What mattered to educators before the pandemic

About a month before America went into lockdown, Catherine Castillo of Springfield Public Schools in Missouri wrote about replacing timed tests with math fluency. And a few weeks before that, Leigh Anne Scherer of the North Clackamas School District in Oregon wrote about using Schoolzilla and Star Assessments “to ensure that students remain on a progressive track that leads to credit attainment as they go to ninth grade.”…

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Study dives into tech tools used by teachers in ’20

A LearnPlatform study involving more than 270,000 educators showed that 8,000 tech tools were used by teachers this year.

“The data suggest that having to learn and navigate so many digital tools may be contributing to confusion and disengagement, rather than creating more options,” said LearnPlatform CEO Karl Rectanus in a story by District Administration’s Chris Burt.…

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Biden taps Cardona to be education secretary

President-elect Joe Biden on Dec. 23 named former AFT member and longtime Connecticut educator Dr. Miguel A. Cardona as his selection to be the next education secretary.

“I’m grateful for the chance to take on this responsibility,” Cardona said. “I look forward to getting to work on behalf of America’s children and the families and the communities and the nation they will grow up to inherit and lead.”…

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AFTNJ, Local 1766 call for Rutgers’ Newark, Camden libraries to close as COVID-19 cases climb

With COVID-19 cases rising across Newark and Camden, and with the potential of a post-Christmas spike in New Jersey, AFTNJ and Rutgers URA-AFT (Local 1766) are calling for the immediate closing of Rutgers University’s John Cotton Dana and Paul Robeson libraries except for cleaning and maintenance until the start of the spring 2021 semester.

Additionally, Rutgers URA-AFT is requesting the implementation of team staffing for the spring semester alternating in-person and remote work until the pandemic is over.…

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N.J.’s digital divide cut by more than half

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Dec. 21 that the state’s digital divide stands at 14,349, down 54 percent from the prior week — the biggest one-week drop since the N.J. Department of Education started collecting such data this school year.

School districts continued to cite delivery delays as the reason behind their unfulfilled needs, “but we are hopeful that these will be filled quickly and this gap will be closed,” Murphy said.…

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Rowan adjunct completes coronavirus course

In late spring, when Rowan University’s department of biological sciences offered adjunct professor EJ Karetny a special topics seminar for the fall, it didn’t take him too long to settle on a subject.

Karetny says he decided to “dive into the biology of the pandemic” for his weekly Wednesday class, officially classified as BIOL 01445 — Special Topics in Biological Sciences but given the subtitle Origin and Transmission of SARS-CoV-2.…

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N.J. Senate passes two bills tied to education

The New Jersey Senate on Dec. 17 overwhelmingly passed two bills tied to education.

S2932, sponsored by Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, would prohibit state colleges and universities from entering into subcontracting agreements which may affect the employment of any worker in a bargaining unit during the term of a contract in a collective bargaining unit under any circumstances during the term of an existing collective bargaining agreement.…

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More candidates rumored for education secretary

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to fill out his entire Cabinet by Christmas, and the latest candidates being discussed for Secretary of Education are former Howard University dean Leslie T. Fenwick and Connecticut Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona, The Washington Post reports.

AFT President Randi Weingarten, who has also been rumored for the post, has described them both as “very, very solid candidates.”…

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