“Teachers’ summers off …” – from The Washington Post

Let us dispel the myth that teachers have the summer “off.” It seems things haven’t changed much since I left K-12 teaching more than a decade ago. And, according to this article, teacher summers are the same in other parts of the world, as well.

First, put to rest the “fact” that teachers get paid for the summer. Teachers may arrange to be paid through the summer by requesting their 9-month salary be distributed over 12 months. Thus, they do not get paid for the summer. Big difference.

Second, because teacher pay is so low and the daily time expenditure during the school year huge, many teachers must seek additional employment during the summer months to make ends meet, to pay for student loans, to pay for graduate and professional development courses, etc. Those teachers who can afford it attend university for graduate and post-baccalaureate education courses to fulfill state credentialing requirements, which are ongoing.

But you probably already know all this. Read on.

Teachers’ summers off squeezed by second jobs, training – The Washington Post.

If the link above does not work, copy and paste the URL below into your browser.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/teachers-summers-off-squeezed-by-second-jobs-training/2012/05/24/gJQAUbo6mU_story.html?wprss=rss_local

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Lawsuit targets California’s legal protections for teachers – latimes.com

There are a lot of reasons why teacher tenure laws are part of most state constitutions. One of these is arbitrary dismissal of ostensibly bad teachers, which might be little more than an accusation by a single disgruntled parent. A new California non-profit group called Students Matter, however, believes that teacher dismissal should be quicker and less costly than it currently is in the state.

The Los Angeles Times’ Howard Blume interviewed LA Unified School District administrators and others in this fact-laden article.

Lawsuit targets California’s legal protections for teachers – latimes.com.

Personally, although it can take forever to get rid of a bad teacher, the time and effort to do so is no less than the due process an accused law breaker could expect. There are rigorous procedures involved to protect against unfounded accusations that could result in defamation and the destruction of an individual’s career and life.

The reality is that the process itself can result in improvement in a “bad teacher’s” teaching. Often, an individual who is accused of poor teaching has no idea that he or she is not doing an adequate job, and the procedures involved can actually give the teacher the training to improve and enhance both competency and the classroom experience.

Some school districts, like LAUSD, are taking steps to facilitate the effort and costs involved in a teacher’s dismissal. Heaven knows, LAUSD has had it’s share of teacher dismissals this year, and not due to budget problems, but due to inappropriate teacher behavior. Somehow, the dismissals were handled with alacrity and without law suits by the dismissed individuals. It seems that LAUSD may have a dismissal method that works.

Personally, I would much rather see improvement in an educator’s teaching due to intervention than to see an arbitrary dismissal based on inadequate or nonexistent documentation–or the judgment of an ill-informed administrator.

But that’s just my opinion…

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Education Department Announces $254 Million for Upward Bound Projects to Help About 60,000 Students Access and Succeed in Higher Education | U.S. Department of Education

Read what the government is doing about skills-challenged students.

Education Department Announces $254 Million for Upward Bound Projects to Help About 60,000 Students Access and Succeed in Higher Education | U.S. Department of Education.

If the link above does not work, copy and paste the following URL into your browser.

http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/education-department-announces-254-million-upward-bound-projects-help-about-6000

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