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PNS Daily Newscast - February 17, 2020 


44 Americans infected, but not all show signs of coronavirus illness; and many NC counties declare themselves 'Second Amendment sanctuaries.'

2020Talks - February 17, 2020 


Nevada's experiment with early caucusing is underway until tomorrow. Some candidates plus some Nevada Culinary Workers Union Local 226 members oppose Medicare for All, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders defends it, with a study just published making the case for it.

OR Teachers Talk Collaboration, Morale at Nat'l. Conference

(L to R): Chuck Bennett, Confederation of OR School Administrators; Hanna Vaandering, OR Education Assn.; Betsy Miller-Jones, OR School Boards Assn.; Lindsey Capps, OR Education Assn.; Susan Castillo, OR Superintendent of Schools.
(L to R): Chuck Bennett, Confederation of OR School Administrators; Hanna Vaandering, OR Education Assn.; Betsy Miller-Jones, OR School Boards Assn.; Lindsey Capps, OR Education Assn.; Susan Castillo, OR Superintendent of Schools.
May 25, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. – This week, a team of educators from Oregon has been in Cincinnati, Ohio, with counterparts from 40 other states. At the conference, called Collaborating to Transform the Teaching Profession, educators and school administrators spent two days brainstorming ways to improve student achievement and keep teachers feeling positive about their career choice, despite layoffs and cutbacks.

In Oregon, public education has been contentious business lately, with teachers in several districts casting strike votes. Hanna Vaandering, vice president of the Oregon Education Association (OEA), is one of five conference attendees from Oregon. She says employees in many districts have agreed to take cuts to balance budgets, but she sees the bigger issue as the state's disinvestment in education.

"They've been doing everything they can, but we're getting to the point where our class sizes are out of control. When you have people talking about 38 students in a first-and-second-grade combination classroom, that's not an appropriate learning environment for their students."

Vaandering, who is also on the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB), says many teachers feel as though their profession is under attack. As recently as this week, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused President Obama of supporting teachers' unions at the expense of students. She thinks too little is said about what teachers and schools are doing right.

"Educators and supporters are wanting to take back the profession and share the realities of what's happening in our public schools, and that great things are going on - even during these tough times, being able to reach out and touch the lives of our students, and prepare them for their futures."

She says better communication between teachers and school administrators, and new ways to recruit and evaluate teachers, are among the topics they discussed at the national Department of Education conference. People from more than 100 school districts attended.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR