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AM News: Reform Splits Louisiana Lawmakers

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La. Governor Going Too Fast on Education Bills, Sen. Landrieu Says AP via EdWeek: Gov. Bobby Jindal's fast-track push for his education overhaul bills is ill-advised and wrong, giving even supporters of the proposals too little time to review the details, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said Wednesday, creating a new divide between the state's top two political figures.

Abstinence Push Wins in Wisconsin WSJ: Wisconsin lawmakers passed legislation Wednesday allowing schools to teach abstinence only in sex-education classes and joined a small but growing number of states eliminating or de-emphasizing instruction on contraception.

Why Were Certain San Francisco Teachers Shielded From Mass Layoffs? HuffPost: Dozens of teachers, students and administrators flooded Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting to protest the flood of pink slips issued to over 485 teachers and support staff at almost every school in the San Francisco Unified School District.

New Film Takes An Intimate Look At School Bullying NPR: The documentary Bully follows several middle- and high-school students who are victims of bullying. The Motion Picture Association of America gave the film an R rating for its language. Robert Siegel talks with director Lee Hirsch about the film and its ratings controversy. ALSO: Film Aimed At Getting Bystanders To 'Speak Up'  

MORE NEWS ITEMS INSIDE

Grieving kids say schools could be better at helping USA Today: "The reality is that most educators have no training specifically directed at how to help students who are grieving," says one expert.

Training of Teacher-Evaluators Examined Teacher Beat: Formal training of the principals and other observers conducting teacher evaluations is a complex, necessary, and often overlooked component of the system.

State Dept. Drops Plan To Protect Foreign Exchange Students Despite Abuse Allegations AP via HuffPost: Despite dozens of allegations of neglect and sexual abuse over the years, the U.S. State Department has scrapped a plan to require FBI-based fingerprint searches for people hosting foreign high school exchange students, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

 

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With regard to bullying, which is getting some needed attention, schools could adopt advisory systems that address bullying explicitly as a topic of discussion and then follow up throughout their academies, with the purpose of enlisting the older and larger students to look after the younger and weaker, rather than tyrannizing over them. Here student conviction is critical: if the messages of the units on safety and social skills don't sink in and affect the behaviour of the (majority) bystanders as well as the perpetrators and victims, the culture of the school will not be a safe one, and bullying may flourish. But explicit attention to this issue must be given, preferably in small, public groups where students get to know one another well, and isolation is diminished.

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