New Resource From P21 Empowers Parents to Help Kids Thrive in the 21st Century
(April 8, 2015—Washington, DC) – Today, P21, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, released an online free resource for parents to help prepare kids for the future of citizenship, learning and the workforce. National PTA served as a family engagement advisor for the project.
“We are excited to share P21’s first resource for parents and families,” said Dr. Lizabeth Fogel, P21 citizenship taskforce chair and director of education with the Walt Disney Company. “The Parents’ Guide to 21st Century Learning and Citizenship provides tips, strategies, knowledge and real world examples to help explain why 21st century learning and citizenship are important for success.”
To be successful today, students must be civically and digitally literate, globally competent and proficient in the 4Cs—critical thinking and problem solving; communication; collaboration; and creativity and innovation. Yet, according to recent data on civics education and global citizenship, more than one third of 12th grade students scored below basic in civics and fewer than one third reported they use their learning for real-world problem solving.
Education today takes place both inside and outside the classroom. The Parents’ Guide to 21st Century Learning and Citizenship reinforces the idea that preparing children for 21st century learning and citizenship is a team effort—at home, at school, within the community and throughout the day.
“National PTA is pleased to collaborate with P21 and bring the Parents’ Guide to 21st Century Learning and Citizenship to families nationwide to empower them with tools to support the development of 21st century skills and 21st century citizenship among youth,” said Otha Thornton, president of National PTA. “Today’s workplace requires employees to think on their feet, make decisions and solve problems. It is essential that our nation’s youth are prepared with the critical thinking and reasoning skills necessary to excel in their studies and the workforce in order to thrive in a global economy.”
The Parents’ Guide—which includes an overview document, tip sheet and real-world examples—will support parents and communities as they prepare young people to be productive citizens, and ensure they have the skills, knowledge and mindsets they need to be successful in college, career and life. Free download available at www.P21.org/Citizenship.
P21 recognizes that all learners need educational experiences in school and beyond, from cradle to career, to build knowledge and skills for success in a globally and digitally interconnected world. Representing over 5 million members of the global workforce, P21 unites business, government and education leaders from the U.S. and abroad to advance evidence-based education policy and practice and to make innovative teaching and learning a reality for all. For more information connect with us at www.p21.org and @P21Learning.
National PTA served as a family engagement adviser on this project. The overall purpose of National PTA is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. For more information about National PTA, visit www.PTA.org.
Texas Superintendent Alton Frailey Elected AASA President-Elect
Alexandria, Va. – April 7, 2015 – Alton L. Frailey, superintendent of the Katy Independent School District, in Katy, Texas, was elected 2015-16 president-elect of AASA, The School Superintendents Association.
“As we continue to celebrate AASA’s 150th anniversary, I am very pleased to welcome Alton as our president-elect,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “Part of our mission is to bring superintendents and school leaders together to strengthen public education. Alton’s career as an educator will be a huge resource for us as we help empower children across the country.”
A member of AASA’s governing structure since 2009, Frailey has served on the organization’s executive committee since 2011. Since 1998, he has been a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators and is currently serving as the 2014-15 TASA president.
“We have an opportunity to shore up the power and promise of public education for each child,” said Frailey. “The nation’s conversation about public education is, again, at a very critical juncture. AASA is an essential part of this conversation. I am honored to be elected to this important position for this outstanding organization.”
“AASA champions the efforts to improve the lives of children in public schools,” added Frailey. “I look forward to advancing the organization’s mission in my new role.”
Frailey began his tenure as superintendent of the Katy Independent School District in 2007. Before joining KISD, he led the DeSoto Independent School District, in DeSoto, Texas, from 2005 to 2007. He also served as superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 2002 to 2005.
Frailey and other newly-elected AASA governance members will begin their terms on July 1. David R. Schuler, superintendent of High School District 214, in Arlington Heights, Ill., and Frailey will be sworn in as president and president-elect respectively during a ceremony at a summer meeting of the governing board in Washington, D.C., on July 8, 2015.
Additional members of AASA’s executive committee to be sworn in include:
Joseph V. Erardi, Jr.
Newtown Public Schools
Eric C. Eshbach
Northern York County School District
Gary L. Kelly
DuQuoin Community Unit School District 300
Moses Lake School District 161
Moses Lake, Wash.
Theron J. Schutte
Bettendorf Community School District
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.
Mac to School Drastically Increases Capacity for Summer Device Buy-Backs
Leading Certified Apple Provider moves in to new facility to account for increased device buy-back this summer
(SAN JOSE, CA) April 8, 2015– Summer is an incredibly busy time of year for school and district technology departments, who use the time to inventory existing technology, purchase new devices for the upcoming school year, and decide what to do with existing devices. Mac to School, the award-winning provider of certified Apple devices to the education marketplace, is thrilled to announce the expansion of its headquarters, which will allow their team to process and service more devices purchased from schools, ensuring each is ready to head back to the classroom.
Mac to School works with technology teams across the country to put the best technology at the lowest cost into the hands of students. Summer is an extremely busy time of year, as technology departments are looking to get the most out of the technology they have when looking to sell.
“We love education and Apple technology. We’re committed to our mission of purchasing $10 million in inventory back from schools and districts in 2015,” stated Mac to School Co-Founder and CEO Robert Baker. “In order to service the volume of devices we are purchasing, we needed more space. On any given week in the summer we intake multiple thousands of devices.”
Their top priority is to keep as many of these devices in education as possible. Once these devices have been purchased back from schools, Mac to School services and certifies each device with a comprehensive warranty so it is ready to be used in the classroom once again.
“Our new facility is three times the size of our previous headquarters and allows our team to employ the latest generation of device audit and imaging systems,” said Baker. “This will allow us to provide technology teams with a buy-back quote much faster than before, as well as minimize turnaround time on each device. Sticking to our green roots, our new facility will allow us to drastically reduce our carbon footprint while expanding our capabilities.”
Administrators across the country have found that selling their Apple devices back to Mac to School is the easiest way to get the most out of their existing technology, as the funds can be used wherever they are needed.
Mac to School makes it a top priority to keep each machine they recertify in education, whether they are made available for purchase at a lower cost or donated through their Give Mac program.
To learn more about Mac to School and how much you can get out of devices you are looking to sell, as well as Apple products currently in stock, visit www.mactoschool.com
About Mac to School:
Mac to School buys, sells, and recertifies all types of Apple computers and equipment. We serve the public and private education market, working with small schools up to large districts throughout all 50 states. Our mission is to deliver the best value to our customers while providing the highest level of customer service. Our team of Apple Certified Technicians employs customized tools to generate detailed audits and provide quality refurbishment.
Professor Takes on Tenure:
Case Appealed to U.S. Supreme Court
Professor Who Repeatedly Rejected Offers of Tenure
Fights System He Says Inspires Laziness and Incompetence
- Texas Tech twice punished Professor James Wetherbe for speaking out against tenure, repeatedly trampling his free speech rights.
- Only 50-75 of the 280,000 tenured professors nationwide lose their jobs annually, a tiny fraction compared to the 6 to 9 percent rate in the rest of the economy.
- The California Supreme Court declared tenure unconstitutional, stating that the inability to terminate poor performing teachers adversely affects equal opportunity education.
- England did away with tenure entirely in 1988 under Margaret Thatcher.
Washington, D.C.—It is unheard of for a college professor to reject an offer to become tenured. It is rarer still that a professor would file a lawsuit to spotlight how tenure is bad for students, bad for higher education, and bad for taxpayers.
But that is exactly what Texas Tech Professor James Wetherbe has done.
“Tenure has nothing to do with delivering a quality education to students and has everything to do with protecting bad teachers from losing their jobs,” said James Wetherbe, the Bobby G. Stevenson Chair of Information Technology at Texas Tech University. Wetherbe has been outspoken about his opposition to tenure and has twice been punished for his principled stand. Wetherbe, however, argues the First Amendment protects academic freedom—including his freedom to criticize tenure.
“The zealous defense of tenure in academia cannot trump my First Amendment rights,” Wetherbe said.
A recommendation committee twice recommended Wetherbe for the prestigious Paul Whitfield Horn Professorship at the Texas Tech, and he was also on a short list of professors to be considered for the deanship of the Rawls College of Business. But former Texas Tech Provost Robert Smith, supported by the university President Guy Bailey , took Wetherbe out of consideration for both honors—as Smith stated under oath—because Wetherbe’s views on tenure made him unfit for consideration. The university admits that Wetherbe’s unwillingness to accept tenure played a part in him being taken out of consideration for both honors. Smith also stated that Wetherbe’s 12-year-old contract that allows him to reject tenure was a mistake and that he should submit to tenure or forfeit his title of professor—a title he has held for more than 30 years. Within six months after the lawsuit was filed, Smith ironically and with one days’ notice resigned as provost, including tenure with the university.
The trial court ruled Wetherbe’s speech—which dealt with a matter of public concern and not a contract matter—was protected under the First Amendment. In its opinion, the district court wrote that the integrity, quality, and public financing of higher education “are of political and social interest in any community because education is a social good and public universities are financed, in large part, by tax monies.” That ruling, however, was overturned by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Wetherbe filed an appeal of his case http://www.bustoslawfirm.com/files/2015/04/Bustos.pdf on April 6, 2015, with the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Consider the fact that only .02 percent of college professors in the United States have their tenure revoked annually,” Wetherbe said. “It isn’t because these professors are so great; it is because the system is so terrible. Tenure creates a system where teachers are resistant to new teaching methods because they are protected from the need to grow and adapt. Tenure creates stagnation in the subjects that are taught and research that is conducted. And it layers in tremendous costs to each and every taxpayer, preserving a system of malignant protection while crushing the kind of educational transformation our nation so desperately needs.”
A 2011 study of teaching practices at the University of Texas at Austin indicated savings of $266 million a year are possible if it could get half its professors to be as productive in teaching as the top 20 percent, fire its least productive faculty, and shift their small workload to other professors.
“As a routine practice, I ask students in every class I teach how many have had a teacher they found unacceptable. Tragically, the response is always unanimous,” said Wetherbe, who has earned numerous scholarly and professional honors and distinguished service awards.
Wetherbe stated he will donate any settlement he earns from his suit, minus legal fees, to student scholarships at Texas Tech.
James Wetherbe is represented by attorney Fernando Bustos from Lubbock, Texas.