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Early childhood support requires adequate staffing

Some of education’s biggest problems come with its littlest students. At a working breakfast for paraprofessionals in prekindergarten, early childhood and Head Start, members swapped strategies for solving problems. Their discussion came during the AFT PSRP conference last week in Las Vegas, where paras from all over the country zeroed in on professional development and adequate classroom coverage.

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AFT launches massive national campaign to fund public education

The AFT’s long-time advocacy for public schools has just been turbo-charged, with a sweeping, multi-pronged campaign to fund the future of American public education. Amid the continuing wave of teacher activism shining a spotlight on massive shortfalls in education investment, the Fund Our Future initiative aims to take the teachers’ megaphone into Congress, statehouses and communities nationwide.

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Never again

“A majority of American teens say they are worried about a shooting happening at their school. Let that sink in,” AFT President Randi Weingarten writes in her latest column for the New York Times. “Young people are demanding meaningful action beyond ‘thoughts and prayers.’ They know, as do law enforcement officers and educators, that there are effective ways to address gun violence.” Read more about the proven strategies that would enhance school safety and reduce gun violence.
 

Our Conversation with Steven Spielberg

To commemorate the 25th anniversary and rerelease of “Schindler’s List,” Steven Spielberg joined AFT President Randi Weingarten to discuss the legacy of the movie, its impact on Holocaust education and how to teach kids to understand and respond to hatred in our communities.

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AFT members are taking Navient to court

A class-action suit filed in federal court sets out serious allegations that student loan servicer Navient has misled borrowers in public service professions from accessing a loan forgiveness program to boost its own profits. The landmark complaint, which seeks millions in damages and class-wide injunctive relief, details a spate of systematic misrepresentations, untruths and misdirection pedaled by Navient to stop borrowers from enrolling in Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a 10-year payoff plan administered by rival servicer FedLoan.

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EdWeek blogger: NAEP must get standards right

Here’s a damning report from Education Week blogger Marc Tucker that rings true in Louisiana as well as many other states: “From the beginning, the leaders of our state education systems have invited testing experts to help them set the cut points for passing or not passing the state tests.  They listen gravely to the advice of the experts, then ask them how many students will fail at the recommended cut point and set a new one at a point that is politically tolerable.”

Tucker writes as the Nation’s Report Card’s governing board sets out to write new proficiency standards. He is president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, and he believes that current NAEP standards do not align to real-world college and career readiness. That, he says, must change.

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