A accurate report shows that white test takers are far more likely to pass the social work licensing exam than people of color or older test takers. The Association of Social Work Boards faces calls to re-examine the test and, at the very least, temporarily stop offering it.
Blaise Mesa of the Kansas News Service reports.
The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Public Radio. It reports on health, the many factors that influence it, and their connection to public policy.
This segment aired on December 7, 2022.
Social work is a complex field that strives to better the human condition. Social workers are involved in grassroots community advocacy and not-for-profit community work. They’re found in programs and services in all levels of government. They’re in policy advocacy. And they contribute research and education.
To fulfil these roles, they must have knowledge about communities they serve.
However, a new Ontario exam risks shutting out of the profession the very people who share lived experiences with vulnerable populations. The social work agency behind the exam says it will protect us from harm. But how we’ll suffer from its decision seems clearer than how we might benefit.
A petition is calling on Ontario to stop this exam.
It says the practice is “sorely misaligned” with social work education standards, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and the Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Entrance-to-practice exams “function as a concrete systemic barrier to marginalized communities seeking greater representation among the social work profession that disproportionately serves them,” says an open letter, that names hundreds of social workers — professors, students and practitioners — said to support its message.
In September 2021, a regulatory body for social workers and social service workers passed a motion to implement the exam. It will be launched in 2027.
The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (the OCSWSSW) says those who pass can use protected titles such as social worker or registered social worker, and the public will know they follow a code of ethics and standards of practice set by the college.
The regulatory body says it is aware “of the burdens that have been borne disproportionately by racialized exam candidates,” but pushed back against the demand to reverse its decision on the exam.
Doing so “would not support our mandate to protect clients and communities from harm, nor would it address the larger societal issues that impact candidates long before they take an entry-to-practice exam,” Sarah Choudhury, a spokesperson for the college, told the Star.
The open letter cited findings in the United States and Canada (B.C. and Alberta, which already have this exam) that showed historically oppressed and marginalized groups have lower success rates in these exams compared to white students.
“We’re not saying that Black or Indigenous or racialized or disabled students didn’t do as well in these programs (at school). That is not the case,” said Ameil Joseph, a faculty member in the School of Social Work at McMaster University, and a lead writer of the letter. Rather, certain students are being tripped up at the end of the journey in their field of education, denied the title of social worker — and the ability to work in well-paying sectors — all due to one standardized test.
Already, the Canadian Association of Social Work Education undertakes a rigorous accreditation process of social work programs offered at universities and colleges.
The students failing the standardized entrance tests “have already demonstrated that they have the capacity to work in the profession,” Joseph argued. “They’ve also done placements. Two internships in the field. They are facilitated, graded. They’re given feedback on. They’re mentored and supervised.”
Choudhury said: “Educational qualifications alone are insufficient to measure readiness to practise and to protect the public from harm” and that the entrance exams are “an essential additional tool to protect the public interest.”
She points to “discipline decisions” around serious misconduct by a minority of social workers and social service workers.
But it’s not clear how an entrance exam would have prevented the misconduct.
Standardization may work in manufacturing. It is usually anathema to equity-informed practices that deal with humans because it steamrolls allowances in particular situations. As the letter points out, standardized testing is rooted in eugenics, based on white perspectives and brought in originally to advocate for segregation based on the supposed superiority of white people.
Social work covers systems and services including income support, disability support, housing provision, health care, supports in education, child welfare and in mental health. It often happens at the margins of society, where people have little access to resources.
Entrance-to-practice exams such as the ones in B.C. and Alberta throw up barriers against students from groups most likely to require social services.
An obvious one is cost; about $500 including fees for a practice test. Another is that it’s a multiple-choice format, which educators say frequently necessitates accommodation for disabled people. It also challenges people for whom English is not a first language. Then, it’s an American standardized test, bereft of domestic context for Canadian social workers.
Recent findings by U.S.-based Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), which develops and implements these exams, show that first-time pass rates for graduates whose primary language is English averaged 86 per cent while those whose primary language is not English averaged 62, the letter says.
Chris Rambaran has been a social worker for eight years and is a social work student in a master’s program in Vancouver. He did the test this summer and found it stressful, time and money-wise, even though a friend lent him an $80 (U.S.) study guide. He had to take time off work to study, do practice questions and the four-hour exam.
He found the exam lacking Canadian context. For instance, it did not examine what a social worker might need to know when engaging with Indigenous people or people of other cultures. “If there’s a language barrier, should the social worker have a translator?” says Rambaran, citing examples social workers face. “If the person is Indigenous, are they connected to their culture? Do they need or want an elder?”
It is important to know generic processes, says Rambaran, but he asks, “How is this exam going to protect the public from incompetent social workers?”
The OCSWSSW says it will be using a different version from the exams in B.C. and Alberta. It will be in English and French, for starters. But it will remain multiple-choice. “ASWB exams (which are multiple choice tools developed through an extremely rigorous process to ensure that they are valid, reliable and legally defensible) are accurate measures of competence,” Choudhury said.
In accurate years, the field of social work has had its own reckoning with its role in perpetuating historical inequities, injustices and human hierarchies.
“We’ve seen that in the mental health field, where social workers have been called out for being complicit with organizations that align themselves with more coercive interventions or more police or state-driven interventions rather than the provision of care,” Joseph said.
Or in child welfare systems and institutions in which disproportionate numbers of Black children and Indigenous children are apprehended.
Joseph sees the entrance exams as attempts to bring the profession back to the place it was before the reckoning.
“We’re sticking to this idea of neutrality and objectivity and clinical rigour that is divorced from analysis of injustice and inequity. And the test serves that purpose.”
Companies will be less likely to participate in ESG programs, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and other standard-setting measures if the federal labor board broadens its test for deciding when separate companies share legal obligations for the same workers, an employer group said.
The National Labor Relations Board’s proposed rule to expand its joint employer test would make participation in environmental, social, and governance programs evidence of a joint employer relationship, according to the HR Policy Association, which represents human resource officers at large corporations.
“Such a result and the increased legal obligations and liability exposure it creates for employers will naturally disincentivize employers from engaging in these types of initiatives to the detriment of the economy and the American worker,” the group told the NLRB.
The HR Policy Association filed one of the more than 11,500 public comments posted as of Thursday on the NLRB’s plan to amend its joint employer standard, which has been one of the most heavily contested issues in federal labor law over the past decade. The board’s deadline for taking comments was Wednesday.
Businesses found to be joint employers share liability for unfair labor practices as well as union bargaining obligations, a crucial issue for companies involved in franchising and those that rely on staffing firms, subcontractors, or other business-to-business relationships that supply labor.
The NLRB’s Democratic majority’s proposal, released in September, would expand what factors can trigger a joint-employer finding beyond simply one business exerting direct and immediate control over another company’s employees. The new test also would consider indirect and unexercised control.
The proposed rule would replace the stricter joint employment standard that an all-Republican NLRB issued via regulation in 2020. The board has yet to apply that version of the legal test, which negated a more expansive test from the 2015 decision in Browning-Ferris Industries.
The NLRB must review the input and address criticism in the preamble to its final rule, or else become vulnerable to a legal challenge.
The public comments submitted show that joint employment continues to be a major issue for the franchise industry.
Roughly 2,200 individuals filed substantively identical comments saying the proposal “would inflict great harm on my business and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments in the United States, which support nearly 8.4 million jobs and $787.5 billion of economic output for the economy.”
The broadened legal test in Browning-Ferris led to a dramatic spike in unfair labor practice charges and union representation petitions alleging that franchise owners were joint employers, the International Franchise Association said in its comments on the proposed rule. The NLRB received 236 of those filings from July 2014 to July 2018, nearly double the amount that was filed with the agency during the previous four years, the group said.
A bipartisan group of six US senators—including influential Democrats Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.)—asked the NLRB to “reconsider moving forward” with the joint employer proposal because of their “concern with the potential impact that the proposed rule will have on the franchise model.”
McDonald’s USA LLC argued that the board’s proposal “threatens to destroy” the franchise model because it would put any franchisor at risk of being found a joint employer with its franchisees. About 95% of McDonald’s 14,000 US locations are run by franchisees.
The company prevailed in a massive NLRB joint employer case that started during the Obama administration and settled after the Trump-appointed general counsel took over the agency’s legal arm in 2017.
But the franchising model can protect large companies from accountability for misdeeds committed at the smaller outlets that they control, the American Civil Liberties Union said, citing a failed discrimination lawsuit it litigated against McDonald’s. The judge dismissed joint employer claims brought under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act—which has a similar definition of “employer” as the National Labor Relations Act—despite evidence of the company’s control, the ACLU said.
“Decisions like this allow corporate entities that pull the strings to continue to say ‘not it’ and ignore when workers suffer from labor law violations that result from systemic gaps and defects in workplace policies,” the group said.
The NLRB also received comments from:
The NLRB will accept, until Dec. 21, replies to comments filed by the Dec. 7 deadline.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The future of social work in Ohio could look different if a substitute bill is adopted by the legislature.
According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) – Ohio Chapter, an amendment has been proposed to House Bill 509. In its original version, HB 509 allows, among other things, some leeway for some professional licensing in the wake of the pandemic and for other reasons, too. Now, a substitute amendment to that bill is including social work.
NASW has obtained the bill, which is being introduced Wednesday, that would allow people with related degrees other than social work to become licensed social workers. Many in the field don’t support the proposed change saying it’s a public protection issue and would erode the field’s professional standing and reputation.
As it stands now, HB 509 states that to be eligible to become licensed as an independent social worker, a person must hold a master’s degree in social work, complete at least two years of post-master’s degree social work supervised by an independent social worker and pass an exam administered by the board. With the substitute bill, some of those requirements would change, allowing people with a related degree the ability to apply to become licensed social workers.
Danielle Smith with the Ohio Chapter of the National Associated of Social Workers said the proposed changes are concerning.
“Folks should be able to trust that when they’re working with a social worker that person actually has the degree, the experience and the training to be a social worker,” Smith said.
In Ohio, a licensed social worker can diagnose and assess mental health disorders under supervision.
“This could mean that we have people who have a background outside of mental health having licensure scope to be able to diagnose a mental health disorder,” Smith said.
Dana Davis, an associate professor in YSU’s social work department, said she’s sure the legislators had good intentions behind the proposed amendment by addressing the workforce shortage and the need for social workers, but she has concerns, too.
“They’re missing a lot of pieces. This is not going to be the solution,” Davis said.
Smith said she worries that allowing these amendments could change the way social work is done.
“Although there are professions that are similar like counseling, psychology, sociology, social work is unique, and I worry that this is a slippery slope to us losing the specific way that we practice,” Smith said.
Students don’t like the idea either. Smith said she’s heard from them and they are worried that their degrees will be compromised.
“Why did I enter this program and pay all of this money and spend all this time to get a master’s degree so I could be a licensed social worker when I could’ve just gotten a license with my bachelor’s degree in my related field,” Smith explained.
The substitute bill will be heard by a committee Wednesday at 3 p.m. Smith encourages people to contact members of the Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee with concerns. And while she agrees there’s a need for more social workers, Smith says they need more time to figure out how to address the workforce issue.
WKBN reached out to two of the state representatives who sponsored the bill to gather their rationale behind the proposed amendment but as of the time of this report, we have not heard back.
NORTH ADAMS — Jean Clarke-Mitchell, an assistant professor of social work at Lesley University in Cambridge, has been nominated to the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ board of trustees.
A 2000 graduate of MCLA, Clarke-Mitchell is currently serving her second term on the college’s foundation board.
Clarke-Mitchell is also a licensed clinical social worker, who served as the clinical director of the Elizabeth Freeman Center, and an outpatient clinician at The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
She has over 20 years of experience in the clinical field and over 10 years in academia.
She has an extensive resume in social justice activism and working with community organizations, including the Rights of Passage and Empowerment Program as a senior mentor.
She serves as a board member on Rockfort Moving Forward, Leadership Councils of Western Massachusetts, Albany Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, and Massachusetts Women of Color Network.
Prior to teaching at Lesley University, Clarke-Mitchell taught social work and psychology at Westfield State University, Smith College, Cambridge College and College of Our Lady of the Elms.
She has worked with groups in South Africa, taught students in Ghana, and conducted presentations on healthy relationships and self-care in Jamaica.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Debate around the proposed social studies standards continued Monday in Sioux Falls.
The South Dakota Board of Education Standards hosted its second of four statewide meetings on the proposed standards at 9 a.m. at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.
A total of up to 90 minutes will be allowed for proponent and opponent testimony. More than 200 people attended the hearing and those against the new standards far outnumbered supporters.
Members of the board are: Becky Guffin, Phyllis Heineman, Rich Meyer, Terry Nebelsick, Linda Olsen, Julie Westra and Steve Willard. All members were present in Sioux Falls.
Nebelsick was elected the new president of the board and Guffin is the new vice president.
The board did not vote on the approval of the standards on Monday. That vote will come after the fourth public meeting held in 2023. The next two board of education meetings will be in Pierre on Saturday, Feb. 11 and in Rapid City on Monday, April 17.
After both sides presented testimony, Shannon Malone with the South Dakota Department of Education gave a summary of the submitted public comment. Malone said as of Nov. 18, the DOE has heard 968 public comments on the proposed standards. In total, proponents have submitted 103 public comments, opponents submitted 828 and there’s been 37 neutral comments.
The DOE asked the board for an extra year to implement the proposed standards if passed. The standards wouldn’t go into effect until the 2025-26 school year. Public hearings will continue in 2023.
The board approved the motion for the changes to the implementation timeline. If the social studies are not approved, the timeline will need to be changed again.
Dr. Ben Jones, state historian and state historical society director, gave the untimed rebuttal in favor of the proposed standards. Jones said South Dakota teachers were used in the process of developing the standards along with a wider group of people.
Jones noted the American Historical Association letter and said he was surprised when it came out. Before proponent testimony, Jones said teachers adapted to remote teaching in March 2020 when Gov. Kristi Noem closed schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said teachers could adapt to the proposed social studies standards.
“These standards start with the content,” Jones said. “The benefit of content-rich standards are many.” He said it helps close the achievement gap.
Jones said low income students are dependent on schools to provide content. He said young students would be exposed to a wider variety of terms and events through the proposed social studies standards.
“They will be supported by the department for quality implementation,” Jones said.
Jeff Danielson spoke first against the proposed standards. The Watertown superintendent was speaking on his behalf and said time investment will shift away from other subjects towards social studies if the standards are passed.
Tanna Stadler, a mother, said the standards ignore factors that Excellerate the learning process. She said early learners would have too much to memorize and students won’t understand what they’re being told to memorize.
“Volume does equal rigor,” Stadler said.
Stadler said the state doesn’t have a good history of funding for K-12 education and she questions if there would be enough funding to implement the new standards.
Eric Toft, a former teacher who lives in Brookings, said the proposed standards will gut the current geographic classes from the current standards. Toft said he worked on the 2015 commission and said the geography of capitals can be easily googled.
He said making connections between places and understanding how GPS works are important for geography classes today. He said world population totals are absent from the proposed standards as well as modern immigration topics.
Brian Wagner, education consultant for the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Sioux Tribes, said all nine Native American tribes oppose the proposed standards. Wagner said Native American religion is not mentioned in the proposed standards. He said how Native American Day was created in South Dakota is also missing.
Ryan Rolfs, the executive director of the South Dakota Education Association, said teachers are busy teaching and can’t speak to the standards. He said SDEA requested a weekend meeting so more teachers could participate without taking paid time off but no answer to that request has been received.
Rolfs asked if the board would listen to educators because they are making their opposition known.
Emily Fink said she is a parent and no one has paid her to speak. She said she has an 2nd-grader who would not be considered not successful based on the proposed standards. She said they are too much, too complex and not cognitively age appropriate.
Paul Harens, a retired Yankton teacher and member of the original 2021 social studies commission, said K-12 teachers are not teaching Critical Race Theory in classes.
Harens said the proposed standards don’t allow for debate. Harens said Gov. Noem and Hillsdale College want to use South Dakota as an example.
“The real propaganda is coming from the national GOP,” Harens said.
Michael Amolins said he is speaking on behalf of his family. He said verbs matters and that’s why these proposed social studies standards matter. He said there’s a lack of active learning, applied skills and accountability in the proposed standards.
Robert Hoffmann, a retired teacher, said he is not concerned with the content of the proposed standards but the process of the social studies standards. He said the process has been hijacked by out-of-state, partisan influences.
Shannon Steckelberg, a mother with students in the Harrisburg school district, said she really likes the Harrisburg school system. She said she doesn’t understand why more South Dakota teachers were used to make the proposed standards.
“You must work with those who have experience,” Steckelberg said. “Memorization and understanding concepts aren’t the same.”
Steckelberg said first graders would be required to memorize the preamble and said many first graders don’t understand many of the words in the preamble.
Dr. Stephen Jackson, a University of Sioux Falls history professor and member of the 2021 workgroup, asked why the process of inquiry is left out of the public education standards.
“Inquiry is a significant part of history,” Jackson said. “South Dakota would be the only inquiry-free state in the United States.”
Jackson said he understands there is political pressure on the board but he asked to do what is right by students and oppose the standards.
Clayton Lehmann said he is a history professor and is speaking on his own behalf. He said the proposed standards are backwards looking at facts and findings instead of looking for critical evidence. He quoted the letter from the national American Historical Association, which criticized the proposed standards, saying they would do significant harm to students in the state.
Crystal Groeneweg, a parent and special education teacher, said the proposed standards will take an emotional toll on younger learners as well. She said there will be a bigger need for special education teachers.
Benjamin Daggett, a high school senior in Tea, said there is a teacher shortage and students like him would be driven out of the state because of the standards. He said he wants to teach in South Dakota.
Brianne Bolstad, a teacher in South Dakota and member of the 2015 social studies group, said the proposed standards have too much memorization. She said there’s a lot of violent events expected to be taught at young grades.
Brenda Van Beek, a parent in Harrisburg, said the process hasn’t served South Dakota. She said major changes in complex systems cause many complications. She asked why there needs to be another burden on teachers and mentions how little teachers are paid in South Dakota.
Van Beek said she votes Republican but believes this has been a very bad idea.
Katherine Erdman Becker, a parent, said the proposed standards won’t achieve the intended outcome.
Dawn Marie Johnson said there should be a more inclusive process for social studies standards. She said there’s no Sioux Falls School District representative on the commission and she said she supports a weekend meeting to allow more teachers to attend.
Linda Heerde, a longtime teacher and school board member, said she is speaking on her own behalf. She said she’s heard concerns from parents, teachers and administrators all opposed to the proposed standards.
Kyrie Dunkley, an artist in Sioux Falls, a parent and member of the Indian education committee in Sioux Falls, said she doesn’t support religion or charter schools from out-of-state having influence on the curriculum of public schools in South Dakota.
She also advocated for the expansion of the Oceti Sakowin-based curriculum along with language immersion and a deeper understanding of treaty knowledge.
Kathie Tuntland, a retired teacher and administrator, brought up the American Historical Association letter. She said students won’t be allowed to compete in National History Day sanctioned competitions if the proposed standards are adopted.
Ruth Grinager said she doesn’t like to see South Dakotans lose out on decision making.
Kevin Cole, who teaches at USF, thanked teachers and said he wished more lawmakers had faith in them. He said the standards are objectives and curriculum mandate.
RoxAnn Neeman, a longtime teacher from the Lennox school district, said there’s not enough South Dakota history in the proposed standards.
More than 20 speakers spoke in favor of the proposed social studies standards for a total of 90 minutes.
Four people not from South Dakota spoke in favor of the social studies standards. Two were involved with education in Idaho, one was a principal in Colorado and one with the John Hopkins Institute for Education Policy in Maryland.
The first proponent speaker was Aaron Levisay, a member of the social studies standards commission. He referenced JFK’s famous speech about America going to the moon because it is hard. He said people in South Dakota are ready to sacrifice to teach the new social studies standards.
Cole Heisey, a Sioux Falls resident, said he’d like to go back to school to learn what he wasn’t taught and he was impressed by the new standards. He said it will be up to teachers to teach to a curriculum.
Penny BayBridge,a homeschool parent, spoke in favor of the standards and said a TV game show showed there was a shortage in civics. She said children are sponges and want to learn.
Steve Sibson, of Mitchell, said the current social studies standards were written by someone from Wisconsin from a national education organization that supports Critical Race Theory. Sibson said protests in 2020 were more about destroying American history rather than learning from it.
Jon Nash, a accurate South Dakota State University graduate, said he wishes he could go back and learn these standards. Nash said he’s been taught there are many things wrong with America. He said K-12 education should teach what is right with America.
Nash said Native American education were just a “blip” in his education and the new standards would allow more Native American history to be taught.
Allen Weate, a former teacher who moved to South Dakota four years ago, said he supports the standards because it requires students to search for truths – bad and good. Weate said the standards do require critical thinking by learning past history.
Janet Finzen, a member of the social studies standards commission and former teacher in Nebraska who lives in Dakota Dunes, said the standards are written with students and parents in mind. Finzen wrote an op-ed in favor the standards.
“No one owns history, but we are all responsible for it,” Finzen said.
Christina David, representing herself, said she was excited to read the standards. She said she is concerned about the protests against the standards. She said her sons switched to homeschool and thrived.
Larry Fossum said he has 16 grandkids in schools and supports the proposed standards. He said there’s a massive disconnect between the Indian reservations and people in other areas of South Dakota. He said it is time to stop focusing on who wrote the standards.
Maggie Sutton, an outgoing lawmaker and substitute teacher, said students need to embrace thinking and to think out-of-the box. She said she’s worried about the public school system.
“We need to teach students not to settle for the norm,” Sutton said.
Stephanie Hiatt, a member of the commission, is testifying via Zoom. She said the committee went over every line of the proposed standards. She said students in Sioux Falls are learning Spanish at the same time as English and the new standards will challenge young learners.
Hiatt said there is more memorization but it helps students build knowledge that will be helpful later in education.
Steve Lambert, a teacher of a classical academy in Fruitland, Idaho, testified via Zoom. He said his school is a Hillsdale K-12 school full of a rich, civics curriculum. Lambert said the Hillsdale curriculum at his school has been successful and the school leads in statewide tests.
Robert Garrow, a principal in Colorado, said his school uses standards similar to the content at his school. He said teachers are more than capable of teaching these standards and students are capable of learning from them.
David Steiner, John Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, said the standards don’t “whitewash or indoctrinate” and noted how hard that is to accomplish. He said South Dakota would have the best social studies standards in the country. Steiner said memorization is also learning by heart.
He said education has given up on content and focuses on the process too much now. He said the social studies standards provide a good bedrock for students to learn and benefit from.
Linda Montgomery, from Fairview, South Dakota, said she has four grandkids and she supports the proposed standards. She said she’s proud her 4-year-old grandkid can do The Pledge of Allegiance.
Jessica Pollema, a Lincoln County resident, said she wants to trust teachers. She brought up a “white privilege test” taught in a Sioux Falls high school revealed during the legislative session last year.
She brought up litter boxes in schools and wondered what is actually happening in schools. She said she wants to set the bar higher in South Dakota.
David Goodwin, President for the Association of Classical Christian Schools in Idaho, spoke in favor of the standards. Goodwin said the standards lay out an excellent timeline.
Karla Lems, a newly elected lawmaker from District 16, said students deserve an honest education and the bar should be set high. Lems said look at how Gov. Noem has been challenged in life and has rose to the occasion. She said kids can also rise the challenge of harder standards.
Sue Peterson, a state lawmaker from District 13, said the submitted written public comments come from paid lobbyists. She said the new standards come from parents and the board should listen to parents over teachers.
Malone discussed how the process with content standards works.
Malone said the proposed social studies, if implemented, would take time for all teachers to feel comfortable and confident in teaching. The DOE will provide professional development in Summer 2023 and ongoing to build knowledge and capacity to implement the new standards.
Malone said there will be a social studies summit to explore resources available. Malone said there’s more than $800,000 to go towards implementation of the standards.
Along with social studies, Career & Technical Education standards for Business Management & Administration, Hospitality & Tourism, Marketing, Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics and Capstone Courses are being discussed.
Laura Scheibe, the division director for college, career and student success with the South Dakota Department of Education, is discussing the standards for Business Management & Administration, Hospitality & Tourism, Marketing, Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics and Capstone Courses.
There was one public comment submitted for the CTE standards regarding Business Management and Administration.
Ahead of the meeting, more than 800 pages of public comments on the social studies standards have been released.
Many of the comments opposed to the proposed standards center around concern that they are not “developmentally appropriate” for the various grade levels.
The South Dakota Department of Education has released three op-eds in support of the proposed standards. Janet Finzen, a member of the Social Studies Standards Revision Commission who worked on the proposed standards, wrote “complex social studies standards empower students to succeed in school and later in their careers and life.”
The South Dakota Education Association has provided a side-by-side comparison for each grade level to the standards approved in 2015.
Sandra Waltman, SDEA director of communications and government relations, told KELOLAND News in October the proposed standards haven’t changed and therefore the opposition remains from the SDEA and many other education associations and teachers across the state.
Waltman said the main concerns are about memorization, the amount of content and the cost of changing curriculums to match the proposed standards.
There is no current state or federal test that measures how students are learning about social studies in South Dakota. The proposed social studies standards doesn’t change that, but Waltman said part of how public schools are accredited is through aligning with statewide standards.
The award was presented to NSSF’s Deputy Director Heng Sophannarith by ASSA Secretary General Indrajid Nurmukti at a ceremony that took place in Luang Prabang province in Laos on November 24. NSSF
The NSSF Member app created by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) was awarded for its innovation and use of best practices by the 39th board of the ASEAN Social Security Association (ASSA).
The award was presented to NSSF’s Deputy Director Heng Sophannarith by ASSA Secretary General Indrajid Nurmukti at a ceremony that took place in Luang Prabang province in Laos on November 24.
“The evaluation and the presentation of this recognition for the NSSF Member app came from the evaluation committee of the ASEAN Social Security Association. It is another point of pride for NSSF and it is the sixth award that the NSSF has received from ASSA to recognize our success in implementing the social security fund for our members,” the NSSF said in its press statement.
The NSSF Member app is a mobile phone application that allows NSSF members to check their personal information, their monthly contribution totals and reports on their use of public health services at partner hospitals as well as find the locations of NSSF partner hospitals.
Also, on November 23, the National Social Assistance Fund (NSAF) also received a best practices award for the implementation of its cash transfer programme for poor and vulnerable households affected by Covid-19 from the ASSA.
MORE than 1.3 million are set to receive the social welfare Christmas bonus payment next week, the Irish Sun can reveal.
Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys will today announce the full details of the Christmas double payment which will land in recipients’ bank accounts next week.
The Christmas bonus sees all welfare recipients receive a double payment in December to help them through the festive season.
This year the double payment will cost more than €300million with 1,306,185 people due to get a Christmas boost in a matter of days.
The payment will be paid to pensioners, jobseekers, carers, people with disabilities, widows and lone parents.
This will also be the first year that people who avail of the long term illness benefit will receive the Christmas double payment – a move that will benefit 17,500 people.
Some 1.3 million people will get the Christmas bonus next week including those on these welfare payments:
Speaking ahead of the official announcement, Minister Humphreys said: “Christmas is a very special time of the year, but it can be an expensive period for individuals and families, particularly given the current cost of living.
“I am pleased therefore to announce that a Christmas Bonus Double Payment will be paid next week.
“This payment is designed to put more money in the pockets of our pensioners, carers, people with disabilities, widows and lone parents.
“I’m particularly pleased that this year’s Christmas Bonus will be extended to people on long- term Illness Benefit for the first time.
“The vast majority of people are on Illness Benefit for a very short period of time and then return to work however there are a small cohort of people with serious medical conditions who remain on the payments for longer periods of time.
“These are people who have worked all their lives, paid their PRSI and then have to take time out of the workforce due to serious and possibly long-lasting health conditions.
“A number of people have raised this issue with me and I am pleased to confirm that people in receipt of Illness Benefit for 12 months or longer will now receive the payment. Approximately 17,500 people will benefit from this move.”
Meanwhile, thousands of Irish people will see a major boost to their regular social welfare in weeks - after the Government last week took the first steps towards kicking in increases.
Minister Humphreys confirmed €12 weekly raises from January in Budget 2023, and last week published the Bill to help enact the changes.
All core weekly social welfare payments will go up by €12 per week in the new year, including payments for OAPs, people with disabilities, carers and lone parents.
The Social Welfare Bill 2022 will enact a wide range of measures set out in Budget 2023.
The main provisions in the Bill apply across-the-board increases in weekly payments to pensioners, people with disabilities, carers and lone parents.
But the Bill also includes measures to expand the Working Family Payment to more households and changes to the Means Test for the Farm Assist Payment.
PARIS — During Monday’s Oxford Hills school district’s meeting several positive administrator reports and presentations honoring student achievement were marred by infighting, hostility towards district employees and school board resignations.
With the resignation of two representatives from Oxford and Paris, tempers appear to be gaining a foothold against Maine School Administrative District 17’s board of directors in the wake of developing a student gender identity policy. The policy’s first practicing was approved at SAD 17’s Oct. 17 meeting, which led to a firestorm on local social media and revealed a plan by Paris residents to target and purge school board members they felt were promoting non-conservative agendas.
Armand Norton of Paris launched a petition for voters to recall that town’s two directors who voted in favor of the first reading, Sarah Otterson and Julia Lester. In October, Norton told the Advertiser Democrat that he had no dispute with gender policy and understood the need to consider one, but that he firmly opposes any policy that includes provisions violating parental rights. He has spoken at every school board meeting since then and has posted anti-gay memes and statements on social media.
Following an executive session during Monday’s meeting board Chair Natalie Andrews announced that Lester had resigned from the board. Another director, Stacia Cordwell of Oxford, also resigned Monday.
Curriculum Director Jill Bartash, who was hired in September to oversee the department on an interim basis, attended the school board meeting to report on district projects and plans. As she finished her presentation, Director Bob Jewell of Paris remarked that he was unsatisfied with the information and wanted to hear more comparative data of SAD 17 standardized test scores with other districts.
Bartash informed him that comparative math data was included in a math audit report provided to all directors. Jewell said he only received the information that day, but the same report was released to the public and media by Dec. 2.
Jewell then reprimanded Bartash, and talked over her when she tried to speak, for making a curriculum presentation for only the first time since September. While Monday was the first report personally provided by Bartash, curriculum committee reports have routinely been included at regular board meetings. She replied that monthly presentations have been made during meetings and he and all board members are invited to attend curriculum committee meetings.
Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School’s football team was honored for winning the school’s first ever state championship, with several players being singled out for individual honors on the field.
Three students, Madeline Stack, Dante Allen and Silas Timm, presented to the board on career internships they have completed through the Oxford Hills Community Education Exchange’s Extended Leadership Opportunities program.
Vincent Kloskowski, executive director of the Education Exchange, reported that Oxford Hills has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Maine Department of Education to expand the program and a $30,000 grant from the Betterment Fund in Bethel and Educate Maine.
Child Services Director Jan Neureuther informed the board that Oxford Hills’ focus on positive behavioral intervention supports has gained state, national and international attention. She recently spoke to Our Maine School Safety Center on PBIS training and initiatives that have been ongoing in Oxford Hills. That led to an introduction to Dr. Dewey Cornell of the University of Virginia, who including SAD 17’s work on PBIS in a book he is writing about advances in behavioral learning disabilities. She has also been asked to present at the International Conference on Positive Behavior Support in Jacksonville, Florida, next spring.
More locally, she said that Oxford Hills Technical School’s Diversified Occupations program has been featured on News Center Maine and in the Advertiser Democrat.
Neureuther also spoke about a series of behavioral supports training programs that SAD 17 staff will participate in.
Finally, Andrews congratulated Director Curtis Cole from Norway on being recognized by the Maine School Board Association for 20 years of service to education in Maine.