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EduClips: From NYC’s Teacher Retention Woes to New Fallout From Parkland Shooting, School News You Missed This Week From America’s 15 Biggest Districts

By The 74 | June 27, 2019

EduClips is a roundup of the week’s top education headlines from America’s 15 largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here.

New York City — Teachers Leaving City Pose “Crisis” for District: Declaring “a teacher retention crisis in New York City,” Comptroller Scott Stringer noted that 41 percent of city teachers hired in the 2012-13 school year had left the job. In order to preserve continuity, Stringer called for a new residency program focused on training. The proposed program would offer rookie educators a $30,000 stipend to work in a city school during their final year of graduate school. “We provide just weeks of in class training to aspiring teachers and no mentorship whatsoever,” he said. We can’t keep accepting a status quo where we lose half of our teachers in the workforce every five years.” (Read at the New York Post)

Broward County — Two More Deputies Fired in Connection to Parkland Shooting: Two sheriff’s deputies were fired this week after an investigation found that neither tried to locate and confront the gunman during last year’s mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were killed during the massacre on Feb. 14, 2018. According to an Internal Affairs report, deputies Josh Stambaugh and Edward Eason moved away from the source of the gunshots, prompting Sheriff Gregory Tony to describe their actions as “a neglect of duty.” Two other deputies, Scot Peterson and Sgt. Brian Miller, were previously fired in connection to their response to the shooting. Earlier this year, Peterson was charged with 11 criminal counts, including negligence and perjury. (Read at NPR)

Los Angeles — Amid Fiscal Turmoil, Board Passes $7.8 Billion Budget: Despite declaring the documents to be “unintelligible,” L.A. Unified board members passed a $7.8 billion budget and accountability plan for 2019-20 last week. The move came after a highly touted parcel tax proposal failed and just a week after parents complained that the budget documents lacked transparency. The three-year, annually updated accountability document is a blueprint for the district’s goals and plans to improve student performance. The board’s move comes amid a year of fiscal struggle, including threats of a county takeover to shore up the district’s wayward finances. (Read at The74Million.org)

Hillsborough County — Incoming Freshman Dies During Summer Football Drills: Schools in the Tampa area halted all summer workouts and athletic activities after a 14-year-old collapsed while participating in football drills. Hours after the death of incoming freshman Hezekiah Walters, the district ordered coaches to complete a review of safety procedures at every school. “Our family is heartbroken with the loss of Hezekiah,” the Walters family said in a statement sent to the Tampa Bay Times. “We are still in shock and asking God to provide us peace.” The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the cause of his death. (Read at the Tampa Bay Times)

Fairfax County — Drama Teacher Arrested in Connection With Filming of Students: A Fairfax County high school drama teacher was arrested in connection with the filming of what police described as “dozens and dozens” of female students in a dressing area and other locations. Police said Raphael Schklowsky will face multiple charges for the videos, taken via cell phone and remote camera between May 2017 and June 2018. Schklowsky’s lawyer, Edward Ungvarsky, declined to comment. The teacher, who was previously charged with unlawfully filming his au pair and possessing child pornography, has been suspended without pay. (Read at The Washington Post)

Noteworthy Essays & Reflections

STUDENT DEBT — Canceling Student Debt Doesn’t Make Problems Disappear (Read at The New York Times)

SCHOOL CHOICE —Walsh: School Choice Is Not a Zero-Sum Game — How a Texas Superintendent Created District-Charter Partnerships to Help All Kids Succeed (Read at The74Million.org)

PERSONALIZED LEARNING — What New Research Can Teach Schools Looking to Put Personalized Learning Into Practice (Read at Education Week)

PARENTS — How parents can help dismantle transphobic and homophobic school climates (Read at The Washington Post)

HEALTH — Study: Stay in School to Skip Heart Disease (Read at U.S. News and World Report)

Quotes of the Week

“For the past two days, I have felt like I have been kicked in the sternum by Godzilla wearing steel-toed boots.” —Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro, on a scathing report from Johns Hopkins University that lambasted the district for poor academic performance, unsafe schools and lackluster morale. (Read at The74Million.org)

“Education reform isn’t a cure-all. As a supporter of education reform, I agree that fixing educational inequality requires doing more to address the broader, systemic sources of economic inequality.” —former president Barack Obama. (Read on Twitter)

“Let’s not mince words here. There’s a teacher retention crisis in New York City.” —New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, on reports that 41 percent of city teachers hired during the 2012-13 school year left during their first five years on the job. (Read at the New York Post)

“Without support, no one can do this job.” —mentor and fifth-grade teacher Ambar Quinones. (Read at The74Million.org)

“Education clearly has not been at the top of his list of priorities to address directly. But he has been very supportive of all the work that we have done.” —Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, on President Trump’s policy priorities. (Read at Politics K-12)

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