Weekly News Round-Up for September 28th
posted by: Melissa | September 28, 2018, 04:01 PM   

Each week, ASTA brings its members a round-up of what’s happening in education. From big, eye-catching headlines to the stories most papers overlook, we find the news our members really want to see. This week, the best states for teachers, a dismissal over grades, a Pledge of Allegiance lawsuit, and more!

Best & Worst States for Teachers: The website WalletHub released their latest rankings of the best and worst states for teachers. Although this is not the first time WalletHub has released this ranking, it has added weight given the protests of the past year. In their study, they looked at two main areas: “Opportunity & Competition,” which mainly measured salaries and benefits, and “Academic & Work Environment.” In the “Opportunity & Competition” ranking, Alaska was ranked first and Hawaii was ranked worst. In the measure of “Academic & Work Environment,” New Jersey was ranked at the top with Arizona ranked last. Overall, Hawaii was ranked in last place, and New York ranked number one.

Florida Teacher Fired for Defying “No Zero” Policy: A teacher from Port St. Lucie, Florida made national news this week after she claimed she was fired for defying the school’s “no zero” policy. The policy stated the lowest percentage grade allowed was a 50%. After being dismissed, the teacher wrote a message to her students where she made the claim, took a picture, and then posted the photo on Facebook where it was quickly picked up by media. The teacher said she disagreed with the policy because it created a culture of entitlement in students. The school district, and others in education, say such policies are meant to combat the flaws inherent in the percentage grading system. The district also said teachers could use alternative grading systems, such as A-F and 4-0 if they didn’t like the policy, though when translated back into percentage grades, the lowest grade would still be 50% instead of 0%. The teacher was newly hired and still on probation when she was dismissed.

Student Challenges Texas’s Pledge of Allegiance Law: A student from Texas is suing her high school after she was expelled for refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. The student claims the administration made references to Colin Kaepernick and she feels the punishment was racially motivated. The school’s policy was that all students had to stand for the pledge, despite a 1943 Supreme Court ruling which states a school cannot force students to stand for the pledge. State law says if a student wants to opt out, schools can require a parent to submit a letter. The state’s Attorney General is defending the school, saying the school’s policy is consistent with that law.

Happening Elsewhere:

One third of middle- and high-schoolers were bullied last year, study shows

This fall, all New York students will be learning about mental health

Texas State Board of Education scrubs Hillary Clinton from curriculum

Act 46 enters final decision period: VT education board's merger plan due by November

Oregon public employee unions sued for refund of millions in fees

Maryland teachers union seeks to block Hogan from using apple logo

Gov. Brown nixes California mandate for later school start time

Pennsylvania lawmaker introduces bill to ban teachers from discussing politics, government in classrooms

'Science not fairy tales:' Teachers speak out against proposed science standards

Kentucky schools face ‘a daunting moment of truth.’ Here’s what new test scores show.

$35M allocated to improve TN school safety, security

New York test scores highlight gaps among students from different backgrounds

92 percent of Virginia schools win accreditation despite achievement gap

Texas school official in hot water for "black quarterback" comment

57 Detroit schools have high levels of lead and copper in drinking water

Strike ending for last Washington teachers still picketing

Judge: California child can take cannabis drug to school

Indiana bus driver arrested for allegedly allowing students to drive a school bus

More than 2 dozen kids sent to the hospital when school bus overturns in Pennsylvania

Arlington Private School Administrator Suspended Indefinitely Over Tweet

What’s going on where you are?

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