Coalition Pressures Education Dept. Over Teacher-Equity Backtracking

A coalition of nearly 100 groups is turning up the heat on the U.S. Department of Education over its decision to roll back a requirement pertaining to “teacher equity,” or ensuring that poor and minority students have access to the most capable teachers.

Some background: The department initially required states that wanted to renew their No Child Left Behind waivers to spell out how they would use teacher-evaluation results to ensure this access. But states, buried in common-core implementation and other mandates, balked. And in the end the department backed off, saying it would use another mechanism to encourage teacher equity.

In a letter sent yesterday to the Education Department, the Coalition for Teacher Quality, which counts among its members a variety of groups representing minority groups, English-language learners and students with disabilities, protest this move. Th

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Roswell shooting mourners gather for vigil, describe school terror

ROSWELL, N.M. As mourners gathered for an evening vigil, witnesses described the pandemonium inside a middle school gymnasium when a seventh-grader opened fire with a shotgun, gravely injuring two students before classes began.

I walked into the gym and heard the bangs, but I thought it was a joke people pop bags in school all the time, Blas Mendez, 14, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. I didnt think it was a gun until I heard all the screaming and crying.

This southeastern New Mexico farming community of 50,000 was coming to grips with the nations latest school shooting, which sent a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, both students at Berrendo Middle School, to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.

At a late-night news conference, state police identified the victims as Nathaniel Tavarez and Kendal Sanders. Nathaniel remained in critical condition after two surgeries, police said. Kendals condition had been upgraded from serious to satisfactory.

New Mexico Police Chief Pete Kassetas said officers had interviewed 60 of the 500 people who were inside the gym at the time of the shooting.

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Law students defend OWS protesters

Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters have been arrested since the movement began.

Some local law students are going from the classroom to the courtroom to help defend them.

The Occupy Wall Street movement occupied the headlines for weeks, especially when protestors began to get arrested.

“So you needed a lot of lawyers?” asked Art McFarland, Eyewitness News Education reporter.

“A lot of lawyers, early on. It was one of the first working groups that got set up and actually some of the people that were involved in the planning prior to September 17th were lawyers and we were training in that area,” said Amin Husain, OWS organizer.

Third-year students from Manhattan’s Cardozo Law School helped answer the call.

“Instead of sitting in the classroom and reading books and studying cases that already happened, you have your own cases, and that’s where I really think the legal education, the emphasis, should be,” said Connor Gleason, a Cardozo Law Student.

They are part of Cardozo’s criminal law clinic, set up to handle actual cases, under the supervision of professors.

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Memrise: A Learning Engine Worth a Spin

Are you hoping to learn or brush up on a foreign language in 2014?

Have you found that whenever you set out to do this in the past, its been hard to keep at it?

Memrise may be just the ticket for you.

Ive been using the site for a few months now to help me improve my Spanish and Ive found it useful enough that I thought I should mention it here as a tool that M2Learners may want to check out.

What is Memrise?

Memrise (, and also available as an iPhone or Android app) is a platform that enables users to create collections of content, or memes, that combine textual, visual, and auditory cues. These are then published as courses into what is basically a learning engine that supports presenting the content to learners and repeatedly testing them on it as they progress.

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Why Language Shouldn’t Be a Job Requirement

Oh, and they need to speak the native language. Or do they?

It’s simple, really. They hired Mr. Jain for his leadership and knowledge, not necessarily for his ability to speak German. If they had considered that the most critical item in the selection process, he would never have made it past the initial stages of consideration.

So, what are the lessons to be learned here?

In the end, it’s all about finding the right talent at the right time. The organizations that are poised for success don’t allow language barriers to dictate who they hire. They look at true skills and qualifications and hire based on that criteria.