Health departments should make decisions about public health. Local health departments should consult with school districts and charter schools about mask mandates. However, the local health department should make the decision. Let health care professionals make decisions about health care.
It sometimes feels like we only have power over decisions made in our classrooms, but I urge you to look at the legislative session as an opportunity to understand the decisions made outside your classroom and how you might be able to influence them. Then perhaps next year you - like me - will be ready to take the next step in making change happen.
This session, I am following the bills that are presented in the House Education Committee. It’s very accessible since, because of COVID, all meetings are recorded on Zoom and can be accessed through the legislature’s website. People who want to share their thoughts don’t have to take the day off and go up to the Capitol — they just log onto their computer and join in.
Join with me and your local association and the larger UEA family to create lasting change. As so many of my co-ambassadors have expressed: Our voices matter. Laws that affect us and our students don’t happen in isolation and part of our legislators’ and representatives’ duties is to hear us and be guided by our input. I am learning that they will listen if we speak. And when our voices band together, the sound we make is even louder.
As teachers, we are uniquely situated to make a difference. We know that in order to reach our students we must build relationships. We must meet our students where they are and build upon their existing strengths. We must encourage and challenge our students to be the best they can be. We must apply the same skills to educate our community and elected leaders about what is happening in our schools.
While I was eavesdropping this week, I overheard a discussion on a concurrent resolution on Holocaust education. This was the first I’d heard of this and I was curious. A resolution is not a law, it’s a statement from the legislature. In this case, it’s an encouragement for the State Board of Education and local education agencies to provide Holocaust and genocide education.
In a letter to Thomas Mercer, Edmund Burke said, “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” As the landscape of the nation changes and politics heads to a boiling point, every voice is needed. Every voice counts in the fight for educational rights. Who will be that voice of reason that represents, “We the People”? Who will be the voice that advocates for education? Who will be the voice that speaks against tyranny? Your voice truly matters.
Did you wake up this morning thinking, “I really want to advocate today?” Most educators do not start their careers thinking that a day at the capitol for a legislative session or advocating for school counseling positions at a state school board meeting is a part of their job description. I am sure many of us are even unaware of the great impact we can have by making an impression in a committee hearing or with a state representative. However, doing these things is integral to how we, as educators, do our job.
On Feb. 5, Governor Spencer Cox signed into law a Public Education Base Budget that includes an unprecedented $400 million investment in new money. Included in budget is a “Supplemental Educator COVID-19 Stipend” – essentially a bonus for all educators. Here’s what we currently know about the bonus:
We all need to find our moments of Zen, to appreciate the good that is going on, to acknowledge the work being done on our behalf by others while still holding our leaders accountable. I am going to make the most of my stint as a Policy Ambassador, enjoying the challenging and complicated work that others are doing on our behalf in education.
Whether we talk about it or not, money is the life blood of our capitalist system and in order to affect any meaningful change in education, we need the funding to support it. Learning about the state education budget was one of the most empowering things I have ever done as an educator.
Teaching middle school comes with its challenges and rewards. This year as I introduced myself to my online and in-person classes, a student approached to introduce herself. I was surprised as my student felt comfortable sharing her likes, dislikes and family background. Towards the end of our conversation, she said, “I have never had a teacher that looks like me.” Her words stayed with me and I realized why it’s important to have diverse representation in our schools. We share similar identities, backgrounds and are first generation Latina American.
As a teacher, you have something to say. This is the time to say it. Contact your state legislators and tell them what you need. The more voices they hear, the more they will understand how to best serve our schools. You don’t need an attention signal or the “teacher look.” Just send an email or give them a call and you might be surprised to realize that they will listen.
Educator is currently synonymous with the word teacher, but there are so many more stakeholders in a school building that impact our students’ education. Over the course of the last few decades, as we have seen the impact that the evolution from guidance counselor to school counselor with the implementation of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) national model, school counselors are continuing to become noticed and valued professionals.
What do I believe? I believe that education is the “silver bullet,” the great equalizer, and the vehicle for societal progression and transformation. I believe the world can be made better through better schools. How could anyone feel differently?
As a Teacher, Your Job is Political – Legislative post by UEA Policy Ambassador Hunter Clapsadl
Included in budget proposals by both the Legislature and the Governor is a “Supplemental Educator COVID-19 Stipend” – essentially a bonus for all educators. Here’s what we currently know about the bonus:
The UEA expressed support for the first budget recommendation unveiled Jan. 11 by Governor Spencer Cox. The Governor’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget calls for a public education budget increase of nearly $431 million in ongoing funding and $180 in one-time funding.
In an effort to inform those who make education policy decisions about the ways COVID-19 is impacting schools and classrooms, the UEA invited legislators, superintendents, school board members, state administrators and UEA leaders from across the state to hear from teachers. More than 70 participated in the online gathering Dec. 15, 2020.
UEA Executive Director Brad Bartels resigned as the UEA executive director effective December 31. Bartels served in the position for two years.
As you know, the UEA exists to support ALL our educator members. Typically, the task of defending educators is relatively straight forward. But in the current environment, I’ve watched as your elected UEA leaders agonize over how best to advocate for you. The jobs of educators, it seems, have never been more complicated. And the feelings of UEA members on how best to address the situation run the gamut.
We recognize the same critical concerns about health, safety and workload that affect our secondary teachers are seriously impacting many elementary school members. In a message to the media on Nov. 9, UEA President Heidi Matthews specifically called on “the governor and school boards to work with elementary schools to find workable solutions to support the health and safety of educators.”
The Utah Education Association calls on the governor to require all public secondary schools in communities of high COVID transmission to adopt at-home instruction and to suspend all extracurricular activities that cannot be conducted under social distancing guidelines. This change should take place, at a minimum, from the Thanksgiving holiday through Winter Break or until such time as COVID-19 cases significantly decline.
The votes are in. Of the Utah candidates recommended by state and local political action committees for the 2020 General Election, more than 75% were successful. UEA Government Relations Director Chase Clyde attributes this strong showing in large part to the hard work of many of Association members and their contributions to association political action committees.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson today named John Arthur, a Salt Lake Education Association member and sixth grade teacher at Meadowlark Elementary School as 2021 Utah Teacher of the Year.
As Utah faces an alarming spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and school districts are electing to ignore recommendations established by the Utah Department of Health, the Utah Education Association calls on Governor Gary Herbert, the Utah State Board of Education, local school district boards and the public at large to increase efforts to keep our schools open, our students learning and our communities safe.
Potential members can easily join by completing a form available on the UEA Join Now landing page.
UEA members, we need your help! You are the eyes and ears. Now that schools are back in session, we need data in order to properly address deficiencies with state and local officials, including local school boards, the State Board of Education, the legislature and the governor. Help us identify and address the issues and locations where concerns remain.
UEA announces five key requirements for a safe return to in-person learning:
In a continued effort to advocate for the safety and wellbeing of students, educators and communities across Utah, the Utah Education Association calls on the governor, the State Board of Education and local school districts in impacted areas to delay public K-12 school reopening plans and instead temporarily resume distance learning to begin the 2020-21 school year.
As 41 local school districts begin to roll out school opening plans for the 2020-2021 year and the COVID-19 pandemic continues with some counties considered hot spots and other counties having less than 100 total COVID-19 positive cases, UEA members need to know their rights and job protections.
“We risk further disrupting learning and traumatizing students if schools are forced to close because we opened too soon,” said UEA President Heidi Matthews. “Students learn best when they have face-to-face personal interaction with a highly qualified teacher in a well-resourced classroom, but we must make the transition in a way that does not unnecessarily endanger the health of our students and school staff and that gives us the best opportunity to remain open. In addition to continuing to work with the state school board, legislators and the governor, the UEA is currently providing local leaders with information to influence school district plans in a way that protects educators and students. In some school districts where our local association determines the district plan is not sufficient, the UEA stands ready to support them in whatever actions they deem necessary.”
Educators across Utah are ready to get back to teaching this fall, but they are concerned current plans presented by school districts do not provide adequate health safeguards, according to the Utah Education Association.
Gov. Gary R. Herbert approved the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Planning Requirements and Recommendations for K-12 School Reopening. USBE requires all Utah public schools to create reopening plans and post them on school websites by August 1.
The Utah Education Association stands with Black, Indigenous and People of Color, including teachers, school staff and students around the globe
Of note, while most departments experience significant cuts, the Public Education budget is up 1.3%, including a 1.8% increase in the WPU.
The U.S. Supreme Court today rebuked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Among the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients keeping the country running during the coronavirus pandemic are an estimated 15,000 DACAmented educators who continue to sustain student learning.
DREAM BIG is an eight-week summer program, created and led by UEA members Anna Martinez Williams and Melanie Moffat, designed to enhance learning for students by giving them access to the academic language and study skills necessary to be successful in college-prep classes at Park City High Schoo, as well as the ability to apply those skills to college coursework. DREAM BIG also provides students with the social and emotional stability needed to be successful in the courses they will be enrolled in.
Well, teachers – our secret is out. It’s taken a global pandemic, but now the world finally understands what we live and breathe: the indisputable, irrefutable and incredible value of our public schools.
Dozens of UEA meetings and events are being transitioned to virtual format, cancelled or postponed in order to address safety and health concerns in accordance with health advisories. The following list will be updated as decisions are made about other meetings.
Gov. Gary R. Herbert and State Superintendent Syd Dickson announced that Utah’s K-12 public schools will extend their dismissal through Friday, May 1.
I am a student, teacher and lover of history. History is my passion and how I find lessons from the past and guidance on the path forward. When I signed up to be a UEA Policy Ambassador, I looked to history for inspiration and how to be a voice for education in Utah. Let me bring the voices of history, past and recent, to the forefront to give insight into being a voice for education.
On March 19, the UEA Board of Directors voted to postpone the UEA House of Delegates meeting originally scheduled for Saturday, April 25, at Cottonwood High School. The Board anticipates scheduling the meeting for another time in 2020.
Due to the extraordinary circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Utah State Board of Education voted to suspend the requirements for schools to administer statewide assessments for the 2019-2020 school year and directed the Superintendent to pursue waivers from applicable state and federal laws.
I would like to take this opportunity to inspire educators to take an active part in present and future educational issues that affect both students and teachers. One of the best ways to do this is to attend Educator Day on the Hill. You will become familiar with House and Senate bills regarding educational issues and get to really know your representatives and what they stand for. You will be able to positively impact your profession.
When I first became an educator, I never thought it would lead me to politics. I knew nothing of politics and the impact it has on education until a few years into my teaching career. So much of what happens on Capitol Hill impacts our classrooms, our workloads and our students. It can be difficult to know where to start with politics, but I have learned that step one is to know your representatives.
The UEA joined legislative leadership, the governor and other education stakeholders at a press conference announcing an historic education funding agreement. The agreement includes moving forward with a bill to assure student-enrollment growth and inflation are included in future public education funding and a vote to include services for children and the disabled in income tax funding.
February 28 was such an exciting Educator Day on the Hill! I had attended a day on the hill earlier in the session and I learned so much, but February 28 was powerful!
Becoming a special education teacher was a blessing I never saw coming. See, before I was a teacher, I excelled in my previous positions as retail manager for a multibillion-dollar company.
We talk and talk about “closing the gap” for students and forget to address a greater gap – the gap between the decisions made at the Capitol and the students’ needs that we know well.
"We, the UEA and Utah legislators, are made up of individuals and we all care. The idea we all care about the students of Utah becomes the common ground that can change policy in Utah. Getting to that starting point and finding common ground is difficult in today’s political climate but Educator Day on the Hill is a great way to start making connections, building relationships and working with others who all care about the future of the students in our public schools…"
Starting EDOH three years ago as an Aspiring Educator has opened quite a few doors for me. I’ve become a caring human being and a quality educator. This experience, especially with this being my first year as an educator, has been transformational in my life. When educators step up, we can make a difference, and I’ve experienced that firsthand.
After spending an Educator Day on the Hill, I’m more grateful than ever for the hard work our UEA Legislative Team does on behalf of Utah teachers and students. Tracking the proposed legislation, being present in committee meetings, speaking with representatives and prioritizing goals all take a lot of effort. Thankfully, we as educators have a team dedicated to advocating for the needs of Utah’s public schools.
Bills moving through the process included a unanimous House vote to eliminate grading of schools, a resolution to encourage later starts for high schools and an expansion of Optional Extended-Day Kindergarten programs.
As a special education teacher in Washington County, I see first-hand how many of my students’ families are not able to fully support themselves. These families often require added support from our local schools and the school district to maintain their basic needs.
For my second visit to the Capitol, I was prepared. No longer was I overwhelmed, disillusioned and nervous. I spent my day helping two of my colleagues navigate their first visit and was able to meet with several state representatives as I moved about the complex. I had strong talking points and confidence that led to some very promising conversations. My voice mattered. My presence mattered.
My hope is that those making the staffing decisions in school districts and those in the legislature can help educators and students gain access to more school psychologists, as well as continue to support the growth of these equally critical professions.
While it can be uncomfortable to lobby for your needs and share your story, it is important to bridge the gap between teachers and legislators. We can’t expect change to happen in our classrooms if we don’t show up and speak out. We know what we need and what would help make a difference better than anyone. Our presence on the hill, sharing our stories and advocating for what we need has a greater impact than we think.
In today’s politics, it’s easy to despair. Utah is still last in per-pupil funding and it’s easy to feel like citizens’ voices are ignored. At times, it feels like we are being led to despair, ushered by our news media into a never-ending carnival of things to be outraged and depressed by.
“The overall tax proposal, plus the education piece, cuts hundreds of millions of dollars from our schools. That’s not good for kids. It’s wrong for our teachers. It’s wrong for our schools. It’s wrong for our students and it’s wrong for Utah,” Utah Education Association President Heidi Matthews said Thursday.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, more than 50 UEA leaders and staff gathered for a Standing Committee Summit. At the Summit, leaders selected as UEA standing committee members learned skills to address the needs of UEA members.
The Utah State Board of Education named Lauren Merkley, a Granite Education Association member and English teacher at Cottonwood High School as 2020 Utah Teacher of the Year. She is also an associate instructor at the Urban Institute for Teacher Education at the University of Utah.
Meet the new UEA Aspiring Educators Advisory Committee leaders!
When the email came last January informing me that I had been selected to represent NEA members as a delegate to the 8th Education International (EI) World Congress, I could hardly breathe with excitement. Now that it is actually here – and I am on route to Bangkok, I feel an even deeper sense of the enormity of this opportunity.
The NEA Foundation, a public charity founded by educators for educators, named Denise Willmore, a teacher at Valley View Elementary School in Bountiful, as a 2020 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow. As a fellow, Willmore will spend a year in a peer learning network of 44 educators from across the country, building their comprehension of issues of global significance and ability to bring them into the classroom.
NEA Vice President Becky Pringle joined about 120 UEA leaders from across the state at the 2019 UEA Summer Leadership Academy. The event was held June 11-12 at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City.
As most teachers are well aware, there have been numerous technical problems administering the RISE statewide test this spring. On June 6, the Utah State Board of Education voted to end the contract with Questar, the vendor that provides the technological platform for RISE. For 2019-20, the Board plans to secure a short-term contract to provide testing while pursuing options for a long-term provider.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to demonstrate the ability to prioritize projects and tasks, learn established processes and procedures, work in a team environment independent of constant direct supervision, and maintain regular, dependable, and on time attendance. On an infrequent basis, some overtime is required. On an infrequent basis, it is necessary to travel out of state for training. Limited in-state travel required.
The challenge facing us is different from that facing Americans in the 1860’s. It is not the same as the challenge of the 1930’s and 1940’s. But like those challenges, it calls for collective action. Only collective action can get the adequate and equitable funding necessary to ensure that public education is in fact the cornerstone of our democracy, where education professionals empower all students to be the leaders of a just society.
Are you looking for more meaningful development as a professional educator? Do you want to up your game in the classroom? Would you like more respect as a teacher? Are you looking for more leadership opportunities? Are you interested in an additional stipend? If two or more of those sound like you, it’s time to consider becoming a National Board Certified Teacher.
What a ride! It has been an honor to serve you as your UEA Vice President. My experiences over the last three years have cemented in my soul the importance of the work we do. It has been my privilege to travel throughout Utah and around the country as I have met with and shared experiences with leaders from Utah and other states. I have gained friends in education in other countries. I would not trade these last three years and the valuable things I have learned for anything.
This conversation got me thinking about our legislature and the state of our schools. Representative Barlow took the time to listen to the ways in which we struggle to teach in Utah schools. We did not see eye to eye on tax policy, but I do believe he cares about students and teachers. It seems as though there is a gap between the value of education within Utah’s history and culture and the reality of teaching and learning in Utah’s schools.
This year, because I took the time to be a bit more informed I was able to be a part of the process and appreciate that some of these things and people DID work for our good. I also saw that potentially harmful measures DID NOT pass and feel that there may be hope for education and educators in this state. Can one voice make a difference? Certainly our voices are stronger together, but each of us has the power to be an advocate for our students.
The State of Utah, in contrast to the algorithmic shenanigans of 2008, is careful to treat its revenues in a fiscally responsible manner. Over the years, the Legislature built up a rainy-day fund and made sure the budget was balanced. Even so, in the Great Recession almost everybody took a substantial hit, including public education. In subsequent years, much has been done to make amends. But public ed funding is still lagging far behind the needs of our students.
Maybe you are a little bit like me. The idea of approaching a legislator about anything is terrifying. What if they know how scared I am and see it as a sign of weakness? Or, what if I say the wrong thing or seem like I did not know what I was talking about? The purpose of this article is to take you, the reader, step by step through my experience and maybe you can see as I did, that it is not scary and that you also have it within you to make a difference. This article is a journal of sorts of the days leading up to my first Educator Day on the Hill, I hope it helps…at least a little.
The Utah Education Association supports legislative efforts to reform Utah’s broken tax structure. Proposed measures in House Bill 441 to broaden the sales tax base will ensure the state’s ability to provide needed services. However, the UEA believes those sales tax improvements can and should be enacted without lowering the income tax rate, thereby reducing funds available for education.
I am glad that even though I could not be physically present, thanks to technology, I was still present in the democratic process and stayed informed of the discussion’s policymakers were having regarding matters that concern me.
“Thank you Mrs. Pinkney for bringing us.” This is a comment made by one of my Park City High School students as we were walking out of the Utah State Capitol and down the stairs to our bus. I had decided that Educator Day on the Hill was a perfect learning opportunity for my AP U.S. Government students. Twenty-one kids took me up on the offer and we had a great day.
Do you want to feel the power of unity? Do you believe that we are stronger together than we are alone? If you said ‘yes,’ sign up for an upcoming Educator Day on the Hill (EDOH). I’m Renee Pinkney, a UEA Policy Ambassador. I’ve experienced several days on the hill. I highly recommend it. The experience is energizing, life changing and enlightening.
I felt a little trepidatious as I considered what I would say when I had a chance to speak with my lawmakers: Should I reference an upcoming bill that I really know nothing about? Will they be able to sense how nervous I am and therefore not listen to me? What if I say the wrong thing? I then remembered something from the Policy Ambassador training I had received: as an educator, I am the expert when it comes to the day-to-day workings of a public education classroom…
Every time the school bell rings to excuse classes for the day, the same question goes through my mind. That question has always been "Have I done enough for my students?" I am not confident that I will ever receive a complete answer to this question, but I believe that I must keep trying everything possible to gain a piece of mind when I answer that question after every school day.
A couple of years ago, some events in our country had me questioning my roll in our democracy and my efficacy within a system that doesn’t always seem to respond to the needs of the people. Shortly after that, I saw the email for UEA Educator Day on the Hill pop up in my inbox and I thought this might be a good way for me to get involved. I am a teacher and I have expertise in the field, so advocating for myself, and my fellow teachers would be a great way for me to get my feet wet.
I am a retired educator and taught Social Studies in the Salt Lake City School District. Although in my teaching I stressed economics, my math skills are rather truncated. The thickets of the tax code therefore represent a daunting obstacle for someone like me, requiring access to an actual expert, perhaps a funding wizard. Luckily, UEA has such a person in Jay Blain, our Association's point man on funding and taxes. So the first stop on my ascent of the learning curve was a meeting with Jay.
Utah Education Association President Heidi Matthews said the new accountability report cards "are a vast improvement over previous accountability reports that focused on punitive and short-sighted single A-F letter grades.
UEA has partnered with NEA to bring the Early Leadership Institute (ELI) to Utah. The ELI program is a learning community of early career educators designed to enhance leadership skills, strengthen professional connections and advocate for student success.
The Utah Education Association Board of Directors announced today the appointment of Brad Bartels as executive director. He begins his new assignment January 1.
In the 2018 General Election, Utahns defeated a plan devised by Utah legislators to increase Utah’s motor fuels tax and shuffle a portion of the money to education. While the public continues to support increased investments in the education of students, voters ultimately rejected the confusing, convoluted funding mechanism presented by Question 1.
Members of the National Education Association are coming together to help educators and their families affected by Hurricane Florence. NEA, NEA Member Benefits, and NEA State Affiliates affected by Florence, have combined fundraising efforts to assist members affected by the hurricane.
At its core, the #RedForEd movement is about professional educators collectively advocating for their students. Here in Utah we’re directing our efforts towards the campaign supporting Our Schools Now and Question 1.
The Utah State Board of Education today named Kellie May, a social studies and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) teacher at Salt Lake City’s West High School as 2019 Utah Teacher of the Year. She is also an associate instructor at the Urban Institute for Teacher Education at the University of Utah.
he Utah Educations Association is excited to announce that Aspiring Educator Interim Chair, CJ Gebhardt, was formally appointed to serve as the aspiring educator representative on the National Education Association’s Women’s Issues Committee for the 2018 – 2019 school year.
At the UEA 2018 House of Delegates, student program delegates representing the members of the program officially changed the name of the program from "UEA Student Program" to "UEA Aspiring Educators Program". In honor of that name change we are doing a logo contest! We need a logo!
The Utah State Board of Education today announced the five finalists for 2019 Utah Teacher of the Year. All five are members of the Utah Education Association.
Question #1 is a ballot question asking the public if they support a 10-cent per gallon gas tax increase to support education and roads. It will be before Utah voters on this November’s ballot. The ballot question is the result of months of work on the “Our Schools Now” education funding initiative.
Rather than focus on short-term solutions by lowering licensing standards, Utah policymakers should seek long-term solutions to our teacher shortage while maintaining high standards of excellence for those entrusted with teaching our students.
The 2018 National Education Association Representative Assembly (RA) convened less than a week after the U.S. Supreme Court struck a blow against working people with its decision in Janus v. AFSCME. How to thrive in a post-Janus world was just one of the many pressing issues facing the 6,200 delegates, including 75 from Utah, as they entered the Minneapolis Convention Center on July 2.
The Utah Education Association has lost a dynamic, experienced leader. After four years as UEA executive director, Lisa Nentl-Bloom resigned in July to accept a position as Northeast Region zone director for at the National Education Association.
Mike Harman is one of 12 outstanding social justice heroes honored at the 2018 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards, which took place on Sunday, July 1, in Minneapolis.
Teacher salary increases initiated in 2017 appear to be continuing this year. “School boards and bargaining teams in many school districts are still in the process of negotiating 2018-19 agreements, but so far, announced settlements are mostly very positive for our teachers,” said Jay Blain, UEA director of policy and research.
Tanya James, a teacher at Riverdale Elementary School in Ogden, has received a $2,000 Learning and Leadership grant from the NEA Foundation.
Here’s the list of Utah educators who won a Huntsman Excellence Award — and $10,000 each — for 2018
The Utah Education Association supports Governor Gary Herbert’s public education budget recommendations directing increased funding for the Weighted Pupil Unit (WPU), student enrollment growth, at-risk student populations and providing educators with additional classroom supply money. The statewide teachers’ association remains concerned, however, that the state’s current tax structure generates insufficient revenue to make significant improvements in a public education system plagued by severe teacher shortages and large class sizes.
The two tax reform bills passed by the US House of Representatives and the Senate are bad for Utah students and public education.
Nearly 100 educators representing school districts across the state volunteered their time Saturday, Nov. 18, to discuss ways they can better advocate for teachers and students as part of the 2017 UEA Bargaining Summit.
Jody Tolley, Granite Education Association member and American Sign Language instructor at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City, is one of 38 public educators receiving the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence.
Originally passed by the State Board on August 4, the rule created grave concerns for several organizations, including the UEA, which requested and received a hearing on Sept. 20. Dozens showed up to testify against the proposed changes during a meeting that lasted more than three hours.
A hearing on the rule will be held Wednesday, September 20, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Board’s offices, 250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City. Anyone with concerns about the rule is invited to attend and comment.
The Wasatch UniServ has appointed former Moab principal James Lewis as UniServ director. He replaces Elaine Tzourtzouklis who served as UniServ director for 11 years prior to her passing in March.
The Utah State Board of Education named Aaryn Snow Birchell, a Uintah Education Association member and English teacher at Uintah High School in Vernal, as 2018 Utah Teacher of the Year.
To me, it’s personal. I’ve known and taught students documented under this program. This program provided hope and the opportunity for these students to move on to college and successful careers. What happens to these young people now? Where is the hope and opportunity?
The NEA Foundation is accepting contributions to support public school educators who are NEA/TSTA members affected by recent hurricanes, personally, and at the schools where they work. Funds will be disbursed by the NEA State Affiliates.
Kelli Moss, a 5th grade educator at Hurricane Elementary School in Hurricane, Utah, has received a $2,000 Learning and Leadership grant from the NEA Foundation. This grant will fund Moss’s professional learning in global competence through a teacher program in India and Nepal.
The NEA Foundation announced that Jody Tolley, an American Sign Language educator at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of 38 public educators who will receive the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala next February in Washington, D.C.
The Utah Consolidated State Plan was released on June 7, 2017, and is open through July 7, 2017, for a mandatory 30-day public comment period. The public (including educators!) is encouraged to review the plan and provide feedback through a State Board of Education survey.
NEA President Lily Eskelsen García joined about 130 teachers and leaders representing school districts from across the state at the 2017 UEA Summer Leadership Academy. The event was held Monday and Tuesday, June 12-13, at the University Guest House and Conference Center on the University of Utah Campus.
Student-athletes at Hunter High School will gain a competitive edge thanks to a $1,000 Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant from California Casualty. Hunter High is one of 79 public schools in 33 states receiving a total of $83,000. Another Utah school, Rich Middle School in Laketown, also received a $1,000 grant this year from the California Casualty.
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.
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.