In the session just passed, the Virginia General Assembly added a requirement for both initial licensure and relicensure of educators. Beginning in July, educators will be required to complete an approved course covering first aid, CPR and AED (use of a defibrillator). Educators relicensing this summer can delay taking the course by sending in relicensure applications before the end of June.
The national conversation about education has revolved around testing for at least a decade—and with states grappling to address parent and educator concerns about too many tests of too little value and on-again-off-again talk of reauthorizing the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, that’s unlikely to change any time soon.
A panel discussion on Capitol Hill on the state of assessments on Tuesday offered plenty for lawmakers to think about, from the practical to the philosophical.
Panelist and World History and Government teacher Lauren Ashley Villa had this bit of advice for determining the worth of any test: It is only worthwhile if it opens a dialogue between teacher and student about the student’s progress.
It’s time once again to nominate one of your Education Support Professional (ESP) colleagues for the ESP of the Year Award. This award is given annually to an ESP member who has made significant contributions to their schools, communities, and their profession.
The recipient of the FEA-ESP of the Year Award will receive, in addition to recognition, $200 and a gift certificate to a restaurant. The winner of the FEA-ESP of the Year Award will be announced at the September 2013 FEA Representative Assembly.
FEA president Michael Hairston and president-elect, Kimberly Adams addressed the Board of Supervisors at last night's Budget Hearing. Both spoke in support of the school board's request for an increase in the county transfer.
The Washington Post quoted FEA President MIchael Hairston in an article about the elimination of cursive handwriting from elementary curriculum. Hairston called cursive “a dying art."
"Cursive writing is a traditional skill that has been replaced with technology,” Hairston said. “Educators are having to make choices about what they teach with a limited amount of time and little or no flexibility. Much of their instructional time is consumed with teaching to a standardized test.”
FEA President Michael Hairston addressed the Fairfax County Public Schools Board meeting on Thursday, February 21 to ask that the Board take action to reduce the workload and time demands on teachers. FEA has been asking for relief on this for years; in December, Hairston sent the Board a letter outlining no-cost steps the Board could take to reduce the increasing demands on teachers' time. To date the Board has not taken action. Hairston told the Board "we are done talking. It is time for action."
FEA calls on the school board to take action to reduce the workload and unreasonable demands on employees' time. Read the letter FEA sent to the school board with actions they can take right now to show they understand and are willing to act.
A mid-year review was written by a member of the Teacher Evaluation Task Force who was deeply involved in the work and has expressed deep concern over what the process became when it left the Task Force and moved to implementation. Click "Read more" to see the full review.
Delegate Kaye Kory has introduced a bill that will require all Virginia public schools to start classes at 8:00 a.m. or later. Del. Kory said that "students with early school starts are forced to wait for buses in the dark, leaving them vulnerable to getting hit by cars or attacked." In addition to the safety issue, Kory added that early start times also mean students are suffering from lack of sleep, which hampers their academic performance as well as their immune system.
On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, Fairfax Education Association President, Michael Hairston, and several FEA members addressed the FCPS School Board at their 2014 Budget Hearing. "Over and over the issues that surface most often are respect and workload. What do these have to do with the budget? Everything. If you respect the work that someone does, you compensate them fairly for their work," Hairston said. "For a high-performing system such as this... this is unacceptable." He also addressed the issue of planning time.