Category Archives: National Education

As Teacher Satisfaction Plummets, Educator Finds Way to Teach from the Trunk

Studies show that teacher job satisfaction is at an all time low. The reasons for dissatisfaction include but are not limited to: negative public perception of the profession; increasing bureaucratic requirements that teachers feel sabotage the development of native, intellectual curiosity; lack of time to devote to content area instruction; and job responsibilities that significantly impact family time.

Study shows that national teacher job satisfaction has plummeted 20% in the three years between 2009 and 2012. The likelihood of teachers self-reporting that they want to leave teaching within the next five years has nearly doubled between 2009 and 2011 from 17% to 29%.

The 2011 movie “American Teachers” that documents the lives of five teachers for a year states that 46% of new teachers quit within the first five years of teaching.

A 2007 policy briefing by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future estimates that we lose $7.34 billion annually to teacher attrition. Of the 332,700 teachers who left the profession in the 2003-2004 school year, for example, only roughly 26 per cent of them retired. The abstract reads:

“Until we recognize that we have a retention problem, we will continue to engage in a costly annual recruitment and hiring cycle, pouring more and more teachers into our nation’s classrooms only to lose them at a faster and faster rate. This will continue to drain our public tax dollars, it will undermine teaching quality, and it will most certainly hinder our ability to close student achievement gaps.”

Danielle Robbins, Education & Public Programs Director of the Cowlitz County Historical Museum, and volunteer, Lindsay Belton pause preparations for this year’s Cowlitz County Fair “Dancing with the Steers” exhibit so that Robbins can explain her “Traveling Trunk” educational program.

Danielle Robbins, Education and Public Programs Director at the Cowlitz County Historical Museum, is passionate history first and teaching second. She attended Central Washington University intending to become a teacher. “I took my history classes, and I loved them. But when I took my first education class, I knew I had to change my major. I wanted nothing to do with the politics,” Robbins said. She changed majors to museology.

Robbins creates self-contained history units, or “Traveling Trunks,” that she presents to Cowlitz County elementary classrooms. By coordinating her activities with the state’s curriculum-based assessments, she leaves teachers with evidence of student learning in line with state history curricula, while she gets to focus on what she loves most: her content and teaching it.

To find out more about her program, Robbins can be reached at

Ohio Attorney General Downplays Role of Anonymous Sources

No tips offered by anonymous sources helped convict Trent Mays or Ma’lik Richmond, two Steubenville, Ohio teenagers found delinquent in the August 2012 rape of a 16-year-old, Jane Doe. That is according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office in a phone interview Thursday morning.

“All items presented at the time (of the original investigation) by ‘Anonymous’ were previously known to law enforcement,” said Dan Tierney, spokesperson for the Attorney General.

By “Anonymous,” Tierney is referring to the vigilante hacktivist group who hacked into school computers and, in collaboration with Local Leaks, a tip-gathering website for anonymous informants, gathered over 1,000 tips about the incident. Tips included tweets, videos, and accusations of local conspiracies between law enforcement, school officials, and community leaders. Investigative blogger, Alexandria Goddard, and “Anonymous” created national awareness by publishing evidence that witnesses and partakers of the evening had posted to social media sites, many of which have been subsequently deleted.

Many in the Steubenville community viewed the social media attention as a witch hunt. Goddard was slapped with a defamation suit which was later dropped. The community splintered. While the investigation continued, voices picked teams, either blaming the victim, blaming social media for using the case to promote its anti-rape political agenda while disregarding the victim’s privacy, or lionizing the social media attention and it role in bringing perceived justice.

Comment from Grand Jury article, capturing the sentiments of community members in support of the social media presence brought on by Alexandra Goddard and “Anonymous.” (Accessed June 22, 2013 at 5:47 p.m. PST)

“If you could charge people for not being decent human beings, a lot of people could have been charged that night,” said William McCafferty, Steuvenville Police Chief. McCafferty voiced frustration over being accused of not aggressively investigating participants and some adults who, tweets captured by Goddard suggest, may have been aware of that night’s events. Repeated calls from law enforcement for information resulted in only one person coming forward voluntarily.

“This is a good community, with good people…I know that it desperately needs to be able to put this matter behind it and begin to move forward,” wrote DeWine in a statement on his website the day after Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond were convicted of rape. To be able to move forward though, DeWine noted, “…this community needs assurance that no stone has been left unturned in our search for the truth.”

To ensure the turning of those stones, the Attorney General announced on March 18 the formation of a grand jury that would fully investigate allegations of further wrong-doing.

“What happened here is shocking, and it is appalling,” wrote DeWine. “But what’s even more shocking and appalling is that crimes of sexual assault are occurring every Friday night and every Saturday night in big and small communities all across this country.  And there comes a point, where we must say, “Enough! This has to stop!”

Because “the investigation is ongoing,” Tierney was unable to comment on whether any of the anonymous tips provided by Local Leaks were being processed for the grand jury, nor how they would be vetted if they were being processed. A direct call to the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s “Crimes Against Children” division led back to the spokesperson.

The 14 member grand jury “was seated but didn’t begin work” on April 15. It reconvened on April 30 and worked for three days and then “continued” for what were supposed to be three weeks. But three weeks passed and no grand jury had reconvened. Nor had it on June 17, the date of its reschedule.

“We don’t have a definite date for when the grand jury will reconvene,” reported Tierney on June 20.

As It Stands:

DeWhine is addressing sexual assault from a state-wide platform.

Deric Lostutter, the man who self-identified as “KYAnonymous,” the leader of #OpRollRedRoll, “Anonymous’s” presence in Steubenville, is currently facing jail time for computer crimes. He could get 15-25 years. The rapists got one and two.

Reno Saccoccia, the coach who was allegedly aware of the events of that night, had his contract renewed by the school district for two more years.

The website Local Leaks has been suspended for violation of Terms of Service.

Blogger and Hacktivist Become Scapegoats in Underage Rape Case

Chicago Public Schools Votes to Close 50 Schools

#JeffBliss: Whistleblower, Catalyst