Waukesha’s Sarahi Monterrey honored with WEAC’s Excellence in Education Award

WEAC President Ron Martin on Tuesday presented WEAC’s Excellence in Education Award to Waukesha North High School Teacher Sarahi Monterrey. The award was presented at the end-of-the-year staff meeting at Waukesha North. “Sarahi has done some tremendous and phenomenal things not only with her students and her community but has also been a tremendous advocate for public education and particularly the teaching profession,” Martin said.

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Spotlight on Locals: Siren Education Association

The Siren Education Association’s success as a local union is based on a people-first philosophy. “Approach every new person offering them the benefits and support of the association, listen to every member’s thoughts and concerns, and work diligently to have open dialogue with your administrators,” SEA President Polly Imme told WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen in her latest Spotlight on Locals column. “Our work is a two-way street and takes honesty, respect, and trust.”

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NEPC issues ‘red flag warning’ on personalized learning initiatives

So-called “personalized learning” programs are proliferating in schools across the United States despite “many red flags” as to their effectiveness and the motivations behind them, according to a new report from the National Education Policy Center. The NEPC says these “personalized learning” initiatives are “fueled by philanthropic dollars, tech industry lobbying, marketing by third-party vendors, and a policy environment that provides little guidance and few constraints.”

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Spotlight on Locals: Onalaska Education Association

Believing in the greater good, strong ethics, one-to-one communication, building relationships, having strong leaders at the building level, building a positive image. Leaders of the Onalaska Education Association say these are all ingredients to creating a strong local association. “A key to our success has been to be a positive influence in the school district and the community,” music teacher Christina Martin told WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen for her latest Spotlight on Locals column.

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Despite serious problems and a lack of research support, virtual schools continue to spread

Lawmakers throughout the nation continue to support the spread of virtual schools despite the fact that research reveals overwhelming evidence of poor performance, according to a new review by the National Education Policy Center. Given the evidence, the review recommends that policymakers slow or stop the growth in the number of virtual and blended schools and the size of their enrollments until the reasons for their relatively poor performance have been identified and addressed.

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Racine educators, students, parents, community members demand a budget that supports students and educators

Dozens of Racine educators, students, parents and community members packed a school board meeting Monday night to demand a budget that supports all students and gives educators the tools they need to help students succeed. “I realize public school districts across this state are in crisis mode,” said Racine Educators United President Angelina Cruz. “But I strongly believe in the collective power of educators and community to fight back for what’s best for kids.”

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State Superintendent Stanford Taylor asks districts to review graduation policies as they relate to American Indian traditions

As the school year winds down and graduation ceremonies take place, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor has sent a reminder to Wisconsin school superintendents to review their policies regarding American Indian ceremonial traditions. “Throughout Wisconsin, many school districts already recognize the importance of American Indian students wearing eagle feathers, traditional regalia, and other items,” Stanford Taylor wrote, noting that many school districts addressed their policies in 2017 after the Department of Public Instruction asked them to connect with sovereign tribal nations and discuss with tribal leaders ways to recognize and honor tribal traditions and practices. In the past, some school districts have prohibited students from wearing items of religious and cultural significance at graduation ceremonies and school-sponsored events.

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Two Education Support Professionals win WEAC ESP scholarships

Two exceptional Education Support Professionals have been awarded 2019 WEAC ESP scholarships. The winners of the $1,000 scholarships are Terri Taylor, who works in Milwaukee Public Schools and is a member of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association and the Milwaukee Educational Assistants Association, and Taneka Golden, who works in Racine public schools and is a member of Racine Educators United.

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Spotlight on Locals: Owen-Withee Education Association

The strength of the Owen-Withee Education Association, leaders say, comes from its focus on students first and on having “home-grown teachers” who are involved in the community. “We see our students in and out of school,” OWEA leader Russ Weiler told WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen in her latest Spotlight on Locals column, “and we are always working to keep our schools and community strong for our students.”

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