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teachers

Josh Andrew teaches English at Cody's Medicine and Community Health in Detroit
Andrea Claire Maio / Apiary Projects

There’s now a financial rescue plan for Detroit public schools. But the district's problems go way beyond money: Test scores are among the worst in the nation; students are leaving; teachers are leaving.

 

Reginald Franklyn (r) interviews his princicpal at Cody Academy of Public Leadership.
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The Detroit public school district is in desperate need of a lifeline. It’s drowning in debt, and Lansing can’t agree on what a bailout should look like. Meanwhile, many teachers fled to other districts mid-year when they heard they might not get paid.

 

The teacher shortage has taken a toll on Cody Academy of Public Leadership, a high school on Detroit’s west side. It lost four teachers during the school year, and it can almost never find subs when it needs them.

David Mulder / Flickr Creative Commons / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

On average, kids in the U.S. spend around 943 hours each year in the classroom.

And in those hours, teachers are expected to educate them and keep them safe.

But many teachers are also expected to buy their own supplies to perform these functions.

Michigan Radio

We're going to go out on a limb here and say most parents want to know how their child's school measures up in terms of standardized test scores, graduation rates, demographics and so on. 

Another big question parents ask when looking at a school: 

“How many kids are in a typical classroom?”

When you hear people talk about ineffective school systems, you’ll often hear something like, “there aren’t enough desks or books,” or “there are more than 30 kids in that classroom.”

flickr/jmsmith000

Parents: you’ll find a note soon in your child’s backpack. Or maybe you’ll get a phone call.  A gentle reminder from your child’s teacher that it’s time for parent-teacher conferences.

And, you’ll make the time to sit down some evening to talk. It’s just one of the ways schools and teachers try to keep parents involved in children’s education.

But some parents have a harder time staying involved than others. Not because they don’t want to, or because they don’t care. Often, their work schedule just doesn’t allow it.

Jennifer Guerra / publisher23

I want to give a huge shout-out to all the teachers who took our recent State of Opportunity survey about special-education training. You ROCK! We got a ton of responses and I promise to share some of them with you, but first, a bit of context.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Teaching is a political act. That's what Grand Valley State University professor Amy Masko believes. 

"What we choose to talk about in schools and what we choose to avoid or not talk about sends a message about power," says Masko, an associate professor of English education who specializes in race, poverty and schooling.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Teacher evaluations have become a hot political topic in Michigan.

Chances are if you’ve heard anything about them, the discussion has been about how to use evaluations to get rid of poor-performing teachers.

But that's not the only way to use them. Teacher evaluations can be a tool to help teachers improve their craft. 

Now, Michigan legislators are considering changes that some say could help teachers do so. 

Mixed Messages on Teachers Appreciation Day

May 7, 2013

So, is it Teacher Appreciation Day or Teacher Appreciation Week? And is it a national "holiday" or not?

I can't say definitively, but it looks like both of these are just traditions kept alive by teachers unions and parent groups. 

The cost of high teacher turnover

Dec 4, 2012
StreetFlyJZ / flickr

Yesterday Dustin Dwyer highlighted great reporting by Lindsey Smith on teacher turnover in Muskegon Heights. As Smith reports, students in that already flailing district have yet another educational obstacle. The education system there can't keep teachers from throwing in the towel.

The effect of teacher turnover on student learning is well-documented (unsurprisingly it makes learning more difficult). But I was wondering if a study had been done to find out how much teacher turnover costs districts.

And the answer is, "Of course there's a study on that!"

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