E2010 Wired

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Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Wave of Teacher Retirements on the Horizon

With Republicans dead set on crushing teachers’ rights and other public employees, teachers with enough years to retire are heading for the door.

NEA Today reported that:

“In Wisconsin, the number of state employees who have applied to retire this year is already 73 percent over last year – and public schools are bracing for a full-on stampede before contracts end in June.” … “Educators simply can’t afford to stay on. With Gov. Scott Walker’s success in gutting collective bargaining and the rights of the working class, they’re afraid that, if they don’t retire now, they’ll lose their pensions and potential health benefits. Plus, with Walker and his right-wing allies poised to slash public school budgets, educators across the state will be struggling to teach enormous numbers of students in each classroom next year.

“I felt like it was almost like a gun to our heads,” said Thomas Bindl to an Education Week reporter. Bindl, a 57-year-old fourth-grade teacher in Sun Prairie’s Royal Oaks Elementary, has been teaching for 34 years.

A Wave of Teacher Retirements on the Horizon : NEA Today.

We should all be concerned. Parents, teachers and more have been fighting for years, especially in our urban centers who will undoubtedly be hit the hardest by the GOP’s shameless actions, to cut class size allowing teachers and students to engage in real learning.

In addition to an obvious spike in class size, we will lose the benefit of the experience and the knowledge that senior teaching staff bring to the table. For certain, a diverse teaching staff is plum; we need new ideas and methods coupled with the wisdom of  senior teaching staff.

Sadly, the GOP’s unbridled lust for crushing public employee unions has nothing to do with our children. Its politics. Gov. Scott Walker will definitely find a place in th history books. I’m not so sure the spot he is looking for.

Parents seek more say in special education plans

Providing parents more involvement is great. With the great reception this bill received in the Education Committee, I hope it is able to continue through the legislative process without too much tugging and pulling, which often winds up diluting proposed legislation from whence it began.


Connecticut legislators are being asked to give parents more input in the way schools create education plans for students with special needs.

The legislature’s education committee voted 28-4 this month to endorse a bill giving parents more information in the early stages of creating federally mandated Individualized Education Programs (IEP).

Parents seek more say in special education plans – Courant.com.

John Wood, Founder of Room to Read

I love Kindle. I’m an avid reader and the ability to open my kindle and have my favorite books at the ready is so great. But most of all, having grown up with my parents and my other sisters reading to me, I love the smell of books, the feel of the paper and most of all the anticipation of adventure tucked inside each page.

In this video, former Microsoft executive, John Wood, talks about his venture of changing the world — through education — with Room to Read.

Digital technologies must change failed public education model – Local Columns – GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

More on Technology and Public Education: I know some parents who still think their child (children) need not be acquainted with computers until they are “older.” The fear of the Internet, exposure to pornography and child predators has many parents resolved to “hold off” on allowing younger (K-12) full access to the power of the web.

I’m a parent (grandparent and great-grandparent) and I fully appreciate the concern. But waiting, in my opinion, is not the best option. I believe that early instruction is the way to go.

Some computers come with monitoring chips similar to cable television monitoring chips. I think its better to go this route and guide young children through their usage instead of an all-or-nothing approach.

That being said, this article is an excellent read on technology and education.


Only a break with the past and an embrace of the present will give us the public education system we all need and want — and our children deserve.

As local, state and national headlines remind us daily, our current model of public education is in a steep decline. Developed in response to the needs of the Industrial Revolution, it served our nation well through most of the 20th century. In recent decades, however, it has grown increasingly outmoded. Despite extraordinary reform measures, which have proved extraordinarily expensive yet exasperatingly ineffective, we merely have been prolonging the inevitable: public education, as we have known it, cannot be sustained.

Digital technologies must change failed public education model – Local Columns – GoErie.com/Erie Times-News.

Salisbury Post : 21st century program wins national recognition

Salisbury Post : 21st century program wins national recognition. As state and local budget shortfalls hit hard, this school system is using the Apple Exemplary Program to bring the latest technology into the classroom and giving students laptops as early as second grade.

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