WEAC leads efforts to bring teacher voice to proposed license changes

WEAC is leading efforts to build understanding and bring forward teacher voice on proposed changes to the state’s teacher licensure law, PI-34. “We’ve already been in follow up discussions to make the proposed changes to the licensing system better, and get at the goal of easing the teacher shortage,” said WEAC President Ron Martin, an eighth grade teacher. “We’re making headway and the next step is a direct conversation with teachers about how the plan would impact teachers who work directly with students every day.”

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Spotlight on Locals: Tomahawk Education Association

In the first of a new series of columns titled “Spotlight on Locals,” WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen visits the Tomahawk Education Association, where she talks with Co-President Ann Swenty about how her local has maintained strength, holding steady with a membership of 77 teachers of their 100 teachers on staff. “First and foremost, you must have a strong leadership team,” Ann told Peggy. Ann credits her long-time treasurer Jon Marin for his “conscientious dedication to the union” and Angie McPherson, their local secretary, for her follow-through. “Angie gets things done, and she is always a voice for our members.”

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WEAC member E-Ben Grisby ‘is not afraid to speak up where there is injustice’

Green Bay teacher E-Ben Grisby, an active member of WEAC and the Green Bay Education Association, is the subject of an Appleton Post-Crescent article about his work to “embrace the broad spectrum of diversity in the Fox Cities.” … “E-Ben’s life has been rich with experiences, which he readily shares with us, which give us perspective,” said Jody Harrell, who serves with Grisby at Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities. “He is not afraid to speak up where there is injustice and is willing to do something to help change happen. We appreciate his gifts, and all benefit from his wisdom and actions.”

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Diane Ravitch exposes the 5 top risks from the misuse of technology in schools

Education expert Diane Ravitch is not against constructive use of technology in schools but she recognizes that industry has a powerful profit interest in encouraging schools to overuse and misuse technology in schools. “The greatest fear of parents and teachers is that the tech industry wants to replace teachers with computers,” she writes in a column published by EdSurge. “They fear that the business leaders want to cut costs by replacing expensive humans with inexpensive machines, that never require health care or a pension. They believe that education requires human interaction. They prefer experience, wisdom, judgment, sensibility, sensitivity and compassion in the classroom to the cold, static excellence of a machine. I agree with them.”

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Teachers say they are overwhelmed by constant policy changes

Nearly all respondents to an Education Week survey — 86 percent — said they had experienced new changes or reforms in the past two school years, and 58 percent said the changes are “way too much” or “too much.” The teachers surveyed were most likely to say they’d had changes to their teacher-evaluation systems. Other common areas for reform were curriculum, professional development, and state testing.

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