Willow Run and Ypsilanti school districts have merged in Ypsilanti, Mich., and students are working to create an identity for their districts that had been rivals in sports and other events. A group of students attended a two-day workshop to encourage school spirit for the newly formed Ypsilanti Community Schools. They painted a mural and recorded a rap theme song to build excitement for their school identity and mascot, the Grizzlies.
The Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers Los Angeles are working together to appeal a judge's decision earlier this month that teachers' rating information must be released to the Los Angeles Times. On Tuesday, the judge ruled the individual ratings will remain confidential pending the appeal.
Taking a page from Dave Burgess' "Teach Like a Pirate," Edutopia's Clara Galan suggests teachers plan for everything in the new school year -- including the duels and treasure hunts. Likening planning for the school year to preparing for an adventure, Galan writes in this blog post that teachers should prioritize, make a list and establish a timeline, give students responsibilities, tap their professional networks and be unafraid to say no -- or "Arrr."
Turnover is higher among educators in charter schools -- and often by choice of teachers seeking career advancement -- at two to five years, than public schools, where teachers average 14 years of experience. Research has connected high teacher turnover to lower student achievement. Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, says other professions require five years before professionals are considered masters at their craft. "Shouldn't we have some kind of analog to that with the people we are entrusting our children to?" he asks.
When Sharon Mang learned she was a descendant of a Civil War-era family, the family consumer science teacher began studying and her research lead her to create the lesson plan. Mang, who recently won an ING Unsung Hero award for the plan, will have students in her housing and interior design class design and build scale models of the courthouse square of the Civil War era, while her fashion and textile students will make dresses, uniforms and a quilt. The projects will be publicly displayed in the fall.