The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), Michigan’s largest public education system responsible for educating 51,000 children, has reached a new agreement with the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) Local 231 on a two-year successor contract before starting the ’21-22 school year.
DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti and DFT President Terrance Martin agreed to terms on August 26, and DFT members ratified the agreement on September 1.
In August, the unit reached a safe reopening plan outlining the safety guidelines, additional hazards, and blended learning bonuses.
Calls to fire Glen Ellyn teacher Lauren Crowe were spreading across social media Thursday night after the D41 educator shared a video on Tik Tok promoting books highlighting LGBTQ+ activism to her grammar school students.
Crowe, who teaches third grade at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, posted the video on Tik Tok. It was then shared on Twitter by a user who goes by the name “Libs of Tik Tok.”
“Activist teacher shows off book collection she uses to indoctrinate 3rd grade students,” the user posted.
The firing of Matthew Hawn, a high school teacher in Sullivan County, Tennessee, recently made national news and seemed to confirm fears that newly-enacted state bans on critical race theory (CRT) would have a chilling effect on teacher speech. Hawn, a 16-year veteran tenured teacher and baseball coach, had assigned students in his contemporary issues class Ta-Nehisi Coates’s essay, “The First White President,” and a spoken word poem from Kyla Jenée Lacey called “White Privilege.” One headline declared, “A Tennessee teacher taught a Ta-Nehisi Coates essay and a poem about white privilege. He was fired for it.” A Georgetown professor tweeted, “This really seems extreme and a harbinger of what is to come.”
But contrary to news coverage and social media chatter, Hawn wasn’t fired for violating the state’s newly passed CRT ban. Really, he was dismissed for failing to adhere to the Tennessee “Teacher Code of Ethics,” a seldom-invoked but sensible state requirement for teachers to provide students access to varying points of view on controversial topics. Not only did Hawn fail to follow this code when he assigned the contentious poem and Coates’ essay from The Atlantic, which contains claims such as, “With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness,” he also later asserted that “there is no credible source for a differing point of view.” (Hawn recently denied making such a claim, though he declined to explain why the district attributed this statement to him.)
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has approved the New Paradigm for Education program to promote alternative teacher certification in the state.
New Paradigm will offer a residency-based alternative route to teacher certification to recruit, train, and retain high-quality educators, particularly teachers of color and male teachers of color.
“We continue to work beyond conventional methods to help address the gaps in the teacher workforce,” State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice said in a statement. “There is a substantial teacher shortage in Michigan, which is even more acute for teachers of color.”
The teachers union in the middle of a scandal for influencing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official school reopening guidance gave nearly $20 million to Democrats in the 2020 election cycle, filings show.
Federal election filings reveal that the American Federation of Teachers and its local affiliates spent $19,903,532 on political donations during the 2020 cycle, with nearly all of the funds going to Democrats and liberal groups.
Last year’s AFT donations include $5,251,400 for the Democrats Senate Majority PAC and $4,600,000 for the Democratic House Majority PAC, according to data compiled by The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets database.