The 2020 rookie teacher of the year for Miami-Dade County Public Schools is calling on the nation’s fourth largest district to hold a town hall with Black teachers, parents and students to inform administrators’ strategies for eradicating racism in education.
The driver makes sure Malik is wearing a face covering when he boards the bus. He arrives at school at about 7:35 a.m., and before he can pick up his breakfast in the cafeteria, he washes his hands. When he arrives in homeroom, he’s with only about a dozen other children, their desks spaced six feet apart.
Despite technological difficulties with electronic voting — and with the 2019-20 school year behind them — Miami-Dade teachers approved Monday a new labor contract that benefits new educators by increasing the minimum salary by $6,500 but shorts mid-career teachers, who will receive almost the same base pay as rookie teachers.
A plan to improve how public schools in Miami-Dade County teach students about racism drew a racist backlash last week — a response that reflected a long history of denying anti-Black prejudice in a place where race relations are more complicated than Black and white.
The starting teacher salary in Miami-Dade County Public Schools would jump to $47,500 for the 2020-21 school year, and eligible teachers would get a 2.5 percent stipend, under a tentative agreement reached Tuesday afternoon with the district’s teachers’ union.
A teacher banged a wooden spoon on the bottom of a saucepan. That, plus honking horns and the standard graduation songs — “Pomp and Circumstance” and Vitamin C’s 1999 hit "Graduation (Friends Forever)" — were the soundtrack of a coronavirus-style drive-through celebration at a Miami-Dade County public school last week.
The graduates weren’t high school seniors, though.
A Cuban-American Miami-Dade County School Board member is opposing a proposal to enhance the district’s anti-racism curriculum and empower a student task force to examine racial injustice, arguing the district has been a “stellar example of inclusion” and claiming that any historical instances of discrimination propagated by the district were quickly righted.
Shenandoah Middle School teacher Kristy Figueras uses a color-coded spreadsheet to keep track of her students.
Yellow is for the kids who show up for virtual learning every day and are consistently completing assignments. Orange is for those who have logged on but aren’t doing their work. Red is for the ones who’ve disappeared.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools touted reaching this surreal milestone in a tweet on Thursday, after weeks of handing out free breakfasts, lunches and snacks to children and families affected by the coronavirus crisis.
More than a quarter of students enrolled at 40 public schools in Miami-Dade County did not log on for virtual education at least one day last week, as the district began taking online attendance for the first time during COVID-19 closures.