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Weekly News Round-Up for September 15th
posted by: Melissa | September 15, 2017, 06:27 PM   

Each week, NWPE brings its members a round-up of what’s happening in education. From big, eye-catching headlines to the stories most papers overlook, AAE finds the news our members really want to see. This week, Idaho has named their teacher of the year and it’s a member! Also, the ESSA deadline looms as teachers strike and DeVos urges educators to rethink schools.

NWPE Member Wins Idaho Teacher of the Year: AAE proudly congratulates Rebecca Mitchell on being named Idaho’s 2018 Teacher of the Year! Mitchell is a teacher at Vision Charter School in Caldwell, ID where she teaches English Language Arts, works as a student advisor, coaches tennis, and directs the school’s drama programs. She was chosen from a pool of 18,000 candidates to represent the state and says that she will use the honor to advocate for students pursuing higher education and discuss the role of standardized testing. As Idaho’s Teacher of the Year, she is a nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition. Mitchell is a member of Northwest Professional Educators (NWPE), AAE’s regional chapter serving Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

DeVos Urges Educators to “Rethink School”: Education Secretary started her “Rethink School” Tour this week. The move is part of an effort to highlight innovative teachers and new ideas in how schools and learning should be organized. She’s also criticized schools for being married to a system that is fundamentally the same as it has been for generations, saying that for many, the current system is “a mundane malaise that dampens dreams, dims horizons and denies futures.” Her words are getting mixed reactions from educators.

Teachers Strike in VT and PA: Teachers in Burlington, Vermont went on strike Thursday after a mediator failed to reach an agreement between the union and the school board. The school board believed that an agreement had been made at one point and that the school board had offered generous improvements in pay and health care, but that the union rejected them, choosing to strike, instead. They join teachers from Abington Heights in Pennsylvania, who started to strike on Tuesday after the union and board there failed to reach an agreement about pay and health care.

LA School Board President Charged with Money Laundering: On Wednesday, LA School Board president Ref Rodriguez was charged with conspiracy, perjury, and procuring and offering a false of forged instrument after months of investigation by local authorities. Rodriguez is said to have donated $24,000 to his own campaign, claiming that the money came from donors instead. If convicted, Rodriguez could face four years in jail.

Richardson Is Interim Alabama Superintendent: After Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentence resigned last week, the state school board voted 8-1 to name Ed Richardson as interim superintendent. Richardson served in the position from 1995 to 2004 and its hoped that he will provide a steady hand after the chaos of recent months.

States Struggle With Plans As ESSA Deadline Looms: State ESSA plans are due to the Department of Education on Monday, but several states are still struggling to finalize them. Among them is Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker rejected the plan laid out by State Superintendent Tony Evers. Tony Evers is planning to challenge Walker in a race for governor. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan also rejected his state’s ESSA plan. In Alabama, the state superintendent resigned with a plan still unfinished. Several other states are also racing against the deadline to finalize their plans.

Also Happening:

Teachers in U.S. Paid Nearly 60 Percent Less Than Other Professionals, Report Finds

Hurricanes Drove Millions of Students from School

Thousands of Students Return to School in Storm-Ravaged Houston

Teachers Union Sues Florida, Alleges ‘Best & Brightest’ Bonus System Discriminatory

New York’s Most Controversial Teacher Certification Exam Is Now Easier to Pass

Texas Education Board Considering Second Mexican American Studies Book

Teachers Can Now Use IBM’s Watson to Search for Free Lesson Plans

Hearing Begins in Paterson Discipline Case vs Head of Teachers Union

After More than 20 Years, Newark to Regain Local Control of Schools

Judges Delay Law Shifting Control of North Carolina Schools

Arkansas Education Board Oks 5 New Charter Schools, Including 3 in Little Rock

L.A. Unified Settles Lawsuits with Teacher Rafe Esquith

What’s going on where you are?

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