Warren Buffett’s free financial literacy lessons

With the country wallowing in deep economic troubles that serve as testament to how little Americans understand about money, super investor Warren Buffett just launched a financial literacy program that offers free lessons for children (and adults), the Washington Post reports. The program, called the Secret Millionaire’s Club, offers animated episodes that teach financial literacy, entrepreneurship and core math skills. One of them, for example, has a cartoon Buffett helping some kids figure out why a girl’s lemonade stand isn’t profitable. The episodes all include a stock ticker with companies, including Hershey’s, Google, Kraft, Sony, Time Warner, Apple, and Build a Bear…

Click here for the full story

tags

First Lady Michelle Obama sends her first tweet

First lady Michelle Obama has officially joined the Twittersphere with her very first tweet sent Oct. 19 from the MLB World Series, Mashable reports. Her tweet went out over the @joiningforces account to answer questions about Joining Forces and to spread awareness about supporting America’s troops. The first lady joined with Jill Biden, the second lady of the United States, to talk about Joining Forces at — of all places — the first game of the World Series. The choice was appropriate because Game One was dedicated to veterans, service members and their families. While Obama’s husband might be better known for his social media efforts, the first lady has turned to social media to help promote some of her national campaigns. Let’s Move, which supports healthy living and eating, created a series of YouTube spots and social pages, while Joining Forces has an active social presence and digital tools for volunteering and showing support…

Click here for the full story

tags

Laid-off Philadelphia teacher sets sights on rebuilding school libraries

The library at Rowen Elementary School is musty and outdated – a locked room used for storage and occasional meetings, a repository of yellowing, untouched books, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. But Callie Hammond has big dreams for the room, whose leather-bound encyclopedias were printed in 1986, the year she was born. Hammond sees the West Oak Lane public school as a launching pad for Library Build, a nonprofit group she recently started to renovate and staff school libraries with fellows in the Teach for America model…

Click here for the full story

tags

New version of Gmail coming soon

A new version of Gmail featuring a revamped look, redesigned conversation threads and improved search is slated for pending released, according to an official video that was mistakenly posted to Google’s YouTube channel, Mashable reports. Jason Cornwell, user experience designer for Gmail, unveils the new version in the video. The Google Operating System blog spotted the video and it has since been made private — but not before YouTube user crlsndrsjmnz had time to repost it. “Oops, you weren’t supposed to see that,” Gmail representative Andrea Freund tells Mashable. “Stay tuned, we’ll be sharing more info on Gmail’s new look soon.”

Click here for the full story

tags

In Brooklyn charter school, a focus on co-teaching and inclusion

Allison Keil and Sara Stone, young and idealistic teachers, founded the Community Roots Charter School in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, six years ago. The school has 300 students in kindergarten through fifth grade and, this year, a waiting list of 800, the New York Times reports. Last spring, the school delayed its plans to expand into a middle school, amid vigorous community opposition because Community Roots would have taken more space in the building it shares with two other schools…

Click here for the full story

tags

Senate rejects spending to hire more teachers

The measure included $30 billion for state and local governments to hire teachers and other school workers.

President Barack Obama and his allies in the Senate promise to press ahead with separate votes on pieces of his failed $447 billion jobs measure despite unanimous opposition from Republicans. But there also are signs of slippage among Democrats and some suggestion that the strategy isn’t working with voters.

Future votes on individual pieces of the measure aren’t likely to fare better than a pared-back jobs measure designed to boost hiring of teachers and first responders that Republicans and a handful of Democrats scuttled on Oct. 20.

Obama’s revised plan failed on a 50-50 test vote that fell well short of the 60 needed to break a filibuster. Three Democrats abandoned Obama on the vote, and two more who voted with the president said they couldn’t support the underlying Obama plan unless it’s changed.

The $35 billion measure combined $30 billion for state and local governments to hire teachers and other school workers with $5 billion to help pay the salaries of police officers, firefighters, and other first responders. The White House says the measure would “support” almost 400,000 education jobs for one year. Republicans call that a temporary “sugar high” for the economy and say it’s a taxpayer-funded bailout of state and local governments.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said the vote showed “a callous disregard for our kids’ futures and the safety of our neighborhoods.” She noted that a CNN/Gallup poll found that 75 percent of Americans support the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act.

Obama and his Democratic allies believed they’d found a winning issue in pressing popular ideas such as infrastructure spending and boosting hiring of police officers and firefighters. The sluggish economy and lower tax revenues have caused many teachers’ jobs to be cut over the past several years.

For more school funding news, see our Funding Center at eSN Online.

“For the second time in two weeks, every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct a bill that would create jobs and get our economy going again,” Obama said in a statement after the vote. “Every American deserves an explanation as to why Republicans refuse to step up to the plate and do what’s necessary to create jobs and grow the economy right now.”

“We cannot afford to be bailing out local governments, and we can’t afford stimulus 2.0,” countered Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Democrats haven’t said which piece they’ll resurrect next as an individual bill, but there’s widespread support among party members for spending on highway and bridge projects, as well as for a poll-tested financing mechanism—a surcharge on income exceeding $1 million.

tags

Student: How I know trainees aren’t highly qualified teachers

I traveled from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., for the first time in my life last May. It was exciting to visit the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. But I wasn’t there to go sightseeing. I was there to ask my elected representatives why students at our country’s most challenged high schools are being taught by unqualified teachers, and why Congress is letting this happen, says Candice Johnson, a member of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE, and a student at California State University, Los Angeles, for the Washington Post. They didn’t give me the answers I was hoping for. But I’m not about to let it go…

Click here for the full story

tags

Feds to hear Va Tech appeal in Dec.

The U.S. Department of Education has scheduled a December hearing to take up Virginia Tech’s appeal of fines it received for failing to notify campus sooner during a 2007 shooting rampage in which a student killed 32 students and faculty, the Associated Press reports. Department spokeswoman Sara Gast said the hearing will take place Dec. 7-9. Several survivors and victims’ family members plan to travel to Washington to testify. The school appealed the $55,000 sanction in April. Virginia Tech officials have denied wrongdoing, saying the department is holding them to higher standards than were in place the day of the shootings…

Click here for the full story

tags