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Sun, 16 Aug 2020 21:31:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Which books failed to ruin you?

The book banners are back — louder and more aggressive than ever.

Adults raising alarms about young people's access to certain books have existed for generations.

More recently, the movement to censor books has gotten a big boost from the conservative, political right, with right, with Republicans passing laws criminalizing educators for making certain books available to students.

The number of book bans nationwide this school year is on track to top last year's record total, according to the American Library Association.

In Missouri, a new state law banning "explicit sexual material" - defined as any visual depiction of sex acts or genitalia, with exceptions for artistic or scientific significance — went into e_ ect at the end of August and applies to both public and private schools.

People are also reading…

As reported by Blythe Bernhard, 97 books banned in schools across St. Louis this fall cover Topics like anatomy, photography and the Holocaust.

Back in the '80s and '90s, one of my favorite books was frequently challenged by parents and targeted for removal from schools. "Bridge to Terabithia" is ninth on the ALA's list of 100 books most commonly banned from schools between the years 1990-2000. The poignant story about childhood friendship was targeted because of swearing and references to witchcraft and atheism.

That Newbery Award winning book failed to make me into an atheist.

I think back to the other "inappropriate" content I read as a tween and teen, along with many of my peers. The best-selling series "Flowers in the Attic" by V.C. Andrews did not normalize incest for our generation. Stephen King's novel "It" did not turn me into a homicidal clown. (Although it changed the way I looked at clowns forever.)

In middle school I read "Are you in the House Alone?" by Richard Peck, a novel about a teenage girl stalked by a stranger who ends up raping her. It scared the hell out of me.

Looking back, I may have been too young to read it. But it was on the bookshelf of my 7th grade language arts teacher's classroom, and she encouraged my habit of studying four to five books a week. I'm glad she fostered that independence and critical thinking.

I wonder if the same people so threatened by books that they've shot up copies of them trying to intimidate librarians are the very same people crying about cancel culture? Several books riddled with gunshot holes were returned to a library in Montana. The incident led to all branches of the county libraries closing temporarily.

In Oklahoma, the state's top education o_ cial wants a high school English teacher's certification revoked because she shared with her students a QR code to the Brooklyn Public Library's banned books collection.

In the land of the free, some books have become so scary and threatening, they must be removed from the shelves of libraries under the threat of imprisonment.

My parents, who are conservative Muslims and raised me with very strict rules, never once monitored what I read.

Not once. Imagine that. When I looked at the

ALA's list of the 10 most challenged books in 2021, I discovered three that I've read: "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian" by Sherman Alexie and "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison. I found each of them on my daughter's bookshelf, among the many books she read in high school.

None of them corrupted or harmed her in any way.

In fact, studying them enriched her worldview. Aisha Sultan • 314-340-8300 Home and family editor @aishas on Twitter

Sun, 02 Oct 2022 00:18:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Superintendent blames teacher certification backlog on lack of manpower

The Louisiana Department of Education will receive some 36,000 applications for teacher certifications this year, ranging from first-time educators to those who want to become principals or specialize in certain fields. But with only a few full-time employees handling those requests, the state’s top public education official said reducing a backlog will remain a challenge.

Superintendent Cade Brumley appeared Monday before the state Senate Education Committee to share details on why certifications take up to two months to approve. He told lawmakers the department’s certification staff has been reduced from 16 employees in 2011 to just eight currently.

“We’re moving pieces on the chess board all the time to accommodate, but there are only so many people to do the work,” Brumley said.

The limited manpower means each certification specialist has to review an average of 300 applications a week to keep pace with the number coming in, Deputy Superintendent Jenna Chaisson said.

Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, who chairs the committee, asked Brumley why the education department didn’t budget for additional personnel in the certification program. The superintendent said cuts to administration didn’t allow for new hires, although he added the department is in the process of onboarding four part-time workers for certification.

Chaisson attributed the glut of applications to a combination of factors. They include the lapse of certification renewal extensions given because of COVID-19 and new certifications in areas such as algebra, geometry, dyslexia and sign language.

The backlog has stretched the certification approval process to about 65 days for some applications, according to Chaisson. Before the pandemic, they could be processed within 10 to 15 days.

Brumley said there are more than 7,000 certifications awaiting approval, but Chaisson said school systems are able to request priority status if they have a teacher candidate they are ready to hire.

Another delaying factor lawmakers explored was the need for two criminal background checks for prospective teachers and certificate applicants. Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, said the legislature might want to consider changing state law to require just one.

Despite the difficulties, Brumley reported to the committee that the number of teaching vacancies at Louisiana public schools has been cut in half over the past year – from 2,520 in 2021 to 1,203 this year. He credited the reduction to local school systems tapping into federal incentives for new hires, a pay raise the governor and legislature supported, and teachers who left classrooms during the pandemic returning to work.

The superintendent said his department intends to hire a consultant to look at how its certification program could be run more efficiently. He expects technology upgrades to be among the recommendations along with adding more personnel – the same suggestion made when a consultant conducted a similar review in 2020.

Tue, 11 Oct 2022 06:38:00 -0500 Greg LaRose, The Louisiana Illuminator en-US text/html

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — August Anheuser "Gussie" Busch Jr. was a legendary yeller and pounder who didn't get past sixth grade. He led one of the largest breweries in the world, made friends with the likes of President Harry Truman and married four times.

Trudy Busch Valentine is one of his 11 children. She's bold in her own way. She's running for U.S. Senate without political experience beyond growing up in an enormous, wealthy family that was, for a memorable era, the monarchy of Cardinals Nation.

Unlike her father, Valentine is formally schooled. She's quiet, even with a microphone in her hand.

"We can't hear you!" a crowd recently yelled here at Queeny Park.

"I'll try to do better," Valentine, shuffling papers, told them from the stump.

Democratic Party loyalists quickly forgave her. They've experienced a lot of loss during Missouri's metamorphosis from blue to red. Valentine, 65, who won a packed primary, is their best chance at reclaiming a coveted seat on Nov. 8 that

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, 72, is giving up to retire.

Valentine spoke softly to the crowd, but she wore a blue sport coat and told them what they wanted to hear, believe.

"I am the woman who is going to stop Eric Schmitt from reaching the United States Senate," she said, prompting some applause.

Schmitt, 47, is expected to win the general election. As Missouri's Republican attorney general, he tapped into Donald Trump's farright base, alarming others along the way who first knew Schmitt as a moderate state senator from Glendale.

Valentine criticized Schmitt for "peddling conspiracy theories" about the 2020 election for political gain, for exploiting his law enforcement position by filing lawsuits against public school districts to deflect mask mandates.

Schmitt says he's willing to take heat fighting for what's right. To the delight of his own loyal followers, he calls Valentine "a billionaire heiress," who is trying to buy an election from the peasantry.

"Let them eat cake," goes one online jab.

In 2020, Forbes magazine pegged the entire Busch family's wealth at $17.6 billion. In campaign filings, Valentine reported net worth between $69.4 million and $219.4 million, with annual income between $4.3 million and $30.7 million. She lives in a gated $4 million mansion in Ladue, by an exclusive golf course and polo field. She owns a lot of stock, has a 1,000-acre farm near Rhineland in Montgomery County, and a one-fifth stake in Grant's Farm, the tourist attraction in south St. Louis County.

Though born into wealth, Valentine, a registered nurse, with a master's degree in pastoral studies, described herself as a lifelong learner who prays for God's guidance each day. She said her life has been defined by serving others, a trait she wants to carry into one of the highest elected offices in the land.

"America is in a great time of need and that is why I am running," she told the crowd. "Washington is broken. It is full of too many career politicians like Eric Schmitt. I am not in this for ego or power or money. I can't be bought."

The Roman Catholic mother of six vowed to fight for better access to affordable health care, primarily a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion. Though her eldest son died from an opioid overdose in 2020, she supports the legalization of marijuana, partly because it could bring added revenue streams for mental health treatment.

"I struggled with this issue a lot because addiction runs in our family, but this measure regulates marijuana so it will be a safer product," she said.

She made a plea across party lines.

"Democrats, independents, Republicans, we must stand for compassion, for truth and decency," she said. "And we must defend and protect our democracy and our country with everything we have. This race is not going to be easy. So I am going to need all of your help."

John Gray, 76, was out in the crowd of mainly white retirees at Queeny Park. He'd knocked on doors to get out the vote for Barack Obama. Asked for his main takeaway from the speech, he said Valentine needs to speak up.

"It's going to be a long hard road to beat the Republicans in Missouri," said Gray, a former airline mechanic from Kirkwood. "Right now, she's going on her name. Maybe she should supply out more beer."

Like her father. In one of many publicity stunts, Gussie gave President Franklin D. Roosevelt a case of Bud when Prohibition was repealed. A wagon drawn by Clydesdales made the White House delivery.

Who is that?

Out of all the family leaders at A-B, Gussie seems the most colorful, according to the book, "Under the Influence: The Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty."

In 1949, on the cusp of turning 50, he sauntered into a restaurant in Lucerne, Switzerland, and became enamored with the hostess.

"Who in the hell is that beautiful girl?" Gussie asked.

"That's my daughter," the innkeeper told him.

Gertrude Josephine "Trudy" Buholzer was just 22. Though he proposed on their first date, they wouldn't tie the knot until 1952 because Gussie was still married to his second wife, Elizabeth.

He and his new bride ended up having seven children. They were raised at Grant's Farm, which opened to tourists not long after A-B bought the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953. Their names are Adolphus IV, Beatrice, Peter, Trudy, Billy, Andrew and Christina.

Like relatives before and after, this branch of the Busch family generated headlines. Peter fatally shot a teenage friend at Grant's Farm in 1976. Billy bit off a man's ear outside of a tavern in 1981. Trudy was crowned queen of the Veiled Prophet Ball in 1977. Christina died several days after an automobile crash in 1974 that also killed her driver.

In a latest lengthy interview with the Post-Dispatch, Valentine recalled sitting by her sister's hospital bed as part of what motivated her to study nursing at St. Louis University. She graduated in 1980, and for a little less than a year worked on a surgery floor in Boston.

"It's important to be your own person," she said.

As adults, her siblings represent the political spectrum raging across the country. Billy, 63, who opened up his home a few years ago for a reality television series on MTV, told the Post-Dispatch that he supports Schmitt and his promise to secure the economy and southern border. Though registered to vote in Florida, Adolphus, 69, said he supports Trudy's progressive stance and desire to protect democracy.

Valentine said she wasn't aware of any other Busch previously running for office — nor working as a nurse. She said her parents supported her interest in health care. After Boston, she came back to St. Louis and worked as a volunteer nurse at the former Salvation Army Residence for Children, a home for abused and neglected babies and toddlers.

"She made quite an impression," recalled Sue Stepleton, 74, the administrator of the program then who went on to be national director of Parents as Teachers. "She was very early in her career, but I remember her being very professional."

Valentine left after three or four years to focus on her own growing family. She and John D. Valentine, a prominent lawyer, had five sons and one daughter. In 2002, when John died of cancer at 49, their children were between the ages of 6 and 18.

"It was first hard for me to navigate without my husband, and then also to grieve and make sure I was taking care of my children and their needs," Valentine said. "I did the best that I could. I had a lot of friends that helped out."

About six months into being widowed, she went back to school at the Aquinas Institute of Theology, a Catholic graduate school near SLU.

"I still wanted to be somebody on my own," she said. "I thought it was good that my kids saw me studying."

She said she graduated five years later. She worked as a hospice nurse for Visiting Nurse Association, a role that took her into a lot of homes throughout the St. Louis region.

"I would just get my Google maps out and go," she said. "I was definitely in North City. I was in all different communities."

She said she left hospice after about a year. She had concerns about her two older sons, and her mother, who had Alzheimer's disease. She preferred to focus on lifesaving measures. About 11 years ago, she enrolled at St. Louis Community College in Wildwood to become a licensed EMT. She said she was the oldest person in the class. She said nobody knew her background as a Busch.

She said she raised her crop of children, which includes a U.S. Marine officer and nurse practitioner, as Valentines.

Deciding to run

Valentine has been a financial contributor and facilitator of many causes. She's known for bringing groups together. She's hosted fundraisers at Grant's Farm for anything from Almost Home, a nonprofit that serves teen mothers, to Hillary Clinton's 2016 run for president against Trump.

She supported the last two Democrats who lost bids for U.S. Senate in Missouri — Jason Kander and Claire McCaskill. She said she first started thinking about entering the arena herself during an online fundraiser event earlier this year with Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. They were talking about infrastructure, schools, public safety and the cost of basic necessities.

"I was like these are all the things I am interested in," she said.

Valentine said she reflected on her own life and what she wanted to do going forward.

"Serving others has been so much of what my life is about," she said. "Maybe this is the last time I can serve in a bigger way and reach more people?"

While some analysts believe Valentine was picked by the Democratic Party establishment because she was the only wellfunded candidate with name recognition, she said that's not what happened. She said she caught everyone off-guard with the idea of running, but that good friend and legendary political operative Joyce Aboussie was among the first she called.

Valentine said she told Aboussie to take the weekend to think about the idea before responding with feedback. She said Aboussie eventually had the same reaction as her children.

"Are you crazy? Why? Do you know what this will entail?" Valentine said Aboussie asked.

Aboussie told her that politics is dirty, and there's going to be so much negativity that Valentine would be a part of.

"Those things didn't worry me," Valentine said. "I know my conscience. I can look at myself in the mirror and go to bed and be OK every night because I am not hiding anything, and I am trying to do the right thing."

She said Kander and McCaskill told her to stay true to herself.

On March 28, more than a onth after the first filing day, alentine went to Jefferson City o sign up for the primary. Her husband, John Fries, was with her. "I am not the candidate," Fries said he told officials there.

Poll position

Lucas Kunce, 40, was well-positioned to win the Democratic Primary. The populist got to work early, touting progressive causes in person and through social media. He had solid funding and told a compelling personal story that started in poverty, passed through Yale and led to a career as a U.S. Marine Corps officer. Rivaling fierce campaign rhetoric from Republicans Eric Greitens and Schmitt, Kunce vowed to be like a grenade in the U.S. Senate — just pull the pin.

Sat, 15 Oct 2022 23:20:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Surreptitiously obtained video targets TPS' Rogers Middle School teacher on HB 1775

A national conservative organization has released a video of a Tulsa Public Schools teacher describing himself as an anarchist and expressing frustration with a state law meant to limit instruction on race and gender.

In a taped conversation with an unidentified man published by Project Veritas on Monday, Rogers Middle School English teacher Tyler Wrynn is recorded as saying he wants to “burn down the system” and that there are ways to subtly introduce concepts banned by House Bill 1775.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Wrynn says in the video. “No, I broadcasted it too much last semester.”

Wrynn previously taught in Owasso Public Schools and separated from the district during the spring 2022 semester over concerns about a TikTok video in which he told students: “If your parents don’t accept you for who you are this Christmas, f--- them. I’m your parents now. I love you. Drink some water. I’m proud of you.”

People are also reading…

Passed in 2021, House Bill 1775 prohibits teaching that one race or sex is inherently superior to another and that anyone, by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.

It does not contain the phrase “critical race theory.” However, many have construed its provisions as a ban on the concept, which argues that many key pillars of American society, including the judicial system and the economy, have been shaped in ways to benefit whites at the expense of minorities.

Representative John Waldron joins Ginnie Graham and Barry Friedman to discuss the problems with this bill.

Consequences for failure to comply with HB 1775 include the downgrading of a school district’s state accreditation status and the suspension of the license or certificate of involved school employees.

TPS’ accreditation was downgraded in July over allegations that it violated the law, and in the video, Wrynn notes that he could lose his teaching license for being “too woke” due to its provisions.

July 28, 2022 video. The Oklahoma State Board of Education cited a violation of a state law meant to limit instruction on race, gender and history,

A federal lawsuit challenging the measure’s constitutionality has been filed in federal court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Founded in 2011, Project Veritas is a nonprofit conservative organization that has a history of recording undercover sting-style videos trying to catch off-guard remarks from politicians and other individuals.

Based out of New York, the organization has characterized its work as journalism, and its mission statement says its goal is to “investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud and other misconduct.”

However, in September, a federal civil jury in Washington, D.C., found Project Veritas liable for violating wiretapping laws and misrepresenting itself in a 2016 undercover operation targeting an umbrella group for several Democratic consulting firms. An appeal is pending.

The organization also has an ongoing defamation suit against the New York Times.

On Thursday afternoon, Tulsa Public Schools confirmed via email that Wrynn is still on staff at Rogers and issued a statement: “Project Veritas is well known for their unethical and deceptive practices. Considering that the ‘source’ is a heavily edited video obtained under fraudulent pretenses, we do not believe that it merits comment.”

Citing the video, state Secretary of Education Ryan Walters has called for the State Board of Education to revoke Wrynn’s teaching certificate.

The Republican candidate for state superintendent, Walters made a similar demand about former Norman High School English teacher Summer Boismier’s teaching certification earlier this semester after she covered the books in her classroom because some of them might violate HB 1775 and then posted a QR code for the Brooklyn Public Library.

The Brooklyn library is allowing students across the country to obtain library cards and check out any e-book in its massive collection in response to some schools’ and states’ attempts to ban books.

Featured video: Osage Nation Congress discusses resolution urging repeal of HB 1775

"Our teachers are scared to speak the truth about what happened. Our education advocates are scared to speak the truth because of what this bill is," says Congressman Eli Potts.

My primary beat is public education. I am a third-generation graduate of Oklahoma State University, a board member for Oklahoma SPJ and an active member of the Native American Journalists Association.

Thu, 06 Oct 2022 17:10:00 -0500 Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton en text/html
Killexams : La. lawmakers, leaders discuss growing teacher certification backlog

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Amid a nationwide and statewide teacher shortage, there’s an unexpected hurdle standing in the way for Louisiana educators who are ready to step up.

State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley told the Senate Education Committee there’s a backlog of more than 7,000 teachers waiting to get certified.

“We have a teacher shortage nationwide. It’s nothing against Louisiana, it’s just the nature of the beast, and we have teachers who want to go in the classroom, and they’re being bottlenecked, for a lack of a better word,” Senate Education Committee Chairman Cleo Fields said.

Field questioned Dr. Brumley during a special meeting Monday, Oct. 10, about the problem to discuss a possible solution.

Brumley pointed to a surge of applications and a lack of staff as the biggest reasons for the backlog.

Brumley says they only have eight people to work through an expected 36,000 applications for the current school year.

“If we’re looking at just manpower, we don’t have the manpower. It’s not like I can just say, work harder, work faster,” Dr. Brumley said.

Fields asked Brumley why did not move employees around to ease the backlog or ask the legislature for some additional funding.

Brumley says he was against asking for money because of ongoing cutbacks happening across other educational departments.

“I think this legislature would have given you any and everything you needed to certify teachers. There’s not a more important thing, there’s not a more important course this past session of the legislature than teachers,” Fields said.

Brumley says they have tried a few short-term options, but they need something long-term.

He says more people, tech upgrades, and a new streamline process could cut down the numbers.

“So, either that has to be solved for, or there has to be new technologies, or it has to be less complex. One of those things has to happen,” Brumley said.

Brumley says they will continue to work on that long-term solution to get as many teachers certified as quickly as possible.

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Mon, 10 Oct 2022 22:02:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Can teachers be the pivot of change in education?

"No system of education can be better than its teachers" is an aphorism that remains meaningful. The nostalgic and idealised image of the teacher as a scholar, dispensing knowledge and wisdom to the young selflessly, who lives a simple life with little concern for material rewards and who is looked upon by the young as a friend, philosopher and guide, is surely overdrawn. But a teacher is still the custodian of the young – manush gorar karigor. To ignore the special role of a teacher in society is to place the future of the nation at peril.

Two of my colleagues (John Richards and Shahidul Islam) and I tried to probe the causes of learning poverty in South Asia in our latest book Political Economy of Education in South Asia: Fighting Poverty, Inequality and Exclusion. Learning poverty is a concept put forward by the World Bank based on a simple metric of the proportion of 10-14-year-olds of a country who can read a simple story at Class 2 level in primary school. One might consider this to be too minimal an education goal.

Surprisingly, around 2020, the majority of adolescents, including those completing primary schooling in South Asia, could not read a Class 2 text, with the exception of Sri Lanka with 15 percent non-readers. By this criterion, the learning poverty rate was 58 percent in Bangladesh, 56 percent in India, and 77 percent in Pakistan. The comparable rate was 18 percent in China. Unesco and the World Bank estimate that the Covid-19-induced setback in education may have pushed the learning poverty rate in low-income countries from over 50 percent to around 70 percent.

We found in most of South Asia (barring Sri Lanka and the Indian state of Kerala) poorly functioning schools, lack of resources for the numbers and quality of the teachers needed, and the political dynamics that failed to generate the right priorities and policies. An example of a rare ray of light was the priority to education by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi.

A report by The New York Times titled "Clean Toilets, Inspired Teachers: How India's Capital Is Fixing Its Schools" noted that Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi chief minister, committed billions of additional rupees to overhaul schools. His Education Minister Manish Sisodia called in top experts to design new curricula, while working with teachers, parents and students to Improve classroom practices. A quarter million students moved from private to government schools and nearly 100 percent passed the school final examination in 2021, compared to 87 percent in 2012.

Bangladesh's Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni recently wrote in the WhiteBoard magazine of the country's "tremendous success in attaining its education goals… net primary enrolment in 2015 was nearly universal, at 98 percent, compared to 80 percent in 2000… Bangladesh has achieved what many developing countries have struggled to achieve: it has reached near gender parity. Such gains have undoubtedly allowed Bangladesh to accumulate human capital. They have made it possible to create pathways out of poverty through numeracy, literacy and skill."

This optimistic narrative is a partial story that has to be complemented by the learning poverty narrative noted above. Measures to cope with the challenge include recruiting a large number of teachers for primary and secondary schools, which have remained on hold for over two years due to the pandemic. Forty-five thousand new assistant teachers, for whom tests and interviews have been completed, are in the process of being placed in primary schools.

At the secondary level, there are 70,000 approved teacher's positions in non-government high schools that are vacant at this time. "Approved" means these teachers in non-government schools are eligible to be supported by government salary subsidy (through monthly pay order or MPO). We may recall that 93 percent of secondary schools in the country fall in this category. The Non-Government Teacher Registration and Certification Agency (NTRCA) plans to test and register new teachers followed by appointment of the registered teachers in schools, though a timetable is yet to be announced.

The recruitment underway or planned of the 115,000 teachers is urgently needed. When placed in schools, these teachers will barely fill the current vacuum of teachers, and they will not make a dent on the existing high student-teacher ratio in most schools.

Half of the primary-level institutions and one-third of primary students are served by the private sector – commercial "kindergartens," English medium schools, which have sprung up even in small towns, and Qawmi madrasas, over which the government has no control. Their teaching staff is not bound by any professional regulatory standards. For the public system, while there are requirements of educational credentials and training, whether these are meaningful and effective in making a difference in teachers' performance and students' learning remain questionable.

To maintain a reasonable ratio of 30 students per teacher at the primary level and 15-20 at the secondary level, given the subject-wise teacher needs at this level, the number of teachers and other education personnel needs to be increased significantly, doubling in the next 10 years from the current total of about 1.5 million. But how can it be ensured that capable and well-motivated young people, who do not see it as just another job, are attracted to teaching as a profession? It is well-known that teaching at present is the last choice as an occupation. The general pattern in South Asia is that graduates of tertiary education are appointed as teachers and then they are sent for training for a year or so, assuming that that's all they need. The poor quality of our degree colleges (and the consequent poor subject knowledge of graduates) and the sequential approach to teacher preparation (exclusive pedagogy training after college degree) has resulted in less capable, poorly prepared, and unmotivated teachers, many of whom are not committed to the profession.

Eric Hanushek, the Stanford University economist and education researcher, and his colleagues showed from their cross-country research that student performance correlated with cognitive skills of teachers in mathematics and reading. They also found that, in some countries, cognitive skills of some teachers were lower than their best performing students – not an unlikely scenario in South Asia.

A "concurrent" approach to teacher preparation in a four-year post-secondary programme, in contrast to the prevailing "sequential" approach mentioned above, is the standard practice in most high-performing countries. A continuum of professional development from initial identification of future teachers, enrolment in professional preparation, followed by professional support, applying performance standards and appropriate incentives and enhancing teachers' social esteem has to be the guiding principle. India's 2020 Education Policy envisages a four-year post-secondary preparation as the standard teacher preparation approach, with a 10-year time frame to realise this transformation.

International attention is being focused on teachers as the pivot of educational change. The Transforming Education Summit at the UN in September noted that 69 million new and better prepared teachers would be needed to achieve the SDG of quality primary and secondary education for all by 2030.

The annual Yidan Prize, the most prestigious education award in the world with the current cash value of USD 3.9 million dollars each for education research and education development, was announced on September 29. The two winners this year, Linda Darling-Hammond, professor emeritus at Stanford University, and Yongxin Zhu, professor at Soochow University in China, have both devoted their lives' work to improving teachers' preparation and performance. Prof Darling-Hammond has been at the forefront of research on policy and practice to ensure that all students have well-prepared teachers and inclusive classrooms. Prof Zhu founded two decades ago the New Education Initiative (NEI), which has boosted motivation and skills of over 500,000 teachers and eight million students across China.

Reimagining education workers, teachers and the teaching profession as the pivot of educational change cannot wait.

Dr Manzoor Ahmed is emeritus professor at Brac University and chair of Bangladesh Early Childhood Development Network (BEN).

Wed, 05 Oct 2022 02:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : With New Grants, Teachers’ Union Doubles Down on Partnerships With Parents

Corrected: A previous version of this article misstated Montana’s state teachers’ union name. It is the Montana Federation of Public Employees.

The nation’s second-largest teachers’ union is gearing up to expand its network of supporters and fight back against conservative efforts to restrict protections for LGBTQ students, limit how teachers can address race in lessons, and expand school choice.

The American Federation of Teachers announced Thursday that it was awarding more than $1.5 million collected from member dues to 27 state and local affiliates. The money will go toward efforts to organize parents and educators, providing training to support advocacy campaigns, and increasing collaboration among union affiliates and other organizations in communities.

“As others try to ban books and split people apart and split America apart, we are being honest about our problems and working together to solve them to have a better America,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten in a press conference. “This program helps deepen and strengthen the relationships that are critical to student success.”

Weingarten said she hopes the grants will be seed money to lay the groundwork for sustainable projects, and that this may be the first year of a multi-year commitment from the AFT.

“We feel responsible for every single child in every single school,” she said. “There is a sense of what we need to do. We know what works. We focus on the strategies that work. One of those strategies is that it does take a village. ... Rarely do people on the ground get the money they need to do this.”

Here are a few of the grant awardees and their projects:

  • United Teachers of Dade, the teachers’ union in Miami, received $75,000 to advocate for more school funding, protections for LGBTQ students, and resistance to book-banning efforts. (The president of this union, Karla Hernández-Mats, who is also a vice president of AFT, is Charlie Crist’s running mate in the gubernatorial election against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.)
  • The Norfolk Federation of Teachers in Virginia received $65,000 to advocate for affordable housing, increase community voice in the upcoming school board elections, and build support for “teaching honest history.”
  • The Houston Federation of Teachers received $50,000 to organize on several issues, including equitable school funding, “honest history” curriculum, and interrupting the “privatization of public schools.”
  • The United Teachers Los Angeles received $75,000 to strengthen relationships between parents and educators to push for the union’s “Beyond Recovery ” campaign, which includes fully staffing classrooms and developing green school facilities.
  • The United Federation of Teachers, the New York City teachers’ union, received $60,000 to advocate for more project-based learning in schools and fewer standardized tests.
  • The Chicago Teachers Union received $75,000 to add capacity to its parent-educator coalition so that the community is more involved in the union’s priorities, such as expanding community schools, preventing the city from closing schools, and advocating for an elected school board.
  • The Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association in Florida received $50,000 to establish a new community-union coalition and engage students and parents to identify issues of common concern.

The campaigns to bolster relationships between parents and teachers’ unions comes as several big issues in education—including how to teach about race and the nation’s history of racism, what books should be available for students to read, and the rights of LGBTQ students—have become divisive political debates.

While polling suggests that most parents trust and support their children’s teachers, groups alleging that schools aren’t sufficiently dedicated to parents’ rights have formed in opposition to teachers’ unions. Some of these groups have argued that teachers’ unions kept schools closed during the pandemic for longer than necessary and have promoted inappropriate content in classrooms about race, gender, and sexuality.

Weingarten herself has been a frequent target of Moms for Liberty, a national advocacy group of mostly conservative parents. In August, for example, the group tweeted in response to Weingarten sharing an article about health care for transgender children that , “Randi kept schools closed, masked our kids & is now promoting the mutilation and sterilization of children. ... Time to put the k-12 cartel out of business.”

Montana state Rep. Moffie Funk, a Democrat and former teacher, said at the press conference that over the past year or so, school board meetings in the state have turned ugly, with tensions running high during debates about mask mandates, critical race theory, and books in school libraries that focus on LGBTQ issues.

The Montana Federation of Public Employees received $75,000 to work with Funk’s political action fund, Montanans Organized for Education, to increase participation among educators, families, and students in school board meetings and to ensure civility in public debate about education issues.

“Kids need to see the adults acting like adults and not going to public meetings and throwing slurs around and misinformation,” Funk said.

Meanwhile, Zeph Capo, the president of the Texas AFT, said the passage of a law to restrict Topics that make students “feel discomfort” has made it harder for teachers to teach about racism and slavery . Some teachers have had their certification questioned for talking about controversial subjects in class, he claimed.

“This is about making sure we teach what the truth is,” he said of the grants.

In response, Weingarten reiterated AFT’s pledge to legally defend any teacher who’s disciplined for teaching the truth. (In a conversation with Education Week in July , she said the union has had to use the legal defense fund “very rarely,” but the laws are leading to a lot of self-censorship.)

Thu, 29 Sep 2022 08:24:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Ohio lawmaker wants to let veterans become teachers without a license Ohio lawmaker wants to let veterans become teachers without a license © Provided by WOWK Charleston Ohio lawmaker wants to let veterans become teachers without a license

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Former servicemembers could become school teachers without a license if one Republican lawmaker gets his way.

State Sen. Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction) introduced Senate Bill 361 last Monday which would allow Ohio school districts to hire unlicensed veterans who were honorably discharged or medically separated from the force as school teachers, ostensibly to combat the shortage of educators across the state, the lawmaker said in an email.

"Bringing in qualified veterans who want to teach K-12 would help reduce our teacher shortage and lower the barrier to entry for veterans who already have relevant instruction experience," Hoagland said.

Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper, however, said SB 361 falls woefully short in addressing the root issues driving teachers out of the classroom.

"It shows a true lack of respect for the profession and indicates that in order to solve this crisis, we just need to allow other people to come in and do the work who haven't gone through that training," Cropper said.

What do veterans need to qualify for a teaching job?

Under SB 361, requirements to become a teacher are significantly reduced for Ohio veterans, as a bachelor's degree or teaching license aren't mandated. To qualify, veterans must meet the following criteria:

  • At least 48 months of active duty military service
  • At least 60 college credits with at least a 2.5 GPA
  • Mastery of the subject area they're assigned to teach, as decided by the school

Veterans aspiring to be teachers must also display one of the following: a letter from a commanding officer stating their qualification to teach; a master training specialist certification from the U.S. Navy; experience as a training officer or lead instructor in the armed forces; or experience as a noncommissioned officer, a warrant officer, or a senior enlisted person, according to the bill's text.

Most importantly, veterans must want to teach, Hoagland said. Nothing in the bill bars veterans-turned-teachers from earning a teaching license of their own volition.

"Their heart has to align with that profession from the get-go," Hoagland said. "Anyone who wants to teach will take the time and put forth the effort to be an effective teacher."

Could veterans solve the teacher shortage in Ohio?

With burnout reported as the top issue facing teachers, 55% of educators nationwide are planning to leave the profession earlier than planned, a January report from the National Education Association found.

Cropper said there are a number of factors pushing teachers out: overcrowded classrooms, a lack of resources, low wages, and most importantly, "a lack of respect for the teaching profession."

"With the atmosphere the way it is now, we're seeing more and more people deciding it's not worth it to be in the teaching profession," she said.

That's why Hoagland's introduction of SB 361 is so timely, he said. It opens a door for school districts struggling to attract teachers, giving them another tool to bulk up their workforces.

"For example, if a certified military aircraft mechanic offers to teach a shop class, that veteran is already clearly qualified to teach engine repair," Hoagland said.

Cropper said while she has the utmost respect for the sacrifices servicemembers have made for the U.S., replacing empty classrooms with unlicensed veterans will not eliminate the slew of other problems hindering educators.

The bill is a slap in the face to educators, she said, because it essentially deems unnecessary the time and effort they dedicated to meeting the qualifications needed to lead a classroom full of students. An existing statewide program, Troops to Teachers, already serves the needs of veterans aspiring to become educators, she said.

"First, we're going to say, ‘OK, we'll open up the veterans,'" Cropper said. "Who are they going to open up to next and at what point in time? Or is the legislature just going to say, ‘You don't need any kind of credentials to be a teacher; anybody can do it.' And that's harmful to everybody."

What's the student impact of unlicensed veterans-turned-teachers?

Ohio saw a 45% jump in chronic absenteeism among school students between 2019 and 2021, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book. In Columbus City Schools alone, about 65% of students were deemed chronically absent during the 2021-2022 school year, the Ohio Department of Education found.

Funneling veterans into school buildings could stem that tide, Hoagland said.

"Every effort needs to be made to focus on educating students and keeping them engaged," he said. "This program would help put qualified instructors in the classroom."

Cropper disagreed. SB 361, she said, could ultimately worsen rates of chronic absenteeism in Ohio by discouraging the value of education among students.

"When qualified people aren't in the classroom, it leads students to believe that first of all, there's not a high value placed on their education if we're saying that you don't need to be qualified to teach a classroom, that anyone can do it," she said. "And we're opening the door for students to decide that ‘It's not worth my time to be here; I don't need to pay full attention.'"

The legislature will determine whether to consider the bill, co-sponsored by four Republican lawmakers, when it returns to session one week after the Nov. 8 election.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Mon, 10 Oct 2022 01:43:57 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Superintendent election a 'battle' for future of Oklahoma public education cannot provide a good user experience to your browser. To use this site and continue to benefit from our journalism and site features, please upgrade to the latest version of Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari.

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