Education post candidates stress need to assure quality instruction to all students ::

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Mary Ann Wolf’s “Final Word” from the Oct. 3, 2020 broadcast of Education Matters -“A discussion with the N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates.” Wolf is president and executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

Elections matter and we appreciated the opportunity to hear from Dr. Jen Mangrum and Catherine Truitt, the Democratic and Republican candidates for State Superintendent. We are grateful to them for taking time to speak with us and for running for statewide office. Our democracy needs more than ever public servants who are committed to serving in challenging yet incredibly important leadership roles. It’s a significant undertaking to run for office.



Vote by Mail (request a ballot by Oct. 27)

Vote Early In Person (Oct. 15-Oct. 31)

Vote On Election Day (Nov. 3)



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Donald C. Beck, 87, teacher and principal who pioneered instruction for gifted students | Featured Obituaries

BECK, Donald

BECK, Donald

Sept. 25, 1933 – Sept. 25, 2020

Donald C. Beck, a Buffalo teacher and school principal who pioneered instruction for gifted students, died Sept. 25 in Canterbury Woods, Amherst, on his 87th birthday.

As a teacher in 1958, he established the Special Progress Class Program for advanced fifth- and sixth-graders at School 81. The Special Progress Program evolved into the City Honors Program.

He later served as principal of School 8, which became Follow Through Magnet School, for 25 years.

Born in Buffalo, he attended School 67 and was a 1951 graduate of Buffalo Technical High School, where he was an honor student.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Buffalo State Teachers College in 1955 and went on to complete his master’s degree there in 1958.

He began his career in education as a seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher at Buffalo School 63 in 1955.


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Austin mom fights for in-person instruction for special needs

Michelle Torres fought for her son to get two hours every day.

AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin mother wants to know why her son, who has special needs, is one of the few in the Austin Independent School District being offered in-classroom instruction.

Michelle Torres said it took her asking for the service instead of the district offering it.

She shared a video she took of her son inside Barton Hills Elementary School as eight-year-old Aaron concentrated on his jumping jacks during a one-on-one session with his life skills instructor last week.

Torres said her third-grader doesn’t have issues following school-related instructions on campus. That’s not so when it comes to online learning at home.

“So when he’s home, he wants to do his home things. And then when he’s at school, he does. He focuses at school. And that’s part of that autism and Down syndrome trait that they,

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About That AISD Waiver: Following backlash, confusion, district will seek TEA waiver to extend virtual learning, phase in classroom instruction after Oct. 5 – News

AISD released an example video depicting what students can expect when campuses reopen for in-person learning. (Image via Austin ISD Facebook)

Last week, a certain four-week waiver – which seemed to have the potential to keep school entirely online until November – was the talk of the Austin Independent School District. The only problem? That waiver didn’t exist. At least not in the way some believed it to work.

The confusion can be traced to Sept. 14’s AISD Board of Trustees meeting, where District 4 Trustee Kristin Ashy, citing parents’ interest, asked Superintendent Steph­anie Elizalde for an update on whether she would apply for a Texas Education Agency waiver that, if granted, would extend virtual learning for four weeks after October 5.

“We would actually have to turn in a waiver, I think, this week” replied Elizalde, “and I have no intention of turning in that waiver right

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