The $900,000 Man

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Ohio legislators don’t need to look to New Jersey Governor Christie to get excited about eliminating teacher tenure. A case right here in Ohio where a district incurred legal fees topping $900,000 to terminate a tenured teacher has them fired up.

A report Thursday, about the more than $900,000 in costs one Ohio school district paid to defend its firing of a tenured teacher who taught creationism, may be the opening some state lawmakers have been looking for to revisit – maybe even terminate – a 1941 law that created how teacher tenure works in the Buckeye State.


The case of John Freshwater, an eighth-grade science teacher in Mount Vernon, a small city about 40 miles northeast of the capital city Columbus, has ignited reaction from Republican members of the Ohio House and Senate, who may seize on it as the call to arms to either reform or revoke the 70-year-old law that established the due process procedure to take on a teachers and their union.


“I’m sure we will address this issue this term,” Rep.

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Kessi Watters Kimball Interns with State Archaeologist and Abbe Museum

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Read about USM LAC student and Vassalboro resident Kessi Watters Kimball, who recently concluded a dual internship working with Maine Historic Preservation Commission Archaeologist Art Spiess and Abbe Museum Curator of Collections Julia Clark. The article is available on USM’s main news page at

Survey: Hoosiers say schools are failing

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A survey released Monday by a foundation advocating for school vouchers says Indiana voters are more likely than voters surveyed in six other states to say public schools are on the wrong track and would choose private schools if they could.

Lawmakers should take the results into account as they prepare to consider major educational reform that could include expanding school choice, said Robert Enlow, president and chief executive of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

The Indianapolis-based foundation, which commissioned the study, is a proponent of vouchers that let families redirect state money from their school districts to private schools to cover tuition costs for their children.

“This isn’t about a specific legislative issue,” Enlow said. “What matters is voters all across the country want to see options in every state.”

A majority of Hoosiers surveyed said education in the state was “on the wrong track” and favored options such as vouchers and charter schools.

Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, said the results conflict with past surveys his union has commissioned.

“I wouldn’t agree with those findings,” he said. Read the full post…

After ruinous fire, Takoma Educational Center students start 2011 in new site

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One week ago, the Takoma Educational Center’s new home had no heat, running water or kitchen facilities to feed its 328 students. Asbestos lurked in spots, and 48 classrooms needed to be cleaned, painted, furnished and decorated for grades pre-K through eight.

The good news was that the former Meyer Elementary School, at 11th and Euclid Streets NW, which closed in June 2008, was still a building with “solid bones,” said Anthony DeGuzman, director of the D.C. school facilities office.

District officials were left scrambling over the holidays for a new facility after a three-alarm fire Dec. 22 caused $2 million worth of damage to the second and third floors of Takoma’s building at Piney Branch Road NW. Students and staff were on vacation, but the fire, caused by a roofing contractor’s blowtorch, left the structure uninhabitable for at least the rest of the school year.

It took a remarkable effort to restore Meyer, but the school opened on time Monday morning for Takoma students.

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Preparing for a New Year of Christian Education

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The week after Christmas has brought a “New Year” kind of buzz around this Christian education college. Each department is starting to gain their staff members back as we all excitedly wait and prepare for the challenges and experiences next year will bring. The rest of this holiday break gave our folks a collective deep breath, relieving the stress of a rigorous curriculum, and subsequently allowing our batteries a chance to recharge. It no doubt gave us of all the extra motivation we needed for the commencement of a new year.

After reflecting on the year, in retrospection, one can always manage to think about what we can do differently to make the next year even better. So, we make our New Year’s resolutions in an attempt to better ourselves while defining clear goals to make strides toward. This year, the importance of setting aside the materialistic and cliche New Year’s resolutions has never had so much significance.

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