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Weekly News Round-Up for August 10th
posted by: Melissa | August 10, 2018, 06:24 PM   

Each week, PACE 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, North Carolina’s licensure exams are both too hard and too easy, another ruling in favor of transgender students, a new look for Google Classroom and more!


Testing Battles in NC: Hundreds of potential and current elementary teachers across the state of North Carolina were denied teaching licenses when they failed to pass the state’s mathematics exam. The updated exam was introduced in 2014 and since then 36% of test takers have failed the math section, leaving elementary classrooms across the state without teachers and leading many to complain that the exam is too rigorous. On the old test, the Praxis 5015, teachers had a pass rate of 90%, which some also see as a problem. Many in the education community argue that entrance exams for licensure should be harder. In fact, a new report also released this week, pointed to North Carolina’s reading portion of the exam as being too lax along with criticizing licensure exams from other states for the same reason.


Judge Rules in Favor of Transgender Student: A transgender student in Indiana won a major victory in court this week. A judge passed down a temporary injunction that the student be allowed to use the restroom of his choosing despite being opposed by his district. This is in line with a number of recent rulings on the subject. The ruling is in place until a full trial for the student can occur. The district says that the ruling applies to only that student and it will not change its policy for the rest of its student body.


New Program Gives NC K-3 teachers an iPad: North Carolina’s state superintendent announced a new program this week that would provide all K-3 teachers in the state with a new iPad. The iPads will come with an app that teachers can use to track a student’s reading ability. In districts that use Chromebooks or Microsoft products, alternative hardware has been purchased that will accomplish the same purpose. The program has already gained critics who believe that a single iPad per classroom teacher will not have enough of an impact to adequately impact student literacy.


Google Classroom Redesigned: Google launched a redesign of its popular Google Classroom this week. The reworked LMS now features a new tool called Classroom that makes it easier for teachers to organize, assign, track, and share learning materials. There’s also updates to the program’s grading tools and added support for file types other than Google Docs.


Atlanta Charter Receives Criticism for Pledge Plan: An Atlanta charter school made national news this week when it announced it was removing the pledge of allegiance from its daily morning meeting. Students would instead say the schools “Wolf Pack Chant” together and work to create a new schoolwide pledge for the morning meeting. The pledge would have instead been said in individual classrooms, a practice already followed by schools that do not have schoolwide morning meetings. Nevertheless, news of the move garnered criticism at a time when some seem to be increasingly vocal about public displays of patriotism. In response to the criticism, the school has decided to walk back the move and will continue to say the pledge during its morning meeting instead of later in the day.


Happening Elsewhere:

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan says U.S. education system "not top 10 in anything"

New School Year Ushers in New Vaccine Requirements in Kentucky

Only 40 percent of students meet new N.D. vaccine requirement

School safety recommendations released by Texas Senate committee

A teen got sent to the principal’s office for wearing an NRA shirt. The school apologized.

Petition calls for Education Secretary LeBron James

Asbestos, lead and other dangerous chemicals found in children's school supplies, report says

More teachers are turning to crowdfunding sites to pay for books, supplies, and field trips

It's Not All About The Money: To Understand Teacher Protests, Look Beyond Low Pay

Teachers are getting targeted anti-union emails from conservative groups

New Louisiana public school grading system prompts worries

Louisiana applies for federal 'school safety' grants

Court: Ohio can base e-school funding on participation data

Education plays central role in Arizona governor’s race

Texas School Districts to Receive Letter Grades

Minnesota charter schools are facing growing pains

Education commissioner wants to pay high-performing teachers more money

Schools in South Carolina Are Closing Early for a Beyoncé Concert

Principal, four teachers resign after cheating ring exposed


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