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6 Deals to Use During Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 5 through 9.

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Steve May 07, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Ned. I agree with you that good teachers provide an invaluable service to our kids. My post was not about teacher Groupons. Our educational system is failing our children. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/12/03/248329823/u-s-high-school-students-slide-in-math-reading-science Throwing money at the problem won't fix it. At the local level, irresponsible school boards won't say NO to unions and throw away our hard earned tax dollars. The National Education Association located In Washington D.C. spends roughly half of it's 350 million dues paid by its teachers on federal lobbyists and lawsuits. http://www.bradenton.com/2014/05/06/5140535/federal-judge-upholds-states-merit.html Instead of focusing on our kids, many teachers will strike and hold out for guaranteed pay raises while the rest of this country's work force is taking pay cuts just to keep their jobs. Due to tenure, some incompetent ones get a time out, and paid to do nothing all day. http://teachersunionexposed.com/protecting.php Joe. Teachers are hardly paid "Walmart wages" http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/12/15/how-much-teachers-get-paid-state-by-state/ Pensions are unsustainable moving forward, period. Anyone who disagrees was a "malcontent" who majored in disruption" and now a "teacher hater" REALLY ? You never learned any manners. Give the teacher an apple like we used to do.
Joe R May 07, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Steve parrots all the old and some new anti-teacher talking points. I said that some people want teachers to get Walmart wages, do you get the difference. For the most part, NJ teacher salaries are fine. In some states, teachers are actually getting Walmart wages. Steve vomits up lies about tenure but that's no surprise. Tenure has been around in NJ for almost 100 years and before unions even became prevalent. Tenure just guarantees a fair hearing and due process, that's all. It's a protection from being railroaded by biased people like Steve. The administrators and principals have all the tools in the world to deal with ineffective teachers. They hire the teachers in the first place, they evaluate the teachers during the 4 year trial period; a teacher can be fired for no reason or any reason during the trial period. And the principals keep evaluating the teachers for the rest of their careers. But the teacher haters ignore all those FACTS. Steve is not even aware that teachers have indeed taken pay cuts and have had pay freezes in pace for years in some NJ districts.
Joe R May 07, 2014 at 12:40 PM
"Throwing money at the problem won't fix it." Sounds like pure Sean Hannity BS. Tell that to the elite private schools that throw tons of money at their schools and at their students. Some of these elite private schools have tuitions of $36,000 and above (where Christie's kids go). These schools have class sizes of 12 pupils or less, fabulous campuses and facilities and a plethora of programs and courses. They have massive amounts of money to work with and they can be picky about who is enrolled in their schools. Even with all the advantages and the restrictiveness of these elite private schools, they do no better than the public schools of our wealthy NJ suburbs.
Joe R May 07, 2014 at 01:26 PM
This lie that our schools are failing is repeated over and over to the point that it has become unquestioned given wisdom. Of course many of our schools have serious problems, the schools in the very poor and very fragmented urban areas that are dealing with massive joblessness, homelessness, violence and high crime rates. Amongst the wealthy industrialized nations, the US has the highest child poverty rate of about 23%. The schools in the urban areas are dealing with tremendous societal problems, the schools aren't failing, they are doing an heroic job trying to help kids who live in devastated urban areas like Camden. The suburban schools pefrom just as well if not better than some of the high performing nations.
Steve May 08, 2014 at 12:16 AM
by Linda Moore, TheGuardian.com Friday 15 February 2013 10.17 EST A new book has attracted much interest in the Washington DC, especially on Capitol Hill, Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn From Educational Change in Finland?. The book arrives after Finland scored first in science and second in reading and math on the standardized test administered by the Program for International Student Assessment. Conducted among industrialized nations every three years, American students finished 25th in math, 17th in science and 12th in reading on the latest PISA assessment. Obviously, in our global economy, this nation's international educational attainment is discouraging for our future prospects. Some of Finland's students' outcomes should be especially interesting to US policy makers. Fully 93% of Finns graduate from high school – 17.5 points higher than American students. And 66% of Finns are accepted to college, a higher rate than the US and every European nation. Strikingly, the achievement gap between the weakest and strongest students academically is the smallest in the world. What might really interest some politicians is that Finland spends about 30% less per student to achieve these far-superior educational outcomes. For those who argue that a much smaller, less diverse country like Finland can't easily be compared to the US, there is an inconvenient fact: Finland performs much better educationally when compared to similar Scandinavian nations with similar demographics. Plainly, something is right in the "Land of a thousand lakes". Fortunately, US education policy is evolving in the face of our relative global underperformance. Federal policy continues to move away from the rigid certainties of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind legislation. The NCLB law set a hopelessly unrealistic target for 100% student proficiency in every school by 2014. It's clear that won't be achieved. Additionally, President Obama's Race to the Top program provides federal incentives for states to reform their public education offerings. These education reforms include lifting caps on the number of public charter schools, innovative policies to turn around failing schools, and improving teacher and principal effectiveness. As an educator who opened one of the first public charter schools in Washington DC in 1998, — at the height of the crisis of our unreformed public education system — I've always had a different take on reform than the NCLB dogma. I could see that the predominantly disadvantaged students whom the status quo was failing would need more than standardized tests to ensure school success. Our educational program invests in children early, to prepare them for the next step in their academic careers and beyond, into the world of work. We want them to gain the following: an understanding of how to use technology to enhance learning; an appreciation for, and facility in, the arts; scientific curiosity; an appreciation and knowledge of their cultures and those of others; and the capacity to think critically. Our students — 69% of whom are economically disadvantaged — can perform at the highest-level academically. Traditional standardized tests fail to adequately assess our academically rich program. Yet our scholars outperform their traditional public school peers by 16% points, and charter peers by nine points. We're not in Finland yet, but we are making progress. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/why-are-finlands-schools-successful-49859555/?all

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