Teachers feeling overloaded and stressed, according to Baraboo survey

TimeToLearnTimeToTeach_250pxImplementation of new educational requirements from the federal, state and local level, combined with the loss of collective bargaining rights, has teachers feeling overloaded and under growing stress, according to a survey of Baraboo teachers.

“There’s initiative fatigue,” Baraboo High School teacher and Baraboo Education Association President Kari Nelson told the Baraboo News Republic. “That is the sense we are getting from our members. It is initiative overload.”

Examples of initiatives cited by teachers as contributing to the feeling of being overloaded are the Educator Effectiveness teacher evaluation system, the Charlotte Danielson Framework for teaching, the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program and the Bring Your Own Device initiative which requires teachers to work with students on learning to use Chromebooks and new software.

“These initiatives demand a lot of time on the teacher’s part,” Nelson said. “A lot of the staff worry it is taking time away from the student-driven things teachers want to be doing. They want to give students more timely feedback and create highly engaging lessons and that takes time.”

WEAC Region 5 Executive Director Bill Froelich said the 2011 state law called Act 10, which limited public employees’ abilities to collectively bargain on anything other than base wage, has negatively impacted communication between teachers and administrators. However, there is nothing to prevent the administration and school board from engaging teachers and education support professionals in conversations and working toward joint solutions to problems such as teacher overload. The union continues to represent members in efforts to influence those decisions and make sure that educators have the time and resources to meet the needs of all students.

“We’re just saying we want to have more of a voice,” Froelich said.

Read the Baraboo News article:

‘Initiative overload’ stresses Baraboo teachers: Union survey points to disconnect with administration

Retired teacher Victoria Wiegand noticed big changes in workload and communication between administration and teachers during her last few years with the Baraboo School District. “I just think there were more initiatives,” Wiegand said. “It seemed like every year I taught, there were changes, new things that had happened.”

Teacher Workload Video:

This video focuses on the impact of growing teacher workload in Milwaukee Public Schools and the role Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association members are playing in working to ensure that educators have the time they need to meet the needs of all their students. But the concepts of teacher overload and the important role of the union in advocating for students and educators certainly apply to school districts statewide.

Find more resources at weac.org/workload

Educators paved way for historic congressional wins in 2015

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From EdVotes.org
by Félix Pérez

Hyperpartisan gridlock is the description commonly used when it comes to Congress. But the legislative body notched some significant bipartisan victories for students and educators when it wrapped up its session last month thanks in large measure to the advocacy of educators.

Among the wins for students in poverty, children with disabilities, students most in need and their families was:

  • Additional funding for Title I ($500 million).
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ($415 million).
  • Head Start ($570 million).
  • Child Care and Development Block Grants ($326 million).
  • A new Pell grant maximum of $5,915, an increase of $140.

“There’s no question that the hard-won and expanded opportunities for students from pre-K to college were due to the persistent, persuasive and expert voice of educators all across the nation,” said Mary Kusler, the National Education Association’s government relations director. Kusler, who said educators sent nearly 400,000 messages to Congress on the budget and other key issues, added:

It’s a credit to teachers and education support professionals that their thousands upon thousands of emails, tweets, phone calls, petition signatures, personal stories and visits with members of Congress throughout the year resulted in these historic bipartisan accomplishments. True to their nature, educators showed Congress a thing or two about leaving no stone unturned when it comes to what’s best for students regardless of their zip code.

Read the entire article on EdVotes.org:

Educators paved way for historic congressional wins in 2015

Tags: educator tax deduction, Every Student Succeeds Act, excise tax, private school vouchers by Félix Pérez Hyperpartisan gridlock is the description commonly used when it comes to Congress. But the legislative body notched some significant bipartisan victories for students and educators when it wrapped up its session last month thanks in large measure to the advocacy of educators.

 

President Obama signs ESSA: Educators welcome new education law

From the National Education Association

President Obama shakes hands with NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia after signing the ESSA.

President Obama shakes hands with NEA President Lily Eskelsen García after signing the ESSA.

At a White House ceremony, President Barack Obama Thursday signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. NEA President Lily Eskelsen García joined the president. Mary Jo Bremner, a teacher at Browning High School on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, and Sabrina Peacock, a third grade math teacher in Guilford County, North Carolina, also joined President Obama and President Eskelsen García at the White House signing ceremony.

“This new law is a well-deserved victory for our nation because the Every Student Succeeds Act will create greater opportunity for every student regardless of ZIP Code,” Eskelsen García said. “Educators welcome the end of No Child Left Behind and the beginning of a new era in public education in schools.”

“After 15 years of not having a say in public education, I feel very humbled and privileged to witness the signing of this new education law,” said Mary Jo Bremner, a teacher at Browning High School on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. “My hope is we’ll now get back to where teachers can actually teach and all students can receive the type of education that ignites their curiosity and desire to learn.”

Throughout the reauthorization process, NEA’s focus has been threefold: elevate the voices of educators in the policymaking process, decouple standardized testing from high stake decisions, and create an “opportunity dashboard” to help close opportunity gaps in needy schools. Based on these measures, ESSA has the potential to be a game-changer.

“I am so excited to have been in the room to witness this signing ceremony,” said the North Carolina third grade teacher, Sabrina Peacock. “This was a collective effort involving educators, parents and entire communities—all coming together for our kids. With this legislation, what we are doing for one we are doing for all students. It’s great to see that our voice does make a difference.”

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the bill last week, and the Senate followed suit on Wednesday.

“We commend Congress for the bipartisan cooperation, leadership and hard work to get the job done for students and educators,” said Eskelsen García. “We thank President Obama for signing this important bill into law. Now our work begins in earnest as we shift our attention toward implementation. We look forward to working closely with state and local policymakers, as well as other key stakeholders, to raise our voice to deliver on the promise of ESSA and to provide opportunity for all students.”

President Obama’s remarks:

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President Obama signs ESSA: Educators welcome new education law

From the National Education Association

President Obama shakes hands with NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia after signing the ESSA.

President Obama shakes hands with NEA President Lily Eskelsen García after signing the ESSA.

At a White House ceremony, President Barack Obama Thursday signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. NEA President Lily Eskelsen García joined the president. Mary Jo Bremner, a teacher at Browning High School on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, and Sabrina Peacock, a third grade math teacher in Guilford County, North Carolina, also joined President Obama and President Eskelsen García at the White House signing ceremony.

“This new law is a well-deserved victory for our nation because the Every Student Succeeds Act will create greater opportunity for every student regardless of ZIP Code,” Eskelsen García said. “Educators welcome the end of No Child Left Behind and the beginning of a new era in public education in schools.”

“After 15 years of not having a say in public education, I feel very humbled and privileged to witness the signing of this new education law,” said Mary Jo Bremner, a teacher at Browning High School on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. “My hope is we’ll now get back to where teachers can actually teach and all students can receive the type of education that ignites their curiosity and desire to learn.”

Throughout the reauthorization process, NEA’s focus has been threefold: elevate the voices of educators in the policymaking process, decouple standardized testing from high stake decisions, and create an “opportunity dashboard” to help close opportunity gaps in needy schools. Based on these measures, ESSA has the potential to be a game-changer.

“I am so excited to have been in the room to witness this signing ceremony,” said the North Carolina third grade teacher, Sabrina Peacock. “This was a collective effort involving educators, parents and entire communities—all coming together for our kids. With this legislation, what we are doing for one we are doing for all students. It’s great to see that our voice does make a difference.”

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the bill last week, and the Senate followed suit on Wednesday.

“We commend Congress for the bipartisan cooperation, leadership and hard work to get the job done for students and educators,” said Eskelsen García. “We thank President Obama for signing this important bill into law. Now our work begins in earnest as we shift our attention toward implementation. We look forward to working closely with state and local policymakers, as well as other key stakeholders, to raise our voice to deliver on the promise of ESSA and to provide opportunity for all students.”

President Obama’s remarks:

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President Obama signs ESSA: Educators welcome new education law

From the National Education Association

President Obama shakes hands with NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia after signing the ESSA.

President Obama shakes hands with NEA President Lily Eskelsen García after signing the ESSA.

At a White House ceremony, President Barack Obama Thursday signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. NEA President Lily Eskelsen García joined the president. Mary Jo Bremner, a teacher at Browning High School on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, and Sabrina Peacock, a third grade math teacher in Guilford County, North Carolina, also joined President Obama and President Eskelsen García at the White House signing ceremony.

“This new law is a well-deserved victory for our nation because the Every Student Succeeds Act will create greater opportunity for every student regardless of ZIP Code,” Eskelsen García said. “Educators welcome the end of No Child Left Behind and the beginning of a new era in public education in schools.”

“After 15 years of not having a say in public education, I feel very humbled and privileged to witness the signing of this new education law,” said Mary Jo Bremner, a teacher at Browning High School on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. “My hope is we’ll now get back to where teachers can actually teach and all students can receive the type of education that ignites their curiosity and desire to learn.”

Throughout the reauthorization process, NEA’s focus has been threefold: elevate the voices of educators in the policymaking process, decouple standardized testing from high stake decisions, and create an “opportunity dashboard” to help close opportunity gaps in needy schools. Based on these measures, ESSA has the potential to be a game-changer.

“I am so excited to have been in the room to witness this signing ceremony,” said the North Carolina third grade teacher, Sabrina Peacock. “This was a collective effort involving educators, parents and entire communities—all coming together for our kids. With this legislation, what we are doing for one we are doing for all students. It’s great to see that our voice does make a difference.”

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the bill last week, and the Senate followed suit on Wednesday.

“We commend Congress for the bipartisan cooperation, leadership and hard work to get the job done for students and educators,” said Eskelsen García. “We thank President Obama for signing this important bill into law. Now our work begins in earnest as we shift our attention toward implementation. We look forward to working closely with state and local policymakers, as well as other key stakeholders, to raise our voice to deliver on the promise of ESSA and to provide opportunity for all students.”

President Obama’s remarks:

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U.S. Senate ushers in new era in public education with historic vote

From the National  Education Association

ESSAlogo_300pxThe U.S. Senate Wednesday approved the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill into law as soon as this week.

“Today, the U.S. Senate took a bold and historic step to usher in a new era in public education,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “This is a deserved victory for public education because the Every Student Succeeds Act will ensure all students have equal opportunity to a high-quality public education regardless of ZIP Code.”

Students and educators have lived with the unintended consequences of the failed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for more than 14 years. NEA members have waged an unprecedented mobilization and advocacy campaign on behalf of the nation’s students in an effort to turn the page on the failed NCLB law and to bring in a new federal education law that provides more opportunity for all students.

“Educators will have a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions that affect their students and classrooms,” said Eskelsen García. “This legislation begins to close the opportunity gaps for students by providing a new system that includes an ‘opportunity dashboard’ with indicators of school success and student support. Not only does it reduce the amount of standardized testing in schools, but it decouples high-stakes decisions and statewide testing so students have more time to develop critical thinking while educators do what they love — inspire a lifelong love of learning.”

For NEA’s members, the stakes couldn’t have been higher. The extraordinary effort to get Congress to rewrite NCLB – an effort which NEA launched in earnest in February with its “Get ESEA Right” national campaign, and peaking this past summer when both legislative chambers passed their respective bills – resulted in a unprecedented bipartisan compromise and eventual bill language in late November. The bill sailed through the U.S. House with a vote of 359 in favor to 64 against.

Leading up to ESSA’s passage, educators mobilized across the nation, using face-to-face meetings with lawmakers, phone calls, petitions, emails and social media to urge Congress to bring the joy of teaching and learning back to the classroom and help close opportunity and resource gaps so that all students have access to a well-rounded education. NEA national leadership, along with state and local affiliate leaders, board members, staff, and educators nationwide, made nearly a half million individual contacts to members of Congress.

“We applaud the U.S. Senate for listening to educators and getting the job done for students,” said Eskelsen García. “We commend Congress for putting students and educators ahead of politics especially in an era of political gridlock. We urge President Barack Obama to swiftly sign the bill into law.”

New federal education law on verge of passage

ESAA_GetBackToBasicsThe new federal education law – known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week and is expected to be taken up by the Senate next week. The law, which replaces the deeply flawed No Child Left Behind law (also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act), reflects the National Education Association’s core principles:

  • Reducing the amount of standardized testing in schools and decoupling high-stakes decision making and statewide standardized tests.
  • Ensuring educators’ voices are part of decision-making at the federal, state and local levels.
  • The inclusion of student and school supports in state accountability plans to create an opportunity ‘dashboard’.

Read why educators support the ESSA

The Every Student Succeeds Act returns decision-making for our nation’s education back where it belongs – in the hands of local educators, parents and communities – while keeping the focus on students most in need. What does that mean to you? If you’re tired of being told what and how to teach, you’ll need to be part of the solution. With passage of Every Student Succeeds will come state-specific battles over teacher evaluations, the future of high-stakes testing and dozens of other lingering education issues.

Restrictions on the U.S. Secretary of Education’s authority exist throughout the bill and are focused on prohibiting the secretary from dictating specific mandates. These include mandates on: standards and assessments, elements of the accountability plans, parameters of the accountability system, additional data collection, exit requirements, teacher evaluation, and the definition of teacher effectiveness.

We as educators and union members have to assert ourselves into the conversation at every level. For instance, states are required to submit their plans for federal grants, developed with “meaningful consultation” with teachers and paraprofessionals. On the local school scene, local unions will need to know the law and begin to organize our members for the best student outcomes in areas such as developing assessments that allow teachers to interpret and address specific needs of students.

The opportunity is ripe to return autonomy to teaching, and along with it the joy of learning for our students.

Read more:

NEA welcomes historic step to usher in new era in public education

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bipartisan and bicameral bill to reauthorize the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The Senate is expected to take up ESSA next week.

NEA president encouraged by progress in fixing broken federal education law

From the National Education Association

After months of speculation and work, the U.S. Senate and House conference committee Thursday jointly approved the staff recommendations as amended to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the first time in years. The House of Representatives is planning to take up the conference committee recommendation after the Thanksgiving break. The Senate is expected to follow.

NEA members – educators who have lived with and have been sounding the alarm about the unintended consequences of No Child Left Behind – have waged an unprecedented mobilization and advocacy campaign on behalf of the nation’s students to close the chapter on the failed NCLB law and to bring in a new federal education law that provides more opportunity for all students.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement:

“It is time for Congress to usher in a new era in public education that commits America to creating opportunity for all students regardless of background or ZIP code. While we appreciate the bipartisan and bicameral work of Congress to finally replace No Child Left Behind, our work isn’t done.

“We believe Congress must commit to the success of every student and focus on three core goals in the next ESEA:

  1. Closing opportunity gaps for students by creating a new accountability system that includes an opportunity ‘dashboard’.
  2. Giving students more time to learn by addressing over-testing, decoupling statewide tests and high-stakes decision making, and giving states and school districts flexibility to determine which tests best inform instruction and help students learn.
  3. Ensuring that educators’ voices are part of the decision making process at all levels: federal, state and local.

“We look forward to working with members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate when they return from Thanksgiving break to ensure that we produce a final bill that, when signed by the president, gives every student the opportunity, support, tools, and time to learn.”

Tell Congress: Get ESEA done! Get ESEA right!

NEA and nine other leading education groups kicked off a digital ad campaign this week urging Congress to finish rewriting ESEA and focus on opportunity for all students, no matter their zip code.

“If Congress is serious about every child’s bright future, let’s get serious about putting kids first,” said NEA president Lily Eskelsen García. “Now is the time to finish the job and deliver a bipartisan education bill to the take actionpresident’s desk right away. Students can’t afford to live another year under the failed No Child Left Behind law.”

Agreement on a final bill is likely to be announced by before Thanksgiving — Congress is hearing the urgency from educators! Continue to add your voice so that Congress cannot ignore the need to pass ESEA now. Call your senators and representative via our “Opportunity for All” hotline at 1-866-331-7233. Click on the “take action” button to urge Congress to finish ESEA now.

NEA president Lily Eskelsen García welcomes steps to finalize federal education bill

From the NEA

Congressional leaders from both political parties and both legislative chambers announced additional steps Thursday to finalize a bill to replace the federal No Child Left Behind law. Both chambers passed their respective versions to replace NCLB this summer. The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 passed by a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House passed the Student Success Act. This is the first time in over 13 years that all key congressional players – Sen. Lamar Alexander, chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; the committee’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray; House Education and the Workforce Committee chair John Kline; and ranking member Bobby Scott – have expressed their commitment to moving to conference and finalizing the education bill.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement:

“We commend the four Senate and House leaders for responding to the calls of educators across the country and swiftly moving the conference process forward. Today’s bipartisan, bicameral announcement gets us closer to finalizing an education law that reaffirms our nation’s commitment to the success of every student regardless of her or his zip code.

“The Every Child Achieves Act is proof that members can and should work across political party lines to enact student-centered policy that will improve public education, especially for those students most in need. We urge Congress to continue to stay the course as the conference negotiations advance. We remain committed to helping move the legislative process forward to improve this already strong legislation in conference, and we will not rest until a final bill has the President’s signature.

“We thank Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, and Representatives John Kline and Bobby Scott for their leadership on this critical education legislation.”