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AM News: Supreme Court Could End Mandatory Union Dues For Teachers

Big unions could take big SCOTUS hit Politico: But a 1977 decision allows states to require workers to pay partial dues, or “agency fees,” to cover the union’s cost of negotiating their contracts and representing them in grievances. Illinois is among the states to require just that.

Math Under Common Core Has Even Parents Stumbling NYT: Across the country, parents who once conceded that their homework expertise petered out by high school trigonometry are now feeling helpless when confronted with first-grade work sheets.

Teacher-Prep Ranking System in Higher Ed. Proposal Irks Teachers' Unions PK12: Teachers' unions applauded the increased emphasis of on-the-job training for teachers and principals in preparation programs that's included in Senate Democrats' proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. But they're much less enthusiastic about a new grant included in the bill for ranking those prep programs. AFT president Randi Weingarten, in a letter to Harkin dated June 24, blasted the proposal.

Teacher evaluation system is latest education battleground Baltimore Sun: This past school year, Maryland's 60,000 teachers were evaluated for the first time according to a formula that required half of their final rating to be based on how much their students learned.

Newark Schools Superintendent Signs New 3-Year Contract District Dossier: Under the "hybrid" contract, Anderson and the state must agree to an extension each year. Anderson has come under fire recently for her "One Newark" school reform plan.

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Md. groups to collaborate on evaluation process for teachers, principals Washington Post:In Montgomery, he said, teachers have to “examine, discuss, present and explain” a wide range of student data, but “there is not a simplistic mathematical formula.”

Amid de Blasio’s Pre-K Push, a Bid to Boost Learning at a Weak Point in the Pipeline NYT: With prekindergarten classes set to grow under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan, the ad hoc in-home day care providers that serve thousands of city children are getting fresh attention.

D.C. Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s effort to lengthen school day faces union resistance Washington Post: D.C. Chancellor Kaya Henderson has championed lengthening school days as one of her top priorities for improving schools and lifting student achievement, but her effort to expand the number of schools with longer days has been met with stiff resistance from the teachers union.

States encourage bilingualism with diploma seals AP:  When Rachel Martinez-Regan graduated from Corvallis High School this month, her diploma had a little something extra - an embossed seal certifying that she is bilingual.

When educational games work: Mission U.S. demonstrates best of video game learning PBS: How often do students get to time-travel back to 1770 Boston, talk to both patriots and loyalists, witness a brawl between local workers and British soldiers and then duck as troops open fire and the Boston Massacre sparks the American Revolution?


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Re: the New York Times story on the Common Core mathematics standards: I wish my children could be taught the way those children in the leading Asian and European nations are being taught -- but wait, my kids have been, which is why they've always been in the 99th percentile here, and are two years ahead of their average American peers. So let me rephrase the above wish: I wish my neighbours' kids could be taught mathematics the way my wife and I have taught our children; but that's happening too, in a limited way, through our private tutoring. So a third version: I wish poor kids who can't afford to pay for tutors could be taught in this manner; but those kids have been held hostage by the powers that be, who in California are mainly Democrats, and think they're damned certain about how children should be taught mathematics, in spite of the overwhelming body of evidence that they have no basis for such claims.

Most people complaining about Common Core just do not understand it. CC is a different way of teaching and learning, however many schools and teachers are just doing the same old thing. Here is a good discussion of Common Core along with a sample lesson plan.


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