Reports of Cyber Crimes Against Tennessee Children Spiked During Pandemic Shutdown

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has received more than 450 tips of cyber crimes against children this year, TBI Director David Rausch said.

The bureau received 122 tips of cyber crimes against children in March, which was three times the number of tips received in January.

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U.S. Department of Education Opens Investigation of Fordham University Over Punishment of Student Austin Tong

The U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation into Fordham University, about two months after student Austin Tong received notification from the New York City private college that his social media posts violated university policy and that he had been placed on probation.

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Guidance for Masks in Schools Varies Widely Across US States

School districts that plan to reopen classrooms in the fall are wrestling with whether to require teachers and students to wear face masks — an issue that has divided urban and rural schools and yielded widely varying guidance.

The divide has also taken on political dimensions in Iowa, among other places, where Democratic-leaning cities like Des Moines and Iowa City have required masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus, while smaller, more conservative communities have left the decision to parents.

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28 Congressional Democrats Sign Letter Demanding Department Of Education Allow Biological Males in Girls’ Sports

Twenty-eight congressional Democrats signed a letter Wednesday condemning the Department of Education for ruling that public schools that allow biological males who identify as transgender to play girls’ sports are violating Title IX civil rights legislation.

Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined 27 House Democrats in signing the letter, which charged that the department’s order “discriminates against transgender youth” by restricting girls’ sports to biological females.

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Eden Prairie School Board Member Criticizes ‘Unacceptable’ Lack of Direction from Walz Admin on Upcoming School Year

An Eden Prairie School Board member broke his silence Monday after learning that the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) won’t be releasing state guidance on the upcoming academic year until July 27.

Three scenarios are possible for the 2020-21 school year, including continued distance learning, the resumption of in-person instruction, or a mix of the two.

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Commentary: Enemies of Homeschooling Are Scared – and They Should Be

Nearly every family with kids has gotten a taste of homeschooling over the past two months. In an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, at least 124,000 schools have closed for over 55 million children in the U.S. At the same time, opponents of homeschooling launched several unfounded attacks on the practice. For example, The Washington Post ran an opinion piece claiming “homeschooling during the coronavirus will set back a generation of children,” and a Salon article said that “homeschooling as a result of the pandemic will likely worsen education for students and pose serious problems to the economy and nation’s social well-being.”

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COVID-19: Rep. Mark Green Sends Letter to Department of Education Asking for Recognition of Schools’ Ability to Administer Statewide Assessments

On Wednesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Michael Patrick Leahy spoke to U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-7) regarding his recent letter to the United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

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Sources Show Demand for Education Savings Account Program, But There’s No Way for Families to Apply

Two separate sources show there is pent up demand for the state’s Education Savings Account (ESA) Pilot Program, but there is not yet a way for interested parents to apply with the Tennessee Department of Education for the upcoming school year.

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Tlaib Introduces Charter School Oversight Bill, Says DeVos Turning a ‘Blind Eye to Their Failures’

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) introduced a bill last week that she says will promote the “same type of accountability from charter schools nationwide that the law requires of traditional public schools.”

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Commentary: Students’ Test Scores Unchanged After Decades of Federal Intervention in Education

Federal “Highly Qualified Teacher” mandates. Adequate Yearly Progress requirements. Smaller learning communities. Improving Teacher Quality State Grants. Reading First. Early Reading First. The dozens of other federal programs authorized via No Child Left Behind. School Improvement Grants. Race to the Top. Common Core.

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Department of Education Going After Elite Colleges for Allegedly Taking and Hiding Foreign Cash

by Luke Rosiak   The Department of Education is going after U.S universities over supposed ties to foreign governments, after some allegedly took huge quantities of foreign cash and hid it from regulators. At the top of the list are Georgetown University and Texas A&M, which have taken hundreds of…

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Marcia Fudge Accuses Betsy DeVos of ‘Picking Winners and Losers’ in Education Budget

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11) grilled Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during a recent hearing before the House Education and Labor Committee over her new “Education Freedom Scholarships” incentive. The scholarship program was included in the Trump administration’s federal education budget, but there has been much debate about how exactly the…

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Former Ohio State Senator Randy Gardner Now Highest Paid Member of DeWine Administration at $190,000 Salary

Former State Sen. Randy Gardner, who was picked by Gov. Mike DeWine to lead the Department of Education, is currently the highest paid member of the new administration. Gardner will receive a base salary of $190,008, which is more than $100,000 higher than the average $87,600 salary he made as…

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Taxpayer-Funded Tennessee School Board Association Lobbies State Legislature for More Money and Greater Control

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The Tennessee School Board Association, funded through membership dues paid with tax dollars allocated for school systems, lobbies the Tennessee General Assembly on various issues many of which work against taxpayers’ interests. This week, the Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA) held their annual Day on the Hill…

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Education Department Wiping Clean $150 Million In Student Loans After Obama-Era Rule

by Neetu Chandak   The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday it will forgive $150 million in federal student loans. Nearly 15,000 former students whose schools shut down prior to graduation between Nov. 1, 2013 and Dec. 4 will now have their loans cancelled, the Education Department announcement said. Borrowers will find out about…

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Rumor Control: Setting the Record Straight on PreK/Kindergarten Portfolios

JC Bowman

Social media was hard at it this weekend over the PreK/Kindergarten Student Growth Portfolio Model.  While Professional Educators of Tennessee is not sold on the portfolio process, it is the current law (see T.C.A. §§ 49-6-103–49-6-110).  We believe the current portfolio system takes up too much time for our educators. …

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JC Bowman Commentary: On Combining the Departments of Education and Labor

Departments of Education and Labor

President Trump’s concept to merge the U.S. Department of Education with the Department of Labor lacks significant details and will be difficult to maneuver through a deeply divided Congress.

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One-Fifth Of North Carolina Students Aren’t Going To Traditional Public Schools

classroom

by Rob Shimshock   Almost 20 percent of K-12 students in North Carolina are not attending traditional public schools. Enrollment in the state’s traditional public schools has fallen during the past few years as more and more students attend private, charter or home schools, The News & Observer reported Friday. North Carolina’s…

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Commentary: United States Department of Education and the Circular Firing Squad

The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Can you list an irrefutable positive consequence on the academic performance of school children in the United States as a direct result of the involvement of the federal government since the creation of the United States Department of Education?

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Commentary: Educators Give Hope

If public education is to continue to be successful, it will take all the policymakers and stakeholders working together. Our message must be about children, teachers and public education not politics or social policies not related to public education.

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