Wednesday, July 29, 2020

K-12 Teachers Worried About COVID-19 on the Job - Gallup News

K-12 Teachers Worried About COVID-19 on the Job

K-12 Teachers Worried About COVID-19 on the Job



STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 57% teachers, 21% other workers very concerned about COVID-19 exposure
  • 64% teachers, 51% other workers say COVID-19 situation a lot worse
  • Teachers have become as likely as other workers to prefer remote work
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As school districts around the country begin to announce their plans for educating students this fall, a broad majority of U.S. schoolteachers say they are worried about being exposed to the coronavirus while working. Three-quarters of kindergarten through high school teachers say they are "very" (57%) or "moderately" (18%) concerned about COVID-19 exposure at their workplace. This compares with half of all other workers who are either very (21%) or moderately worried (29%).

These data are based on a subset of respondents from the ongoing probability-based online Gallup COVID-19 tracking survey who identified their occupation as a teacher of kindergarten through 12th-grade students. The June 29-July 19 polling included a sample of 495 teachers, while more than 650 teachers completed the survey in both May and June.
The latest data marks an uptick in teachers' levels of apprehension since May and June when fewer (though still majorities) were concerned.
Teachers are currently about three times as likely as other U.S. workers to say they are very concerned about workplace exposure to the virus. This divergence in the views of teachers and workers in all other industries has grown since May. While concern about workplace exposure has been fairly steady among workers who are not teachers, this unease has risen sharply among teachers. CONTINUE READING:  K-12 Teachers Worried About COVID-19 on the Job

How Los Angeles and San Diego Unified Started Driving State Education Policy — Voice of San Diego

How Los Angeles and San Diego Unified Started Driving State Education Policy — Voice of San Diego
How Los Angeles and San Diego Unified Started Driving State Education Policy
The moment was ripe for a novel statewide organizing approach. Coronavirus had upended schooling and many important questions, beyond even money, would have to be answered over the course of the pandemic.




Back in May, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a new draft of his budget, based on the bleak financial outlook caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. California’s rosy fiscal position had evaporated in a matter of weeks and it was time for the bad news: Schools would take the biggest hit.
Newsom said he was left with no choice but to cut $7 billion from education. It was one of the biggest single year drops in funding ever proposed. Education leaders immediately compared it to the devastating austerity of the Great Recession.
At the time, the state’s two largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego Unified, had been cultivating a partnership for weeks. And even though they had different purposes in mind for the new alliance, the moment of Newsom’s cuts was going to be a big moment for them.
“In the last recession, the entire education establishment rolled over,” said Richard Barrera, vice president of the San Diego Unified school board. “These big cuts were coming and everyone in Sacramento capitulated. Most districts were just waiting to be told, ‘Here are your guidelines. Here’s what you have to spend.’”
Barrera, a union organizer by trade, believed school districts should at the very least fight back against Newsom’s budget. Within days, Los Angeles and San Diego Unified wrote a letter saying they wouldn’t be able to physically reopen campuses if Newsom’s cuts went through. Other big districts signed onto the letter. School leaders pushed their local legislative delegations to CONTINUE READING: How Los Angeles and San Diego Unified Started Driving State Education Policy — Voice of San Diego

Why Is There No Consensus About Reopening Schools? - The New York Times

Why Is There No Consensus About Reopening Schools? - The New York Times

Why Is There No Consensus About Reopening Schools?



Is it possible to reopen school buildings in the fall in a way that keeps kids, educators, staff and their families and communities safe from Covid-19? Is it possible not to do so without harming them in other ways? Already, school closures have set children behind academically. More than 20 million children rely on school breakfasts and lunches. Too many parents face the choice between losing their jobs or leaving their children at home unsupervised. Vaccination rates for various dangerous diseases, typically required before students can attend school, have plummeted. Isolating children from their peers exacts social and emotional costs, which differ by age group and are nearly impossible to quantify. And whether schools reopen or remain closed, the risks are borne disproportionately by low-income communities and people of color. “This is really one of the most perplexing and complex issues I’ve ever faced in 40 years,” says Dan M. Cooper, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine.
A flood of guidance has been issued in recent weeks, much of it urging schools to reopen and suggesting safety precautions. Media outlets as well have relayed reams of often conflicting expert advice on how to weigh risks and benefits, to individuals and to society. In every case, that calculation is constrained by major gaps in our understanding of how Covid affects children and those in contact with them. Strong evidence suggests that children are much less likely than adults to get sick or die from the virus. (By July 9, data from most of the U.S. showed that nearly 242,000 children had tested positive for Covid, representing 8 percent of cases, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports; they account for fewer than 3 percent of hospitalizations and fewer than 1 percent of deaths.)
But are children less likely to be infected, or just less likely to show CONTINUE READING: Why Is There No Consensus About Reopening Schools? - The New York Times

Eleven Vacuous Truths, and One Lie | JD2718

Eleven Vacuous Truths, and One Lie | JD2718

Eleven Vacuous Truths, and One Lie



The NYC Department of Education falsely claims that Hybrid is easy, but Remote is very tricky.
In reality, they are both tricky. Remote did not go well this past spring. It is imperative that it be improved. But Hybrid if completely untried, and involves complexity beyond what Tweed can handle (which is why the execution is pushed off on principals.)
In the hybrid models they are pushing, one teacher will teach the kids on the days they are in school, and another will teach them when they are home – and these teachers will coordinate. I’m not sure exactly how, or who has the responsibility for overall planning, marking, etc.
In an alternate that is much-discussed, a teacher does both the remote and in-person teaching for a class (probably by not really teaching remotely – just assignments). In that case, four different groups of kids, or three, rotate the in-person class, while nominally continuing their work at home. Let’s say there are three groups, and you and me are in different groups. That means we will each have about 20 in-person classes in the fall – but whatever you learned in person – I didn’t, and whatever I learned in person – you didn’t. Not sure how a teacher can keep a class on one pace this way.
In short, the idea of hybrid teaching is very tricky. And all of that effort – while classes stay two-thirds or three-quarters remote. That’s quite a trade off for very little in-person class. And of course there is more CONTINUE READING: Eleven Vacuous Truths, and One Lie | JD2718

The 'she-cession': Teachers, a majority-female workforce, grapple with what's next

The 'she-cession': Teachers, a majority-female workforce, grapple with what's next

The 'she-cession': Teachers, a majority-female workforce, grapple with what's next
More than 3.5 million Americans are full, or part-time, public school teachers— and 76 percent of that workforce is female.





By Ali Vitali and Molly Roecker
There are no good options, and no playbook.
Across the country, schools are grappling with what “back to school” looks like in the time of a pandemic. And pressure from the White House and President Donald Trump to send kids back into classrooms, comes with questions from educators about how best to do that while keeping everyone — including themselves and their loved ones — safe.
“I want to be with my kids,” Stephanie Viramontes, a 57-year old high school teacher in Santa Clarita, California told NBC News. “I don’t want to affect my family.”
It’s just one of the concerns rippling through one of the nation’s largest workforces. More than 3.5 million Americans are full, or part-time, public school teachers— and 76 percent of that workforce is female.
Some teachers who spoke with NBC News said they felt left out of the discussions about reopening, or that the debate leaves out the realities of the classroom that they know well. For instance, how kids, especially younger ones, will likely need frequent reminders to not touch their face, their mask, or their classmates. Or, as Laura Hammock, an elementary school teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, already foresees, there could be difficulty social distancing because of space constraints in classrooms.
“It’s gonna be hard to put … 20 kids in a classroom with desks six feet apart,” she said. “You know, it’s not like we have extra money to add on to our classrooms.”
Other educators, like Amanda Lukesh, a middle school teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska, fear that by going back “it's not if you get COVID, it's when. When am I going to get it?” She has even discussed the possibility with her husband of drafting a will before going back to school. CONTINUE READING: The 'she-cession': Teachers, a majority-female workforce, grapple with what's next

David Berliner: The “Required Curriculum” Vs. “The Not Required” Curriculum | Diane Ravitch's blog

David Berliner: The “Required Curriculum” Vs. “The Not Required” Curriculum | Diane Ravitch's blog

David Berliner: The “Required Curriculum” Vs. “The Not Required” Curriculum



David Berliner has devoted his life to the study of education. He has achieved the pinnacle of his profession as a researcher and statistician. He is currently Regents Professor Emeritus at the College of Education at Arizona State University. His list of honors is too long to mention. I welcome his original contributions to the blog and am honored to present them to you. His title for this post is: “Learning Losses Associated with the ‘Required Curriculum’ Can Be Easily Offset by Gains in Learning in the ‘Not-Required Curriculum.'”
Parents currently worry that their children have not or will not learn enough by participating in the non-standard styles of schooling associated with our pandemic. Some worry, particularly, that their children will not test well if they miss too much of what we have come to regard as “regular” schooling. The regular or standard school curriculum differs slightly by state, but it is what teachers try to deliver in each grade. It is the curriculum designed to prepare children for their states’ tests, and for the SATs and ACTs taken near the end of high school.

Mr. G for District 3: Chris Guerrieri's Education Matters: About those teacher raises

Mr. G for District 3: Chris Guerrieri's Education Matters: About those teacher raises

About those teacher raises



If the state of Florida is going to force me to risk my life by sending me back to the classroom, at least I have that raise they promised to look forward to. Checks notes, oh since they got rid of Best and Brightest and school recognition funds as a veteran teacher, I will probably be getting a pay cut. Well isn’t that a kick in the a**


When DeSantis declared this the year of the teacher, little did we know that he meant, the year he would use them as a prop and put their lives in danger, but that is sure what happened.

Now about that teacher raise. He put 500 million towards them but then took out 480 million by eliminating the best and brightest and school recognition funds. Now I didn't like either program as they left out to many teachers, but they did put money in teacher's pockets. So that leaves 20 million dollars and since DeSantis wants this now money to go to raising starting salaries that doesn't leave a lot left over for those people already in the system.

Sadly despite the fact he did next to nothing for teachers, and many will actually see pay cuts, this did not stop DeSantis and dozens of GOP legislators from doing a victory lap and don't take it from me, take it from the superintendent of Leon County.

From the Tallahassee Democrat,


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is misleading the public about what teacher salaries will look like in the fall, CONTINUE READING: Mr. G for District 3: Chris Guerrieri's Education Matters: About those teacher raises

Neither Quality Nor Quantity: Mayor De Blasio’s Unworkable School Reopening Plan

Neither Quality Nor Quantity: Mayor De Blasio’s Unworkable School Reopening Plan

Neither Quality Nor Quantity: Mayor De Blasio’s Unworkable School Reopening Plan



Many of my colleagues are discussing whether or not it’s safe to go back to school buildings in New York City. Will buildings that were never clean before become clean now? Will buildings that were never properly ventilated suddenly become state of the art? Will children and teenagers observe social distancing in and out of school? I’ll leave all that to your imagination and focus mostly on the pedagogical. 
It’s not hard to explain the best possible way to administer education. I know well, because I’ve been doing it for decades. Face-to-face instruction is optimal. I can give immediate oral and written feedback. My students can work with one another in pairs or other small groupings to reinforce whatever we’re learning. You never know what will happen, every day is different, and it’s the best job there is.
Of course, things are different now. We can’t simply go back this September to where we were last September because we all know the virus is still here and can surge back. We need only look south to Florida, to Texas, and elsewhere to see what will happen if we’re careless. 
schools chancellor public
This year, we’re looking at what the mayor calls a hybrid school model—partly remote and partly in-person. At first blush, this looks like a reasonable compromise. When you look under the hood, though, there are a lot of major questions. For example, if I go in on Monday and teach 20-50% of my students, what are my other CONTINUE READING: Neither Quality Nor Quantity: Mayor De Blasio’s Unworkable School Reopening Plan

Shanker Blog: The Pandemic and Federal Education Policy: From the Race to the Top to the Plunge to the Bottom | National Education Policy Center

Shanker Blog: The Pandemic and Federal Education Policy: From the Race to the Top to the Plunge to the Bottom | National Education Policy Center

Shanker Blog: The Pandemic and Federal Education Policy: From the Race to the Top to the Plunge to the Bottom



his post is part of our series entitled Teaching and Learning During a Pandemic, in which we invite guest authors to reflect on the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic for teaching and learning. Our guest today is Stan Karp, a Rethinking Schools editor who also taught English and Journalism to high school students in Paterson, New Jersey for 30 years, and is currently Director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey's Education Law Center. This an edited version of a piece posted by Rethinking Schools. The full version is here. Other posts in the series are compiled here.
In 2009, federal intervention during the last financial crisis gave rise to the Obama administration’s signature education initiative: the Race to the Top (RTTT). Created with $4.3 billion from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, RTTT weaponized its forerunner, the No Child Left Behind Act, and led to new levels of assault on unions, the teaching profession, and public schools, and to a decade of damaging privatization. 
It took years of resistance, pushback, and policy failures to turn the tide. NCLB and RTTT were ultimately unsustainable and failed to deliver on their promises. As the 2018 Red for Ed teacher strike wave and the early stages of the 2020 presidential campaign showed, resistance and activism helped shift the focus of national education politics from charters and tests to school funding and teacher salaries. Mobilized, militant teachers became the voices of communities digging out from decades of austerity, and support for public education was again on the rise.
But now the Trump pandemic and the lethal fiasco of the response by U.S. economic and political institutions have remade the education landscape again. We are back in shock doctrine, disaster capitalism territory and public schools are again in the crosshairs.
The Implications for Federal Education Policy
The emergency CARES Act was the first of several massive pieces of federal legislation rushed through Congress in response to the pandemic. While there will be additional federal action in the months ahead, including attempts to address the financial tsunami that is already engulfing school budgets, even a cursory comparison between the federal response in 2009 and the initial response to the current crisis provides some clues about the extended emergency ahead for public education. 
The CARES Act didn’t include the same kind of signature federal initiative that RTTT represented for Obama and his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, but it did give Duncan’s successor, the wildly unpopular, right-wing billionaire Betsy DeVos, extraordinary powers in a host of important policy areas.
The first — and undoubtedly most popular — use of this authority came when all 50 states CONTINUE READING: Shanker Blog: The Pandemic and Federal Education Policy: From the Race to the Top to the Plunge to the Bottom | National Education Policy Center