Current Affairs

An End to Civil Discourse: One Teacher’s Response to HB2002 – Education Article

Remember how I reminded us to trust, but verify?  HB20002 was the first education bill dropped this session.  It is a bill outlining a ban against teachers discussing any political issues, court cases, and/or current legislation in school. I don’t disagree with all aspects of the bill.  It prohibits teachers from “engaging in political, ideological or religious advocacy in their classrooms.”  The proposed code of ethics would also prohibit endorsing, supporting or opposing a political candidate.  These are not things…

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The Limits of Labels – STORIES FROM SCHOOL AZ – Education Article

“When it says Libby’s, Libby’s, Libby’s on the label, label, label, nothing’s better, better, better, on the table, table, table.” So went the 1970’s jingle promoting Libby’s canned goods. It’s catchy. Try getting it out of your head. But what if Libby is a student in one of my classes and I want to build a strong professional relationship with her? How much weight should I give to the labels she carries? They’ll include, but not be limited to, labels…

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AZ – SB 1051 – The High-Quality Teacher Pilot Program – Education Article

SB1038 came about because Arizona schools were no longer offering physics. As teachers left, schools chose to eliminate programs as there was no one to teach this subject. We eventually got down to 159 certified and active physics teachers teaching in Arizona schools, both public and private. A new bill hitting the capitol this month, SB 1051 will seek to extend SB 1038.  It will give us the ability to collect more data on longevity and teacher retention and help…

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Trust, but Verify – STORIES FROM SCHOOL AZ – Education Article

I am alternately hopeful, terrified, and jubilant.  I check Twitter obsessively.  My anxiety is easily triggered.  It must be time for the Arizona legislative session.  Even in a state known for wacky and colorful political antics, it promises to be a doozy.  We’ve already seen blatant attacks on our profession as punishment for taking a stand for our students last year. On the other hand, we’re seeing school funding bills coming from unexpected sources.  I’ve heard policymakers using words I…

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Too Much Rigor? – STORIES FROM SCHOOL AZ – Education Article

Rigor: A popular buzz word in education today, this word is packed with meaning. It pops up in staff meetings, school mission statements, and parent conversations about school choice. Everyone seems to think that “rigor” is what kids need. But what does this word even mean? Let’s start with the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition: Rigor (a) Harsh inflexibility in temper, opinion, or judgment; (b) the quality of being unyielding and inflexible; (c) severity of life A tremor caused by a chill…

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Dealing with Student Death – STORIES FROM SCHOOL AZ – Education Article

It is something that is becoming all too common in schools across Arizona, the need for schools to support students and staff as they grieve for classmates, friends, and students that pass.  In my first ten years of teaching, this was something I had to deal with only a couple times. In my last few years of teaching, student deaths attributed to accidents, suicide, and even homicide have become much more common.  And how does a school help pick up…

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