Lack of support, low salaries, over-testing contribute to high teacher turnover, report says

Two-thirds of teachers who leave the profession are beginning or mid-career educators who are walking away from the job for reasons other than retirement, according to a report released this week. The report from the Learning Policy Institute says common reasons for teachers leaving the profession include a lack of administrative support, low salaries, testing and accountability pressures, lack of opportunities for advancement, and poor working conditions.

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DPI warns of ‘problematic situations’ for schools if state budget is not passed soon

State Superintendent Tony Evers has sent a memo to members of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee warning of “problematic situations” for schools throughout the state if a state budget is not passed soon. “With the state budget not being settled, there’s a lot of uncertainty across all superintendents and people managing the finances of school districts across the state of Wisconsin,” Brad Saron, superintendent of the Sun Prairie School District, said in a follow-up Wisconsin State Journal article. “And what that means is, really, everything is on hold.”

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Resources for talking to students about Charlottesville and racism

As educators and students return to the classroom for a new school year, the troubling and tragic events that took place last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, are on the minds of many. And for many students, the events hit home, stoking emotions that include confusion, anxiety and fear. Students are grappling to understand racism and hate in our country and the role of neo Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists. We have gathered several resources for helping educators frame these issues as they talk to students both in and outside the classroom.

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NEA, VEA condemn ‘hate-filled bigots’ behind tragedy in Charlottesville

WEAC is sharing this statement that was released by the National Education Association and the Virginia Education Association late Monday afternoon. They are reacting to three deaths during a racist rally organized over the weekend by white supremacists, neo Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan. One young woman standing up against hate and for peace and tolerance was killed when a car was driven into the crowd of counter-protesters. In addition, 19 others were injured, some severely, in this detestable act of domestic terrorism. Two police officers also died in a helicopter cash during the event.

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Janesville teachers applaud school board vote to scrap teacher ‘merit pay’ system linked to Educator Effectiveness program

The Janesville Education Association applauded a unanimous decision by the school board this week to scrap a system that tied teacher compensation to the state’s Educator Effectiveness program. Janesville Education Association President Dave Groth, a science teacher at Janesville Parker High School, said the JEA looks forward to working collaboratively with school district administrators and board members “to create a teacher compensation system that is fair, predictable and rewards loyalty to the district and professional development to ensure the children in Janesville school district have the best professional educators.”

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Why have they taken the fun out of kindergarten?

Kindergarten was designed as an introduction to schooling, and one that should help children discover that learning can be fun. But many believe that kindergarten has become the new first grade, and that pressure on schools to demonstrate student progress, even at the kindergarten level, has led schools to take the playfulness out of kindergarten. This week, Wisconsin Public Radio examined this issue by interviewing Christopher Brown, an associate professor of curriculum and instruction in early childhood education at the University of Texas at Austin, who says that heightened standards have pushed some teachers to forgo the emphasis on play and spend much more time on structured learning, a trend that is exhausting both children and teachers.

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