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Volusia Educational Support Association (VESA) and the Volusia Teachers Organization (VTO) pictured with the Dr. Loretta Johnson AFT Solidarity Award, received in 2014 at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) 37th Annual Paraprofessionals and School Related Personnel Conference held in April in Orlando, Florida.No More Talk! It's Time for Action and Activism: Public school employees are the vital link between local communities and neighborhood schools. They work to meet the social, emotional and health needs of the students they serve and their families. It's one way school support professionals demonstrate their commitment to reclaiming the promise of public education. About 100 school related personnel partnered with the Osceola Families in Transition program to support students at Westside K-8 school. Watch them in action. The community event kicked off the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) 37th Annual Paraprofessionals and School Related Personnel Conference. During the conference, members of the Volusia Educational Support Association (VESA) and the Volusia Teachers Organization (VTO) were recognized with the Dr. Loretta Johnson AFT Solidarity Award.

Value Added Model VAMASA Questions Use of VAM for Educational Assessment: The American Statistical Association (ASA), the largest organization in the United States representing statisticians and related professionals, has slammed the use of VAM (Value Added Model) for teacher performance evaluation. The ASA study shows VAMs, generally based on standardized test scores, do not directly measure potential teacher contributions toward student outcomes, and scores and rankings can change substantially when a different model or test is used. Explore the ASA study.

Koch BrothersThe Koch Brothers’ Plot to Transform Higher Education: The billionaire Koch brothers may rank among the biggest bankrollers of conservative causes and Republican campaigns. Their proselytizing of government deregulation and pro-business civics is increasingly targeted not just on lawmakers, or couch sitters in swing states, but at the hearts and minds of college students. Welcome to the campus of Koch Brothers Academy.

FEA VP Joanne McCall

FEA Criticizes Efforts to Revive Voucher Expansion legislation by Linking It to Proposal for Kids with Special Needs: FEA Vice President Joanne McCall testified before the House Education Subcommittee which is considering a newly developed measure that combines a massive voucher expansion with a proposal for students with disabilities. 
Listen to her testimony

Voucher Expansion: A Risky Experiment That Gambles With Taxpayers’ Money And Children’s Lives: Florida legislators continue to careen down a risky path as they seek to again try to shift hundreds of millions of dollars into voucher programs that have little to no accountability.
Read the response from FEA VP Joanne McCall.

School Vouchers Video Shows Voucher Advocates Revealing Their Strategy, Tactics and True Intentions: The goal in Florida, according to one voucher advocate, is to enroll 250,000 students. The target is to add a hundred voucher schools per year and provide funding to primarily religious schools teaching a variety of different religions. Watch the video.

Why Teacher Data is Flawed: FEA President Andy Ford, addresses the problems with Florida's Value-Added Value Added formula for teacher evaluationModel (VAM). In his Letter to the Editor, President Ford explains why  VAM results for teachers are meaningless. "The Florida Education Association has been warning lawmakers, education policymakers and parents about this method of comparing teachers since it was first enacted into law by the 2011 Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott. It’s even worse than we envisioned. When will our political leaders and the DOE stop chasing these flawed data models and begin listening..." Read more

Florida ESP Tells Congress to Support the Fair Minimum Wage Act:  Florida ESP Edith Kimball testified before School Support Staff Testify in Washington on Minimum Wage increasethe Senate Budget Committee, telling members the immense financial stress on families like hers would be alleviated if Congress were to raise the minimum wage. “For me, in my job, that would mean an increase of $200 more a month for my family. It could help me open a college savings plan for my children for their future.” Edith was joined by Madison County Education Association President and NEA Director George Williams.
Read about her DC trip.


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Education Information That Matters to You!

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Get Involved: Reclaim the Promise: Parents Overwhelmingly Choose Strong Neighborhood Public Schools over Charters, Choice, Vouchers: "When teachers and parents join together, we can be an unstoppable force to fulfill the promise of education as a pathway to opportunity for all children," says AFT President Randi Weingarten. View the Nationwide Poll.

Global Exploration for Educators Organization GEEO helps teachers explore the world and inspire students to gain a better understanding of different cultures. Spend this summer exploring with (GEEO) Global Exploration for Educators Organization, an organization providing affordable travel opportunities for teachers and ESPs. GEEO offers more than a tour by including  educational aspects to your trip. It's time to pack your bags and check out GEEO.
First Book: We read without thinking about the millions of youngsters who have never owned or read a book. Placing that first book in their hands can transform their lives. Reading can improve academic success. That's why we are asking you to participate in First Book. Register here:

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