An 11-year-old student-journalist fulfilled his dream to interview President Barack Obama yesterday, speaking to the president about education, bullying, and basketball. Damon Weaver from Canal Point Elementary School in Pahokee, Fla., is making waves across the country with his interview, in which he and the president eventually become “homeboys.” Brian Zimmerman, Damon's broadcasting teacher, received an e-mail earlier this week inviting Weaver, his mother, and Zimmerman to the White House on Thursday for the interview. In the interview, Damon asks what can be done to improve schools with little funding, and inquires what can be done to make school lunches ...


Educators predict that textbooks will eventually become a thing of the past — although opinions vary on when this transformation will take place, according to the New York Times. William M. Habermehl, superintendent of the 500,000-student Orange County schools, believe this change could occur within the next five years, claiming, “[digital textbooks] can be better than traditional textbooks.” “[Kids] don’t engage with textbooks that are finite, linear, and rote,” said Sheryl R. Abshire, chief technology officer for the Calcasieu Parish Public Schools in Lake Charles, La. “Teachers need digital resources to find those documents, those blogs, those wikis that...


The first known online high school for gay and lesbian students in the United States is set to open in January, reports the Pioneer Press . Officials with the GLBTQ Online High School, based in Maplewood, Minn., are currently sorting through student and faculty applications from all over the country. GLBTQ Online High School is the brainchild of David Glick, the first online learning coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education. The school will cater specifically to gay, bisexual, and transgender students (although students of any age and sexuality can enroll), using a GLBTQ-friendly curriculum focused on “abolishing negative messages and ...


A highly regarded Florida school district said that 70 percent of its teachers are ineffective in a proposal for a $120 million grant from the Gates Foundation, reports the Palm Beach Post. The Palm Beach County school district is the only urban district in Florida to receive an A-rating from the state five years in a row. Even so, in its proposal to the Gates Foundation, district officials also revealed that half of the students in the system’s highest-rated schools were performing below grade level, and that less than 25 percent of their high school graduates were college-ready. "It's ...


The Richardson Independent School District in Texas churned out some unbelievably impressive results on its recent teacher evaluation scores — in fact, they performed so well that reporter Jeffrey Weiss of The Dallas Morning News found himself curious, with a hint of suspicion. The district used a program dubbed the Professional Development and Appraisal System for its evaluations. The PDAS uses eight "domains" to group teachers into four categories: Exceeds expectations, proficient, below expectations, and unsatisfactory. Things got a bit fishy for Weiss when he began breaking down the data on a school-by-school basis. Within his data, which encapsulated results from...


After laying off nearly 400 teachers in June, the Broward County, Fla., school system is now looking to fill dozens of positions, according to The Miami Herald. At the end of June, 394 teachers were laid off due to budget cuts and low enrollment levels. The majority were elementary teachers who were in their first years of teaching in the school system. According to Broward Schools Superintendent Jim Notter, most of the 89 new positions cannot be filled by these recently laid-off teachers because of lack of certification or qualification requirements. ``It's just a huge slap in the face of ...


Even as school districts nationwide continue to grapple with budget shortfalls and spending cuts, they are seeing a significant jump in federal funds for classroom technology, according to the Wall Street Journal. For some observers, that resource breakdown is problematic. The technology funds—available to schools through the U.S. Education Department’s Enhancing Education Through Technology Program—can be applied strictly to technology expenses and development. That means they cannot be used to avert teacher layoffs, for example, or to save student after-school programs. President Obama recently revived the EETT program, which came into existence in 2002 as part ...


Parents in school districts across the country have taken to raising funds to help cover school supplies, maintain programs, and even save teachers’ jobs that are being cut by financially-strapped school districts, according to The Seattle Times. In the Tacoma, Wash. school district, parents of kindergarteners at Lowell Elementary raised $16,000 in order to save the jobs of three teacher’s aides. Meanwhile, in New York City, parent groups raised enough money to hire 200 teachers and aides this past year. Despite its good intentions, however, parent fundraising has its drawbacks. Some observers worry that it can widen the ...


Forty-nine Florida schools were flagged after the state Department of Education found students repeatedly using memorized phrases on standardized writing tests.


Frank McCourt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela’s Ashes who recently passed away, would always admit that his 30 years as a teacher were what made him a strong writer, The New York Times reported. In his third memoir Teacher Man, he wrote about teaching in New York City's public schools: “Instead of teaching, I told stories. ... They thought I was teaching. I thought I was teaching. I was learning.” McCourt first taught in 1958, at age 28, at Ralph R. McKee Vocational High School in Staten Island and then taught from 1972 to 1987 at Manhattan’s selective ...


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