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Never again

“A majority of American teens say they are worried about a shooting happening at their school. Let that sink in,” AFT President Randi Weingarten writes in her latest column for the New York Times. “Young people are demanding meaningful action beyond ‘thoughts and prayers.’ They know, as do law enforcement officers and educators, that there are effective ways to address gun violence.” Read more about the proven strategies that would enhance school safety and reduce gun violence.
 

Cutting the heart out of higher ed

Betsy DeVos wants to alter the DNA of higher education, trying to change the definition of the credit hour, eliminate student-faculty interaction in some programs and allow schools losing their accreditation to charge students tuition. And it’s all disguised in the wonky and overwhelming “negotiated rulemaking” review process that begins Jan. 15.

Our Conversation with Steven Spielberg

To commemorate the 25th anniversary and rerelease of “Schindler’s List,” Steven Spielberg joined AFT President Randi Weingarten to discuss the legacy of the movie, its impact on Holocaust education and how to teach kids to understand and respond to hatred in our communities.

Georgetown University graduate employees cast historic vote for the union

Graduate employees at Georgetown University made history Nov. 9 when they finished tallying an 83 percent vote to join the union, the Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees. The overwhelming victory is the first that circumvents the Trump-appointed National Labor Relations Board. Instead it is certified by the American Arbitration Association, and it decisively frames graduates not as students but as workers, with all the rights that title commands.

AFT members are taking Navient to court

A class-action suit filed in federal court sets out serious allegations that student loan servicer Navient has misled borrowers in public service professions from accessing a loan forgiveness program to boost its own profits. The landmark complaint, which seeks millions in damages and class-wide injunctive relief, details a spate of systematic misrepresentations, untruths and misdirection pedaled by Navient to stop borrowers from enrolling in Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a 10-year payoff plan administered by rival servicer FedLoan.

EdWeek blogger: NAEP must get standards right

Here’s a damning report from Education Week blogger Marc Tucker that rings true in Louisiana as well as many other states: “From the beginning, the leaders of our state education systems have invited testing experts to help them set the cut points for passing or not passing the state tests.  They listen gravely to the advice of the experts, then ask them how many students will fail at the recommended cut point and set a new one at a point that is politically tolerable.”

Tucker writes as the Nation’s Report Card’s governing board sets out to write new proficiency standards. He is president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, and he believes that current NAEP standards do not align to real-world college and career readiness. That, he says, must change.