Tonight at 5, the Lawrence school board and the Lawrence Education Association are meeting to try and conclude stalled contract negotiations. The meeting is at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive, and is open to the public.[As we have previously reported,] the district and LEA are far apart on several issues, ranging from salaries to planning time.In mid-June, talks between the district and LEA hit a wall. Help from a federal mediator was requested, and is scheduled for Wednesday, unless progress is made tonight.LEA negotiators are asking for $1.85 million more for salaries, to which the district offered $825,728. It also offered an additional $1.1 million, which includes almost $647,000 to start a new retirement system and $324,000 to allow elementary teachers more planning time.The district also proposed adding one day to the work year, making it 187 days for returning teachers and 191 for new teachers. LEA thinks planning time should be an issue independent of compensation.LEA president Adela Solis expressed disappointment that it has taken so long to strike a deal. She said there is a perceptible "chill" between the two sides."People are very discouraged, exceptionally discouraged," she said before tonight's meeting was called. Last week, the district came to LEA with the idea for a meeting.Superintendent Randy Weseman said both sides were interested in reaching a conclusion.It seems likely that the district will sweeten its offer to LEA since the district called the meeting. : http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/jun...
On Wednesday, we reported on [how Lawrence public high schools students' ACT scores were higher than the state and national average.]The average score in Lawrence was 23.2, on a 36-point scale. Lawrence High's average score was 23.4, while Free State's was 23.1. Compare that the state average, 22, and the national average, 21.1.When comparing local scores to other area schools, including the Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission school districts, Lawrence schools look pretty good.Lawrence's public high schools' score eclipse De Soto High (22.6), Mill Valley (23), Basehor-Linwood (21.6), Bonner Springs (20.5), Lansing (22.6), Piper (22.3) and Tonganoxie (21.4).The average scores in the Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission school districts are higher than here, with four Blue Valley schools scoring an average of 24.4, and five Shawnee Mission schools averaging 23.6.Lawrence's private high schools, however, scored higher than any of these schools. Bishop Seabury's average score in 2007-08 was 26.1, while Veritas Christian School's average score was 25.4. Eight of Seabury's 12 seniors took the test last year. Matt Patterson, academic dean, said most of the students opt for the SAT.Here's a look at ACT scores from 2006-07 and 2007-08.2006-07 !2007-08 ! : http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/aug... : http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... : http://worldonline.media.clients.elli...
I've spent all summer working on whatever stories came my way, burying the urge to act on my recently acquired reporting instinct - covering education.The wait is over.But I need your help.My niche in the News Center is the fun stuff. Sports reporter Andrew Baker says I'm quickly becoming "that reporter" who does crazy stuff like [puts mud on her face] or [throws spaghetti against walls].But my best news tips come from parents and teachers. Is your child's classroom doing something neat and unique? Want to see me fingerpaint? I'll do it - I just need to know about it. Parents and teachers are my eyes and ears to what kids do every day in the classroom. Activities are a lot cooler today then when I was in elementary school and I want to cover it.I'm ready for school - elementary, junior high and high school.Just pass me a note.[E-mail me] or call my direct line in the NewsCenter at 832-6322. : http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/aug... : http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/may... : http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/lindsey_slater/contact
I'm working on a story about how social networks like Facebook and MySpace may be affecting yearbook sales at area schools. [In school districts around the country, yearbook sales are dipping.] In [Houston], interest in yearbooks has gone the way of the DoDo. [In Eudora, some students are opting for video yearbooks.]At Kansas University, the heart of Facebook country, the university last year contracted with a [Web site called e-yearbook.com] to produce Web versions of past yearbooks.That's not totally surprising to me, given the greater importance yearbooks have at high school. For one reason or another, my college neglected to send me any notice about purchasing yearbooks, or getting yearbook photos taken. But I've always been a sucker for the hard copy. Heck, I'm a newspaper reporter. With the vast array of social networks out there, are yearbooks obsolete? : http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080606/ART16/806060303 : http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/moms/5774505.html : http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/sep... : http://www.e-yearbook.com/cgi-bin/eybb?school=12&flavor=ku
Applications for [Lawrence Virtual School's] K-8 program are due by 4 p.m. Friday.Applications can be found at [K12.com], where you can begin the enrollment process.Jana Lloyd, a specialist at the school, said parents must print off the paperwork and bring it to the school, 2145 La. Be sure to bring your child's birth certificate, immunization records and other required documents. Children also must complete a placement test by 4 p.m. Friday.Lloyd said the school is experiencing record enrollment, and receives about 25 applications a day. It costs $97 a year to attend the virtual school. : http://lawrence.ks.schoolwebpages.com/education/school/school.php?sectionid=2 : http://k12.com/
Education researchers leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of knowledge. Some of the most recent research shows how domestic problems breed problems in the classroom.No surprise here: [A University of Cincinnati] scholar reviewed research from England, Germany, Norway, Japan, South Africa and the United States, and found that kids raised by authoritarian parents, described as "parents who are demanding, directive and unresponsive," are more likely to be bullies.But children raised by "nurturing, warm, responsive parents" were less likely to have bullying tendencies. Most of the children were ages 9 to 16. And another study shows that those "bad apples" really do have an affect on other children in the classroom. As Justin Wolfers at [NYTimes.com's Freaknomics blog writes,] it's been tough to pinpoint that data in the past.On another note, [this study (PDF)] found that people who smile in yearbook photos are more likely to have happier lives. So smile, kids! : http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-08/uoc-tsb080408.php/ : http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/31/externalities-in-the-classroom-how-children-exposed-to-domestic-violence-affect-everyones-kids// : http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~keltner/publications/harker.jpsp.2001.pdf
Yes, it's that time of year again. Time to start restocking on pencils, pens and notebooks. Time to purchase [the perfect new outfit.] It's back-to-school time, the traditional time of year, when parents flock to area stores [to load up on all the supplies] needed for school.[This year could be full of creative spending,] in light of rising costs of food and fuel, and a tight economy.As Dollars and Sense reporter Mike Belt and I are working on a story about the costs of back-to-school, we want to hear from you. What are your economic concerns for the school year? Are you planning to on adjust your spending habits when you purchase new school supplies? Where do you go for the best deals? Is this even a concern?If it is a concern, you're not alone. [MarketWatch] compiled the following statistics, which show Americans are planning on spending less on school supplies because of the economy:- America's Research Group sees back-to-school spending falling as much as 2%. A mere 1.5% of consumers said they will buy products at full price. Last year, 11% said they would. - The National Retail Federation said spending in most categories will be flat, with the exception of electronics. College students will learn a hard lesson in tough economic times as even their spending on electronic must-haves and gadgets will fall some 22% though it will remain their No. 1 buy.- The International Council of Shopping Centers found that 90% of households said they will pick up everything from T-shirts to T-squares at discount stores. That's up 16 percentage points over last year and 34 percentage points over 2006. - Deloitte found that 90% of households say they will change their back-to-school shopping habits to include more sale items, to purchase only what's needed, to shop for more lower-priced goods and to use more coupons, among other things. Nearly nine in 10 people said they will shop at discount and bargain stores.So, Lawrence, what do you think? : <http://www.teenvogue.com/style/2007/07/backtoschool/ : <a href="http://edac2.com/features/assets/hp3_02diagonally.jpg : http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2008-07-29-back-to-school-shopping_N.htm : http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/strain-household-budgets-crimp-back-to-school/story.aspx?guid=%7B2DC0A419-D1E2-4D6F-ADB9-2DFCB66AD825%7D/
Welcome to Schoolhouse Talk, LJWorld.com's new education beat blog. Education reporters [Lindsey Slater] and [Alex Parker] edit the blog, and we want to hear from you. We're looking at this as an informal way to report, interact, learn and discuss.K-12 education is a critical issue in Lawrence and Douglas County. On this blog, we're looking to expand our coverage and even include news bites that normally wouldn't make it in the paper or on TV. Additionally, we want Schoolhouse Talk to be a way for YOU to discuss education issues. Minding the [Golden Rule], of course. So what issues are most important to you? What types of thing do you want to see more information on? We're not limited to public schools, either. There are many types of education in the area, and we want to touch on them all.So welcome to Schoolhouse Talk. School is in session: : http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/lindsey_slater/ : http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/alexander_parker/ : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule