Teaching & Learning
Final ESSA Accountability Rules boost state flexibility in key areas
The Obama administration's final accountability rules for the Every Student Succeeds Act, issued Monday, give states greater flexibility on school ratings, schools with high testing opt-out rates, and in other areas than an earlier draft version, released in May. The flexibility provided by these rules makes our involvement in local and state ESSA implementation plans even more important, as we work establish local accountability standards developed by parents and educators instead of dictates handed down from Washington as they were under No Child Left Behind. The fact that ESSA’s state and local emphasis was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority should give President-elect Donald Trump pause before making any attempt to return to the days when education policy was driven by those in Washington, D.C. who have no understanding about how our local public schools operate.
To read the ESSA rules,: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/11/29/2016-27985/elementary-and-secondary-education-act-as-amended-by-the-every-student-succeeds-act-accountability (note: document will be available in official form on Tuesday, 11/29/2016)
ESSA requirements will reveal spending disparities within districts
ESSA requires states to report per-pupil expenditures for every local education agency and school in the state on annual report cards. But in the vast majority of districts, spending is accounted for at the district level. Average teacher salaries, average per-pupil expenditures — they’re all calculated districtwide.
Parents stressed by rigor of Kindergarten
Kindergarten, where children were once encouraged to play and adjust to the rhythms of the school day, has long been evolving. But many parents new to modern-day elementary schooling say they have been shocked to find their children in a pressure cooker of rigorous academics, standardized tests, homework and what seem like outrageous expectations.
How do we stop the exodus of minority teachers?
Minority teachers are being driven out of schools by poor working conditions at rates higher than their non-minority colleagues, which only undermines years of recruitment efforts that have targeted minority teachers.
To read more: http://hechingerreport.org/stop-exodus-minority-teachers/
To read the brief: https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/Minority_Teacher_Recruitment_Employment_Retention%20_BRIEF.pdfOnline Courses
The NEA Foundation courses are intended to develop collaborative skills and content knowledge. The courses promote union-district collaboration as a tool for systems change and were developed by field experts, using a rich selection of resources. Use the course content in whatever way best meets your needs – a whole course, a single session, or just an activity. New courses are in development and will be posted periodically.
To start today, simply register and login! http://www.neafoundation.org/pages/courses
Global Learning: Tools and Approaches
Curious how you can bring global competence to the classroom? This new course, designed for self-study or small groups, introduces participants to key ideas and methods for connecting their classrooms with the wider world. http://www.neafoundation.org/pages/courses
We Connect Now
We Connect Now is a website created in 2008 to connect and serve college students with disabilities. It has been linked to by colleges and universities and groups serving people with disabilities in all 50 states and 10 foreign countries and has been visited by people from 172 different countries. http://weconnectnow.wordpress.com (Also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/We-Connect-Now-National/136925609714725.)
Section 504 guide
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a major physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. The U. S. Department offers a Disability Rights Reinforcement Guide, a compilation of guidance and data on key issues such as free appropriate public education, discipline, post-secondary, and technology.
Learn more about Section 504: http://nichcy.org/laws/section504#info
Download the guide: http://www2.ed.gov/documents/news/section-504.pdf
Resources on the Holocaust and Genocide
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission assists elementary/secondary schools and universities with Holocaust and genocide programs. Classroom resources include lesson plans, posters, and oral histories. They also offer a video contest — the deadline is in March — and grants of up to $1000 for civic/citizenship or social responsibility projects. http://thgc.texas.gov
Bully Free: It Starts with Me
"Bully Free: It Starts with Me" is a groundbreaking NEA initiative to identify caring adults in schools and communities who will pledge to help bullied students. The adults will agree to listen carefully to the student and take action to stop the bullying. NEA will provide adults the resources they need to provide solace and support, ask the right questions and take the appropriate actions.
Apply for an NEA Foundation grant
The NEA Foundation has a video that provides a guided tour and detailed instruction of the online application for its popular Learning & Leadership Grants and Student Achievement Grants. The deadlines for these grants -- which provide $2,000 for implementing proposals from individuals for Learning & Leadership Grants and $5,000 for team proposals for both -- are Feb. 1, June 1, and Oct. 15. For more information, to apply online, or to watch the video, visit the NEA Foundation Grant website.
The NEA Academy website is devoted to supporting the professional development of teachers and education support professionals. The site features web-based lessons, classroom tips, and professional development courses, including the popular classroom management course "I Can Do It" as well as the NEA Teacher Toolkit and career information.
Are you a first-year teacher?
Get a great start on your new career with our links and resources for first year teachers!
Teachers in Transition
The Texas Workforce Commission and a statewide network of Workforce Solutions offices will assist all teachers in their efforts to find work. This site offers information to help you better navigate the workforce system including filing for unemployment insurance, registering to look for work, finding a new job and knowing where to go to get additional help if needed.