Spotlight on Locals: Cudahy Education Association

In her latest Spotlight On Locals column, WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen talks with leaders of the Cudahy Education Association, who have found that focusing on building relationships is a key to success. “Our success comes down to three things — persistence, continual communication, and positive collaboration,” said CEA Co-President Christine Janusiak.

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Federal Commission on School Safety excludes voices of students, educators

The Federal Commission on School Safety met for the first time Wednesday behind closed doors at the White House without students, teachers or parents at the table and away from the public’s scrutiny. The National Education Association, which represents 3 million educators working in America’s public schools and on college campuses, was not invited to attend the meeting. “The commission’s clear purpose is to push an agenda that is focused on a dangerous and misguided plan to put more guns in schools by arming teachers and other school personnel,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Our students need fewer guns in schools — not more of them — and bringing guns into our schools does absolutely nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence.”

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Assembly passes school safety package and sends it to the governor for his signature

The State Assembly on Thursday passed a package of school safety measures and sent it to Governor Walker for his signature. The measures would establish a new Office of School Safety at the state Department of Justice and give it $100 million to provide one-time grants to school districts for security measures. The bill also requires public and private schools to conduct annual school violence drills and requires reporting of school violence threats by teachers, school administrators, counselors, other school employees, physicians, and other medical and mental health professionals.

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Survey results show mixed picture for Wisconsin youth

Results from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) provide both promising and troubling news about the status of high school students in Wisconsin. On one hand, the vast majority of students are passing their classes, feel they belong at their school, and have a supportive teacher or other adult that they can go to with problems. Rates of sexual activity; smoking; alcohol use, including binge drinking; and marijuana use are all in decline. However, students also sleep less, are on their devices more, and are more likely to feel sad or hopeless, and to consider and plan suicide. Nearly 50 percent of girls and 30 percent of boys report anxiety.

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Vouchers are far worse for student achievement than previously thought, analysis concludes

A new analysis by the Center for American Progress concludes that private school vouchers are more harmful to student achievement than previously thought and that students attending private voucher schools miss out on approximately one-third of a year of classroom learning. “This analysis builds on a large body of voucher program evaluations in Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, and Washington, D.C., all of which show that students attending participating private schools perform significantly worse than their peers in public schools—especially in math,” according to the summary titled The Highly Negative Impacts of Vouchers.

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