Supreme Court Rules Job Discrimination Law Shields LGBTQ Workers
The U.S. Supreme Court declared in June 2020 that an employer who fires a worker based on sexual orientation or transgender status violates the main federal job discrimination law in a decision with implications for school districts—as employers and in ongoing legal battles over the rights of transgender students. Lily Eskelsen García, the president of the National Education Association, said in a statement that the decision “means that educators can no longer be fired at work for who they love or who they are.” She continued, “And since LGBTQ discrimination is sex discrimination under employment discrimination law, it also follows that federal laws proscribing sex discrimination in education and health care also prohibit LGBTQ discrimination. This means that our LGBTQ students will also be protected under federal law from discrimination at school.”
Survey Reveals a Stark Divide in How U.S. Students Were Taught Remotely
The preliminary results from a new survey, “National Survey of Public Education’s Response to COVID-19,” done by the American Institutes of Research—a nonprofit research organization—confirm what many parents learned through the Zoom grapevine. The number of virtual teaching hours students received in the spring during school closures varied wildly depending on their location. According to the survey, the type of instruction students received also diverged dramatically. It revealed that how students were being taught also varied by income. Low-income schools spent considerably more time reviewing old content. Wealthier schools were more likely to teach new material. Learning materials—paper versus screens—were another chasm. Nearly half of low-income districts distributed paper packets of worksheets to families, while more than three-fourths of wealthier school districts distributed everything digitally. The digital divide had enormous consequences for what instruction meant.
Chemistry Teacher Transformed His Kitchen Into a Classroom
Jonte Lee is a high school science teacher of chemistry and physics at Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C. He spent the spring connecting and teaching his students through social media. In a time of widespread hardship, it fulfilled a longtime goal of his to be a teacher beyond the four walls of his classroom. “I turned my kitchen into a chemistry lab because I wanted to provide the same robust education that my students would get inside of the classroom,” he says. The online experiments came to be because his principal asked him to do an Instagram lesson. He did, and his students requested more. He says it was a brilliant idea, because teachers need to meet students where they are—on social media. In addition to providing lessons, the online format has also had a hand in humanizing the teachers and their teaching struggles.
Impero Wins a 2020 Tech & Learning Award of Excellence
Student safety leader Impero was named a winner of the 2020 Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence. Impero’s student safety tools, which include Impero Education Pro and Impero EdAware, were recognized in the Best Enterprise Solution category. “Student safety is a top concern of schools, which need the proper tools to keep students safe and productive in an increasingly digital environment,” says Justin Reilly, CEO of Impero Software. “We are honored to have our student safety tools recognized by Tech & Learning for helping schools keep students safe online, both in the classroom and during distance learning.”
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