January 27th, 2012
07:35 AM ET

My View: An education crisis that never should have happened

Courtesy National Education Association by Sara Ferguson, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Sara Ferguson is a 20 year employee of the Chester Upland School District where she currently teaches Literacy and Math. She is a third generation educator in Chester Upland. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Widener University, a Masters of Education in Elementary Education from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Cabrini College.

When I visited the White House for the first time, as a child, it was my teacher who brought me there. This week I returned, as a teacher and as a special guest of President Obama during his State of the Union Address. It was an honor to be in attendance, and I am grateful for the attention my struggling school district has received. However, if there’s one message I hope is heard across the country about the financial crisis in my school district, it is this: It’s a crisis that never should have happened.

Let’s back up for a moment. We have long had financial troubles in Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvania. The majority of students here come from families living at or below the poverty level. More than 70 percent of our students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, which is more than double the state average.

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Filed under: Policy • teacher unions • Teachers • Voices
November 30th, 2011
01:35 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

The Telegraph (UK): Millions of children off school as teachers take to picket lines
More than half of England's schools are closed today as teachers joined a nationwide public-sector strike. Teaching unions and government officials are at odds over new pension plans.

Star Tribune: Governor to appoint task force on bullying
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is appointing a 15-member committee to investigate the effectiveness of anti-bullying measures around the U.S.

New York Times: Line Grows Long for Free Meals at U.S. Schools
As families across America feel the effects of economic uncertainty, more children are eligible for free and reduced lunches.

Educational Leadership: What We Learn from Grades
Author and educator Marge Scherer says that for grades to be meaningful, they must be accurate and fair.

Smart Kid
The author recounts his personal experience as a smart, but not necessarily motivated, student.

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Filed under: At Home • Policy • Practice • Retirement • teacher unions • Teachers • Technology • Today's Reading List
Today's Reading List
November 21st, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Today's Reading List

Here’s what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

New York Times: Motivating Students With Cash-For-Grades Incentive
Motivating students to learn is an issue classroom teachers face around the world. The debate over paying students for their academic achievements spans from New York City to Abu Dhabi.

LA Times: : Survey finds ethnic divide among voters on DREAM Act
California recently passed its own DREAM Act, which allows undocumented California students to receive aid to attend certain colleges. Latinos and whites, as well as Democrats and Republicans, are split on their opinions of the new law.

Education Week: N.J. Gov. Wants Math, Science Teachers Paid More Than P.E. Teachers
In response to a software engineer's question about STEM education, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says that a math or science teacher is "more valuable than the gym teacher". The state's teacher's union says all teachers are equally valuable.

Bloomberg Businessweek: Rhodes Scholarships Go to 5 at Stanford, Most for School
College students from around the world compete for the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford. The scholarship revealed its winners this week, including 32 from U.S. colleges and about 80 students from colleges in 14 other nations.

USA Today: Eight risky things you should absolutely do while in college
A Wake Forest college student provides advice for college. Among other things, she argues that failure is actually an option.

Today's Reading List
November 18th, 2011
04:01 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here’s what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Oakland Tribune: How do you teach history, as it’s happening?
Could the Occupy movement provide some teachable moments for the classroom? One commenter compares modern-day protests to the French Revolution.

USA Today: Survey: Engineering seniors log the most study hours
Full-time college students study an average 15 hours a week, with engineering seniors studying the most, about 19 hours a week, a survey shows.

Sun-Sentinel: Broward Teachers Union faces uncertain future
The union grapples with a criminal investigation of its president and questions about its relevancy.

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Filed under: College • Curriculum • Practice • teacher unions • Teachers
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