Welcome to the new High School Notes weekly roundup of education news. Every Friday, you'll find out what's making headlines around the Web.
Teacher salaries, training, and evaluations
Pay gaps: A new report by the Department of Education finds that teachers make the least amount of money in poor schools. "Tens of thousands of schools serving low-income students are being shortchanged," says New York Times reporter Sam Dillon.
The report found that rookie teachers, who tend to be at the low end of the teacher pay scale, are often placed in those schools. The pay gap began shortly after the passage of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as districts utilized a loophole allowing them to report teacher salaries districtwide, masking the pay gap, according to Dillon.
TFA is growing: Speaking of rookie teachers, Teach for America plans to expand over the next few years, according to the Associated Press. By 2015, one fourth of all new teachers in the 60 highest-needs school districts could be made up of TFA teachers.
Georgia implements teacher evaluations: In Georgia, educators in 26 state districts will be subject to a teacher evaluation pilot program in 26 state districts starting in January. The new evaluations will be funded by the $400 million the state won from "Race to the Top," President Obama's reform initiative contest, last year.
As the recession hit, the number of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches increased from 18 million during the 2006-2007 school year to 21 million during the 2010-2011 school year, an 18 percent increase, according to the New York Times.
Textbook manufacturers have regularly rolled out tablet versions of their offerings. Turns out there's a pretty big market for it: The non-hardware education technology market in the United States for the pre-K through 12th grade level is worth about $7.5 billion, according to a new report by the Software and Information Industry Association.
Some schools are adding Internet safety classes to their curricula, according to USA Today. At one school, the course emphasizes the fact that social media behavior can follow a student for years.
"Occupy Wall Street" in the classroom
High school teachers in Los Angeles are using the Occupy L.A. protests, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, to teach students about protests and civics, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It's a real-life movement—history in the making," says Rebecca Williams, an English teacher in the area.