Go to about 2:35 and you can see the studnets of Edwards Elementary. They even get a special shout out at the end (4:05).
Oklahoma City schools Superintendent Karl Springer left me a voicemail last night referring to yesterday’s post about the Dallas district layoffs. Here’s part of his message:
“Hi Wendy, it’s Karl Springer. Hey, I’ve been reading your blog on the Dallas Independent School District. We have openings in Oklahoma City for some teachers – several elementary positions. Be nice to be able to get some of those people from Dallas to apply.”
If you know someone who was affected, you might want to pass this information along. A list of vacant positions is available here: www.okcps.org/jobs/okcpsvacancy.pdf.
Expected layoffs came today for teachers across the Dallas Independent School District. This is a simple post to send you over to the Dallas Morning News’ education blog, where you can read posts from those teachers and their colleagues about the impact today is having. Some comments are rather poignant.
CutoutDissection.com. It’s more than a Web site. It’s also the legal name of a North Carolina 19-year-old formerly known as Jennifer Thornburg.
Thornburg changed her name and started a Web site by the same name to protest animal dissections in schools, according to this article.
Separately, Oklahoma City science teacher Sherry Groeger-Godwin was selected from Northeast Academy as one of 185 middle and high school teachers nationwide as a fellow in the year-long 2008 New Science Teacher Academy. The program is designed to curb what the National Science Teachers Association says is a high attrition rate of science teachers.
Groeger-Godwin is one of four teachers selected from Oklahoma. The others are Holdenville resident Orvilla Coleman of Moss Public School in Holdenville, Mead resident Angela Joines of Silo Public School in Durant, and Pryor resident Leland “Terry” Newton of Union Intermediate High School in Broken Arrow.
Share your thoughts on dissections and science education in general in the comments section below.
Educators should be paid like babysitters, says EducationNews.org columnist Robert Archer, who’s going on his 13th year as an English teacher in Washington state. They should be paid baby-sitting wages not to insult them over the work they do, but because he figures they would make more money. Archer admits he doesn’t have all the kinks worked out for his idea, which is based on what his children’s babysitter charges, but it’s an intriguing one to read nonetheless — just click here.
Meanwhile, this article from Education Week illustrates what some school districts nationwide are facing as the economy stumbles. Their actions, such as halting new school construction, are compounded by worries about future hits if sales tax revenue declines further as consumer spending constricts.
And this bit of news out of Tulsa gives a glimpse into how the state’s largest district is dealing with both factors: teacher pay and a tight budget.
Share your thoughts on teacher pay and school funding — particularly the views in the above links — below in the comments section.
First, a follow-up to a story earlier this week that bullying affects one-third of Oklahoma children. Newsweek magazine published this timely article about just how those who are bullied come to be targeted. The link is counterintuitive according to the article: children who are bullied start out as children who show aggression early in their lives.
And second, two stories related to reading. TIME magazine reports that reading — by all accounts a sedentary activity — may actually help young girls lose weight. And this New York Times story talks about the new idea of linking books and video games together.
Share your comments on these stories below, or share links to other national education news that caught your attention.
-PERSONAL LOOK AT DISTRICT LAYOFFS: More than 60 central office employees in the Dallas school district were shown the door at the start of this week, and more cuts – including teachers - could be on the way later today as officials try to remedy an $84 million budget shortfall. Here’s a view on the situation from Donald Claxton, who briefly headed the communications department at Oklahoma City Public Schools under former Superintendent John Porter after working in the Dallas district.
-BOYCOTT MOVES TO THE BALL FIELD: An Illinois state senator from Chicago took his stab at school funding reform to last night’s playoff game between the Cubs and the Dodgers last night. Sen. James Meeks also led a student boycott of lower performing schools at the start of the year.
-CONFUSING STUDENT ASSESSMENTS: This Washington Post story talks about a literacy program’s assessments that start on a seemingly arbitrary scale of 2 to 16 and then switch to the letters J through P. I’m not questioning the scale or the program there, but the article did make me think about whether parents can always understand how their students are evaluated.
Houston administrators plan to reopen about 120 of the district’s 300 schools tomorrow, and will roll out the rest as electricity is restored and damage repaired from Hurricane Ike, according to this Houston Chronicle story.
The list of open schools will be updated on the district’s Web site, and officials are thinking about how to make up the lost time.
This is similar to how Oklahoma City Public Schools recovered from the devastating ice storm last December – cancelling classes for a week, then opening all the buildings that were safe for children as they were ready.
Meanwhile, many commenters on the Chronicle story sounded off about what’s expected of teachers, and if it’s realistic or fair to expect them to all be back in the classroom at a moment’s notice while they’re still coping with the personal impact of the storm.
What advice would you share from your ice storm experience with parents and teachers in southern Texas as they roll out their school reopenings? Post it here.
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader will speak about Oklahoma’s ballot access law and the current presidential campaign at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa on Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Auditorium.
“Open the Debates” is the theme of Nader’s remarks, which reflect the Nader and vice presidential candidate Matt Gonzalez campaign’s call for inclusive, democratic presidential debates.
Nader will also address
OSU-Tulsa is located at 700 North Greenwood Avenue, near I-244 and Detroit Avenue. For more information, contact the Nader campaign at 202-471-5833.
Schools already are designated gun-free, drug-free zones, and West Virginia is moving toward adding “idle-free” to the list.
The state’s Department of Environment Protection is entering the second year of a program that provides school boards, Head Start programs and private schools with signs declaring them idle-free, according to this Charleston Daily Mail story.
The state already prohibits school buses from idling unless it’s below 40 degrees outside. Officials hope the signs will encourage parents to do the same.
Are financial or environmental concerns enough to convince you to cut your engine while you wait for your children to get out of school? Share your comments here.