NEA joins Everytown for Gun Safety, AFT to call on lawmakers to adopt proven strategies to make American schools safer

The National Education Association is joining the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and the American Federation of Teachers to call on lawmakers to stand up to the gun lobby and take immediate action to finally start protecting our schools from gun violence by implementing strategies that are proven to help improve school safety. The organizations this week released a report that includes new data detailing gun violence in American schools, and provides clear guidance for lawmakers to support policies that have proven to be effective at preventing gun violence and supporting safe and healthy learning environments.

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Wisconsin educators deserve credit for rising graduation rates, Martin says

WEAC President Ron Martin on Tuesday praised Wisconsin educators for the key role they played in helping raise graduation rates. “Tremendous credit for high graduation rates is due to Wisconsin Public School educators who are working harder in more difficult conditions,” Martin said. “There is still much work to do to close gaps, and educators are already implementing solutions through our union. We stand ready to partner on addressing this critical issue with families, administrators and elected officials.”

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Sun Prairie’s Sandra Kowalczyk is Wisconsin’s Global Educator of the Year

WEAC Region 6 member Sandra Kowalczyk, a Sun Prairie middle school reading specialist, will receive the 2018-19 Wisconsin Global Educator of the Year award in a brief ceremony January 16 during the Patrick Marsh Middle School all staff meeting in Sun Prairie.  State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor will present the award, commending Kowalczyk for her work to bring an international perspective to her classrooms and community.

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Baraboo educators send strong message: There is no room for hate

WEAC Region 5’s Baraboo Education Association members knew they wanted to send a strong message after a widely criticized photo of students who appeared to make a Nazi salute went viral in November. The BEA Executive Board sprang into action, promoting a “No Room for Hate” T-shirt fundraiser to benefit the Auschwitz Memorial Museum, the first of many groups to condemn the photo.

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Spotlight on Locals: Racine Educators United

Members of Racine Educators United not only fight for their students every day in the classroom but carry that fight throughout the community, and state, as well. “While the challenges in public education feel big and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, find issues that matter to your members and your community,” said REU President Angelina Cruz, who spoke with WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen for her latest Spotlight on Locals column. “When you begin to tackle these one at a time, you can make a difference for your students and your community. This is difficult work, but important work, that no one else is doing.” 

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Commission’s misguided recommendations on school safety undermine civil rights and dishonor the victims of violence, NEA president says

Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos created the Federal Commission on School Safety that was supposed to address gun violence in our schools and recommend actions schools should take to keep our students safe. Instead, their commission announced Tuesday that it recommends stripping students’ of civil rights protections, which seek to prevent racial disparities in student discipline. The recommendations “are dishonoring the memory of the students and educators who have lost their lives,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.

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WEAC members continue to provide budget feedback to Governor-Elect Evers

WEAC member Rick Erickson of Bayfield (photo) leads a discussion during Monday’s state budget listening session hosted by Governor-Elect Tony Evers. The Superior hearing was one in a series designed for the governor-elect to hear from citizens about what they would like to see in the state budget proposal he will present to the Legislature in January. WEAC members were also well-represented at earlier hearings in Green Bay and Wausau, and are also participating by providing their feedback on an online form created by WEAC for WEAC members.

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62 WEAC members earn National Board Certification in 2018

Sixty-two WEAC members recently joined the ranks of Nationally Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in Wisconsin, and 26 renewed their certification. Known as one of the top honors in the profession, NBCTs are assessed by their peers on 5 core propositions of accomplished teaching. WEAC is the state leader in providing candidate support; WEAC supports include intensive summer Jump Start training, monthly in-person cohorts, an online prep course, virtual mentors, and a winter writing retreat.

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