Abeigon to Sunlight: Newark public schools are open, unlike N.J.’s corporate charters

A recently posted billboard calling out the Newark Teachers Union has not gone unnoticed by Local 481 President John M. Abeigon.

Part of a campaign by the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey, the grammatically incorrect billboard in question resides along Route 21 between Market and Lafayette streets in Newark. It makes reference to 430,000 students in grades 3-8, claiming they will be below grade level by the end of this year, and asks, “Why is the Newark Teacher’s Union locking them out of their classrooms?”…

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Weingarten goes to bat for the 1619 Project

In the wake of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s recent letter to the Department of Education opposing the proposed use of 1619 Project-based curriculum in schools, AFT President Randi Weingarten on May 6 defended the New York Times-developed initiative, which takes a broader, deeper look at American slavery’s history.

“All of a sudden you’re hearing people talk about critical race theory, people who have no idea what that term means, or trying to ban the 1619 Project because it is trying to … actually teach a factual version of oppression in America,” Weingarten said during an appearance on BNC’s “Prime With Charles Blow.”…

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NTU’s Farley is thankful for student’s kind words in Teacher Appreciation Week story

He’s been a teacher in the Newark public school system for 27 years, and for 17 of them, he’s been teaching health and physical education at Science Park High School.

Now Newark Teachers Union member Patrick Farley can add “teacher who couldn’t be stopped during the pandemic” to his resume.

That distinction was given to him May 3 by Chalkbeat in a Teacher Appreciation Week story by Susan Gonzalez in which readers from around the country “salute educators who went above and beyond,” according to its headline.…

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Increase in faculty workloads, class sizes coincides with budget issues at colleges, universities

Across America, colleges and universitiesare quietly increasing the number of courses faculty teach and the number of students in them as a way to lower costs,” writes Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report’s higher education editor.

This is taking place “on campuses that largely serve low-income students who often come from poorly resourced public high schools or whose parents never finished college,” Marcus adds, “threatening to further widen the quality divide between the educations rich and poor Americans receive.”…

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Cardona on classroom learning this fall: ‘I expect it’

Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel A. Cardona spoke about in-person learning, departmental oversight and other topics this week during the 74th annual Education Writers Association national seminar.

“I want all students to have the opportunity to learn in person in the spring, but I expect it in the fall,” Dr. Cardona said May 3. “I need all students to have the opportunity to learn in the schoolhouse.”…

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Share My Lesson to present free wellness sessions during Teacher Appreciation Week

As part of a month of new virtual sessions, AFT’s Share My Lesson will present three wellness programs during Teacher Appreciation Week, which is May 3-7. The offerings that week are:

May 4 at 6 p.m. ET: “For All Abilities: Mindfulness and Yoga With Grand Love”
Join DeAnn Albertson-Fontanella to connect with your inner self through asanas, breathing and meditation.…

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Webinar examines how colleges can help students post-pandemic

Alexander Kafka, senior editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, will be among the speakers during the virtual forum “Post-Pandemic Campus Well-Being” on May 5 at 2 p.m. ET.

Experts from around the country will convene to examine how colleges can help students flourish both physically and emotionally.

To register for the webinar, click here.…

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Diversity Dialogue: Don’t be idle as our democracy slides toward aristocracy

By Donna M. Chiera

In March, I wrote a blog post on how GOP state legislators realized changing demographics threaten their chances of winning statewide and federal elections. Rather than addressing and adapting their positions to meet the needs of their constituents, they are passing laws to suppress the rights of the voters in these states.…

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American Families Plan calls for free preschool and community college, support for educators

Described by the White House as an investment “to grow the middle class,” President Joe Biden’s American Families Plan will provide free universal preschool for all children ages 3-4 and two years of free community college for all Americans, including DREAMers.

The American Families Plan will ensure “that all publicly-funded preschool is high-quality, with low student-to-teacher ratios, high-quality and developmentally appropriate curriculum, and supportive classroom environments that are inclusive for all students,” according to a White House statement released April 28.…

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Panel for GFT-arranged racism talk features George Floyd family attorney

“Real Talk About Racism,” an online panel discussion arranged by Garfield Federation of Teachers members Paola Brown and Chris Storms and students at Garfield High School, will take place April 29 at 6 p.m. ET.

The panel will include Jeff Storms, brother of Chris Storms and an attorney for the families of George Floyd and Daunte Wright.…

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Latest issue of AFT Health Care is out now

The spring 2021 issue of AFT Health Care delves into the problem of moral injury among health care professionals, explaining what causes it, offering self-care strategies for providers, and discussing the long-term systemic changes necessary for patients and providers to thrive.

Among the issue’s other features: the importance of respectful maternity care for women of color, how clinicians can support health literacy and equity through improved communication, and the essential work of nurse practitioners.…

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Study: U.S. school meals get good grades for nutritional value

A recently released Tufts University study of American diets from 2003-04 to 2017-18 shows that 45 percent of children’s meals from grocery stores were of poor nutritional quality. School meals, however, fared much better, with just 24 percent classified as poor quality.

“Schools are now the single healthiest place Americans are eating,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, a senior author of the study.…

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Column: Let’s rewrite rules for teachers’ paid leave

Jahdziah St. Julien, a research associate at the Better Life Lab at New America, describes the rules pertaining to teachers’ paid family and medical leave as “convoluted,” saying they “resemble those of a complicated board game specifically designed to make winning nearly impossible.”

“To help teachers, we must rewrite the rules of the paid leave game altogether,” St.…

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