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Current Events & News
Alabama School Grades Released
The Alabama Department of Education released report cards for the first time Thursday that contain letter grades for each public school system and individual public school across the state. Montgomery Public Schools received a D.
Alabama State Board of Education Set to Vote on Textbooks
Alabama’s State Board of Education received recommendations for textbook adoption back in late September. Now the board will be voting on those recommendations on Dec. 14.
Alabama State Superintendent Gets Low Marks in Evaluation
Alabama state Superintendent Michael Sentance was put under the microscope Tuesday as evaluations conducted by the state school board were presented.
Board Vice President Stephanie Bell called for the evaluations. She said Sentance has been in the position for almost a year and the timing was right for an evaluation.
AL Lawmakers Pass Education Budget Early Thursday Morning
It took until the second to last day of the session but lawmakers passed the $6.4 billion education budget early Thursday morning.
Despite four-year universities seeing their funding levels frozen, the bill passed without a no vote.
ALSDE Clarifies Title of Retiring MPS Superintendent's Replacement
The Alabama State Department of Education has clarified the title of Superintendent Margaret Allen's replacement after she announced her retirement Monday, after 41 years with the system.
Dr. Reginald Eggleston is the Chief Education Officer of MPS and he will assume the duties and responsibilities for the system after Allen's retirement, according to Malissa Valdes-Hubert with ALSDE.
AL State School Board Discusses MPS Intervention, Graduation Rate Error
The Alabama State Board of Education held a special-called work session Wednesday. Among the items discussed: the intervention into the Montgomery Public Schools system, the plan for it and how it will be paid for.
The Art of Teaching Teachers How To Teach Reading
Eight high-poverty schools in the Bronx are benefiting from coaching in early reading instruction. Universities don't teach teachers how to teach reading, one principal says.
Art Show Captures the Wrenching Effects of Closing a School
A school may be made of bricks and mortar, but when one closes, the loss can feel like a death in the family.
Congressional Black Caucus Not Buying Trump’s ‘Unwavering Support’ of HBCUs
Two leading Democratic Black lawmakers on Monday slammed President Donald J. Trump’s attempt to walk back his previous comments questioning the constitutionality of a program that helps support HBCUs.
DeVos Survives Confirmation Battle But Her Agenda May Not
Hundreds of educators, parents, civil rights activists, and U.S. senators assembled across from the U.S. Capitol on Monday evening to urge “just one more” senator to stand up and cast the deciding ‘no’ vote on Betsy DeVos as U.S. Education Secretary. Coming on the eve of the confirmation vote, the rally was the final exclamation point of a nationwide mobilization against a nominee whom educators consider dangerously unqualified to lead our public schools.
The ECOT Debacle: When Charter Schools Dodge Accountability
Among its many provisions, House Bill 2 requires schools to track student participation in classes each day. The state cited the law in 2016 when it ordered ECOT to handover its log-in records and other data demonstrating if students were spending enough hours actually learning. Although ECOT stands to lose the most funding, the law has led to the investigation, and even closures, of other failing schools.
Education DeVos Rescinds 72 Guidance Documents Outlining Rights for Disabled Students
The Education Department has rescinded 72 policy documents that outline the rights of students with disabilities as part of the Trump administration’s effort to eliminate regulations it deems superfluous.
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services wrote in a newsletter Friday that it had “a total of 72 guidance documents that have been rescinded due to being outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective — 63 from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and 9 from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).” The documents, which fleshed out students’ rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act, were rescinded Oct. 2.
Federal Intervention in Schools? It Happens Less Than Critics Think
The great debate in Congress will be whether to wholly or mostly repeal the federal government’s authority to require states to fix America’s worst public schools.
First Lady to Tap U.S. Students in Education Equity Campaign for Girls
First lady Michelle Obama's Let Girls Learn initiative was the subject of a recent Education Week interview with her chief of staff, Christina Tchen.
How Desire to Be Popular Affects Academic Progress
Will some students pass up academic opportunities in school if they are concerned about what their classmates will think of them? Yes, but the social stigma may be different depending on the student, according to a new study by researchers at the Universities of Chicago and Pennsylvania and Northwestern University.
How the Supreme Court Affects Your Classroom and Your Students
We should care who sits on the U.S. Supreme Court because court decisions affect our collective bargaining rights, the access our students have to the educational opportunities they deserve, and our children’s (and grandchildren’s) future. Justices may hold their appointments for life; that gives them ample time to impact the rights we hold dear—for better or worse.
Here are a few meaningful rulings for education and educators—from the recent decision reaffirming collective bargaining rights for public employees, to the 63-year-old decision ruling that “separate but equal” schools were unconstitutional. We’ve also included pending cases that will have far-reaching impacts when decisions are handed down.
Is 'Fake News' Fooling Kids? New Report Says Yes
If you wondered whether we need to do more to help our kids recognize "fake news," a new report makes it clear the answer is a resounding yes.
Is Personalized Learning the Future of the School?
A former Google executive who headed "personalization" for the search giant, Ventilla said the light-bulb moment came when he started researching private schools in San Francisco for his preschool-age daughter.
It’s Come to This: Panhandling For School Supplies
There’s no doubt about it – teachers are resourceful. Take Oklahoma elementary educator Teresa Danks, for example. Every year, the third-grade teacher spent up to $2,000 of her own money on school supplies and learned to make a buck stretch for miles at the dollar store for her students’ class projects. But before going back to school this year, a few simple dollar store supplies helped her raise money – quite a bit of money, in fact – rather than save it.
Judge Rules for AEA in Lawsuit Over Increased PEEHIP Premiums
A Montgomery County judge has ruled in favor of the Alabama Education Association regarding a lawsuit it filed against the board of the Public Education Employees' Health Insurance Plan, or PEEHIP.
MPS Board Could Vote on Interim Superintendent Candidates This Week
The Montgomery County Board of Education is expected to vote on an interim superintendent Friday, confirmed Montgomery Public Schools spokesperson Tom Salter. The board is scheduled to meet Friday at 3 p.m.
NEA Honors Black History Month
February marks the observance of Black History Month and there are many ways to honor the contributions of African Americans to the history, culture and education of the United States.
“In schools across America, NEA members are honoring the rich cultural history and contributions of African Americans by celebrating Black History Month with special lesson plans and activities”, said National Education Association President, Dennis Van Roekel.
Obama Looks to Lock in $1 Billion to Schools with Low-Income Kids
The Obama administration is considering a major last-minute policy shift that could force hundreds of school districts to cut spending at well-financed elementary and secondary schools and move nearly $1 billion dollars to schools with large numbers of low-income students.
Pike Road Still Hasn’t Repaid Montgomery Public Schools
Nearly a year after the system was notified by the Alabama State Department of Education that it was mistakenly sent more than $1.4 million that should have gone to Montgomery Public Schools, Pike Road still hasn’t repaid the money. And it’s now apparently using the repayment of that money to sweeten a deal the system is trying to work to purchase a school building from MPS.
Proposed State Education Budget One of the Largest in AL History
Lawmakers got their first look at the proposed state education budget Tuesday morning. The budget, which is around $6.7 billion, is one of the largest in state history.
Racial Disparities Persist in U.S. Schools, Study Finds
The disparity "tears at the moral fabric of our nation," Education Secretary John B. King Jr. told reporters.
"What sets the U.S. apart from any other country is the idea that opportunity is universal," he said. "These data show that we still fall far short of that ideal."
A Safer Way to Keep Schools Pest Free
Every day school custodians face challenges in their efforts to foster safe, healthy learning environments. Pest control can be one of the toughest challenges. Allowing pests to take up residence in schools is out of the question, so grudgingly, custodians may have to resort to using harsh pesticides to combat the stubborn invaders. These pesticides can settle on desks, books, counters, walls, playgrounds, and playing fields, which could be harmful to children and staff with respiratory problems. And in this prime time of brain and body development, children should be in an environment as free of toxins as possible.
A School Catches Flak for Telling Girls They Can't Say No If a Boy Asks Them to Dance
Sometimes the best of intentions have unintended consequences. Kanesville Elementary School in Ogden, Utah, holds a sixth-grade dance on Valentine's Day each year. The dance is intended to promote inclusion and kindness, and students have traditionally been told by their teachers to say yes when a classmate asks them to dance. But times have changed, and some parents were angry when they got wind of the dance's protocol this year.
Standards, Finances Fuel Debates in State Elections
The education policy stakes surrounding races in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi are high and could have an impact on the national discussion about common-core standards.
State Will Split Montgomery School District in 2 During Intervention
ALSDE will effectively split the system in two during the intervention after determining a state takeover of 27 'low-performing' schools was necessary. The other 29 schools will remain under MPS Board and Superintendent control.
Superintendent Margaret Allen to Retire After 41 Years with Montgomery Public Schools
The Montgomery Public School system announced Monday that Superintendent Margaret Allen has announced her retirement to MPS employees.
Ten Free Things for Valentine’s Day
Make February 14 a Special Day with These Classroom Resources
Tools for Tailored Learning May Expose Students’ Personal Details
If the efforts by state legislators to restrict the use of student data are any guide, the email addresses and search queries of the nation’s schoolchildren are a hot commodity.
Unite Against Hate!: Resources for students, educators, and families to address and engage in the national dialogue about racism, hate, and bias in the wake of recent events in Charlottesville.
Many of our students are scared, anxious, and feeling threatened. Here are some steps you can take to respond to incidents of hateful words, actions, and images and make sure your students feel welcome, supported, and valued.
‘Freedom in Congo Square’ Celebrates the Dominance of Spirit Over Suffering
Freedom in Congo Square a picture book written by Carole Boston Weatherford, and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, is a poetic, nonfiction children’s book that celebrates the dominance of spirit over suffering. Last week it was named a Caldecott Honor Book, just in time for Black History Month, and it is February’s featured book in the NEA Read Across America calendar as a poetic, vibrant reminder of how humans can come together to find joy, hope and dignity, even under the cruelest circumstances.
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