Overhaul.aspx?Page=1

http://www.iste.org/advocacy/public-policy/reauthorization-of-the-elementary-and-secondary-education-act

Don’t forget to Share Your Story with UCET at: http://www.ucet.org/advocacy/

Little Free Library in Goshen, Utah

Written by Leslie Lewis on . Posted in Advocacy, Education, Utah

Goshen, Utah

Little Free Library

Each year UELMA, Utah Educational Library Media Association, selects a service project.  Last year, and again this year, they elected to support the creation of Little Free Libraries in "book deserts".  The 2015 Little Free Library is up and running in Goshen, Utah.*   The library is maintained by Ellen-Anita Olson who kindly agreed to write this informational article about the Goshen Little Free Library.

Little Free Library in Goshen

Goshen Little Free Library

Goshen Little Free Library

Story by Ellen-Anita Olson

Picture by Kevin D. Olson

"A Little Free Library was placed outside the Goshen Senior Citizen Center on Tuesday June 16, 2015.  This is such exciting news! This project has been made possible with the support of many people, including Dana Herbert (director of Goshen Senior Citizens), UELMA (Utah Educational Library Media Association), Sarah Herron, Jeraldene Albrecht, and all the people who have so generously donated books for the Goshen Little Free Library, Thank you to you all for your great help and support. A great big thank you to Kevin D. Olson and Amelia Olson for all their help and support.

A Little Free Library is a little mini library set up in a community or neighborhood that does not have ready access to a public library. It is a little “box” set up in someone’s yard, (or in another accessible place), where people from the surrounding area can come and pick up a book to read. They can get a book and leave a book. No membership, fees, or anything like that is required. The Little Free Library is a worldwide movement. The goal is to promote literacy and love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide. (http://littlefreelibrary.org/ourhistory/)

Anyone can stop and pick up a book or two and leave a book or two to share. It is my hope that it will also be a great source of reading materials for readers of every age."

For more information about Little Free Libraries click here.  

If you would like to help support a Little Free Library or suggest an area in Utah that would benefit from one, please let UELMA know @UELMA_Utah or make a comment on their Facebook page.  

*As of the 2010 census Goshen Utah, located in Utah County, had a population on 921.

Changing the Education Narrative

Written by Charice Carroll on . Posted in #UCET16, Advocacy, SUECON, Utah

As I sat in Tami Pyfer’s Saturday keynote at SUECON, her message of “Change the Education Narrative” really hit home. How many people outside of education see what is really going on in classrooms and schools? And how many are buying into the media and critics’ messages? The only way that narrative can change is for those of us in the education community to start telling our story. The story of the Language Arts teacher who stays late every Tuesday and invites students from any class to come into her classroom, have some popcorn, play some music, use her computer lab and get help with homework, regardless if it is from her class or not. The 8th grade Science teacher who comes in early the day after a test to read aloud the questions to a student with a reading disability so she can improve her score. The 4th grade students learning to code from a teacher providing them with real-world skills. There are thousands of teachers going the extra mile to help their students succeed every day. Where are these stories being told?

UCET is a coalition of groups dedicated to promoting effective use of technology in education. As the newly appointed Advocacy Representative on the UCET Board, I am setting a goal to help UCET and teachers share these stories and help change the education narrative. UCET Board members can tell these stories as we meet legislators and policy makers, and as we travel around the state and the country talking to colleagues and parents. We can post stories on http://www.ucet.org/advocacy/, include them in our Blog and newsletter, give innovative teachers a forum to share ideas at the UCET Conference, and support teachers as they create new stories by learning to use technology in their classrooms.

But we can’t tell stories that we don’t know about! If you have a story that needs to be told about using technology in your classroom, or know a colleague that has a great story, please let us know by sharing it with us in the Advocacy area of the ucet.org. Just go to http://www.ucet.org/advocacy/ and click on the “Share Your Story” link at the top of the page. If you are on Twitter, share pictures and stories using the hashtag #ucetAdvocacy and follow along for updates. With your help we can start spreading the news of the great things happening with technology in Utah schools. 

As an additional incentive we will be randomly choosing one person each month in November/December, January, and February who shares a story at http://www.ucet.org/advocacy/ to receive a free registration to the UCET Conference on March 17-18, 2016 at the University of Utah. It doesn’t have to be long, just share a few paragraphs telling us what great things you are doing with technology in your district, school, or classroom. Please, share your story with us and together I believe we really can “Change the Education Narrative”!