3/8/2018 – West Virginia Teachers Tell Us Why Public Schools And Unions Matter

THIS WEEK: Threat Of Teacher Stress … Guns In Schools … School Choice Doesn’t Work … California Charter School Fail… Bad College Bill


West Virginia Teachers Tell Us Why Public Schools And Unions Matter

By Jeff Bryant

“Striking public school educators in West Virginia overcame all odds in getting lawmakers to agree to a five-percent pay raise and a realistic commitment from the state to address a broken public employee health insurance program … The West Virginia teachers’ strike is not only a startling victory for labor rights; it’s also a reminder of the important role public schools and public school educators can and should play in progressive populism … Prominent progressive voices have been weak in their support for school teachers and public schools. But the West Virginia teachers may have started to change that; at least progressive activists in the Mountain State seem to think so..”
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The Hidden Threat Of Teacher Stress

The Conversation

“Nearly half of all teachers say they experience stress at a high level every day … Chronic stress can impact teachers’ job performance. Unwell teachers have a reduced ability to teach and therefore call in sick … Excessive teacher absences disrupt the flow of instruction, behavior management, and connection with students … Excessive teacher absences are linked to student underachievement. Stress is also associated with high teacher turnover. Nearly half of all new teachers leave the field within the first five years. Among those who stay, nearly two-thirds were found … to be ‘not engaged,’ or mentally and emotionally disconnected from their teaching role and their students’ needs.”
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Here’s What The Science Says About Bringing More Guns Into Schools: It Doesn’t Work

ZME Science

“Study after study found that teachers don’t really want guns on campus … Just 17.8% said they would even consider carrying a hidden gun, and most didn’t support the idea … Science fundamentally contradicts the idea that bringing more guns, especially to classrooms, will solve the problem; quite the contrary: several studies have found that more guns lead to more killings … The corollary was also proven true: having fewer guns, enforced through legislation, reduces the number of victims.”
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Is Sweden Proof That School Choice Doesn’t Improve Education?


“Sweden adopted a nationwide universal voucher program in 1992 … Families can choose any school, public or private: Taxpayer money follows the student. This voucher system has led to a burgeoning industry of mostly for-profit, private schools … In 2000, Swedish students performed well-above average on an international test called the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). By 2012, they were below average in math, reading and science. Sweden had the steepest decline of any participating country over that time period.”
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California’s Charter Schools Are Leaking Public Money Like A Sieve


“Every few months another absurd story breaks about California’s charter schools … in 2017 … Existing state law doesn’t allow the state and local governments to proactively monitor the private groups that operate charter schools for fraud and waste … State government doesn’t proactively monitor for fraud or waste, and local school districts aren’t given the resources they need to properly oversee charter schools in their boundaries … School districts have few options to intervene when they smell something fishy … Even the state government has limited auditing authority … Local school districts and county boards of education can be pre-empted by the state when they suspect foul play.”
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If This Bill Passes, College Affordability Would Go From Bad To Worse, Experts Say

The Hechinger Report

“A bill proposed by Republicans in the House of Representatives could change the college-financing system dramatically, moving billions of dollars out of financial aid programs … the net loss of funds to students over the next 10 years would be almost $15 billion … The bill, known as the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, would also make more money and regulatory flexibility available to for-profit colleges, many of which have been cited for high costs, low graduation rates and a history of taking advantage of low-income students and military veterans … The bill would also narrow the eligibility requirements for deferment of loans and require those in certain types of payment plans to pay more than previously expected.”
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