In a 2007 public vote, Utah citizens made it clear: they did not want vouchers for private schools to be a part of Utah's education system. The vote was overwhelming. Now, a decade later, while Utah's opposition to the widespread implementation of vouchers remains unchanged, tremors throughout the nation are cause for concern.
The UEA’s governing body, the House of Delegates, met Saturday, May 20, at Elk Ridge Middle School in South Jordan to conduct the Association’s business.
Rough time managing your class this year?
Teacher Appreciation Week is a time of direct recognition and pampering that honestly, couldn't come at a better time with the 'testing season' upon us and the end of the school year just out of grasp. It's a time to find strength in the reminders that we do accomplish impossible tasks, we do reach unattainable goals - but we don't often see the fruits of our labor immediately.
Utah teacher Chelsie Acosta is a finalist for the national Social Justice Activist of the Year...VOTE FOR HER NOW!!!
Recent studies show young new teachers are leaving the profession at an alarming rate. To encourage those teachers and help them feel engaged and connected, the UEA is sponsoring a series of events titled ‘Take Charge!, specifically targeting educators in their first years of teaching.
Adequate public education funding is not simply a nice wish…it is mandated in our Utah Constitution. Policymakers had their chance, and certainly made some steps in the right direction, but it is simply not sufficient to address Utah’s public school.
With more new teachers leaving the profession within their first few years of teaching, lets talk about what we love about our profession.
The Utah Education Association (UEA) recently announced doTERRA International, the world’s leading essential oils company, as the title sponsor of the annual Excellence in Teaching Awards.
New to teaching? Join us for a discussion on the legislative process and how to advocate for your profession as a new teacher.
Join us for a discussion on SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE CLASSROOM and how to advocate for your students.
This holiday season I want to share the incredible gift that my son gave to me last weekend when he graduated from college.
In an effort to inform those who make education policy decisions, the UEA invited legislators, superintendents, school board members and state administrators to hear from teachers. About 30 policymakers gathered at the UEA Office Dec. 13 to hear from teachers.
The Jordan UniServ announced the hiring of Jennifer Boehme as a UniServ Director. She replaces Laura Black Arnold who will be retiring at the end of January 2017.
The governor’s budget calls for $68 million to fully fund the more than 10,000 new students expected next fall and $116 million to increase the Weighted Pupil Unit, the basic public school funding mechanism, by 4 percent.
UEA President Heidi Matthews and Executive Director Lisa Nentl-Bloom are among a group of prominent business and community leaders spearheading a ballot initiative campaign designed to increase revenue for public education and improve student performance.
Join us for a discussion on EARLY ENGAGEMENT IN EDUCATION POLICY and how to build power while being a provisional teacher!
Of the Utah candidates recommended by state and local political action committees for the 2016 General Election, nearly 75 percent were successful.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced that Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) has been elected the organization’s new board vice chair. Gallagher-Fishbaugh will be replacing Christy Levings, whose term as vice chair ends November 5, 2016.
The UEA Political Action Committee (UEA-PAC) Executive Committee announced recently that it is recommending Republican gubernatorial candidate Gary Herbert in his re-election bid. Please allow me to provide some background and context for this recommendation.
“Tracey (Watson) is the James Brown of lawyers - she's the hardest working lawyer in the business,” wrote Kass Harstad, of the law firm Strindberg & Scholnick, LLC about the UEA’s director of Legal Services and general counsel. Watson was recently named Employment Lawyer of the Year by the Utah State Bar.
“Gov. Herbert has been a champion of education throughout his time in office and Utah educators support his re-election,” said Heidi Matthews, president of UEA. “The governor has consistently supported Utah teachers as we work to help our students reach their full potential. We look forward to continuing our productive partnership with him over the next four years.”
Deputy State Superintendent of Public Instruction Rich K. Nye announced that Salt Lake City School District West High School English language development and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) teacher Valerie S. Gates has been named 2017 Utah Teacher of the Year.
Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, an award-winning National Board-certified educator with more than 37 years in public education – 32 of them in the classroom – and a two-term former president of the Utah Education Association, will chair the NEA Foundation’s Board of Directors, the NEA Foundation.
The Eastern Utah UniServ has appointed Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind teacher and UEA Board member Bonilynn Henrie as UniServ director. She replaces retiring Vik Arnold who served as director for three years and had previously held positions as UEA director of government relations and Davis UniServ director.
Members of the Utah State Board of Education Board voted 11-4 during their August 12 meeting to settle a lawsuit brought against them by the UEA. As part of the settlement, the Board agreed to repeal and replace teacher discipline rules challenged in the suit.
The High Desert has appointed 37-year teaching veteran and former UEA Vice President Tom Nedreberg as UniServ director. He replaces retiring Rick Pruitt who served as director for six years.
Fourteen state UEA leadership offices are subject to election in 2017, including NEA State Director and six state Board positions.
The Ogden-Weber UniServ has appointed Weber County School District resource teacher Barbera Wayment as UniServ director. She replaces Matt Ogle who accepted a position in his home state of Oregon.
Brighton High teachers Christine Yee and Catherine Bates received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation to help their journalism students produce video news reports to share through PBS’s Student Reporting Labs.
Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh was elected to a three-year term as UEA president in 2010 by her fellow educators in a statewide vote and re-elected in 2013. Her second term, the maximum allowed by UEA Bylaws, ended July 15, 2016.
More than 7,000 educators and education support professionals from all 50 states, including about 80 from Utah, gathered in Washington, DC, for the National Education Association’s 95th Representative Assembly (RA). The RA is the top decision-making body for the nearly 3 million-member NEA, and sets Association policy for the coming year.
The Color Country UniServ has appointed 24-year teaching veteran Kathleen Cheshire as UniServ director. She replaces retiring Sue Porter who served as director for 25 years, the last six years job sharing with her husband Jim.
Governor Gary Herbert handily defeated his Republican rival, while all recommended candidates for the Utah State Board of Education advance to the General Election
To address Utah’s teacher shortage, the Utah State Board of Education passed a rule creating a new teacher license called the Academic Pathway to Teaching (APT). The rule lowers standards by allowing anyone with a Bachelor’s degree who passes a Praxis® subject test to immediately obtain a teaching license.
The Utah State Board of Education unanimously selected veteran educator Sydnee Dickson as the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction on Thursday, June 23, 2016.
About 130 teachers and leaders representing school districts from across the state gathered at the 2016 UEA Summer Leadership Academy. Leadership Academy is a multi-day workshop is designed for state and local leaders to receive training on leadership skills, capacity building, important issues facing UEA members and other relevant topics. The 2016 Academy was held June 8-9 at the Zermatt Resort in Midway.
A dozen civics, history and social studies teachers from across the country, including Nebo Education Association member Jim Griffin, were in Washington, D.C. to urge the U.S. Senate to do its job and hold a hearing and an up-or-down vote President Barack Obama’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court.
Award recipients were selected based on their impact on individual students or groups of students. Each winner received an award, a poster to display at their school and a check for $1,500, courtesy of award sponsors EMI Health, Jordan Credit Union, the UEA Children At Risk Foundation and the Utah Education Association.
She has spent years addressing the problem of attracting and retaining teachers. So it was bitter irony that when it came time for her to return to the classroom, even she, of all people, couldn’t do it.
President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh thoughts on Governor’s letter on Utah Core Standards.
I've often commented that teaching IS rocket science. Teaching is complex. Teaching is a profession filled with talented and skilled individuals. Teaching deserves respect.
Treasure Mountain Junior High School media specialist Heidi Matthews was elected by her public school teacher peers to serve a three-year term as president of the Utah Education Association. She was elected in a statewide vote of UEA-member educators held March 24-April 15.
Want to know how your legislator voted on education issues? Each year, the UEA tracks numerous bills during the legislative session then reviews the voting records of legislators and highlights selected bills voted on in the Legislature that would have significant impact on public education, the education profession and the UEA.
In a letter dated March 18, UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, on behalf of the Utah Education Association, requested that Gov. Gary Herbert veto SB87: Administrative Rulemaking Act Modifications.
The NEA Foundation named Mohsen Ghaffari, a fifth grade educator at North Star Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah, as one the 31 award-winning, public school educators to become this year’s class of Global Learning Fellows.
The 2016 Utah Legislative Session ended March 10 with full funding of new student growth, a minor bump in overall funding, a move to partisan state school board elections and restrictions on the use of SAGE test scores.
Brad C. Smith tendered his resignation as state superintendent of public instruction to members of the Utah State Board of Education.
The UEA Political Action Committee (UEA-PAC) voted to support Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert in his 2016 Republican primary race against Overstock.com executive Jonathan Johnson.
The Board’s failure to follow the Act has resulted in the implementation of rules that harm licensed educators because the rules deny educators due process and deprive them of certain legal rights, according to the complaint. The UEA believes the rules are in conflict with state law and violate the constitutional rights of Utah teachers.
In a press conference Dec. 9, Gov. Gary Herbert released a recommended FY2017 Utah state budget that directs $422 million in new tax revenue to public and higher education.
The U.S. Senate today approved S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bipartisan and bicameral bill to reauthorize the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Nearly 100 educators representing school districts across the state volunteered their time Saturday, Nov. 21, to discuss ways they can better advocate for teachers and students as part of the 2015 UEA Bargaining Summit.
The Utah Education Association and local PBS affiliate KUED are consolidating their annual teacher awards programs in an effort to provide greater exposure and recognition for teachers.
Mohsen Ghaffari, a fifth grade teacher at North Star Elementary in Salt Lake City, will receive the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, $10,000 and recognition at the NEA Foundation annual awards gala in Washington, D.C. this coming February.
As a tribute to his diligence and dedication to his students, colleagues, community, and his profession, Mohsen Ghaffari, a fifth grade educator at North Star Elementary School in Salt Lake City, will receive one of public education’s highest honors, the NEA Foundation’s prestigious Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, $10,000, and recognition as one of the nation’s top educators.
Deputy Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson announced today that American Fork High School calculus teacher Melody Apezteguia (ah-pesta-jee-ah) has been named Utah’s 2016 Teacher of the Year.
Nikki Peterson, UniServ Director for the Granite Education Association (GEA) and field staff for the UEA, retired after 30 years of teaching and advocating for teachers, students, and public education. Cindy Formeller (formerly Cindy Carroll) has been named to replace Peterson.
Interested in winning $500 for your classroom? SaveOnEnergy.com® is looking for the best lesson plans for teaching students about energy or sustainability.
Good things are worth waiting for – even if they take 13 years. After countless false starts and delays, the U.S. Senate stepped up on Thursday and passed the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA). By an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 81 to 17, the Senate approved a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that takes a major step in closing the door on the disastrous “test, blame and punish” legacy of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), passed in 2002.
More than 7,000 educators from all 50 states, including about 80 from Utah, gathered in Orlando July 3-6 to attend the National Education Association’s 94th Representative Assembly (RA). The RA is the top decision-making body for the nearly 3 million-member NEA, and sets Association policy for the coming year. Embracing the meeting’s theme – “NEA: Unite. Inspire. Lead.” – delegates tackled complex issues with far-reaching implications for the profession, from the future of testing to equity in education.
The UEA has created an Assessment Literacy curriculum to support UEA members in better understanding assessment and implementing evaluation requirements, including student learning objectives.
About 170 teachers representing school districts from across the state gathered at the 2015 UEA Summer Leadership Academy to discuss assessment literacy and other ways teachers are taking the lead in public education.
UEA Leaders and Members Extend Condolences on the Passing of Utah School Board member Mark Openshaw and Family Members
The KUED Teacher Innovation Awards, airing Monday, May 18 at 8:00 p.m. in partnership with The Salt Lake Tribune, honors five outstanding Utah teachers who use project-based learning and a student-focused curriculum to inspire a love of learning and a shift in the educational paradigm. The program is hosted by KUED's Mary Dickson and produced by Al Cutler.
Each year, the UEA reviews the voting records of legislators and highlights bills that could have significant impact on public education and/or the UEA.
“Here’s the good thing that came out of NCLB—we were able to disaggregate data to see which issues were affecting which groups of students,” said Gallagher-Fishbaugh. “But instead of using testing data to improve instruction, we now use testing data to evaluate schools and teachers. We spend more time worrying how to fire teachers, and we don’t spend enough time figuring out how to support teachers in difficult circumstances.”
In a letter dated March 20, UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishabugh asked Utah Governor Gary Herbert to veto three bills that UEA believes “are poor policy choices for public education.”
The Alpine UniServ appointed Glenda H. Anderson to the position of UniServ director following many years of service, hard work and dedication to the profession. Anderson served as the UniServ administrative assistant for the past eight years.
The headline-grabbing education stories coming out of the 2015 Utah General Legislative Session include an overall $510 million increase in education spending and a 4 percent bump in the WPU, but some of the biggest wins for educators happened behind the scenes.
A crowd estimated at near 3,000 – including teachers, parents, students, school board members, superintendents, administrators, school support personnel and many others – packed the Utah State Capitol Rotunda the evening of March 9 calling on state legislators to support public education.
My fear is that the voices of the political ideologues and the profiteers…those seeking simply to promote an agenda or turn a profit…are drowning out the voices of teachers and parents pleading on behalf of their students and children. I fear it’s no longer about what’s best for the students of Utah.
Utahns heavily support GOP Gov. Gary Herbert's request to put an extra $500 million into public education next year, a new UtahPolicy poll shows.
Allison P. Riddle, a fifth grade educator at Foxboro Elementary in North Salt Lake City, Utah, received the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, $10,000, and recognition as one of the nation’s top educators at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Awards Gala on Feb. 13, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
Nearly ¾ of Utahns want to see teacher salaries increased so that they are more in line with national averages, but that support wanes slightly when they learn about the idea’s $250 million price tag.
The UEA announced it has hired William Spiegel for the position of UniServ Specialist.
Never in recent memory have so many voices been so resoundingly behind the call to properly fund education.
A staffer from the office of former U.S. Representative Jim Matheson has joined the UEA staff. Chase Clyde was named UEA Director of Government Relations and Political Action.
In an effort to inform those who make education policy decisions, the UEA invited legislators, superintendents, school board members and state administrators to hear from teachers. About 50 policymakers gathered at the UEA Office Dec. 16 where eight accomplished Utah teachers shared their experiences and explained how their policies impact classrooms.
The Utah Education Association strongly supports the Governor’s proposed investments in the WPU, student enrollment growth, technology infrastructure and providing educators with classroom supply money.
The NEA Foundation announced that Allison P. Riddle, a fifth grade educator at Foxboro Elementary in North Salt Lake, will receive the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, $10,000, and recognition as one of the nation’s top educators at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Awards Gala to be held on Feb. 13 in Washington, DC.
There is only one process that meets the requirements of the Utah Constitution: a direct, nonpartisan election where all of Utah’s public may vote for their state school representatives.
The Fall 2014 program resulted in 1,140 new members statewide. More than 500 recruiters each received $20 per member recruited between July 18 and October 31.
More than 100 educators volunteered their time Saturday, Nov. 8, to discuss ways to improve classroom instruction and the teaching profession as part of the 2015 UEA Bargaining Summit.
View a list of candidates recommended by national, state and local Political Action Committees and how they fared in the 2014 General Election (W = won election, L = lost election)
By Lily Eskelsen García and Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh
Ten educators were honored with 2014 UEA Excellence in Teaching awards during the KeyBank Superstars in Education banquet Oct. 16. Each winner received an award, a poster to display at their school and a check for $1,500, courtesy of award sponsors.
During its October 10 meeting, the Utah State Board of Education announced that Ogden City School District Superintendent Brad Smith accepted its offer to be the new Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The Utah State Board of Education named four finalists for State Superintendent of Schools to replace Superintendent Martell Menlove who recently retired.
SLTA member and North Star Elementary School fifth grade teacher Mohsen Ghaffari has been named Utah’s 2015 Teacher of the Year. He was presented with a check for $10,000 and will compete with his fellow teachers of the year in a national competition.
Please contact your State Board of Education member and urge them to select a State Superintendent with public school classroom experience.
The Utah Education Association has appointed Lisa Nentl-Bloom as the Association’s executive director. She begins her new assignment Sept. 1.
Mark Mickelsen retired from his position as UEA executive director on August 1 after more than 30 years as an employee advocate.
Testing, accountability and the Common Core dominated the issues faced by delegates at the 2014 NEA Representative Assembly (RA) in Denver in early July. But the change in the face of the organization is what most members will see first.
Lily Eskelsen García, an elementary school teacher from North Salt Lake, has been elected president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest union representing nearly 3 million educators, making her the nation’s highest-ranking Latina labor leader.
In May, more than 3,000 UEA members participated in an online survey and shared their experiences with SAGE testing. The UEA recently passed those survey results along to the Utah State Office of Education (USOE).
Most every Utah teacher will be required to complete Student Learning Objectives as part of educator evaluations. Are you ready? The 2014 UEA Leadership Academy focused helping teachers prepare.
Allison Riddle, a third grade teacher in Davis School District and 2014 Utah Teacher of the Year, was named one of five recipients of the 2015 Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence.
National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel is angry at people who would treat our children as commodities in order to yield profits, attack educators and create conflict rather than actually work to improve public education for all our students.
UEA has received a multi-year grant from NEA to support UEA members in implementing student learning objectives (SLOs). SLOs will be required as a measurement of student growth for non-tested subjects and grades when the new statewide evaluation framework is implemented.
The UEA received more than 3,000 responses from members to its SAGE testing survey.
The Utah State Board of Education approved the announcement of the opening for Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Board also approved sending out a request for proposals (RFP) seeking an executive recruiting firm to provide a minimum of six qualified and interested candidates for the position.
As part of her official 2014 Utah Teacher of the Year duties, fifth-grade teacher and Davis Education Association member Allison Riddle traveled to Washington, DC, in April to attend a conference and meet with politicians and policymakers.
Dedicated teacher Cassie Cox benefits from Office Depot's generous partnership with AdoptAClassroom.org who are helping teachers change lives.
Welcome to the all-new UEA website. In addition to an updated look, the new site includes an exclusive UEA members-only section (login required) with access to professional development materials, bargaining and negotiation data, the UEA evaluation toolkit and much more.
UEA members elected Park City teacher Heidi Matthews to serve a three-year term as NEA State Director.
April 2014’s focus is Standard 4: Content Knowledge and Standard 5: Assessment.
Education International has launched an innovative survey, Education for All, to assess teaching and learning conditions in classrooms around the world.
It is time that decisions regarding public education are placed with the education experts. The educator voice can no longer be ignored and disrespected.
Standard 8: Reflection and Continuous Growth
“The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.”
Salt Lake Tribune Editorial by UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh
Standard 3: Learning Environments--
“The teacher works with learners to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, positive social interactions, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.”
Independent task force members ask lawmakers to consider their education policy recommendations, detailed in a new report.
(Salt Lake Tribune) The head of the state school board will give up her seat to become Gov. Gary Herbert’s new education adviser. Herbert named Tami Pyfer, of Logan, as his new adviser on Tuesday.
(Deseret News) Julie Hammari, a sixth-grade teacher at East Meadows Elementary in Spanish Fork, has received the 2013 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.
I believe the very heart of good instruction starts with Standard 1 as we take the time to understand our students’ cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional areas of development and appropriately plan instruction for them.
Calling education his highest priority, Utah Governor Gary Herbert asked lawmakers to set aside $157 million in anticipated new state revenue for public education. His proposed budget includes fully funding new student growth and a 2.5 percent increase on the Weighted Pupil Unit (WPU).
Congratulations and thank you to UEA members for their recruiting efforts during the UEA's Recruit Today! 2013 Fall Campaign.
Teachers share success they have had using Utah Effective Teaching Standard 7
Meetings help UEA members improve teaching skills, prepare for evaluations
Since its inception, the U.S. has been a melting pot. Nowhere is that more apparent than in our public schools, where we mix, mingle and share with people different than ourselves. School is where we learn about the ideals promised in the Constitution, beginning with “We the people…” School is where teachers open doors of opportunity for all students. School is where students hopefully learn that anything is possible in this great country.
Ten educators each received a $1,500 cash award at the KeyBank Superstars in Education celebration on Oct. 17. UEA Honor Roll and Human & Civil Rights awards were also presented.
Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Martell Menlove announced today that Foxboro Elementary School fifth grade teacher Allison P. Riddle has been named Utah’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.
The UEA, on behalf of teachers, has taken the position that both UCAS, which was developed in response to a previous school grading law, and the current single-grade reporting system are both seriously flawed in the way they measure and report what’s happening in our schools.
(CBS This Morning) Why a high school football coach suspended nearly every player on team...
Leaders learn to improve teaching skills, prepare for educators for new evaluations at Sept. 21 all-day training.
In reality, by nature of our Associations’ structure, the business of our elected representatives and the positions we take at the UEA House of Delegates and the NEA Representative Assembly (RA) can be no more liberal, moderate or conservative than our membership because elected delegates represent their local associations each time we vote.
The Jordan UniServ, which represents teachers in the Jordan and Canyons School Districts, announced that Jessica Dunn has been named a new UniServ Director.
Legislatively mandated school grades miss the mark in school accountability, according to the UEA.
(Blog by State School Board member Kim Burningham) In summary, some charter schools provide outstanding alternatives and may deserve the parent’s and student’s consideration. In general, however, I believe the time and effort a parent may devote to a charter school may be better spent to support your neighborhood school.
Student learning took center stage at the NEA’s annual Representative Assembly July 3-7 in Atlanta. More than 70 Utah educators joined their colleagues from across the nation in Atlanta during the first week of July to supercharge the drive for public education and student success.
(Salt Lake Tribune) Leigh VandenAkker spent the last week in Brazil learning global competency.
As part of a commitment to ensure every UEA member is successful in their evaluation, the entire focus of the two-day 2013 Leadership Academy was the educator evaluation system required by a state law passed in 2012 (Senate Bill 64). Teams of leaders from every local/UniServ were trained on ways to help UEA members succeed on the evaluations and improve their teaching skills, including details about the Utah Effective Teaching Standards, types of evidence required, student growth plans (SGP) and student learning objectives (SLO).
(NEA Today Express) As the Common Core debate heats up, we’ve heard a lot from policy makers, politicians, and even TV talk show hosts about the challenges posed by the new standards and whether they’ll help or hurt education. With all the chatter, the voices of the professionals who are actually responsible for implementing the Common Core has been all but drowned out in the mainstream media.
UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh and Gov. Gary Herbert joined Arch Coal Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Lang as he presented trophies, classroom plaques and checks to the winners.
What we as teachers do matters in ways we can sometimes only imagine.
The Utah Core Standards are based on the Common Core State Standards, a state-led effort adopted in 44 states to better prepare students to compete in a global economy.
Cassie Cox, teacher at Two Rivers High School in Ogden School District, received a grant from the NEA Foundation to attend the 2013 National Council of Teacher of English Annual Convention.
In a letter to members of the State Board, UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh called the conflict a “political issue” saying that “resolving it in favor of those advocating for reporting (classroom-level test scores) does nothing to advance the Board’s service on behalf of children or to public education.”
Each year, the Utah Education Association tracks numerous bills during the legislative session. The UEA then reviews the voting records of legislators and highlights selected bills voted on in the House and/or Senate that could have significant impact on public education and/or the UEA.
As I reflect on the 45 days of the 2013 Legislative Session, I am pleased not only by what was accomplished, but also by the tremendous support expressed for public schools by my fellow educators and others.
Hundreds of teachers, classified school employees, parents, students and others packed the Capitol Rotunda March 11 in a show of support for public education.
The Utah One Coalition – representing 120,000 working men and women throughout Utah, including the 18,000-member Utah Education Association – had as one of its goals this year the defeat of any legislation aimed at weakening employee bargaining rights. They succeeded.
Former second grade teacher Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh was elected by her fellow educators to a second three-year term as president of the 18,000-member Utah Education Association.
During this month’s meetings, Sen. Osmond met with educators to hear their questions and concerns, and to clarify the intent of the legislation, as implementation moves forward. The meetings were scheduled in conjunction with the UEA and the Utah State Office of Education.
The Connecticut Education Association (CEA) announced that it has created the “Sandy Hook Memorial and Scholarship Fund” within the organization’s non-profit arm, the Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF).
As the stories of the heroic acts of the teachers made their way to the media, I could not help but reflect that these selfless acts are exactly what teachers would do...give their lives to protect "their kids."
“We join the Newtown community and our entire nation in mourning the deaths of innocent children and educators due to violence. As members of the education community, we extend our deepest sympathies to members of the AFTCT who have lost friends and colleagues. We are deeply concerned for everyone in the Newtown community and will work with the AFTCT and the Connecticut Education Association in the hours and days ahead to help them in any way we can to cope with this tragedy.”
(From NEA Health Information Network) High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.
“The budget proposed today addresses various funding priorities, including funding student enrollment growth and providing educators with classroom supply money,” said UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh. “We are concerned, however, that this budget will likely force school districts to make additional cuts in critical areas such as class sizes, teacher training or school employee compensation.”
To help teachers devastated by this fire, the Utah Education Association and the High Desert UniServ joined with the UEA Children at Risk Foundation to create a special “San Juan Fire Fund.” Funds will be used to reimburse teachers for any losses not covered by insurance.
Ten educators were honored with 2012 Arch Coal Foundation Excellence in Teaching awards during the KeyBank Superstars in Education banquet Oct. 18 at Noah’s in South Jordan. The guest speaker for the banquet was University of Utah Athletic Director Chris Hill.
The Ogden-Weber UniServ announced that Matt Ogle has been named its new UniServ Director.
"Won't Back Down" is based on a process referred to as the "parent trigger," which purports to empower parents by allowing them to take control of a school. Who wouldn't support such an idea? But before jumping on this bandwagon, it is wise to dig deeper into the actual events and facts surrounding parent-trigger laws.
Ogden-Weber UniServ Director Rick Palmer has retired after eight years in the position.
If public education is to remain a basic right for every child, rather than a privilege for only the wealthy, educators will have to lead their profession not just in their schools but in their communities and in political campaigns.
With the help of grants from the UEA Children at Risk Foundation, Monument Valley High educator Howard Dee created a program that allows students to take concurrent enrollment classes, to improve their ACT scores by taking the test a second time, and to make personal visits to college campuses.
More than 100 UEA leaders from throughout the state met for the two-day workshop June 11 and 12 at the Zermatt Resort in Midway to share ideas and improve their leadership skills. Attendees included UniServ presidents, local presidents and vice presidents, and local and UniServ executive board members, among others.
The NEA Foundation announced that it has selected Gaye Beck, a Kindergarten teacher at Highland Elementary in Alpine School District, as a 2012 NEA Foundation Pearson Foundation Global Learning Fellow, one of a unique class of 32 award-winning public school educators who are building their global competency skills.
The UEA is pleased to join with the Utah PTA and KUED to present the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Education in recognition of six outstanding educators and two exceptional volunteers.
Local UniServ political action committees are recommending candidates for the June 26 primary election. U-PAC is also making a gubernatorial recommendation in the General Election.
With mounting membership losses and growing attacks on public education, it may seem odd to remain hopeful. But despite the current state of affairs, NEA leaders and executive staff remain optimistic.
Significant changes to educator evaluations are currently underway in Utah. Both State Board of Education rule and Utah State code have recently been modified to address educator evaluation with the goal of improving educator effectiveness and instructional quality.
Riverton High senior Andrew Johnson was recently named one of 141 national Presidential Scholars. Johnson named Melissa Brown his “most influential teacher.”
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel was the featured speaker at the 2012 UEA House of Delegates held May 12 at Riverton High School.
Although she’s been retired from education longer than most are in their careers, Dorothy Jonas continues to make regular contributions to the Utah Education Association Political Action Committee.
The UEA has organized the Educational Excellence Task Force to study and prioritize critical education issues and create a vision of teaching excellence that is designed and led by educators.
In a statement issued April 11, the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) announced it discovered a miscalculation in the data used by the Utah Legislature to appropriate school funding for the upcoming fiscal year. This miscalculation left a shortfall of approximately $25 million between what was appropriated and what is needed to fully fund student growth for the upcoming school year.
Each year, the Utah Education Association tracks numerous bills during the legislative session. The UEA then reviews the voting records of legislators and highlights selected bills voted on in the House and/or Senate that could have significant impact on public education and/or the UEA.
(Utah Foundation) In this election year, Utahns are more confident that the state is heading in the right direction than they were two years ago. However, they are still not as confident as they were in the 2004 and 2008 elections. Their concerns about issues like jobs and the economy, public education, and healthcare remain strong.
(KSL-TV) More than ever before, teachers -- not their union leaders, but actual teachers -- had a presence at the capitol during the state legislative session. Advocates say, without a doubt, they made a difference.
(Deseret News) Each year, Utah’s PTA and television station KUED recognize outstanding educators, volunteers and school PTA groups who go above and beyond. State winners are selected from a group of nominees submitted by individual schools throughout the state.
Prior to the beginning of the 2012 Utah General Legislative Session, Utah Education Association leaders identified four critical priorities: passing comprehensive employment reform (SB64), preserving collective bargaining, maintaining rights to payroll deduction of dues, and protecting orderly termination procedures. These goals were all met.
(NEA Press Release) “The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher results are shocking, with teacher job satisfaction having dropped to the lowest level in more than 20 years. Some 29 percent of teachers—professionals of extraordinary talent and dedication—are thinking of leaving the profession they love due, in part, to the unconscionable cuts to the resources their students need.
In order to move forward and create a great public school system, we need to commit to a healthy and productive dialogue and continue to collaborate. The Utah Education Association stands ready to do just that. I hope others will hear the call and do the same. We need to continue to listen to the group of professionals who are teaching our children and not only hold them accountable but trust them.
This week marks the midpoint of the 2012 Utah Legislative Session. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, legislators are working hard to make the changes they believe will make a difference for Utah’s students. So far, the UEA is tracking more than 120 education-related bills.
(UEA Press Release) Through a new partnership with MediaOne, the UEA intends to add a whole new dimension to its annual convention with expanded events and activities geared toward parents, students and others involved in education.
The Governor began his comments to the Board by expressing his gratitude for teachers and the work they do across the state. He also said he believes the UEA and public education have a much stronger voice now than in recent years, a fact he attributes “in large part to the efforts of Sharon and those from the UEA who are reaching out” to business and political leaders.
If it hadn’t been for parental involvement at Glendale Middle School, a large group of girls would be failing gym class for one simple reason – they couldn’t wear the uniform.
(Salt Lake Tribune) "I remain hopeful that we will be able to sit down together and look at public education in our state and move it forward," said UEA president Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh.
(NEA Priority Schools Campaign) At Glendale, a target site of NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, the teachers are taking the lead in transforming the educational experience for students at one of Salt Lake’s consistently low performing schools.
(Salt Lake Tribune) In her 19th year in education, Brown has won the prestigious Excellence in Teaching award, a statewide honor given each year to 10 outstanding educators by the Utah Education Association. Brown won $1,500 from the UEA and partner Arch Coal Foundation.
(Salt Lake Tribune) "My first thought," said Van Dyken, who won $1,500 from the UEA and partnering Arch Coal Foundation, "was every teacher deserves an award like this."
The proposed Public Education Employment Reform Act would eliminate traditional collective bargaining, the orderly termination statute, and “career” status for educators.
(USOE Press Release) Jan Rolan, a teacher at Granite District's Oakridge Elementary and member of the Granite Education Association, has been named the 2011 Utah History Teacher of the Year.
Long-time UEA state associate staff member Jenny Okerlund has joined the UEA State Program Staff as director of organizing, capacity building and member benefits.
The Utah Education Association-Retired held its first meeting Oct. 21 in conjunction with the UEA Convention. Those in attendance elected officers and approved organization documents.
Ten educators were honored with 2011 Arch Coal Foundation Excellence in Teaching Awards during the Utah Education Association’s annual Superstars in Education banquet at Noah’s in South Jordan. The guest speaker for the banquet was Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert.
by NEA Directors Ryan Anderson & Sue Dickey
Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Larry K. Shumway today named Salt Lake City East High School Techniques for Tough Times/social studies teacher Leigh M. VandenAkker Utah's 2012 Teacher of the Year.
In May and August 2011, leaders from the Salt Lake Teachers Association (SLTA) and the Utah Education Association (UEA) met with administrators and teachers at Salt Lake’s Glendale Middle School to discuss the school’s needs and how to improve student outcomes at the consistently low-performing school. They were joined by experts from the National Education Association (NEA).
The NEA Foundation announced a new partnership to help educators faced with shrinking classroom budgets enlist public support to acquire the tools to engage and inspire students.
Under terms of the proposed legislation, individual school boards would be required to establish employment policies and procedures, which “may be subject to negotiation with employees or their associations as determined by each board.”
The UEA is pleased to announce a partnership with the Arch Coal Foundation to sponsor the “Excellence in Teaching” awards. The awards are presented each year to 10 Utah public school teachers whose efforts in the classroom have significantly impacted the life of an individual child or group of children.
In a letter to all Ogden City School District employees, newly appointed Supt. Brad Smith said the District and OEA “will engage in interest-based negotiations for the 2012-13 school year.” In addition, he said the District and OEA bargaining teams “will immediately explore and shortly commence joint training in interest-based negotiations.”
Utah teachers no longer need to wait in line or visit a state office to renew their license. Online, they can access a variety of critical services through the USOE.
“Not since the voucher battle in 2007 has public education faced so many attacks. The actions being studied by the Education Interim Committee are part of a concerted national effort to privatize our public schools. Our teachers should be treated with dignity and respect, yet these proposals are clearly directed at silencing the voice of teachers and weakening their association.”
(KCPW) As local school districts work to put together new state mandated teacher evaluation committees, the State Board of Education recently approved preliminary evaluation standards for educators and administrators across the state.
Gay Beck, a Kindergarten educator at Highland Elementary, is a recipient of the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for public educators.
Ogden teachers were joined at the rally by colleagues from across the state who came to support their fellow teachers. Members of several other public and private employee unions, legislators, school board members from other districts, administrators, and Ogden parents also stood alongside educators to support the rights of employees to collectively bargain.
Introducing the new UEA/Access My Deals Mobile application! All the great deals available only to UEA members are now on your phone!
More than 100 UEA leaders and staff hear presentations, participate in workshops, and share ideas at 2011 Summer Leadership Academy
The 10 day tour of China, which includes visits to schools in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, will provide educators with structured opportunities to observe high quality instruction and interact with Chinese teachers and administrators. Daily blogs will be posted on the Foundation’s blog and on Facebook and Twitter.
(NEA Today) According to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), public school teachers in 2010 earned about 12 percent less than comparable workers – a pay gap that’s been persistent for the past two decades and that accelerated between 1996 and 2000, an economic boom time for other workers.
UEA General Counsel Michael McCoy retired in April after nearly four decades representing teachers. He is succeeded by local employment law attorney Tracey M. Watson.
Richard Rigby and Carla Cox of Birch Creek Elementary in Smithfield, Utah have received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation to improve students’ mastery of technology by introducing Smart Boards and other technology in the classroom.
Salt Lake School District Superintendent McKell Withers and Utah Education Association President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh joined with the Cat in the Hat at an event celebrating the book donation on May 12. The two school leaders read to Kindergarten and first-grade classes while the Cat interacted with students and handed out books.
Based on recommendations of a workgroup of NEA leaders convened by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel this spring, the NEA Board of Directors has approved for final action a policy statement that revamps teacher evaluation and accountability. The statement reflects the first broad endorsement by NEA of the need for evaluation and accountability reform.
Utah’s Effectiveness Project for Quality Education: Making a Difference in Leader Preparation, Mentoring Programs, and Performance Assessment
By Kerrie Naylor, Ph.D.
The Utah Education Association, the Utah PTA and KUED presented 2011 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Education in recognition of six outstanding educators and two exceptional volunteers.
(Press Release) On April 15, Arch Coal Senior Vice President Paul Lang announced the five Utah winners of the 2011 Arch Coal Foundation Teacher Achievement Awards.
The UEA reviews the voting records of legislators and highlights selected bills voted on in the House and/or Senate that could have significant impact on public education and/or the UEA.
On April 2, 2011, a group of about 2,000, including several hundred educators, gathered on the steps of Utah’s Capitol to remember that dream and to stand in solidarity with working people in other states where well-funded organizations are attacking the rights for which Dr. King gave his life.
“Our legislature has demonstrated its commitment to funding public education by avoiding major budget cuts and providing for growth,” said UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh. “This budget will help educators focus on delivering a quality education without worrying about what will be cut next.”
In an open letter to Utah legislators, 14 local non-profit organizations warned that “Decreasing budgets and increasing demands are on a collision course. This cannot continue without severe implications for the future of our students and our state’s economy.”
(Salt Lake Tribune Editorial) The Utah Legislature has a history of starving public schools and then criticizing them for failures.
Ruston Roberts of Morgan Elementary School in Morgan, Utah has received a $5,000 Learning & Leadership Grant from the NEA Foundation to lead the Morgan Elementary School faculty in a study of How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students by Susan Brookhart.
On Friday, February 11 at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education gala, Karen Gorringe, a sixth-grade teacher at Bluffdale Elementary, was honored as one of five finalists for the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence.
Some have vilified teacher associations as protectors of bad teachers. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Utah Education Association and its local affiliates in each Utah school district are constantly seeking ways to improve teacher effectiveness and ensure a quality teacher in every classroom.
The domino effect of two recent retirements led to three openings on the UEA Board of Directors. The Board appointed replacements for two of those positions. One remains open.
(Press Release from NBPTS) As the conversation in the education arena expands from teacher quality to teacher effectiveness, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), the organization that sets and maintains the standards for teaching excellence, is pleased to announce that 21 Utah teachers achieved National Board Certification in 2010.
UEA president and former second-grade teacher Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh is one of 21 educators nationwide selected to participate on an independent commission to study the teaching profession and make recommendations on maximizing teacher and teaching effectiveness.
The Utah Education Association (UEA) is encouraged by the $63 million in additional funding for public education proposed by Utah Governor Gary Herbert in his 2011-12 budget proposal.
(KUER News) UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh and other guests address claims that one of the biggest obstacles to education reform is the union that protects bad teachers and prevents incentives for more highly qualified professionals.
The Utah Education Association praises the Utah legislators who stood up for Utah students and voted in favor of accepting more than $101 million in federal funding for Utah schools. The federal education jobs money targeted for Utah will have a dual benefit of improving educational quality and boosting Utah’s economy.
Highland Elementary School kindergarten teacher Gay Beck was named Utah's 2011 Teacher of the Year.
Karen Gorringe, a sixth grade teacher at Bluffdale Elementary in Jordan School District, was named one of five 2011 recipients of The Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence. The awards are presented to five outstanding teachers nationally by the NEA Foundation.