Town hall to tackle COVID-19 vaccine questions

The AFT, along with AFSCME and SEIU, will present a Zoom town hall Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. ET to answer questions about forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines.

“This event is designed to provide you with information from credible sources,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “We believe all of the participating panelists are qualified and free from political influence.”…

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Murphy calls timeout on N.J.’s indoor youth sports

Effective 6 a.m. Dec. 5, all indoor youth and adult sports (practices and competitions) will be paused through Jan. 2, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said during his Nov. 30 coronavirus briefing.

“This aligns, by the way, with both the efforts of the NJSIAA and those of our neighboring states,” Murphy said. “We do not take this step lightly.…

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Online class covers ways to mobilize the workplace

Registration is open now for “The Power in a Union — Mobilizing Your Workplace,” a development program for New Jersey union members and leaders.

Learn about internal union organizing and experience discussions that focus on how unions can “unionize” their members to support values and goals.

The online course from Rutgers University’s Continuing Studies division costs $90 and will held at 5:30-8:30 p.m.…

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‘Distracted’ author looks to help fellow educators capture students’ attention

James M. Lang, an English professor at the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption University in Massachusetts, is the author of “Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It” (Basic Books). 

In an interview with Inside Higher Ed’s Doug Lederman, Lang discusses his approach to using devices in the classroom, how to cultivate and sustain attention in that environment and more.…

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Survey: Most parents, guardians want some classroom instruction for their children

Around 70 percent of parents and guardians prefer a learning model for their children that has some classroom instruction, according to a Reuters survey of 217 school districts in 30 states.

Meanwhile, many districts “have been forced to raid their regular budgets and reserves,” write Kristina Cooke, Benjamin Lesser and M.B. Pell for Reuters, “creating the potential for cutbacks later affecting anything from textbook purchases to payroll.”…

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Highlights from Weingarten’s SiriusXM appearance

AFT President Randi Weingarten spoke by phone Nov. 23 with Zerlina Maxwell, co-host of the “Signal Boost” show on SiriusXM’s Progress channel, about education and the pandemic.

Here is some of what Weingarten had to say:

“I’m not giving up on the second semester of this year. … We’ve spent all weekend long kind of putting together what we think is like the 10 things that we need to do for schools — school buildings, not just for schools, but for school buildings — to be reopened in the spring.”…

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U.S. schools look to adjust Thanksgiving narrative

As part of her lessons about Thanksgiving, Susannah Remillard, a language arts teacher in East Harwich, Massachusetts, asks her students to write poems from the Pilgrim and Wampanoag points of view.

“We carry this Colonial view of how we teach, and now we have a moment to step outside that and think about whether that is harmful for kids, and if there isn’t a better way,” Remillard said in a story by Associated Press writer Collin Binkley.…

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Survey: Teachers should have early access to COVID-19 vaccines

Nearly 90 percent of respondents to a recent EdWeek Research Center survey said teachers should be considered essential workers who receive early access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The nationally representative survey of 913 educators (prekindergarten through 12) was conducted this month after Pfizer and Moderna reported promising clinical trial results of their respective vaccines.

Finishing second to teachers were school nurses (85 percent), followed by school bus drivers (84 percent).…

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Diving into the data of college degree programs

An analysis of federal data by analytics software company Burning Glass Technologies finds that about 50 percent of programs that first graduated students in the 2012-13 or 2013-14 academic years reported five or fewer conferrals in 2018.

In “Bad Bets: The High Cost of Failing Programs in Higher Education,” Burning Glass also reports that two-thirds of new programs produced 10 or fewer graduates in 2018.…

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