Teachers in Oakland, California, went on strike Thursday, part of a national wave of discontent by educators over classroom conditions, pay and other issues. Recent walkouts have taken place in West Virginia, Los Angeles and Denver. The city's 3,000 teachers want a 12 percent retroactive raise covering 2017 to 2020 to compensate for what they say are the among the lowest salaries for public school teachers in the expensive San Francisco Bay Area. They also want the district to hire more counselors to support students and more full-time nurses.
Cleveland native Toni McWilliams didn’t feel like she was putting her bachelor's and master’s degrees in business administration to good use working as an administrative secretary for a middle school in her hometown. The job, which paid around $19,000, barely brought in enough money to support her two young daughters. So McWilliams decided to try teaching. "My mom had always encouraged me to teach," she said. But there was one big obstacle standing in the way: the Praxis exams.
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, in partnership with the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi, announced today the winners of the 2019 Ezra Jack Keats Award. Each year an outstanding writer and illustrator are recognized early in their careers for having created an extraordinary children’s book that reflects the diverse nature of our culture. The 2019 award ceremony will be held on April 4th, during the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, said, "It is a joy and a privilege each year to recognize and support new writers and illustrators who create beautiful and entertaining books that reflect the childhood experiences of our diverse population."
Some of the nation's top teachers recently gathered in El Paso, Texas, to speak out against the government’s practice of detaining children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Dismissing the notion that they shouldn't get involved in political advocacy, teachers said they see some U.S. policy and procedures as "abusive." Special correspondent Kavitha Cardoza of Education Week reports.
Hundreds of educators protested the United States' treatment of immigrant children in a "teach-in" on Sunday, saying that as mandatory reporters, they are obliged to speak out against detainment and family separations. The teach-in, held in El Paso, Texas, was organized by Mandy Manning, the 2018 National Teacher of the Year, who teaches newly arrived refugee and immigrant students in Washington state.
Three years after four National Teacher of the Year finalists gathered at the White House, only two of the four are still teaching. Only one of is still at the same school and two have gone on strike. According to finalist Nate Bowling, the paths their careers have taken since that day speak volumes about the state of teaching in the United States.
In his 2018 State of the Union address last year, President Donald Trump called for a pathway to citizenship for "Dreamers," while urging for new restrictions on legal immigration and funding for a wall along the border with Mexico. In the audience was Ivonne Orozco, who is the 2018 New Mexico Teacher of the Year—and also a Dreamer. (Orozco was recently part of the recent educator demonstration along the U.S.-Mexico border.)
Debut picture book creator Oge Mora hails from Columbus, now lives in Providence, and was kind enough to take the train up for a little talk with Roger. We discuss her book, Thank You, Omu!, which recently won a Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award.
Take a look at some of the upcoming titles for teens from School Library Journal.
African-American picture books have always been successful at capturing the breadth, depth and beauty of the black experience, allowing children to gain much-needed access to the strong legacy and vibrant history of African-American art and storytelling. But how we present this story is always undergoing revision and refinement, as four new books — from a closer view of plantation life to a visually rich depiction of the history of hip-hop — show. In these books, word and art combine to give us fresh insight into the lives, creativity and achievements of a truly resilient and profound people.