Law prohibiting teacher layoffs draws criticism. The law, which passed as part of the state budget, requires districts to maintain the 2010-2011 level of teachers in the coming year, even if funding drops. “Education officials have denounced the law as a stunning blow to local budget control and said it could drive more districts into financial insolvency. […]But Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Assn., said the law would give a well-deserved respite to teachers, who have suffered 30,000 layoffs in the last few years. The union backed the bill but did not initiate it, he said.” (The Tribune)
Teachers achieve high ratings without teaching to the test. “Innovative teaching and rich classroom experiences need not be sacrificed in the quest for better test scores. But it’s not easy to have it all. Several teachers interviewed said they spend hours of extra planning time and hundreds of dollars to create more interesting lessons. They say they must be supremely organized and strict enforcers of classroom rules. And some quietly skirt official district schedules to run with their own approaches.” (Los Angeles Times)
Why parents fight to keep kids in a lower rated school. “We have seen our children learn so much from their classmates who hail from all over the world,” states Leonard Wolfenstein, a parent at Annandale High School in Fairfax County. Students from Wakefield Chapel, a wealthy area, are fighting a move from the over-crowded Annandale to the more affluent W.T. Woodson High School. (Washington Post)
Social networking for the K-12 set. Let your students chat with Thomas Jefferson and give him advice on how to write the Declaration of Independence. Teachers are using social networking to create interactive lessons. (Multimedia Transformation)
Written by intern Marley Zeno.