Commentary: Teachers Unions’ Other Foes Are Liberal Parents

Khulia Pringle would seem an unlikely critic of the local Minneapolis Federation of Teachers. The St. Paul native embarked on a teaching career in the hope of improving a school system that she saw as failing her daughter. By the time she finished her training in 2014, she had grown so disillusioned with the public school system that she took a job with an education reform group, helping to recruit and place hundreds of tutors in schools across the state.

While she shares the union’s emphasis on pushing for higher pay and smaller classrooms, the self-described liberal education activist says the federation’s three-week strike last month provided final confirmation of her worst fear: The union and public education system place a higher priority on serving their own needs than they do on serving students and parents, 60% of whom are minorities.

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Tennessee General Assembly Convenes Special Session on Education Reforms Necessitated by Pandemic

The Tennessee General Assembly convened for a special session to discuss learning loss and literacy reforms introduced by the governor’s office. State officials are proposing a series of reforms they dubbed “targeted intervention.” The first bill would establish a full-time tutoring core, after-school camps, learning loss bridge camps, and summer learning camps. Additionally, the second bill proposed a third grade “reading gate” to ensure students are prepared before entering fourth grade and that K-3 educators teach phonics as the primary form of reading, which would be complemented by a screening tool for parents’ use.

The impact of standardized testing also faces reforms. The third bill would keep the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) in place for the 2021 school year, but wouldn’t impose any negative consequences on student assessment. This would ensure that educators and families have a benchmark to assess student progress, but no teacher or district would face penalties based on those TCAP results. Under the fourth bill, the state would adjust the state budget to give pay raises to all teachers immediately.

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Bill Gates Backs 17 Percent Hamilton County Property Tax Hike For Education, While School Board Member Questions Need for 350 New Non-Teaching Positions

  Bill Gates says he will continue to pour his foundation’s money into Tennessee education initiatives and he seemed to endorse a proposed 17 percent Hamilton County property tax increase, according to an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The interview is available here. The Bill and Melinda Gates…

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DeSantis Signs School-Choice Bill Creating Florida’s First Tax-Funded Voucher Program

by John Haughey   It took combative committee hearings and marathon floor debates to overcome “third rail” resistance to expanding Florida’s school choice voucher program, but none of that rancor was evident Thursday at a private Miami Gardens school where Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the hard-fought bill into law. “I…

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February 13th: Concerned Parents and Grassroots Organization Call for School Choice in Response To Failing Public Schools in Ohio

On February 13th, the Citizens for Community Values will join with a group of concerned parents to hold a press conference, imploring the Ohio legislature to expand access to EDChoice Scholarships. Since 2005, EdChoice scholarships have existed been a statewide initiative that gives students the opportunity to receive scholarships to attend private…

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