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January 2018 Monthly Roundup for Educators

By The Room 241 Team January 31, 2018

From school funding reports to new state laws affecting education, a lot happened in education during January. Don’t worry if you haven’t been keeping up—we did it for you. We know you’re busy between work and personal obligations, so we rounded up a few education headlines from the last month and listed them below. Whether it’s during your free period or when you’re finally getting ready for bed, take a look.

Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least? (The New York Times)

The New York Times explores the importance of early childhood educators and current issues in compensation. Many preschool teachers in particular do not make a livable wage, but the work they do for their students sets the foundation for lifelong success. So would improving their training—and their pay—improve the outcomes of their students? Read the Times’ story to find out. It’s full of first-person narratives from educators around the country.

Free Tampons for Girls, an End to ‘Meal Shaming’ — and More in New State Laws Affecting Schools (The Washington Post) 

2017 was a big year for passing laws that affect public schools, and this article gives a run down of what was passed in each state. A few states passed laws that require schools to provide free tampons and other feminine hygiene products in bathrooms, while others set mandatory computer standards. What state do you teach in? Take a look to see what education laws were passed in your state last year.

How Do You Introduce Parents to Your Learning Model? Send Them to Bootcamp. (EdSurge)

At Kuna Middle School in Kuna, Idaho, teachers run a learning environment with cross-curricular, project-based learning experiences. Students work on one project at a time that incorporates all four core areas (math, ELA, science, and history) at once. To facilitate this, they have four mentors move around the classrooms—and there are no doors in the doorways, no bells, and no schedules. How do you explain these changes to parents? Bootcamps. This article explores the best way to get parents to understand what changes are being made in their children’s school. Take a look and learn some strategies you can use in your classroom!

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to Congress: Make School Funding More Equitable (U.S. News & World Report) 

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is urging Congress to take “bold action” to address inequitable funding in the country’s public school system. In a 158-page report, the commission found that students who live in segregated neighborhoods and concentrations of poverty lack access to high-quality schools. Instead, they attend schools with fewer advanced course offerings, outdated technology and instructional materials, and facilities that need updated. The report suggests that Congress incentivizes states to adopt more-equitable school finance systems, ensure adequate funding for students with disabilities, and to invest more in facility upgrades. Read the article to learn about what else was included in the commission’s report.

Cambridge K-12 Standards Enhancing Students’ College-Readiness (EducationDive)

This article explores how the Cambridge Assessment International Education’s International General Certificate of Secondary Education is better preparing students for college. Used by 10,000 schools worldwide, advocates of this international curriculum say it teaches students critical thinking skills rather than learning how to answer questions correctly on tests. What’re the other benefits of this curriculum, and how is it helping students be more prepared for college? This article answers both of those questions.

Year One Check-In: What’s Trump Done on K-12 Compared to Other Presidents? (Education Week)

This article explores President Donald Trump’s first year in office and what he’s done for K-12 education compared to past presidents. This article quotes experts both praising and criticizing the president’s efforts over the last year in regards to K-12 education. What topics did they discuss? School choice, college-savings plans, private school tuition, and deregulation, among others. See what the president has planned for education in 2018, and how he compares to past United States presidents.