March 2009 Archives

With budgets slashed and staff layoffs coming by the thousands, schools are getting desperate to raise revenue. That desperation is leading to some creative schemes. Last year, a Maryland school district played advertisements on school bus radios until parents protested. In November, a teacher in San Diego raised controversy by selling ad space on his math tests. And now, Prince William’s County, Va., public schools are raising revenue by selling ad space on the Web sites of 17 of their schools, according to The Washington Post. Since the school district started selling ads in October 2008, it has raised ...


In several schools around the country, letter grades are being replaced by standards-based report cards, according to The New York Times. The new report cards which use numbers 1 through 4 offer a window into how students are fairing in very specific terms. A “1” indicates that a student is "not meeting academic standards," whereas a “4” reflects “meeting standards with distinction.” Students receiving these report cards see their skills assessed in dozens of categories from “decoding strategies” to “number sense and operations.” While some educators find the system helpful for its drill-down approach to grading, parents are having a ...


For multiracial students and their parents, the “check-one-box” directions on school registration forms have historically posed a problem. Under a new federal mandate, public schools will increase the accuracy of their data-gathering by allowing students to identify with more than one race, reports the Washington Post. The Education Department’s new rules will go into effect for all students in 2010, though the change is now mandated for newly enrolled students nationwide. But not everyone is thrilled about changes to the labeling and counting process. Members of the NAACP, among other groups, are concerned about how the new data will ...


High on D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s controversial to-do list is attracting a “new breed” of young teachers, with or without education degrees, who have more of an interest in education reform than in union-steered contractual arrangements, reports NPR’s Claudio Sanchez. Meredith Leonard, a 22-year-old first-year English teacher at Shaw-Garnet-Patterson Middle School in Washington, fits the bill. She’s supportive of changes such as merit pay and relinquishing tenure, and is adamant that teachers should hold high expectations for all learners, regardless of their home lives. "Maybe it's because I'm a first-year teacher, maybe I'm not jaded ...


A high school teacher in rural Oklahoma was fired after assigning her students a play about the murder of a gay college student, reports USA Today. With her principal’s permission, Debra Taylor showed her class The Laramie Project, a 2002 HBO version of the play about Matthew Shepard, and allowed students to film their own scenes for a class project. A few weeks into production, the principal ordered the project’s termination. In response to her students’ protest of the decision, Taylor held a ceremonial "funeral" for the class film, during which students wrote notes about their feelings and ...


California school districts will send out as many as 26,000 pink slips today, reports the San Francisco Chronicle, prompting Pink-Slip Friday rallies and teacher protests across the state. Each year, districts disperse slips by the March 15 deadline to inform staff members that they may be laid off, only to recall many of the notices once the state budget has been finalized. In 2003, 17,000 of the 20,000 pink slips were rescinded. With at least $8.4 billion in education budget cuts looming, anxieties are heightened this year. "We've never been cut by this much before," said ...


Three teachers were among at least 15 people killed by a 17-year-old gunman who blazed through two schools in Germany today, according to CNN reports. According to an eyewitness, one teacher who was shot had acted with particular heroism, sacrificing herself by stepping in front of a student to protect her. Teachers also apparently took on a role in the awful job of giving the devastating news to arriving parents whose children had been injured or killed. Police have not yet identified a motive for the shootings. "No one seems to have an explanation for why this happened," according to ...


Nearly $40 billion in federal stimulus money is expected to be available to schools in the next month or so. U.S. education officials are hoping the aid will help prevent staff layoffs and further program cuts, according to The Washington Post. “This is really a chance to avert an educational catastrophe and to save a generation of kids," said U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan. Some states are already beginning to amend their education budgets for next year, in order to restore positions and erase cuts. The money could certainly be of use in the Pontiac, Mich., school district, which ...


Many schools in major urban districts like New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Dallas are employing incentive programs that reward students—often with money—for good performance. These programs have long-garnered skepticism from some psychologists who say they are ineffectual in the long run. But, some business professionals and economists support the programs, citing a need to try anything and everything to improve education. A renewed focus on education reform has prompted increased research on whether or not the programs work, according to the New York Times. Economists studied several cash programs to compare the academic performance of ...


A Texas teacher has been suspended after a student secretly used a cellphone to record his classroom temper tantrum, reports the El Paso Times. The paper obtained the recording, in which, over the course of several minutes, the educator loses control, “screaming, cussing, and scolding students.” He tells his students that they are “constantly whining, constantly (expletive) about your (expletive) (expletive) situation. If you don’t like it, get the (expletive) out.” According to the paper, his anger intensifies as he admonishes his class for not working hard enough: “(Expletive) kids grow up, have some common sense. How many times ...


Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • Nancy Flanagan: A team of NEA-affiliate consultants: Ellen Holmes (ME), Jim Meadows read more
  • Tisha Rinker: Who was the presenter? read more
  • Susan Morrison: PD several times per week? Gasp! Are teachers to read more
  • Nancy: What a fantastic story! I hope the students are enjoying read more
  • Sclgoya: Education change, like fossil formation (http://www.k5geosource.org/content/dd/fossil/pg1.html (first page only)), can read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here