• Surveys Reveal Divergence among Teachers, Public on School Choice
    Recent surveys of teacher and public opinion on education policies and reform reveal a growing divide between teachers and the general public on topics like merit pay and vouchers.
  • Indoctrination Fridays: ‘Global Warming’ Activist Teacher Takes Her Agenda to ‘Truck Country’
    Not only has Dean crossed the line that separates teaching from propagandizing, but she spent almost a month’s worth of class time on her global warming unit, with the grand result being a few recycling bins placed around the school and a “climate of concern” among the students. It is doubtful that Washington state’s standardized test asks students to explain how owning a truck helps contributes to global warming. That means in a nine-month school year, Dean only has eight months to teach the rest of the 8th grade science curriculum – the stuff that kids will actually be tested on. Parents and taxpayers want kids to leave school with the knowledge and skills that will allow them to succeed in life.
  • Teachers concerned about tougher evaluations that include student test scores
    Tennessee education officials say they’re taking steps to address teachers’ concerns about a new evaluation system that for the first time will use students’ standardized test scores as part of the process. Most of the questions provided by the Tennessee Education Association center around the growth portion that is comprised of students’ value-added test scores, which many educators say is an unfair measurement because students test differently. The achievement component will be determined by the principal and teachers at each school.
  • Sizing Up Classrooms
    Much of the rhetoric supporting small classes is demagogic and runs afoul of the research. Let’s begin with the oft-heard union claim that classes are getting larger. Not quite. The result is that since the mid-1950s, the U.S. student population has increased by 60 percent, while the number of public education workers, including teachers, administrators, and other non-certificated staff, has exploded by 300 percent. What’s more, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, teacher-pupil ratios across the nation have diminished steadily since 1955, when the ratio of public school teachers to students was 26.9 to one. By 1970, the ratio was 22.3 to one. And by 2007, the last year for which federal government statistics are available, the ratio came down to 15.5 to one. s it possible that larger classes and fewer teachers might even be preferable? Yes, if the teachers let go are the weaker performers. If we accept Hanushek’s numbers and dismiss the lowest-performing 5 percent of teachers without hiring replacements, a class of 20 would then increase by just one student. With only a finite amount of money available for education, fewer working teachers would free up funds for increased salaries, books, computers, or whatever the individual school district chooses.
  • Metro to vote Tuesday on 2012-13 school calendar
    The Metro Nashville school board will vote Tuesday on a 2012-13 school calendar. There are four options, but one that starts school in July has the support of Director of Schools Jesse Register and the local teachers union. It also includes a week of “intersession” in October and another in March – time for either remedial or enrichment lessons, depending on individual student performance.
  • Memphis, Shelby County schools under gun to reach merger agreement fast
    The Commission and other Memphis-controlled entities want elections for a seven-district countywide board “as soon as practicable,” which most agree would mean March 2012. SCS, the five board members and the state say elections for a countywide board with Memphis representation can wait until August 2012.

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