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New York granted federal waiver to eliminate double-testing in math
NYSED
State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. announced that the United States Department of Education (USDE) has approved New York State's request for a waiver from the provisions of federal law that currently require students who take Regents exams in mathematics when they are in seventh or eighth grade to also take the state mathematics assessment. The waiver will effectively end the "double-testing" of these students, beginning with the spring 2014 assessments.

"USDE's approval of New York's waiver request means the end of double-testing for nearly 60,000 New York students," said King. "The Regents, the Chancellor and I are committed to reducing the amount of time students spend on tests and eliminating any tests that don't inform instruction or improve student learning. Testing is an important part of the instructional cycle and good, sound assessments are necessary to monitor student academic progress. But we have repeatedly said that the amount of testing should be the minimum necessary to inform effective decision-making. Our successful waiver request is an example of New York's commitment to smarter, leaner testing."
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National School Counseling Week
NYSSCA
National School Counseling Week, Feb. 3-7, 2014, will be here before you know it. Are you prepared to take advantage of the week to share information on how students are different as a result of school counselor's work? Get materials, many of them free, to help celebrate the week.
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  AROUND THE INDUSTRY



US criticizes zero-tolerance policies in schools
The New York Times
The Obama administration issued guidelines that recommended public school officials use law enforcement only as a last resort for disciplining students, a response to a rise in zero-tolerance policies that have disproportionately increased the number of arrests, suspensions and expulsions of minority students for even minor, nonviolent offenses.
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Test prep trends to watch in 2014
U.S. News & World Report
The world of college test preparation is constantly changing, and 2014 will be no different. The growth of online learning has begun to level the playing field by offering test prep tools to students whose circumstances — financial or otherwise — would have prevented them from accessing such resources in the past. The tests themselves continue to evolve as well, in attempts to become both more relevant to classroom experiences and more predictive of college performance. There are three important trends to watch for in 2014.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  FYI: ASL-English Interpreting Programs

Click here for information every high school guidance counselor should know about ASL-English Interpreting degree programs.
 


New York scores high for school choice in report
New York Post
New York is right near the top of a new nationwide scorecard on school choice — a status it could kiss goodbye under the policies of Mayor de Blasio. The city scored a 73 out of 100 on an education choice and competition index developed by Brookings Institution scholar Russ Whitehurst, earning an A-minus in a report.
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Colleges that high school counselors, college officials view differently
U.S. News & World Report
In order to show the degree to which top college administrators and high school counselors differ in their views of the academic quality of universities, U.S. News is publishing an analysis of colleges that shows the academic reputation rankings gap as reported by high school counselors and high-ranking college officials in our 2014 Best Colleges rankings.
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Parents rally against lawsuit that threatens charter schools
WCBS-TV
If successful, a lawsuit filed by city officials and activists would be a setback for countless students who attend charter schools, some parents say. As WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported, those parents and advocates from the group Families for Excellent Schools gathered at City Hall calling for Public Advocate Letitia James and City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, the front-runner to become the next council speaker, to drop their lawsuit to block 42 charter schools from sharing building space with traditional public schools.
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Why are so many millennials depressed?
The Washington Post
Millennials do have to face some issues that previous generations did not. A college degree is now the career equivalent of what a high school degree used to be. This increases the pressure on kids to go to college and makes the process more competitive. The sluggish economy no longer yields a wealth of jobs upon graduation.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  When you're here, you're almost there

Health Analytics is the future of health care administration and the new, one of a kind analytics program at D'Youville College, will give the student an early career advantage in this high demand profession. Health Analytics is vital to any organization in the planning, implementation of programs and policy. www.dyc.edu
 


Dealing with unstable students
Insider Higher Ed
If you teach for any amount of time, you're going to encounter mentally unstable students. The degree of instability you encounter may vary, but at some point you will encounter a student who makes you concerned for his or her own safety, or perhaps even for the safety of your other students, your colleagues and even yourself. How do we respond to such situations appropriately, with empathy, while protecting the safety and classroom experiences of our other students?
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Education supplement: Charter corrections
The Village Voice
Charters have become a lightning rod for criticism under former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, especially from public-school parents who see them as seeking special preferences to import wealthy chain schools into already-cramped school buildings. Mayor Bill de Blasio has often criticized well-funded network charters for creating winners and losers within city schools, and though he said last summer that "there are some very good charter schools, and I'm glad we have them," he has also called for charging co-located schools rent and a possible moratorium on co-locations.
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Changing school culture 1 step at a time
Steve Wehrle
Often physical education teachers feel there is a great number of difficulties and obstacles that can get in the way of creating a quality physical education program. These obstacles include physical education time being cut for standardized test subjects, overcrowding of classrooms, and sometimes even the general impression that physical education is not valued. This culture is present in many schools across the country, but it doesn't mean that it cannot change — one small step at a time.
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