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Showing posts from December, 2013

School district, higher education turned upside-down | News | Palo Alto Online |

School district, higher education turned upside-down | News | Palo Alto Online |

School district, higher education turned upside-downFederal investigation rattles Palo Alto school districtby Chris Kenrick / Palo Alto Weekly
While Palo Alto residents took issue with the city over development and traffic problems, other disruptive forces turned local educational institutions on their heads this year, namely a lengthy and painful civil rights investigation at the Palo Alto School Union District and the shock waves felt from the rise of online-education. Office for Civil Rights investigates district A federal civil-rights agency disrupted life for leaders of the Palo Alto school district in 2013. Spurred by the family of a disabled Palo Alto middle school student, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights investigated the district's handling of the ongoing bullying of the student. In December 2012, the agency -- which is charged with enforcing civil rights laws in scho…

Cuomo OKs increased oversight of NY preschool special education programs after fraud reports (12/19/13 1:35 pm)

ACLU Suing Eureka City Schools for Racial and Sexual Discrimination | Blogthing | The Journal

ACLU Suing Eureka City Schools for Racial and Sexual Discrimination | Blogthing | The Journal

Native American and black students face racial and sexual discrimination from students and staff in Eureka and Loleta according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed today by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the National Center for Youth Law.

The suit alleges that top officials in the Eureka City Schools District “subject Black and Native American children to a racially hostile educational environment by allowing pervasive racial harassment to persist unchallenged,” according to a press release. The two groups also joined with California Indian Legal Services to ask the Office for Civil Rights to investigate racial discrimination in the Loleta Union School District. 

The groups allege that school officials in Eureka intentionally discriminate against black and Native American students, disciplining those students more harshly than white ones, subjecting them to a “…

After Failing Math, Student Alleges Disability Discrimination - Disability Scoop

After Failing Math, Student Alleges Disability Discrimination - Disability Scoop

A college student is suing her Montana school in federal court arguing that her disabilities prevent her from completing two math courses required to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Hannah Valdez says that Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont. should allow her to substitute two other courses for the math classes that are part of the general education requirements for her bachelor of arts degree. Valdez has Asperger’s syndrome, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a math disability, according to her complaint filed in U.S. District Court. Despite multiple attempts, Valdez “cannot pass these math courses because of her mental disabilities,” the complaint indicates. Valdez is accusing the school of disability discrimination and violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act by declining her reasonable accommodation. In a response filed with the …

Advocates Alarmed By 'Backtracking' On Teacher Standards - Disability Scoop

Advocates Alarmed By 'Backtracking' On Teacher Standards - Disability Scoop

Disability advocates are protesting a move by the U.S. Department of Education that they say could leave students in the hands of poor-quality teachers. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan this week, a coalition of almost 100 civil rights and disability advocacy groups including the Council for Exceptional Children, The Arc and the National Down Syndrome Society, among others, blasted federal education officials for what they called “apparent backtracking” on measures to ensure that all children have access to good-quality teachers. The issue harkens back to a provision under No Child Left Behind requiring that children from poor and minority groups are not disproportionately taught by less-experienced or less-qualified educators. More recently, when the Education Department granted states waivers exempting them from some of the law’s obligations, the so-called “teacher equity” requirem…

Bill to Bar Educators From Political Activity Withdrawn by Missouri Senator - State EdWatch - Education Week

Bill to Bar Educators From Political Activity Withdrawn by Missouri Senator - State EdWatch - Education Week

Bill to Bar Educators From Political Activity Withdrawn by Missouri SenatorBy Andrew Ujifusa on December 13, 2013 12:31 PM A bill introduced by a Missouri state senator that would have ultimately barred educators in that state from contributing to political campaigns has been withdrawn, after the legislation triggered a less-than-friendly reaction. The now-dead measure, introduced by Sen. Will Kraus and pre-filed for the 2014 legislative session on Dec. 2, was an attempt to stop teachers and other K-12 and higher education officials from using public resourcesfor advocacy and campaign work, according to Kraus, a Republican. He also told a Missouri TV station, KMBC, that the bill was "a starting point," and that he felt he could work in a bipartisan manner to ultimately produce legislation that addressed the issue. In many instances, fights over union's political clout…

Feds say staff shortage prevents EPISD civil rights investigation - El Paso Times

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Feds say staff shortage prevents EPISD civil rights investigation - El Paso Times

The Department of Education now says it will not pursue potential civil rights violations related to cheating at El Paso Independent School District because of a lack of resources. In the last year, the department's Office of Civil Rights has received nearly 10,000 complaints while staffing levels are at their lowest level since the Department of Education was created more than 20 years ago, spokeswoman Dorie Nolt said. "Given that OCR has no evidence indicating students in El Paso continue to be denied an education based on their national origin, conducting an additional investigation would not be the most prudent use of our limited resources and staff," she told the El Paso Times. "OCR remains deeply committed to investigating complaints and launching proactive investigations when possible to ensure equitable treatment of students and access to educational opportunities that prepare the…

Sentence Cut in Texas for School Official Jailed in Test Scandal - NYTimes.com

Sentence Cut in Texas for School Official Jailed in Test Scandal - NYTimes.com

Sentence Cut in Texas for School Official Jailed in Test Scandal By MANNY FERNANDEZ December 12, 2013HOUSTON — The former superintendent of an El Paso school district who was sent to prison in one of the country’s worst education scandals has received an unexpected reward — a nearly one-year reduction in his prison term.
A recent decision by the federal Bureau of Prisons to take 11 months off the sentence of the former superintendent, Lorenzo Garcia, has angered educators, parents and lawmakers in El Paso and has drawn attention to the obscure drug counseling program that has become a popular way for white-collar criminals to reduce their prison time.
Mr. Garcia, 58, had been scheduled for release in October 2015 after being sentenced to three years and six months. But prison officials shortened his sentence and moved up his release date to November 2014 after Mr. Garcia completed a drug counseling program whi…

Madison African-American leader files discrimination complaint against Madison School District : Wsj

Colorado school drops sexual harassment label on boy who kissed girl's hand - Washington Times

Colorado school drops sexual harassment label on boy who kissed girl's hand - Washington Times

A 6-year-old Colorado boy has won a reprieve from his sexual harassment label, after school officials decided his hand-kiss of a girl who was his classmate doesn’t merit the stiff penalty after all. The boy, Hunter Yelton, was suspended from his school near Colorado Springs after he kissed a girl on the hand. His mother, Jennifer Saunders, admitted to KRDO that his son had a crush on the girl and had kissed her on the cheek on a previous occasion, but said the “sexual harassment” charge the school threw at him was crossing the line. The boy’s story went viral, and the school faced a slew of negative attention. On Wednesday evening, Canon City Schools Superintendent Robin Gooldy changed Hunter’s offense from “sexual harassment” to “misconduct,” CNN reported.

SB576 - WITHDRAWN

SB576 - WITHDRAWN

SB 576 - The act bars political fund-raising activities from being held in buildings owned by the state or political subdivisions. Officers, employees, and agents of public schools and universities are barred from making public expenditures to advocate, support, or oppose legislation, ballot measures, and candidates Statewide elected officials and legislators shall not act as a paid political consultant for another statewide elected official or legislator or for a campaign committee, candidate committee, continuing committee, or political party committee. Statewide elected officials and legislators and their staff, employees, and family shall not receive any lobbyist gifts with a value of over $50. Legislators shall not lobby until 2 years after leaving office. Appointees to boards and commissions are required to disclose 10 years of political contributions made be them, their spouses, and any business entity in which the appointee or the appointee's spouse has an inte…

Superintendents pitch plan to aid struggling Missouri schools : News

How Much Good Will The Survey DO?

How much good will the survey do?  Too many of the members are former teachers or administrators for the school district.

Kim FritchieKim Fritchie is currently on the board of Lee’s Summit CARES. She has been active in the Lee’s Summit CARES organization since 1993, serving as president, vice president, and secretary, as well as serving on the education, finance, and public relations committees. She is a retired school administrator who served the Lee’s Summit School District for 30 years. As a member of the Lee’s Summit community since 1976, she is deeply committed to the Lee’s Summit community and programs that will help maintain a positive and healthy quality of life for its citizens. She is an active member of the Lee’s Summit Beautification Commission, the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Principal’s Association, the Lee's Summit Education Foundation Alumni Committee, and the Lee's Summit High School Hall of Fame Committee.

Julie DoaneJulie Doane works with her husband as a…

Lee's Summit Cares Board

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Lee's Summit CARES

Kim Fritchie President Julie Doane Vice-President Kerri Gray Secretary Cheryl Nash Treasurer Ron Baker Member Megan Childs Member Marsha Palmer-Thelwell Member Kathy Hofmann Member Kimberly Hollins Member Scott Landregan Member

Safety Survey for adults 2013

Safety Survey for adults 2013

We need the input of youth and adults who live within the Lee’s Summit School District. The survey should take between five - ten minutes to complete. There is a separate version for youth and adults to complete. THIS IS THE VERSION FOR ADULTS TO COMPLETE.

If you complete the entire survey (with the optional questions), you can enter to win a gift card. The winner will be selected randomly among all participants who complete the entire form and provide contact information. Your contact information will be held in the strictest confidence, will NOT be matched to your survey replies, and will ONLY be used to contact you if you are a winner.

Lee’s Summit CARES is a community nonprofit organization. It uses information from this survey, conducted every three years, to determine parenting classes, anti-bullying classes and prevention programs in our community. Please be open and honest. Your information will be anonymous. For example, the information gained fr…

The Turner Report: Kraus withdraws bill, says he never meant to keep teachers out of politics

The Turner Report: Kraus withdraws bill, says he never meant to keep teachers out of politics

Today (12-13), Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, comments about the recent withdrawal of his sponsored legislation, Senate Bill 576.  “On Dec. 2, I prefiled Senate Bill 576 regarding ethics and campaign finance reform.  One section dealt with a prohibition on schools using public funds to campaign for or against issues or candidates.  Unfortunately, a drafting error in the first sentence of the bill makes it unclear.  As is evident in the second sentence, and in the summary of the bill posted online, the intent was to ban the use of “public” funds for campaigning.  As a member of the military, I have fought for every American’s rights.  That includes the right of free speech and the right to participate in the political process.  My mother and several others in my family were teachers, and I would not ever consider inhibiting their right to speak out or campaign.   I regret that the error gave so…

Bill would ban Missouri teachers from political activities | Watch the video - Yahoo News

Bill would ban Missouri teachers from political activities | Watch the video - Yahoo News

A bill filed by Missouri State Sen. Will Kraus would keep educators in Missouri from getting involved in any sort of political activity short of voting.

State auditor requests records from Missouri's education chief : News

State auditor requests records from Missouri's education chief : News

Missouri Auditor Thomas Schweich is weighing whether to launch an audit of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in light of recent controversies involving the education commissioner. Schweich sent a letter to Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro this week stating his office is considering a probe into the very issues that have triggered calls for her resignation from teachers unions, more than a dozen lawmakers and even the St. Louis County Branch of the NAACP. Schweich is requesting department documents relating to the development of a plan calling for a new statewide district for underperforming schools, which Nicastro is expected to unveil in January. He wants records concerning the process by which the department procured a contract with CEE-Trust — Cities for Educational Entrepreneurship — an Indianapolis-based firm that’s drafting an improvement plan for Kansas City Public Schools. S…

School bus drivers struggle in icy conditions | fox4kc.com

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School bus drivers struggle in icy conditions | fox4kc.com

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Multiple accidents were reported Friday morning when rain and freezing rain moved into the metro area. Among the many accidents, were at least three school bus accidents. A school bus with kids on board was involved in an accident at 45th and Agnes in Midtown Kansas City.  Then, in Overland Park another school bus was in a non-injury accident at 158th and Lowell.   A third bus accident was also reported in Lee’s Summit, near Colbern and Pryor Roads. Like the others, there were no serious injuries and several other cars were also disabled there from the black ice. FOX 4 sent a crew to the scene of 45th and Agnes, but they experienced similar slick conditions that the bus likely drove through. Our FOX 4 crew was not able to get up a hill to the bus and took this picture of a police car near the scene. And below is a picture of the bus involved in a wreck in Overland Park. Check back here for updates by refreshing th…

Criticism of Nicastro builds - Columbia Daily Tribune | Columbia Missouri: News

Criticism of Nicastro builds - Columbia Daily Tribune | Columbia Missouri: News

Missouri's top education official is increasingly becoming a flash point as the state wrestles with how to address its most troubled schools. The pressure on Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro rose another notch yesterday as lawmakers and others criticized the way the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education hired a consultant to develop a turn-around plan for Kansas City Public Schools and other struggling systems across the state. Their concerns followed the release of emails and a Sunday story in the Kansas City Star that showed Nicastro had been talking with a firm supportive of charter schools for several months before the Missouri Board of Education awarded it a contract to develop the Kansas City school improvement plan. The firm, Indianapolis-based CEE-Trust, which stands for Cities for Educational Entrepreneurship, received the contract despite costing three times more than the…