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Maya Moore

Fourth grade teacher Joni Henderson remembers WNBA star Maya Moore as being a "natural born leader with boundless energy and zero fear."

"Mrs. Henderson celebrated all of us as unique individuals and created a contagious attitude of confidence and responsibility in the classroom," recalls Moore.

Behind Every Famous Person is a Fabulous Teacher.

Education News: March 30, 2012

Following are some of the top headlines from the world of education for the week ending March 30, 2012.

This Week in Education: March 19th - March 30th

Failing Education Could Threaten Economy
(The New York Times, March 19, 2012) A recent report warned that if schools do not improve, the nation's security and economic prosperity could be at risk. The report suggests that human capital will be a major factor in determining our nation's future. State Department and intelligence agencies face shortages in the number of foreign language speakers they employ. Fields such as science, aerospace, and defense are also at risk due to a potential shortage of skilled workers. In terms of security, 30% of high school graduates do not do well enough on aptitude tests to serve in the military. The panel of the report suggested including science, technology and foreign languages in common core standards and working with the federal government to judge whether schools are meeting targets.

Chicago Students Want to Help Grade Their Teachers
(Chicago Sun Times, March 27, 2012) Students from the group Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) suggest that they should have a part in evaluating teachers since they may be the best source on a given teacher's effectiveness. However, the students were unsure of the exact impact they would like to have on evaluations. They said they wanted their input to be taken seriously but not seriously enough to jeopardize the career of a poorly evaluated teacher. This would model the system of professor evaluations at the university level. VOYCE recommended that Chicago Public Schools pilot a survey program for two years before launching an official evaluation system for students.

Pink Slime Removed from NYC Cafeterias
(The Huffington Post, March 22, 2012) Ammonia-treated ground beef will be removed from New York City schools in the fall. Schools that take part in the government school lunch program will be allowed to say no to "pink slime" and choose filler free meat instead, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several U.S. school systems chose to remove the meat from cafeterias immediately.

High School Graduation Rate Rises Slightly
(NPR, March 19, 2012) According to research presented at the Grad Nation Summit, the national high school graduation rate has risen by 3.5% between 2001 and 2009. It was also found that the number of "drop-out-factories", that is, schools that fail to graduate more than 60% of their students, had decreased between 2002 and 2010 from 2,030 schools to 1,550 schools. The authors of the report credit the higher graduation rate to more aggressive tactics by school officials, including the use of intervention strategists, to prevent drop-outs.

Teachers Do Not Support Linking Pay to Student Performance
(USA Today, March 16, 2012) A survey of 10,000 U.S. teachers found that fewer teachers today approve of the use of teacher evaluations based on students' standardized test scores than did in 2010. According to the survey, only 26% of teachers believe that test scores are an accurate reflection of student achievement." The results of the survey do not show, however, that teachers disapprove of performance evaluations in general. In fact, 92% of the teachers surveyed believed that tenure should not protect ineffective teachers. Most of the teachers that responded believed that evaluations should not merely revolve around standardized test scores, which has guided education policy for the past ten years.

More Than 20,000 CA Public School Teachers May Not Have a Job in the Fall
(San Francisco Chronicle, March 16, 2012) The California Public School system sent lay-off notices to more than 20,000 teachers to offset the looming education cuts expected over the course of the next two months. Districts will not know the extent of the cuts until citizens vote on a potential tax increase that would prevent the $4.8 billion cut to education as proposed in Governor Jerry Brown's budget. Parents, teachers, and students across the state have banded together to protest the cuts.

Maryland High Schools Require Community Service
(Washington Post, March 23, 2012) 25 years ago, Maryland became the first state to include community service as a degree requirement. Spring break has become the last chance for many seniors to complete their 75 hour service requirement. Some believe the requirement is idealistic and can deter students from service in the future. Moreover, when students procrastinate, their high school diplomas can be in jeopardy. School officials say that very few students have failed to graduate because of missing service.