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CEA-Retired Members Meet with National Colleagues

CEA Vice President Bill and President Gloria Brown with NEA President

CEA-Retired Vice President Bill Murray and President Gloria Brown with NEA President Lily Eskelsen García (center) at the NEA-Retired Conference yesterday.

CEA-Retired members are in Orlando, Florida, this week, but instead of relaxing on a summer vacation, they’ve been busy meeting with other NEA-Retired members at the NEA-Retired Annual Meeting, which took place yesterday and today.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García addressed the retirees yesterday, saying, “You are the voice of experience.” Eskelsen García said that NEA-Retired membership has consistently grown, even during challenging years, because, “Even though we all hope to retire one day, NEA will always be a part of our lives—and we’ll always be a part of NEA.” Read more

Supreme Court Guarantees Marriage Equality

Photo by Kate Mereand-Sinha via Flickr.

Photo by Kate Mereand-Sinha via Flickr.

A historic decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court this morning finds that the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage nationwide. The 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges grants all couples the equality under the law that they rightfully deserve.

The NEA, CEA, and the other 21 NEA state-level affiliates were part of a broad-based labor coalition with the AFL-CIO and Change to Win supporting marriage equality. The coalition filed an amicus brief arguing that state discrimination against same-sex couples deprives such couples of an array of economic benefits and legal rights, and deprives them and their children of fundamental dignity and rights that other couples and their families enjoy.

This ruling increases stability and economic security for families across the country. It means that Connecticut couples cannot lose their marriage rights when they travel to another state and that same-sex couples and their families in all states will now be on an equal footing with other families.

Kids & Skin Safety

Now that swimming season is here, it’s important for kids to have fun ways to learn about and protect their skin. The American Academy of Dermatology offers resources for children and adults to learn more about their skin and how to stay safe in the sun.

Share with children more about

Plus, educators can find lesson plans and classroom activities on a wide range of skin-related topics.

 

$2,000 Scholarship Drawings for NEA Members

scholastic infographicLooking for some help paying for professional development courses or a child’s college tuition? NEA Member Benefits has teamed up with Sallie Mae, provider of the NEA Smart Option Student Loan Program, to offer NEA members chances to win $2,000 cash.

Enter each month until August 2015 by clicking here. If you’re one of the lucky $2,000 winners, you could choose to fund professional development courses for yourself, cover some of your expenses toward National Board Certification, or even help a family member with his or her college tuition.

Summer Reading: What Books Do Kids Recommend?

Reading ListMany schools assign some kind of summer reading but the vacation months are also a great time for children to spend plenty of time with books of their own choosing. How do you find out what might appeal to a young friend or family member?

Head for the physical or online bookshelves prepared with the Children’s Choices 2015 Reading List. Sponsored by the International Literacy Association and Children’s Book Council, each year 12,500 children from around the United States read and vote for the newly published children’s and young adults’ books they like best. Organized by grade level, the books are divided into lists for K-2, 3-4, 5-8.

Find the complete book lists with summaries here.

Supreme Court Decision Avoids Putting Educators in Law Enforcement Role

A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court clarifies that mandatory reporting laws exist to protect abused, neglected children and get them the support they deserve. The case of Ohio v. Clark, raised the question of whether a child’s statement to his teacher about being a victim of abuse is inadmissible in a criminal prosecution against his abuser because teachers and other educators should be considered law enforcement officials when they carry out their duty to report suspected abuse or neglect.

The National Education Association filed an amicus brief in the case supporting the view that educators’ valuable role as mandatory reporters and caregivers should not be compromised. In a unanimous decision, the Court agreed and ruled against putting educators in a law enforcement role. Read more

Summer Beckons

After more than 180 days of teaching, counseling, coaching, mentoring, and inspiring, educators around the state are—or will soon be—closing classroom doors for the last time this school year and taking some much-deserved time to relax and reflect. Teachers use summer break for a wide variety of activities from teaching summer school to professional development to vacation with family and friends—and much more.

In “An Ode to a Teacher’s Summer Vacation,” Texas educator JP Fugler celebrates the chance to recharge his batteries with a list of his own plans for the summer.

He writes, Read more

Bridgeport Bilingual Students’ Work Showcased

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Louise Estiverne, a 7th grade Bilingual TAG student, gave a presentation called “The Eyes.”

Bridgeport Middle School students showed off their talents at the 3rd Annual Bilingual Talented and Gifted (TAG) Expo at Cesar Batalla School on June 4. Student presentations covered a wide variety of topics including science, medicine, history, and debates on several  subjects.

The event also recognized students, parents, and community leaders for their support throughout the year. Greater Bridgeport Latino Network (GBLN) members Elena Padin and Paul Arroyo received the 2015 Community Award for their work with TAG students in establishing several community engagement programs. GBLN, with  a grant from Pitney Bowes, helped the TAG students plan a highly successful Red Cross blood and bone marrow drive, as well as a fundraising effort for the Bridgeport Animal Shelter. Read more

Attend CEA’s Summer Leadership Conference this August

SLC brochure 2015CEA’s Summer Leadership Conference will take place August 3-5 this year with a variety of workshop offerings aimed at building capacity in local Associations. This year the emphasis will be on how to continue to be strong voices for the teaching profession.

The focus of the conference is organizing in the areas of professional development and working conditions in response to the growing needs of CEA members. There are tracks for negotiators with various levels of experience as well as tracks on grievance processing, teachers and the law, organizing, teacher evaluation, and a new track for new local Association presidents.

See the conference brochure for complete workshop offerings and more information. Contact your local president to register.

Getting the New Teacher Evaluation System Right

CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg, at right,

CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg, at right, clarified the teacher evaluation dispute resolution process during a recent Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) meeting.

There will no longer be any ambiguity about whether school superintendents can cede authority to others for final dispute resolution connected with a school district Educator Evaluation and Support plan. Questioned by CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg at a public meeting this week, the State Department of Education’s Chief Talent Officer Sarah Barzee confirmed that a superintendent can assign the job of dispute resolution to a local Professional Development and Evaluation Committee (PDEC). The PDEC can design a process that results in the final decision regarding a dispute being made by educators other than the superintendent. Many teacher evaluation plans already include dispute resolution processes that involve a PDEC or sub-committee of both teachers and administrators, but in most of the plans, the final decision making authority still resides with the superintendent. This clarification from the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) expands the options for dispute resolution.

CEA believes that teachers should have a strong voice on PDECs, and dispute resolution is an appropriate role for the educators who staff the committees because the role promotes teacher decision-making and a climate of trust and respect in school districts.

The exchange over the dispute resolution process, a required element of district educator evaluation and support plans, came at this week’s PEAC meeting. Read more

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