It’s getting harder and harder to fail in Texas. According to The Dallas Morning News, a growing number of Texas school districts are prohibiting teachers from giving grades lower than a 50, 60, and sometimes even a 70. This prompted state legislators to create a bill that, if passed, would prohibit the practice of giving minimum grades to failing students. Republican Senator Jane Nelson, a former teacher who introduced the bill, said the practice of putting a minimum on student grades encourages students to “game” the system. "Kids are smart and can figure it out," she said. "A student ...


Schools across the country have stepped up campaigns against violence and bullying by incorporating lessons about empathy into their curricula, reports the New York Times. In Scarsdale, an affluent and high-achieving school district in New York, for example, students discuss qualities of empathy in the relationships among Shakespearean characters and assess local wheelchair access to relate to people with physical disabilities. "As a school, we’ve done a lot of work with human rights," said Michael McDermott, the principal at Scarsdale Middle School. "But you can’t have kids saving Darfur and isolating a peer in the lunchroom. It all ...


Teach for America is coming to Beantown—and the Boston Teachers Union isn’t happy about it, reports The Boston Globe. With layoffs of current teachers pending, the union is objecting to the placement of 20 new teachers from the esteemed recruitment program, which puts high-achieving recent college graduates into public school classrooms after five weeks of intensive training. The union's president, Richard Stutman, sent a letter to TFA saying, "We already have hundreds of good, 'surplus' teachers . . . By coming here, you will only make matters worse." However, school officials claim they will put the recruits into high-needs slots that ...


The Dallas Independent School District is trying desperately to get its best teachers into its worst classrooms, according to The Dallas Morning News. In 2007, the district offered teachers $6,000 to make the move. The incentive only culled about 65 teachers, so this year they’re offering $10,000. There is no official count of how many teachers have taken the money this year, but the Morning News reports that “a review of district staffing records shows that the number probably was not significantly higher.” According to Dallas teachers’ union representative Dale Kaiser, teachers’ reluctance to move isn’t ...


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 ...


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