Welcome to the blog of the California Teachers Empowerment Network. CTEN is a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the public at large with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
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Many studies have shown that teachers don’t improve after
the first three to five years on the job, but now a new study refutes the prior
… the researchers found teachers'
ability to improve student achievement persisted well beyond the three- to
five-year mark. While the teachers did make the most progress during their
first few years in the classroom, teachers improved their ability to boost
student test scores on average by 40 percent between their 10th and their 30th
year on the job, the study shows.
The improvements were seen in both
reading and math teachers, but were stronger in mathematics.
If the above is
true, then Los Angeles should have the best teachers around.The Los
Angeles Daily News reports that the seniority system has brought us to a
point where “Los Angeles Unified’s teachers are old and costly.”
every teacher under the age of 25, there are more than 19 teachers older than
56, according to district data recently compiled for a retirement plan.
nearly half of the district’s teachers, 49.4 percent, are older than 46, while
15.5 percent are younger than 36.
school year, 37.1 percent of the district’s classroom teachers had more than 19
years of experience. Each one of those veteran teachers cost the district at
least 37.8 percent more in salary than a freshman teacher who earned $45,637
compared with $75,024 for the veteran teacher, according to LAUSD documents.
Additionally, an older workforce increases the cost LAUSD pays for health care
And speaking of Los
Angeles, the talks between the district and teachers union are not going well.
There are several issues including salary. While the union is offering a 5
percent raise, UTLA is demanding 8.5 percent. They are in the mediation phase,
which is the penultimate step. If mediation bears no fruit,fact-finding follows and then a strike could
take place if there is still no meeting of the minds. For the latest on the
negotiations and all things educational in Los Angeles, LA School Report is a great one-stop shop. Their daily reports can
be accessed here -http://laschoolreport.com/
A popular trend in
education circles these days is “restorative justice,” which tries to deal with
student misbehavior issues by utilizing a kinder and gentler approach, and
avoiding the traditional “punish and suspend.” But New York charter operator
Eva Moskowitz isn’t buying any of the new methods. In fact, she wrote an op-ed
for the Wall Street Journal in which she
points out that restorative justice is nonsense. To read “Turning Schools Into
Fight Clubs” go to http://www.wsj.com/articles/eva-moskowitz-turning-schools-into-fight-clubs-1427930575
Do you think you are
ready to teach Common Core? If not, you have company. In fact, the president of
the state Board of Education estimates that less than half of California's
teachers are fully prepared to teach the new instructional standards. Michael
Kirst, Stanford University professor emeritus of education and head of the
state panel that sets policies followed by school districts, gave that
assessment during an interview in late March. “It requires a very different
kind of classroom teaching. In education reform, the hardest thing to change is
instruction within the classroom,” he said. He went on to say that he thinks it
will take “at least four years to fully roll out the new standards in state
schools,” and called for patience. For more on Kirst’s thoughts, go to http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/03/23/50468/half-of-california-teachers-not-fully-prepared-to/
You may or may not
be an expert on Common Core, but are you ready to teach labor history? If the
teachers unions get their way, that’s what some of you will be doing every May.
Labor expert Kevin Dayton writes, “Do you want your local high school to
offer a Labor Studies class to prepare the next generation of union
organizers? In California, students soon might have that opportunity, if the
state’s Instructional Quality Commission adopts a recommendation from the
California Federation of Teachers and the California Assembly Speaker’s
Commission on Labor Education.” To read more of Dayton’s report, go to http://unionwatch.org/will-california-students-get-to-take-labor-studies-as-a-class-elective/If you want to let the state know your
thoughts about the addition of Labor Studies to the high school curriculum (or
any other curricular changes), please contact Kenneth McDonald (KMcDonal@cde.ca.gov)
at the State Board of Education.
A couple of weeks ago, Mike Antonucci “declassified” a
document which shows that NEA is trying to prepare its state affiliates for the
inevitable day when “right-to-work” will be a national reality. When that
happens, the union will have to recruit its members, and not rely on the old
forced-dues way of doing things. Its 23 pages are packed solid with endless
lists, bullet points and a lot of useless information – not exactly
scintillating reading. But if you want to plow through it, here is the link - http://www.eiaonline.com/NEAAgencyFeeToolkit.pdf
And finally, we still have a limited number of T-shirts
available. They are navy blue with the CTEN logo on front and “A resource for
all who care about education” printed on the back. They come preshrunk, in
small, medium, large and XL. If you would like one, all you have to do is make
a $15 donation to CTEN via PayPal - http://www.ctenhome.org/donate.htm
- and let us know what size and where to send it and we will get it out to you
As always, thanks for your continued interest and support