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Weekly News Round-Up for February 9th
posted by: Melissa | February 09, 2018, 06:28 PM   

Each week, PACE brings its members a round-up of what’s happening in education. From big, eye-catching headlines to the stories most papers overlook, we find the news our members really want to see. This week, a school district dumps classic literature, DeVos earns an ‘F’ from unions, and West Virginia and St. Louis prepare to strike!


School District Removes To Kill a Mockingbird, Huckleberry Finn from Required Reading: Schools in Duluth, MN have removed two selections of classic literature from their required reading list. The two books, To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn have long been recognized for speaking out against prejudice, but also contain racial slurs. District officials felt that they could teach the same objectives to students using novels that did not include racially charged language. The books regularly make the American Library Association’s list of 100 most frequently challenged books. The books will still be available in the school’s library and students can read them on their own if they choose to do so.


One Year in Office, DeVos still Controversial: DeVos marked her first year of leading the U.S. Education department by listing what she views as her accomplishments. DeVos named rolling back regulations on schools and reducing the role of the Education Department in general as important work that has been accomplished. Her efforts in these areas often met with resistance from congress and stakeholders, and a year on, they are no less controversial. Several progressive teachers’ organizations, led by the AFT, said that the Education Secretary had earned all Fs during her first year in office.


Multiple Strikes on the Horizon: Another week has done little to ease tensions brewing between teacher union officials and school administrators around the country. Multiple districts are preparing for strikes next week. In Minnesota, St. Paul public school teachers have set Wednesday as the day when strikes will begin if a contract agreement isn’t reached. In West Virginia, the failure of the legislature to deal with lagging pay and dramatic increases in health insurance have led to a historic discussions between the state’s two major unions. If a solution is not found, the two unions will form a statewide strike, something only seen a few times in the history of the country.


Utah Revises Teacher Pay, Charter Authorizing: Utah is in the middle of its legislative session and multiple bills effecting education in that state are making their way through Utah’s State House. One GOP proposal would raise teacher pay in the state by over $41 million in an attempt to bring the state’s teacher pay up to the national average and improve teacher retention. Another proposal would change how charter schools are authorized in the state. The bill would allow the state board to create rules and regulations for charter school approval, but would no longer require a board vote on new charter authorizations.


Happening Elsewhere:

Tensions flare at Capitol after Democrats try to pass pro-union bills after midnight

In Fight Over Science Education in Idaho, Lawmakers Move to Minimize Climate

N.J. schools should have 'Black Lives Matter' week, says teachers union

Rural and cash-strapped schools in Wisconsin would see more money under bill

Where teacher certification isn’t required

Lawmakers want answers on special education growth

House education budget includes 2.5 percent raise for teachers

House approves early $1.3B education budget

Senate Won't Debate Bill to Spend More on Private Schools

Seeing double: School with 44 sets of twins in one year sets world records

A teacher noticed her 4-year-old student was insecure about her hairstyle — so she copied it herself

Teacher adopts problem student who almost made her give up on education — and his little brother


What’s going on where you are?

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