Broom-wielding Detroit teacher to settle for $390K

Broom-wielding Detroit teacher to settle for $390K

The board of the Detroit school district that fired a teacher after she used a broom to break up a fight between students has agreed to settle the woman’s lawsuit for $390,000.

Tiffani Eaton-Davis sued the Education Achievement Authority in federal court a year ago, alleging that the district violated her civil rights and failed to warn her about the “violent conditions” at Pershing High School, where she taught.

cell phone video of the April 30, 2014, fight between two boys in Eaton-Davis’ classroom quickly went viral. It showed the students throwing punches and falling into desks and onto the floor before Eaton-Davis struck one with a broom.

Eaton-Davis said she tried to call security on a walkie-talkie when the fight broke out, but got no response. She said she used the broom as a last resort.

Eaton-Davis was fired. The district later said she could come back to work at any EAA school, but she declined.

The economic benefits of community college certificates in the job market: Journalist’s Resource Journalist’s Resource

Do Community College certificates really help workers earn more money?

Over the last decade, national leaders and policymakers have pressed states to produce more college graduates as a way to help the United States remain globally competitive and ensure its long-term economic growth. Public and private universities facing this “completion agenda” have launched a host of new programs aimed at improving student retention and degree completion. State and federal legislators began to put intense pressure on community colleges to also increase the number of students earning associate degrees and program certificates.

Since 2006, the number of people completing certificates – a credential that typically requires less time to finish than a two-year degree – has risen substantially at many schools. Institutions across the U.S. awarded nearly 1 million certificates in 2013-14, or 33 percent more than they had in 2006-07, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. A 2012 report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce refers to certificates as “bite-sized educational awards … [that] provide the on-ramp to college education and middle-class jobs for low-income, minority and immigrant Americans who are often the first in their families to attend college.” The report also suggests certificates have become the second most common college credential behind the bachelor’s degree.

But while a multitude of scholars over the years have published numerous studies examining the value of a bachelor’s degree, few have looked at certificates. Two researchers — Di Xu, an assistant professor in the school of education at the University of California, Irvine, and Madeline Trimble, a data analyst at Columbia University’s Community College Research Center — sought to fill that knowledge gap. They investigated whether earning a community college certificate leads to higher pay. For the study, “What About Certificates? Evidence on the Labor Market Returns to Nondegree Community College Awards in Two States,” Xu and Trimble poured over administrative data collected from community college systems in Virginia and North Carolina. They matched community college records with enrollment and graduation data from the National Student Clearinghouse. Those records were further matched with quarterly earnings information taken from Unemployment Insurance records in each state.

The analysis, published in the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis in December 2015, focuses primarily on individuals who earned certificates in Virginia and North Carolina and worked in the same state after receiving their certificates. The authors used earnings data from the first quarter of 2005 to the first quarter of 2012 in North Carolina and data from the first quarter of 2005 through the first quarter of 2013 for Virginia.

Among the key findings:

Earning a community college certificate generally leads to higher earnings. The financial benefit varies considerably, though, and depends on several factors, including field of study, the state where the person is employed and whether the credential is a short-term certificate (taking less than one year of full-time study to complete) or a long-term certificate (taking a year or more of full-time study to complete). A long-term certificate in the field of mechanics, repair and welding, for example, was associated with a $1,632 increase in quarterly earnings in Virginia. A short-term certificate in the same subject area was associated with a $240 increase in quarterly earnings in North Carolina.On average, short-term certificates were associated with an additional $278 in quarterly earnings in North Carolina. In Virginia, the difference was $153.Long-term certificates were associated with an average increase in quarterly earnings of $953 in North Carolina and $200 in Virginia.In both states, long-term certificates in nursing resulted in the largest increases in quarterly earnings. The increase was $3,515 in North Carolina and $1,644 in Virginia.

The study found substantial differences in certificate offerings and economic returns between the two states. Some of the differences might be explained by how community colleges in North Carolina and Virginia designed their certificate programs. In North Carolina, community colleges seemed to emphasize vocational programs. In Virginia, on the other hand, most long-term certificates focused on general education and were aimed at preparing students for continued studies in college rather than directly entering the job market. The authors point out that while certificates in some fields may not result in increased earnings, they may increase an individual’s chance of finding a job or breaking into an industry that has other benefits such as flexibility or stability.

Related research: 2014 study in the Journal of Labor Economics, “The Labor-Market Returns to Community College Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates,” indicates that associate degrees and diplomas have quarterly returns of about $2,400 for women and $1,500 for men and smaller returns for certificates. A 2016 report from the Community College Research Center at Columbia University, “Tracking Transfer: New Measures of Institutional and State Effectiveness in Helping Community College Students Attain Bachelor’s Degrees,” suggests new ways that policymakers can improve the effectiveness of programs that help community college students transfer to four-year universities.


Keywords: junior college, state college, vo-tech, vocational school, technical school, vocational degree, workforce development, job training, return on investment

Writer: Denise-Marie Ordway | May 25, 2016

Celebrating Freedom of Information Act reform in Congress, and the road ahead – Sunlight Foundation Blog

Monday’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to send the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 to the White House is the culmination of a decade of work from a coalition of advocates to reform the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The bill codifies a “presumption of openness,” strengthens the proactive disclosure of information in digital formats and the Office of Government Information Services, directs the White House to create software for creating requests, and requires all federal agencies to update their regulations.

The passage of the bipartisan bill was applauded on both sides of the aisle, as it should be: The path to any historic reform in Congress is a long and winding one, with fits, starts, disappointments, setbacks, frustration and, in the case of FOIA reform, secret opposition from agenciesfinancial interests and the Justice Department itself, followed by failure. Thankfully, we saw a different outcome in 2016. A C-SPAN video of statements on the House floor supporting the bill is embedded below.

Policy Patience Pays Off | National Education Policy Center

Policy Patience Pays Off

Key Takeaway: School transformation is a process, and measuring the process should not begin with test scores.


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BOULDER, CO (June 14, 2016) – Research-based policies that provide sustained support can transform struggling schools into effective schools. Serious reform models like the Community Schools Initiative in New York City offer an alternative to the false promise of quickly boosting test scores and calling a school “transformed.” Yet approaches grounded in the idea of sustained improvement present a different challenge: what should policymakers expect, and by when?

In Time for Improvement: Research-Based Expectations for Implementation of the Community Schools Initiative in New York City, Julia Daniel, Kevin Welner and Michelle Renée Valladares of the University of Colorado Boulder describe the major findings from research about the stages of school improvement—research that informs a reasonable timetable for the NYC Community Schools Initiative.

Part of the challenge in improving educational outcomes is that outside-of-school factors likely account for twice as much of the variance in student outcomes as do inside-of-school factors. Accordingly, community-schools approaches like that in NYC attempt to address the academic, social-emotional, and health needs of children as well as the capacity to systemically meet these needs in communities of concentrated poverty. They do so by engaging external organizations and families, creating partnerships that provide services and programs for students, teachers, school staff and leaders.

The authors explain that complex change takes time. Evidence and logic tell us that there must be a lag between initiating a program and seeing measureable results. In the first three to four years, schools generally achieve only partial implementation, with full implementation taking upwards of five to 10 years.

Given the urgent need for educational improvement, more rapid change is desirable. But many current attempts to dramatically “turn around” schools, to show quick improvements in student outcomes, have led to unintended, negative outcomes such as high teacher turnover, large numbers of inexperienced teachers, administrative instability, poor school and classroom climate, and socioeconomic segregation.

The promise of community school models depends on several interim changes resulting in larger systemic changes. The interim improvements involve including families in school communities, surrounding students with the resources and vibrant learning environments to thrive, and creating stable teacher and principal leaders. As the Policy Memo explains, it is these interim steps, not quick increases in test scores, that should be the focus of evaluators and policymakers.

Find Time for Improvement: Research-Based Expectations for Implementation of the Community Schools Initiative in New York City, by Daniel, Welner and Valladares on the web at:

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