Tag Archives: Internet

Fired Conservative Kansas Teacher Missed His Chance at "Rubber Rooms"

For teachable purposes, I like clear contrasts. You know: Black vs. white, Up vs. down, Chocolate ice cream vs. broccoli. But what about the world of education reform — specifically, teacher tenure? Two stories in particular popped up within hours of each other, and what a contrast they present. First, there’s this news from our neighbor to the east: A Kansas teacher says he was wrongfully terminated for his conservative views. Tim Latham has been teaching history and U.S. Government for over 19 years. But after teaching for just one year in the Lawrence School District in Lawrence, Kansas, Latham says his contract was not renewed because school officials did not like his conservative views — particularly a teacher website that Latham hosted and paid for himself. A teacher coach confronted him on that issue. If this indeed proves to be true, how sad it would be to see a teacher not only get persecuted for his unorthodox conservative patriotic views (unfortunately, it happens more than you may think) but also lose his job over it. He isn’t working for a private school. He’s working for a public school funded by taxpayer dollars! Latham has filed a grievance and said […]

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More Colorado Students and Parents Choosing the Cyberschool Option

Because of the fact that I communicate with you over the Internet, you’d probably guess I’m a big fan of online education. Well, I am. It doesn’t work for every kid, but it sure deserves to be treated fairly as another educational option. Cyberschools well may be the wave of the future, and it’s growing more popular with parents and students in Colorado all the time. In today’s Rocky Mountain News, Nancy Mitchell sheds light on the rising trend of cyberschools: Growth in the programs, which had spiked from 166 students in 2000 to 9,150 in 2006, eked up to 9,222 in 2007. But in fall 2008, that number grew to 11,641 students – an enrollment that would rank it 19th among Colorado’s 178 school districts in size…. In return for greater accountability, the law provides more funding. Before, online schools were prohibited from receiving funding for students who had been home- schooled or were in private schools the year before they enrolled in virtual classes.

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Pennsylvania's New School Board Transparency Site Gives Good Ideas

I get excited to see the ball move forward even a little bit on the issue of school district transparency. Whether it’s the district’s checkbook or its union bargaining sessions, this kind of information should be easily accessible to parents and other taxpayers through the Internet. Our friends in Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Foundation, have launched the latest noteworthy effort (H/T SPN Blog): As part of a year-long campaign to provide greater transparency in school district labor negotiations, the Commonwealth Foundation has unveiled a new website and blog, SchoolBoardTransparency.org. SchoolBoardTransparency.org will offer insight and advice in the labor negotiations process for school boards and citizens. The site will provide regular posts on issues, news, and best practices in school district labor negotiations, and allows users to comment and create posts on a moderated blog. The project will also include a “how-to” manual for school board members looking to provide greater transparency during union negotiations and a resource for media covering public school labor negotiations. The guides will provide the important questions to ask and explain the key issues typically involved in labor negotiation contracts. Besides its regular blog-style updates, School Board Transparency also provides more effective school districts with praise and […]

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What Teachers Say Attracts Them to Work in Tougher School Environments

What does it take to attract teachers to serve in the more challenging school environments? Part of Denver’s ProComp program rewards teachers who work at hard-to-serve schools with a $2,345 bonus this year. While the extra money definitely plays a part in providing incentives to some, there are other factors that help attract teachers to challenging environments they might not otherwise choose. As Ed News Colorado reports about a new study: Augenblick, Palaich and Associates surveyed teachers and principals at 16 relatively high-performing public schools – some charters, some district schools – in six cities coast-to-coast. The study, undertaken in collaboration with district and union leaders from Aurora, Denver and Jefferson County public schools, was funded by Denver’s Rose Community Foundation. The study participants were overwhelmingly from elementary schools, so people reviewing results should keep that in mind, researchers stressed. Dale DeCesare, one of the study’s authors, said he was surprised by the emphasis teachers placed on the effective use of technology. Overall, availability of technology ranked as the third most important factor in creating positive working conditions. As someone surfing the Internet and reading an education blog, you must have some appreciation for the value of technology. The article […]

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