Public School Policies
Introducing Yoga to California Students
One school district that has fully embraced the health benefits of yoga in public schools is Encinitas Union School District in North San Diego County, California. The North County Times reports that the yoga program has been going strong in some district schools over the past three years. This year, thanks to a $533,000 grant from the K.P. Jois USA Foundation, the program has now been expanded throughout the district.
What are Common Core Standards?
Common core standards were developed by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Standards were developed with input from educators and administrators from around the country. The standards focus on English Language Arts and Mathematics, but standards span across other core subjects taught in public schools from kindergarten to 12th grade. There are even common core standards now in place for pre-kindergarten instruction to ensure every student is fully prepared to enter public school.
- Easy to understand and consistent
- Build on current standards for individual states
- Are competitive with standards in other top-performing countries
- Line up with current expectations for college and the workforce
- Include rigorous content and knowledge application
- Are evidence-based for easy assessment
Competition Heats Up in Indiana
The Indiana voucher system is getting bigger this year, and public schools across the state are feeling the heat. Fox News reports that the new voucher system first passed the Indiana legislature in 2011, and the hundreds of students that left public schools for private pastures last year could turn into thousands of students this year. Public schools are turning to advertising, as well as door-to-door campaigning, to keep kids in their neighborhood schools – and funding in the public school system.
Throughout the summer, negotiations continued between the Chicago Teachers Union and school administrators and the mayor’s office. Mayor Rahm Emanuel was pushing for longer school days, hiring autonomy for principals and a revamping of the teacher evaluation process. Teachers were looking for better pay increases, job security, smaller classroom sizes and more services for their students. As the summer negotiations wore on, some were hopeful a strike wouldn’t have to happen. Others voiced fears that a strike was exactly where the teachers union was headed.
Two Points of Contention
The Anatomy of a Teachers’ Strike
The two sides of this conflict have been working for months to try to find a resolution. A fact-finder brought in over the summer in an effort at mediation called the relationship between the two “toxic.” At the crux of the controversy is a wide range of issues, from classroom sizes to school hiring policies. While some of these issues have reached an agreement, many more still appear to be miles away from any sort of compromise.