School Districts Push A Return To Busing, Despite Their Own Data Suggesting It Won’t Reduce The ‘Achievement Gap’

Multiple school districts across the country are considering busing-style programs to distribute impoverished students equally, but data suggest that such proposals would not reduce an achievement gap between poor students and their wealthier schoolmates, analyses by the Daily Caller News Foundation and others found.

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Dip in Test Scores Correlates with Enactment of Common Core

Fourth and eighth grade students in the U.S. again showed no to little improvement in their average reading and mathematics scores, according to a report released this week, a decrease that correlates with the enactment of the Common Core.

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The Star News Digital Media Statement of Principles on K-12 Education

Star News Digital Media is a Nashville-based company that owns and operates five online news sites–The Tennessee Star, The Ohio Star, The Minnesota Sun, The Michigan Star, and Battleground State News–and publishes textbooks for secondary school students.

Our reporting on K-12 education is based on our philosophical perspective, which is reflected in our statement of principles.

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Commentary: The Self-Indulgent Ignorance of Today’s Education Establishment Prospers at the Expense of America’s Children

classroom

The 2020 elections will afford us the chance to pass judgment on the immediate threat to our democracy posed by the intelligence agencies, the Democratic party, and the media in their grab for power through a bastardized impeachment process. But no such opportunity exists for us to deal with the most serious, most fundamental threat to our way of life, namely our thoroughly rotten educational establishment.

The problem has been festering for decades, and keeps getting worse.

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Leading Schools Series: Iowa’s Rocket Manufacturing, a Student-Run Business

Like Cardinal Manufacturing in Strum, Wisconsin, Rocket Manufacturing in Rock Valley, Iowa takes “hands-on learning” to a whole new level. Both programs run actual manufacturing businesses with real clients, providing students with work experience in the trades before they even graduate from high school.

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The Michigan Star Constitution Bee Will Be Held in December, Winners Will Compete in 2020 National Constitution Bee

Constitution Bee April, 2018

The Michigan Star, as a part of the Star News Digital Media family, will host a first-of-its-kind Constitution Bee Saturday, December 14 at Oakland Community College. Top performers will earn cash scholarships, trophies, and more. The Grand Champion will get a trip for two to Washington, D.C. – in addition for a spot to compete in the National Constitution Bee in July 2020.

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Commentary: Student Frustration with the Flawed Textbook Market Is Justified

Dozens of student government executives wrote a letter recently urging the Department of Labor to block a merger between two giants of the textbook industry. In May, McGraw-Hill and Cengage announced they would be pursuing a merger. As two of the five major textbook publishers that currently have 80 percent of the market, this merger would form the second-largest textbook publisher in the US.

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FEATURE: Midwest Educators Call for More Career and Technical Education

In July 2018, President Donald Trump signed the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” into law. The bill reauthorized the 2006 Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides an “increased focus on the academic achievement” of CTE students, according to the Minnesota Department of Education.

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Fate of Struggling Michigan School District Unclear after State Solvency Plan Rejected

by Scott McClallen   The fate of Benton Harbor High School remains unclear after school district officials last week rejected a state plan to improve poor academic performance and pay down the district’s high debt. The state initially said it had agreed with the school district on a plan to improve…

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Commentary: Government Run Schools Are Bad for Children, So Opt Out

by Lawrence Reed   The evolution of the control of educational institutions from entirely private sources to local government schools and then to control by state departments has culminated with the creation of our federal Department of Education. At all levels, government has increasingly exercised bureaucratic power over education in…

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With Common Core Standards Minnesota Reading Scores Slide; Without Common Core Math Scores Best in the US

students in class

  Students attending K-12 public schools in Minnesota are still performing below the proficient level on national standardized reading tests a full seven years after Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were fully implemented in the state. The national average is no longer significantly different than Minnesota in reading. It has…

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Commentary: Finally Some Schools Are Freeing Students from the Bonds of Mediocrity

by Annie Holmquist   By now, many parents know there is something seriously wrong with the average American school. Time and again, children go into the school system as bright bundles of energy, curious about the surrounding world, and time and again, they stagger through the system frustrated and losing their…

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Democratic Strongholds of St. Paul and Minneapolis Are Home to Half of the State’s Lowest Performing Schools

classroom

The Democratic strongholds of St. Paul and Minneapolis are home to half of the state’s lowest performing schools, according to the Minnesota Report Card. The Pioneer Press recently reported that the Twin Cities contain 24 of the 47 lowest-performing schools in the state, which are set to receive support from…

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School Discipline Policy Belongs at the Local Level, Not Washington

classroom

by Jonathan Butcher   Teacher unions and progressive special-interest groups cried foul earlier this year when the White House suggested that federal directives on school safety could be rescinded. But if a recent hearing held by the Federal Commission on School Safety is any indication, state and local policymakers don’t need Washington to micromanage…

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JC Bowman Commentary: A Few More Thoughts on Testing in Tennessee…

students in class

All stakeholders want to get testing right.  However, the emphasis on testing misses the bigger issue:  student academic growth measured by flawed testing.  Then the results being used in educator evaluations.  This is certainly more problematic to educators than the actual tests themselves. 

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JC Bowman Commentary: Testing is Open for Debate

Professional Educators of Tennessee raised the issue on Testing, with a hard-hitting editorial called the Trouble with Testing. Professional Educators of Tennessee did NOT support the use of that data on teacher evaluations, nor did they sign a support letter on the original grant submission., which the Tennessee Education Association did.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Time to Separate PACS from Lobbying

dealmakers

Professional Educators of Tennessee will continue to lobby for public education.  However, we will never endorse political parties or candidates as an organization on behalf of our members.  We also do not have a PAC, nor do we plan to ever start one.  It would harm our effectiveness.  We must advance public education without the divisive tribalism of partisan politics, and we will only get involved in education related issues.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Unions Are in Politics for Power, Money, and Influence

sly bribe

For groups like Professional Educators of Tennessee, it is simple.  We must advance public education without the divisive tribalism of partisan politics, and we will only get involved in education related issues.  The union never stops in its quest for power and control over public education. 

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Way Down Yonder in Maury County

Maury County Schools

Every budget tells a story—about your spending plan, priorities, goals, and financial health. What story are you telling your community about the importance of public education in your community? We understand that it is an election year and politics are driving the debate.

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Rumor Control: Setting the Record Straight on PreK/Kindergarten Portfolios

JC Bowman

Social media was hard at it this weekend over the PreK/Kindergarten Student Growth Portfolio Model.  While Professional Educators of Tennessee is not sold on the portfolio process, it is the current law (see T.C.A. §§ 49-6-103–49-6-110).  We believe the current portfolio system takes up too much time for our educators. …

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Trevecca’s Shining Star: Dr. Suzann Harris

Professional Educators of Tennessee recognized Dr. Suzann “Suzie” Barker Harris with one of our prestigious “Friend of the Educator” Award.  She is a shining star for Trevecca and a model for people of faith who is worthy of distinction to all educators. 

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JC Bowman Commentary: The Intent and Spirit of Collaborative Conferencing

Tennessee Star

Are we striving toward achievement of the original objective of the PECCA law?  It is clear, a course adjustment may be in order.  Eliminating needless lawsuits, staying focused on the purpose, including more teachers in the process, and having impartial training moving forward will better establish a peaceful, stable employer-employee relationship. Who could oppose those common-sense changes? 

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JC Bowman Commentary: Giving Tennessee Educators a Choice and a Voice

teacher

As teachers and administrators go back to school across the state, they will have a choice in what teacher association in which they want to join.  We hope they will join Professional Educators of Tennessee.  As an independent, Tennessee -focused professional association, we keep our membership dues low by ensuring that…

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JC Bowman Commentary: On Combining the Departments of Education and Labor

Departments of Education and Labor

President Trump’s concept to merge the U.S. Department of Education with the Department of Labor lacks significant details and will be difficult to maneuver through a deeply divided Congress.

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One-Fifth Of North Carolina Students Aren’t Going To Traditional Public Schools

classroom

by Rob Shimshock   Almost 20 percent of K-12 students in North Carolina are not attending traditional public schools. Enrollment in the state’s traditional public schools has fallen during the past few years as more and more students attend private, charter or home schools, The News & Observer reported Friday. North Carolina’s…

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JC Bowman Commentary: A Modern Approach to Educator Representation

teacher

Most educators are not buying into a more militant, progressive labor movement beholden to the far left. Educators nationally often spend hundreds, or sometimes even thousands of dollars per year on union dues.  There are much more cost-effective alternatives, like Professional Educators of Tennessee.   That is what makes groups like Professional Educators of Tennessee different.  We offer a modern approach to educator representation, legal protection and unmatched educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda.  There are non-union alternatives for educators in other states as well.  Nobody wants to return the 1950’s.    

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Public School Teachers Are Paid More Than Commonly Reported

by James Agresti   During recent teacher walkouts in Oklahoma that captured national attention, many major media outlets reported misleadingly small figures for teacher pay. By failing to reveal all aspects of teacher compensation, these outlets hid the true costs to taxpayers—which now amount to an annualized average of about $120,000 for every…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Lives, Fortunes, and Honor

US flags w airman

JC Bowman writes: Freedom should never be taken for granted.  Today we are debating the very concept of what it means to be a citizen of the United States of America.  While many citizens are very passionate about our country, others seem disillusioned and some openly hostile.  It is why the Declaration of Independence is such an important document. It expresses what it means to be an American. 

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The Tennessee Education Association Embraces the Union Label in Washington D.C., Denies It in Nashville

NEA headquarters

JC Bowman writes: “There are many other completely, independent non-union organizations now in America that represents public school educators, giving them a clear, non-union voice.  This means they do not spend a large portion of their lobbying efforts and their political funds focusing on bills and causes that fall outside the scope of education.”

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JC Bowman Commentary: SCOTUS Janus Decision Will Make Unions More Accountable to Their Members

Mark Janus

The Janus Decision will not create drastic structural changes to unions.  It will simply make them more accountable to their own members.  And in the case of teacher unions, this greater accountability should focus on making the quality of education front and center, help public education rebuild support from the public for issues like raising teacher pay and school funding, and work for the common good of all students and educators.

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Yale Trustee Candidate Running On Platform Of Smashing Political Correctness

James Kirchick

by Rob Shimshock   A candidate for Yale University’s board of trustees is intent on smashing political correctness, particularly after the 2015 cultural appropriation scandal on campus. Yale graduate James Kirchick suggested that he saw the beginnings of leftist intolerance on campus when he noticed an underrepresentation of liberals in…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Are You Called to Teach?

Teacher and Kids

Teaching is indeed an imposing, self-sacrificing, but also a magnanimous calling. There is no other profession, except perhaps the clergy, that can change lives like a public-school teacher.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Dark Money + Union Money = Corrupt Politics

Dark Money

This election cycle we have already seen an influx of unaccountable cash, known as dark money, which pours into our state. Outside money hurts more than it helps. Tennessee voters were not swayed by big spending outsiders. It is worth noting the message the outsiders bring is almost always negative. If you don’t think this is an erosion of democracy, you’re not thinking about it hard enough. The formula is simple: Dark Money + Union Money = Corrupt Politics

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Christian Parent Furious After School Instructs Children To Write Out Their Submission To Allah

Classroom Islam

by Joshua Gill   A West Virginia school has come under fire for instructing junior high students to write the Islamic profession of faith ostensibly to practice calligraphy. Rich Penkoski, a Christian parent and founder of online ministry Warriors for Christ, raised alarms over a packet on Islam his daughter’s seventh…

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Columbia Private School Mock Trial Team 3rd Best in Nation

Agathos Mock Trial Team

A Columbia school has finished as third in the nation after appearing at a mock trial competition. Agathos Classical School’s Mock Trial Team finished its year ranking third in the nation after competing in the National Mock Trial Competition this weekend in Reno, Nevada, The Daily Herald reported. “They did…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Mothers, Wives and an Everlasting Love

JC Bethany Mothers Day

If language is everything, we could not, even if we tried, honor the women that shapes and inspires our lives. No matter how much you thank the woman who does it all for her children, once a year is never enough.

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