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NEA Launches Campaign to End ‘Toxic Testing’

Delegates to the National Education Association’s annual meeting in July voted to launch a national campaign to put the focus of assessments and accountability back on student learning and end the “test, blame, and punish” system that has dominated public education in the last decade.  The campaign will among other things seek to end the abuse and overuse of high-stakes standardized tests and reduce the amount of student and instructional time consumed by them. The anti-toxic testing measure also calls for governmental oversight of the powerful testing industry with the creation

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Union Contract is Quite Clear

by Cheryl Kahn Appeared Sunday, July 20, 2014 8:00 am in Sentinel Source As a retired employee of the Monadnock Regional School District and former president of the Monadnock District Education Association (MDEA), I have been reading the articles about the union’s health insurance fund with great interest. I was involved with all teacher contract negotiations since the mid 1990s, including the current contract. The current insurance fund concept was proposed by the school board, not the teachers. We were happy to continue negotiating what percentage of premiums would be

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Monadnock Board Seeks to Reopen Contract Negotiations

By Meghan Foley Sentinel Staff SWANZEY CENTER — The Monadnock Regional School Board will ask the teachers union to reopen contract negotiations amid an ongoing dispute over health insurance payments. Meanwhile, the teachers union, along with the unions representing the district’s support staff and specialists, announced Tuesday night the three groups have taken a no-confidence vote in the district’s administration. The administration is led by Superintendent Leo P. Corriveau, who plans to retire Jan. 2, 2015, instead of staying through the 2014-15 school year, which he had initially wanted to do. Corriveau, 65, cited his desire to focus more on his health and family as reasons for his retirement after 43 years in education. The school board accepted his resignation Tuesday night. “I think I speak for all of us,

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Monadnock School District’s Superintendent to Resign

Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 12:00 pm By Meghan Foley Sentinel Staff SWANZEY CENTER — As Monadnock Regional School District officials continue to deal with one crisis after another in recent months, its superintendent is calling it a day. Leo P. Corriveau, 65, has submitted a resignation letter, effective Jan. 2, 2015. Corriveau joined the district in 2012. The letter will be presented to the school board tonight, school board Chairman Richard H. Thackston 3rd of Troy said today. Corriveau says he is leaving for family and health reasons; Thackston is blaming the teachers union and a recently formed community group, Monadnock United, for causing Corriveau’s early departure. “I’m giving you that reason. He didn’t give that reason,” Thackston said. Corriveau said he made the decision in June that he would

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What is a Teacher?

Natasha Walizer Mother, teacher, blogger   A teacher is the one who listens to the “strange” boy talk about his fascination with dragons and not judge. A teacher listens intently to the very animated child and might not understand what he is speaking of, but a teacher listens. A teacher is the one who listens to the 7th grade girl complain about her over-protective mother and how she wishes she could wear what clothes she wants. A teacher calmly tells the child that her mother is just being a good mom and taking care of her. A teacher watches the teenager roll her eyes and inside cries because a teacher worries about what trouble that girl could get into one day. A teacher sits next to the small boy, even

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Justices Show How Willing They Are To Attack Working Families

Background on the Case: On its surface, the case deals with home care workers in Illinois who care for the disabled. The plaintiff, Pamela Harris, serves as the caretaker to her son Josh, who suffers from a rare genetic syndrome. The elder Harris receives Medicaid funds to do so and essentially functions as a state employee. Many state-supported home care workers in Illinois are represented by the union SEIU Healthcare Illinois-Indiana. Under the contract between the union and the state, all home care workers covered under the contract are required to pay a fee to SEIU to cover the expenses associated with bargaining, whether or not they want to be union members. This arrangement avoids what we commonly refer to as freeloading — benefiting from the union’s work without helping

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Group’s Push for Change Follows Years of Discord in Monadnock School District

By Meghan Foley Sentinel Staff Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2014 8:00 am SWANZEY CENTER — It has been a long, and at times tumultuous decade for the Monadnock Regional School District. And a local group of more than 100 parents and community members called Monadnock United hopes to end it. The effort made its public debut last week at a Monadnock Regional School Board meeting which more than 300 people attended. While many at the June 17 meeting aired what they say is wrong or had gone wrong in the district over the past year, they also voiced support for a resolution Monadnock United members had drafted for positive change in the district. Change, they say, is due. Highlights of Monadnock’s troubles over the past decade have included a scuffle

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Included, Everyone

Rachel Adams Author, ‘Raising Henry’ The poster for a middle school dance at my son’s school was blocked out in uneven, handwritten letters:     SCHOOL EVENT… BE MATURE! Don’t make fun of how someone is dancing! Don’t make fun of how someone is dressed! Don’t make fun of whom someone is dancing with! I tried to imagine how different my teenage years could have been if the mean girls had to follow rules like these. Schools today are more sensitive to the harm caused by bullying. But that poster isn’t just a sign of changing times. My son Henry, who has Down syndrome, goes to a school dedicated to inclusion, where students of many levels of ability learn together, and learning how to get along is considered an essential

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