Martin Luther King, Teachers' Unions and Social Justice
As the nation prepares to mark what would have been the 87th birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, we should remember Dr. King as a staunch supporter of both public education and organized labor. This is especially important as teachers in cities across the nation including Chicago and Detroit, weigh the necessity of civil disobedience and work stoppages to raise awareness and encourage a fair resolution to their concerns.

While teachers unions have been vilified for taking these steps, the actions of labor leaders such as Chicago Teachers Union head Karen Lewis are more in line with those taken by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King in his quest to vanquish what he once described as the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism. These are problems that residents of inner cities like Chicago and Detroit know all too well. The Chicago Teachers Union, for example, linked its opposition to Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the mayor's handling of the police shooting of 17 year-old Laquan McDonald in which city officials have been accused of withholding information including video of the killing to ensure that their release did not negatively impact Emanuel's reelection bid. Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was recently charged with first-degree murder in the killing of McDonald, an unarmed 17-year-old who was shot 16 times by the officer as he walked down the middle of the street. McDonald's case is not the only time educators weighed in on controversial police killings either.    >>READ MORE
The Foundation of Art in Embassies Brings High Art and Innovation to U.S. Schools
If you haven't heard of The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), you will be properly impressed by their great ingenuity. According to their website they provide "permanent works of American art for U.S. embassies worldwide, contributing to the U.S. Department of State's mission of cultural diplomacy and cross-cultural understanding within the diplomatic community and the international public. All artworks commissioned or placed by FAPE are gifts, representing the generosity of some of the United States' greatest artists and philanthropists. As of 2015, FAPE's donations include permanent works by more than 200 preeminent American artists placed in more than 140 countries.

Exciting international cultural diplomacy initiatives can be seen through their site-specific commissions. Their founders are currently working with embassy representatives to bring original works to an extensive number of newly constructed U.S. embassies across the globe. As they proliferate, FAPE's mission, mandated by the State Department, is to commission site-specific works by American artists for many of them.  >>READ MORE
Youth Entrepreneurship - Top 10 Reasons Why the U.S. Department of Education Should Consider this
Click Here to View a News Story About M. H. West & Co., Inc.'s Young Entrepreneur  Program
'd like to take a moment and explain why the U.S. Department of Education should seriously consider how students will benefit from being exposed to entrepreneurship education, regardless if they decide to start a business or not.

The Top 10 Reasons Why Entrepreneurship Education Should be introduced in 1st Grade in all US Schools

10. Think Differently - Entrepreneurship Education teaches kids to think outside the box and nurtures unconventional talents and skills regardless of student's socioeconomic backgrounds.

9. Innovation - Creates an innovative culture that encourages students to make use of their resources around them and helps students engage in their other classes and surroundings.

8. Thrive, not survive in a Global Economy - Learn through failure and inspires students to become more creative, inventive, persistent and innovative.

7. Just Do It - Entrepreneurship opens the door for students to apply the knowledge they are learning using experiential learning outside the classroom.  >>READ MORE 
There's No "I" in Teacher Autonomy: It's Time to Advance a Collective Approach
Lack of professional autonomy is one of the top reasons why people choose to leave teaching--or not to enter the career in the first place. It's a major contributor to America's perennial teacher shortage.

When the topic of autonomy comes up, I've often heard teachers talk about freedom to make instructional choices in their own classrooms. And that's important.

But what if we took the concept of teacher autonomy one step further? Pressing for collective autonomy--where groups of teachers work collaboratively to make school-level decisions about a variety of factors--has even greater potential to benefit students. And to make teaching a more attractive career path. Given my own experiences as a mother of three and a teacher leadership advocate, I fear that autonomy for individual teachers won't empower them enough to bring forth the school cultures we need for all students to learn.   >>READ MORE 
New Matter to Donate More Than $200k in 3D Printing Gear
3D Printing Technology company New Matter has announced that it will donate more than $200,000 through an Educate and Inspire Grant in a bid to bring affordable 3D printing to classrooms across America. New Matter will distribute 300 plug-and-play 3D printers to 100 schools by March 2016.

Steve Schell, co-founder and CEO of New Matter, says their 3D printing systems help teachers bring under one roof the disparate but intertwined disciplines of art, engineering, technology and science. The California-based tech company will donate its first 100 3D printing grants by March. Each grant will consist of 15 spools of filament, 15 additional build plate surfaces, and 3 MOD-t 3D printers, making it a complete starter kit for schools that wish to introduce students to the possibilities of STEM learning through 3D printing technology.  

New Matter has a clear mission: to bring 3D printing to every home, school, and office, the company states. The company is closely working with educators and education experts to turn the New Matter printing ecosystem into an easy and intuitive printing solution for the classroom. >>READ MORE 

The washer washed Walter Wister Watcher's watch.

A tutor who tooted a flute 
Tried to tutor two tooters to toot. 
Said the two to their tutor, 
"Is it harder to toot 
Or to tutor two tooters to toot?" 

Build your school's spirit this year with a large, custom display banner. Call M. H. West & Co., Inc. for pricing and size options.    ( 804.782.1938)

M. H. West & Co., Inc. now accepts payments through PayPal for your convenience. 
The mounting success of Shelby County Schools' Innovation Zone is attracting national attention from other school districts exploring initiatives that could improve their own low performing schools.

Administrators with the school turnaround program on Wednesday hosted representatives of District of Columbia Public Schools, one of the nation's most troubled school systems which, like Memphis, serves a large population of students from low-income families. 
Twenty-four students from Caddo's Transformation Zone are on their way to Atlanta and solidifying their place in Caddo's history books. On Wednesday, members of the inaugural Project DREAM class began a three-day experience beginning with a trip to the Ron Clark Academy on Thursday followed by marking Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday with a trip to the MLK Center and concluding with a tour of the Civil Rights Museum.   >>READ MORE
Rohit Chopra Joins Department of Education
Rohit Chopra, whose principled and determined leadership helped make the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a strong force in addressing the abuses of predatory for-profit colleges, has joined the U.S. Department of Education as a senior adviser. Chopra is working directly for Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, focusing on protections for students, analysis of financial capacity and integrity of schools, education benefits for military service members, and openness of Department data, according to Department staff.


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Life's most persistent and urgent question is,
'What are you doing for others?' - Martin Luther King, Jr.