Tag Archives: Schools

Teachers?…The House GOP tax bill would scrap your educator expense deduction…

Can GOP Senator Susan Collins of Maine save this all by herself?

Now, the educator expense deduction has become a sticking point in the GOP tax debate, with the House and Senate taking it in two wildly different directions.

The House GOP tax bill would scrap that educator deduction entirely.

The Senate GOP tax plan would double it to $500.

“The tax deduction means a lot to teachers,” says Richardson, who is 36 and lives in Atlanta. “Everything we bring to the classroom, we are doing it for our students. We are doing it because education isn’t always properly funded on the state or local level.”

The education expense deduction is one of many differences between the House and Senate bills that still have to be ironed out before a tax plan can be sent to President Trump’s desk. The House has already passed its version of the bill. The Senate is aiming to vote on its legislation next week.

What politicians decide could greatly affect America’s 3.6 million teachers — and their students.

One of the biggest champions of the teacher deduction is Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who is considered a key swing vote on the tax bill. …

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Teacher Union’s ?

A Federal Appeals Court has throw out their tenure cause in California….

I don’t think its gonna stick….

But it has gotten people’s attention…..

As the two big national teachers unions prepare for their conventions this summer, they are struggling to navigate one of the most tumultuous moments in their history.

Long among the most powerful forces in American politics, the unions are contending with falling revenue and declining membership, damaging court cases, the defection of once-loyal Democratic allies — and a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign portraying them as greedy and selfish.

They took a big hit Tuesday when a California judge struck down five laws they had championed to protect teachers’ jobs. The Supreme Court could deliver more bad news as early as next week, in a case that could knock a huge hole in union budgets. On top of all that, several well-funded advocacy groups out to curb union influence are launching new efforts to mobilize parents to the cause.

Responding to all these challenges has proved difficult, analysts say, because both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers are divided internally. There’s a faction urging conciliation and compromise. Another faction pushes confrontation. There’s even a militant splinter group, the Badass Teachers Association.

Leaders of both the NEA and AFT have sought to rally the public to their side by talking up their vision for improving public education: More arts classes and fewer standardized tests, more equitable funding and fewer school closures. Those are popular stances. But union leaders can’t spend all their time promoting them: They must also represent their members. And that’s meant publicly defending laws that strike even many liberals as wrong-headed, such as requiring districts to lay off their most junior teachers first, regardless of how effective they are in the classroom.
The result: an unprecedented erosion of both political and public support for unions. And no clear path for labor leaders to win it back.

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Note….

In 2008 Barack Obama won big with Union support….

In the six years since ?

The Republicans and Right have taken concerted actions to weaken union’s across the nation thru actions and media efforts….

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Some States are backing Out of Common Core because of the extensive testing required…

I am continuing to follow this story….

And the cracks are beginning to fall in the program….

State have begun to back out of the program even if costs them federal money…..

The testing could tax their servers and the extensive amount of time required for the program is causing parents, teachers and school administrators to complain to state education officials, who are coming under political pressure to back away from the program….

Could this all come to a ‘healthcare like’ political problem for the Federal Education Department?

The tests will be given on a massive scale: Roughly 4.2 million third through eighth graders will test the exams in math and English this spring, and 29 million students nationwide will use them starting next school year.

Last spring, Kentucky students taking digital end-of-course assessments designed by ACT had to switch to paper and pencil after slow and dropped connections complicated the testing. Alabama and Ohio students also had problems.

The Kentucky Department of Education wanted ACT to conduct a “stress test” in mid-November to see if the server could handle 20,000 students at one time. ACT was supposed to make software corrections and hardware fixes to improve the online system, but the testing company told the state those fixes wouldn’t be ready for the stress tests or next round of end-of-course exams. The stress test was ultimately canceled.

In addition, CTB/McGraw-Hill apologized last spring for interruptions after its digital testing service disrupted exams in Indiana and Oklahoma. About 3,000 students in Oklahoma lost their connections to the testing provider’s servers. And nearly 80,000 out of a half million Indiana students who took the company’s tests in the spring had their testing postponed and about 30,000 were kicked off of the testing platform on a single day of testing. One Indiana charter school has said the errors are to blame for its F grade from the state.

The company said the Indiana outage occurred because “our simulations did not fully anticipate the patterns of live student testing.” Members of the Indiana Board of Education called the situation “disastrous.”

Oklahoma dropped out of one of the groups developing Common Core tests in early July, citing technology challenges as one of its leading reasons.

Wyoming ditched its online testing system a few years ago, after network infrastructure buckled when 80,000 students tried to take state exams. The debacle cost the state superintendent his job.

Those problems and others have the potential to play out on a much larger, more public stage in the coming years.

At least four states have officially withdrawn from the testing consortia. Other states are teetering on the edge of their relationships with the federally funded groups devising the tests, decrying cost, federal overreach and the potential tech troubles. A shaky roll out could burn more bridges with those organizations and drive up the cost of testing for remaining states…..

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