This teacher uses the didgeridoo to help kids get through online classes, one breath at a time
SEATTLE — Beth Anderson, a mother of two, suddenly found herself back in middle school music class this fall.When school started, her sixth grade daughter Catelyn sat by her side while they learned and worked at the kitchen table. For the most part, Beth, an administrator at Seattle Colleges, tuned middle school out.But she couldn’t tune out Cuauhtemoc Escobedo, a 30-year Seattle Public Schools (SPS) veteran who teaches music and band at Eckstein Middle School. Through his virtual classroom, the tone of his voice, one that Beth said makes you sit down and listen, caught her ear. And “now I’m p...
The Seattle Times
MLB promised free COVID-19 testing for essential workers. We're still waiting.
NEW YORK — Tucked away in Major League Baseball’s 113-page manual for playing through the coronavirus pandemic is a subtle assurance from the league and its owners to the public that baseball in 2020 would offset whatever resource drain might result from the business of baseball.As Section 2.1.5, titled “Voluntary Testing of Household Members and First Responders” read: “MLB will offer free diagnostic/PCR and antibody/serology testing for … healthcare workers or other first responders in the Clubs’ home cities as a public service.”MLB would clean up after itself, in other words, supplying free...
New York Daily News
Substitute teachers are in high demand for school districts trying to fill vacancies in a pandemic
PHILADELPHIA — Dawn Pittman retired from teaching in 2013 after more than three decades. But Pittman has no plans to give up her passion — even in a pandemic. When Camden resumes in-person learning, possibly in January, she hopes to answer the call as a substitute.“I absolutely love teaching,” said Pittman, 58, of Merchantville, New Jersey.Retired Philadelphia teacher Janice Richardson has already been getting those calls. She says she has turned down lucrative offers from parents and districts — as much as $2,000 a week to substitute-teach, something she hasn’t done since 2016.“I get calls ev...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Fair tax or tax hike? Voters set to decide what could be Illinois' biggest taxation shift in decades
CHICAGO — Before Illinois voters consider any candidate on the Nov. 3 ballot — the presidential contenders, a member of Congress, a state lawmaker or a local judge — they will be asked to cast a simple yes or no vote on what could become the biggest change in state taxation in decades.The question at the top of the ballot is whether the Illinois Constitution should be amended to replace a mandated flat-rate income tax with a graduated-rate tax structure that increases the levy as income rises.More than any candidate being voted on, the proposed graduated-rate tax amendment represents what coul...
Michigan ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 must be counted in election, judge rules
LANSING, Mich. — Ballots postmarked as late as the day before Election Day must be counted, even if they arrive after the polls close, a Michigan judge ruled Friday.The ruling from Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens has huge ramifications for Nov. 3, when 3 million or more absentee ballots are expected to be cast in Michigan, smashing previous records.If the ruling stands, it should help ensure every Michigan ballot is counted, but also increase the likelihood that results might not be known on Election Day, or soon after. Under Stephens’ ruling, late-arriving mail-in ballots coul...
Detroit Free Press
Judge strikes down Florida's school reopening order as unconstitutional
ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida’s school reopening order is unconstitutional, a judge ruled Monday, striking down the controversial provision requiring “brick and mortar” campuses to open this month for five-day-a-week lessons.The ruling comes from two lawsuits, one from Orange County and another from the statewide teachers union, both challenging Florida’s school reopening order issued by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.“The order is unconstitutional to the extent it arbitrarily disregards safety, denies local school boards decision making with respect to opening brick and mortar schools, and...
This school district is starting class in person. Teachers can opt out — with no pay
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While most area school districts plan to begin class after Labor Day, much of it online only, Independence, Mo., is ready to start Monday, with most students in person.And if teachers don’t like it, they can opt out, with no pay.“I’m afraid to go and afraid to say anything about it,” said one Independence elementary school music teacher who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation from district leaders. “I’m expected to look parents in the eye and tell them everything is fine and that their students will be fine when I know they are not.”Her fellow teachers will speak out...
The Kansas City Star
Only 48% of Seattle's elementary school kids logged in to district's online portal last spring, data show
SEATTLE — According to the only metric available for student engagement in Seattle last spring, less than half of elementary school kids logged into the district’s learning portal after Seattle Public Schools shut down for the coronavirus.Between March and June, only 48% of kindergarten through fifth graders logged on to Schoology, the district’s learning management system where teachers post assignments and announcements. For student populations the district has sworn to serve better, the rates are lower.Only 41% of English learners in kindergarten through fifth grade logged in at least once,...
The Seattle Times
Coronavirus school reopening complicates life for students with special needs
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Everything Denise Jolly is struggling from, thousands of other South Carolinians have been struggling with amid the coronavirus pandemic.But very few of them are struggling with it all at once.Jolly is a cancer patient and the mother of two boys, one of whom is in gifted classes, and the other is on the autism spectrum.“Our situation is more extreme than most are facing, but I know there are a lot of special needs parents in Columbia,” Jolly told The State.Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the disadvantages special needs students face on a normal basis have been magnified, ...
The State (Columbia, S.C.)
Mother of arrested Key West, Fla., boy sues city, police officers, teacher and school district
MIAMI — Lawyers for the mother of a now 10-year-old boy who Key West police officers tried to handcuff in 2018 at his elementary school after he was accused of punching a teacher filed a civil rights lawsuit Tuesday in federal court against the school district, the city, the individual officers involved as well as the teacher and two school officials.The video of the incident at Gerald Adams Elementary School in Key West received national attention this week after the attorney for the mother, civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, posted it on his Twitter account Monday morning.It outraged police...