11-17-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--NJEA Spent $5.7M of Union Dues on Recent Election

Many members erroneously believe teachers union spent only funds from voluntary donations on recent political battles

According to recent filings with the Election Law Enforcement Commission, the New Jersey Education Association spent about $5.7 million in union dues on the recent general election. It did so through Garden State Forward, a Super PAC (political action committee) that the teachers union founded four years ago.

That was almost seven times more than the NJEA spent from voluntary donations to its regular PAC. NJEA communications director Steve Baker confirmed that all the roughly $5.7 million came from membership dues.

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/17/11/16/njea-spent-5-7m-of-union-dues-on-recent-election/

NJTV News | November 17, 2017

 

Education Week--Good Communication Doesn't Come Naturally. We Have to Teach It

Amid polarizing political discourse, students need training to communicate their ideas

Last month, former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush separately issued bipartisan calls to abandon divisive language. Both railed against the current polarized nature of our nation's political discourse—which, in the past year, has been lacking in nuance and filled with racial invective, gender insults, and other hate speech. Characterized by binaries, this language constructs our nation as a conglomerate of factions.

In such a climate, some educators may shy away from discussing controversial issues with students, especially when, for many of them, the political has become deeply personal. But educators should recognize the power—and opportunities for student empowerment—in these discussions.

Words can be used for disagreements without being divisive. Language is a formidable tool for helping us make sense of the world around us, allowing us to explain to others what we think and feel, and—when we know how to listen—giving us a window into how others understand abstract issues. Language also gives us a medium through which to make sense of the current political turbulence and cultural disquiet. There is power in recognizing and labeling instances of racism, sexism, and discrimination. There is even greater power in giving our students the language to reflect, to question, and to resist negative voices.

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/11/15/we-need-to-teach-students-how-to.html

Emily Phillips Galloway, Paola Uccelli & Christina Dobbs|November 14, 2017