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Clever creative call to action

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Many of you have seen the informational Common Core State Standard video being used here in Washington for parents and others in the community. Watch how Seattle Education Association’s Ingraham High School’s Mary Smith turned that same clever video technique into a call to action to stop Seattle Schools from cutting three clerical positions at secondary schools. One person can make a difference. Sign her petition asking the superintendent to go back to the drawing board.


ADHD disgnoses correlated to punitive ed reform policies

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“The ADHD Explosion” authors Stephen Hinshaw and Richard Scheffler found disturbing correlations between educational policies and the prevalence of ADHD diagnoses. The two, who are colleagues at University of California Berkeley, found that when rates of ADHD diagnoses are broken down by state, there are dramatic discrepancies. Their data-based analysis shows that high rates of ADHD diagnoses correlated closely with state laws that penalize schools when students fail. Check out this fascinating article in Salon.com.


No tying student test scores to evaluations

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As we head into the weekend, we reiterate that WEA opposes mandating the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations. While the Washington State Senate defeated the misguided teacher evaluation bill last week, the pressure to tie teacher evaluations to student test scores is continuing from the federal and state level. Read WEA’s statement of principles to gain a stronger understanding where WEA stands.


A different kind of "waiver"

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While Valentine’s Day 2014 is over, the love story between and elderly woman and high school students living in her neighborhood continues. Watch this heartwarming story about how a small gesture means so much.


More Than A Score

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A Chicago Public Schools parent coalition is calling for students to opt out of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test. So far, some 500 students at 29 schools will be skipping the test. The coalition, More Than A Score, says that the ISAT is being replaced this year and that if students refuse to take the test, they will get two week more of learning rather than two weeks of testing.


A courageous and giant heart

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Each of WEA’s 83,000 members possesses skills, qualities, traits which make them unique. On this Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend, we honor the memory of Shirley Walthall. As Everett’s first African American public school teacher, Walthall was an inspiration to students, educators and her community. She loved what she did and she showed courage and leadership in her work and life every day.


For the love of teaching

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Author Glennon Doyle Melton recently spent an afternoon in a fifth grade class trying to figure out a new way to do a math problem. She also discovered  how her son’s teacher keeps a finger on the pulse of students who are struggling with loneliness – something much, much larger than struggling with a math problem.


Money talks loudly

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According to "Politico," The Walton Family Foundation has given startup grants to launch 1,500 charter schools across our contry. That's one in every four charter schools nationwide. Speaking of dollars shaping federal and state public policy, Scott Thomas who is dean of the education school at Claremont Graduate University, says Bill Gates and his foundation staff “have assembled an agenda and a mechanism to achieve their objectives, plain and simple.”


Why not us?

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We can bet that some 450 Kimball Elementary School students are wearing their Seahawks jersey today in celebration of our Superbowl win. Like so many WEA members, SEA member Kevin Zelko has a second job – a part-time beer vendor at Seahawks games. He noticed (during a recent spirit day where kids could wear Seahawks blue and green) some of the students could not afford to purchase garb and decided to use his own tip money to help.


Immeasurable

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Ninety-four students; 31 adults – mostly teachers were stranded together all night at an elementary school in Atlanta, GA during yesterday’s storm which dumped snow deep enough to stop people from traveling. Most of the kids were asleep by 10. Most of the teachers were up all night. Educators around the Atlanta area comforted students who were stuck at school. Evaluation of this kind of dedication is immeasurable.


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