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 ...


The growing number of home foreclosures around the country is having an impact on classrooms, with more teachers working with unstable student enrollments, according to a CNN.com report. At Fairview Elementary School in Modesto, Calif., an area badly hit by the economic downturn, 50 students have left and 50 new ones have started in the last couple months, according to Principal Heather Sharp. California 4th grade teacher Suzell Tougas, meanwhile, says she's down 10 kids from the start of this year and expects to lose more. "It's like a ghost town,” she says of her classroom. Educators stress that ...


At Keller’s Trinity Meadows Intermediate School in Texas, cellphones aren’t confiscated—they are dispersed. According to The Dallas Morning News, 53 5th graders are using Verizon smartphones instead of laptops in their classrooms as part of a push to equip every child with a computer. While phone calls and text messages are disabled on the devices, students can use them to access the internet, take pictures and videos, sketch drawings, and beam information to one another. "Laptops are oh so '90s – they're your parents' generation," said Elliot Soloway, the University of Michigan professor who created the software the ...


School superintendents in the Washington, D.C. region’s largest districts take as much as 12 weeks of paid leave a year for “vacation, personal matters and professional travel to such destinations as Florida, Europe and Asia,” according to the Washington Post. The paid leave is in addition to salary and benefit packages ranging from $341,530 to $489,763. Loudoun County, Va. Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III took a total of 60 days of paid leave between July 2007 and June 2008. Of those days, 49 were spent on several speaking engagements and tours in the U.S., Rome, ...


In 2007, an Oregon law was enacted preventing the sale of high-calorie snacks on school campuses, according to The Oregonian. Intending to curb the growing problem of child obesity, schools did away with vending machines that sold Cokes and candy. However, as an additional consequence of the law, teachers have also lost access to junk-food vending machines. And they’re not happy about it. On Friday, a group of teachers appealed to the House Education Committee to ask that the vending machines be returned to employee-only areas. "We are adults," said 4th grade teacher Dorothy Powers from Hillsboro. "We have ...


In an effort to engage his high school sophomores, a veteran sex education teacher in Portland, Ore., put underwear over his pants and a condom on his head during a lesson, reports The Oregonian. Little did he know, one of his students was filming him and he’d soon become a YouTube sensation. Norman Scott of Grant High School had intended to use humor to warn students about the dangers of STIs. However, district officials didn’t find the lesson funny at all. "What you saw in that video in no way, shape or form represents Portland Public Schools' approved ...


Parents may regret repeating the adage "practice makes perfect" to their children when they find out the latest tool to enter music teachers' classrooms around the country. Sixty music teachers are working with game manufacturer Nintendo and the National Music Education Association to bring the game “Wii Music” into classrooms, according to MSNBC. Unlike popular music-oriented video games like “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band,” “Wii Music” doesn’t make players perform existing songs. Rather, players experiment with 60 instruments to improvise and compose their own music—a feature that appeals to S.C. music teacher Helen Krofchick. “Children spend a ...


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