Evers says teachers should have greater voice in school decisions

State Superintendent Tony Evers says he wants to reinvigorate the teaching profession by providing teachers with a greater voice in decision making processes. “The issue of teachers is important, and a lot of it has to do with the way we treated the profession and portrayed the profession,” Evers said last week in a meeting with Sauk County Democrats, according to a report in the Baraboo News Republic. “We can fix that, and it’s free. Our politicians need to stop denigrating the profession.”

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Why are teachers calling it quits?

For some, it’s the pay. For others it’s the over-emphasis on testing and the inability to focus on true learning. But a common thread among those who leave the teaching profession is they feel disrespected and find that teaching has become a burden rather than a joy. In an article titled “What are the main reasons teachers call it quits?” NPR interviews four teachers, including Sergio Gonzalez, who taught in Madison but quit after Governor Walker and the Legislature passed Act 10, a law that left educators feeling alienated. “I knew that if I stuck around I was going to get bitter, and I was not going to be a good teacher,” Gonzalez says. “But I can’t emphasize enough how, ever since I was a kid, my goal was to be a public school teacher. And that opportunity seemed to be taken away from me.”

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New WEAC President wants to raise level of respect for the education professions

“We have to figure out ways to encourage people to go in the profession and bring people back to what is an admirable profession,” said Eau Claire teacher Ron Martin, who takes over as WEAC President August 1. He said it’s also important to lift up school support staff – paraprofessionals, bus drivers, secretaries, cooks and others – who are an extremely valuable part to everyday school life.

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Study confirms that teaching experience increases teacher effectiveness

A new analysis of research by the Learning Policy Institute verifies what many educators have long known: teaching experience is associated with student achievement gains. Based on a review of 30 studies published within the last 15 years, the authors find that as teachers gain experience throughout their careers, their students’ achievement gains increase. Although the steepest gains in effectiveness are in the first few years of teaching, this improvement continues in the second and often third decade of their careers, especially when they work in collegial work environments.

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Survey: Number of future teachers reaches all-time low

In a 2016 national survey of college freshmen, the number of students who say they will major in education has reached its lowest point in 45 years. Just 4.2 percent intend to major in education—a typical first step to becoming a teacher—compared to 11 percent in 2000; 10 percent in 1990; and 11 percent in 1971, according to data gathered by the UCLA’s Cooperative Institutional Research Program. Take those numbers and add them to the poor rates of teacher retention in many public schools, and it equals a serious problem for students who all deserve a “caring, qualified and committed educator,” said National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García.

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Wisconsin drops to 39th in number of public employees per capita

The number of public employees in Wisconsin has fallen over time, and current levels of public employment are significantly lower than they were a decade ago, according to a Wisconsin Budget Project analysis of newly-released figures. Wisconsin has 4.4% fewer state and local government employees per capita than the national average. Wisconsin ranks 39th in the number of government workers per population.

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Help me be there for the kids, young teacher asks Milwaukee School Board

Allison Watson wants to stay in MPS because she loves her students, but it’s getting harder and harder for exceptional educators like her to do so. In a very personal and emotional testimony, she asked the Milwaukee School Board to fund the salary schedule they agreed to last year. “I never thought I would be 30 years old and barely making ends meet,” she told the board. “I really hope that you will prioritize our students by creating a budget that will attract and retain great teachers.”

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Presidential scholars acknowledge 2 WEAC members as most inspiring teachers

Two students from Wisconsin have been named 2015 Presidential Scholars, and each acknowledged a WEAC member as their most inspiring and challenging teacher. Alethia M. Tilford, Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School, Milwaukee, named Stacy Knetter, her high school biology teacher, as her most influential teacher. Nicholas V. Ngo of De Pere High School acknowledged Becky Hawley, a high school English teacher who has been with the De Pere School District for 23 years, as his most influential teacher.

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