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Weekly News Round-Up for June 28th
posted by: Melissa | June 28, 2019, 06:16 PM   

Each week, AAE brings its members a round-up of what’s happening in education. From big, eye-catching headlines to the stories most papers overlook, we find the news our members really want to see. This week, we look at teacher freedom, a disintegrating school district, fights over religious schools, and more!

Most Teachers Don’t Know their Options: It’s been a year since the Supreme Court acknowledged that all teachers have the right to leave their local and national unions. Teacher unions have experienced some turnover, but not as much as could be expected. In fact, one recent news article stated that the National Education Association is reporting a slight increase in membership. A part of this is due to the fact that teachers remain uninformed of their rights. A survey conducted by YouGov found that only one fourth of teachers knew about the Janus decision and only 17% could correctly identify the ways that leaving a union would affect their career. However, support for teacher options remain strong with 74% of respondents saying union membership should be voluntary and 84% saying that teachers should be able to resign from their union at any time.

Report Reveals Devastating Conditions in Providence, RI Schools: A newly released report on the condition of Providence Public Schools concludes that officials at all levels are failing the city’s students. The report outlined schools with crumbling facilities, chronic discipline problems, disengaged and underprepared teachers, poorly implemented curriculum, and chaotic classrooms. It found that in many classes over half the students were completely disengaged from the learning process. The district was performing much worse than charter schools in the area or even the near-by Newark Public Schools. The report called out the district’s collective bargaining agreement which makes it impossible to fire the worst teachers or even to conduct effective professional development, exacerbating the district’s issues. The district is currently being sued for failing to provide an adequate public education. The state has a new education commissioner and is studying ways on how to improve education in the city.

Same Sex Marriage Controversy Roils Catholic Schools: The Archdiocese of Indianapolis was the center of controversy after the same-sex marriage of two of their teachers became public. The two teachers were married to each other but served in separate schools. After the archdiocese wrote letters urging both schools to dismiss the teachers, the schools took opposite stances. In one school, the teacher was dismissed while the other allowed the teacher to continue in their current position despite reprisal from the archdiocese. The controversy comes at a time when many religious institutions are struggling with how they handle homosexuality in a pluralistic culture. At the same time, there are great differences of opinion over how much leeway private religious schools should be given in who they hire and what they teach, especially when public funds are involved as is currently playing out in Michigan. Recently, Vice President Pence’s wife was criticized over a similar issue when it was revealed she was working at a private evangelical Christian school.

Happening Elsewhere:

Target Gives Teachers 15 Percent Off During Back-To-School Shopping

Mainstreaming grows along with special education population

Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students

How Teach for America Evolved Into an Arm of the Charter School Movement

Betsy DeVos: Education 'has not been at the top' of Trump priorities

Exclusive: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calls for greater school accountability in helping English learners succeed and commits to ensuring immigrant children’s education

Colorado Teachers’ Union Protest Against DeVos Turns Vulgar

Ilhan Omar introduces bill to end school lunch debt shaming

U.S. Schools Underreport How Often Students Are Restrained Or Secluded, Watchdog Says

International Survey: U.S. Teachers Are Overworked, Feel Underappreciated

Supreme Court Blocks, for Now, Census Question That Could Hurt School Funding

West Virginia education bill passes, allowing charter schools

Arizona Board of Education backs off changes to sex ed curriculum amid uproar

Wisconsin Supreme Court Hands Oversight of School Policy to Governor

San Francisco school board votes to paint over mural of George Washington’s life

Kansas schools address teacher shortage across state

School takeovers have failed, lawmakers argue

Charter school authorizers come under greater scrutiny in California

Douglas County School Board Considers Shorter STEM School Contract After Shooting

To combat vaping, Nebraska school district will randomly test students for nicotine

What’s going on where you are?

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