Mar. 5, 2015

GLSEN's National Day of Silence
Friday, April 17 is GLSEN's National Day of Silence — a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. Organizing a Day of Silence activity or event can be a positive tool for change-both personally and community-wide. By taking a vow of silence, you're making a powerful statement about the important issue of anti-LGBT bullying, and when you organize others to join you that message becomes stronger. Discover ways of organizing your event here. "What will you do to end the silence?"More

Participate in your regional community forum to call out Cuomo
Here is an unofficial listing of grassroots community forums on public education taking place across NY state. The events are sponsored by a wide variety of education stakeholders including parents, educators, administrators, students and lawmakers. Speak up and #CallOutCuomo. The information is subject to change. Confirm dates, times and locations with organizers and activists in your community, or contact your NYSUT Regional Office.More

Are you a Social Justice Advocate?
March 30 is the deadline to nominate Educational activists for a new NEA social justice award. The National Education Association knows that members have a long and proud history of social justice activism. In advocating for the human and civil rights of their students, some public school educators are ahead of their time — challenging the social conventions of the day and taking extraordinary action to welcome, protect and educate America's students. School counselors are by nature social justice advocates. Nominate a school counselor for this national award! More

As Common Core testing is ushered in, parents and students opt out
The New York Times
Recently, a few hundred students will file into classrooms at Bloomfield Middle School, open laptops and begin a new standardized test, one mandated across New Jersey and several other states for the first time this year. About a dozen of their classmates, however, will be elsewhere. They will sit in a nearby art room, where they will read books, do a little drawing and maybe paint. What they will not do is take the test, because they and their parents have flatly refused.More

Helping student-athletes with mental health issues
HealthDay News via KTTC-TV
Guidelines for helping U.S. high school athletes with mental health problems are outlined in a new policy statement from the National Athletic Trainers' Association. The types, severity and percentages of mental illnesses are growing in young adults aged 18 to 25, and may well start before or during adolescence, the association says. "The purpose of this statement is to raise awareness and provide education for the high school athletic trainer, coach, administrator, guidance counselor and parent on the prevalence of mental health issues in secondary school athletes," said Tim Neal, chair of the task force that developed the recommendations. More

Texas law piling work on school counselors — lots of it
San Antonio Express-News
Analisa Perez is responsible for helping 613 middle school students figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives. As the sole counselor at Shepard Middle School, she feels that weight personally. The majority of her students, Perez said, could be the first in their families to go to college. A new state law makes it her job to guide them to a decision whether to head there. Perez has the single largest such workload in Bexar County, a San Antonio Express-News analysis of local school district data shows. But she's not the only one handling several hundred students. More

Tackling eating disorders with school-based initiatives
U.S. News & World Report
Advocates are pushing for school-based initiatives to raise awareness about the dangers of eating disorders, which kill more Americans than any other psychiatric illness. "Educators have a real opportunity to disseminate healthful messages and address issues that are impairing the quality of life of many students," says Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut and co-author of a study that found strong public support for school-based strategies that address eating disorders and weight stigmatization.More

Solving the school therapist shortage
District Administration Magazine
In rural Washington state, an occupational therapist might drive three to four hours to see a student — that is, if a district can find one to hire. Last year, an occupational therapist job posting went six months without a single application being submitted to Educational Services District 112, which provides special education services to 28 rural districts across six counties near the Oregon border. And that sent the district's special education director, Michelle Murer, searching to find another way to provide occupational therapies to rural students. She found the answer this past fall, which bypassed the difficulty of geography altogether: a burgeoning model known as telepractice, in which students receive services from therapists online.More

Study: Students in struggling schools more likely to attend, but misbehave
Education Week
As pressure increases for schools who miss accountability benchmarks, students become less likely to be late or miss class — but more likely to get into fights and get reported or suspended for misbehavior. That's the conclusion of a new study by Duke University researchers John B. Holbein and Helen F. "Sunny" Ladd, for the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, or CALDER.More

House Republican leaders defer No Child Left Behind vote
The Christian Science Monitor
In a political embarrassment for Republicans, House GOP leaders abruptly cancelled a vote on a bill to update the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law after struggling to find support from conservatives. The bill would keep the annual testing requirements on schools but would give more freedom to states and districts to spend federal dollars and identify and fix failing schools. But conservative opponents said it doesn't go far enough to let states and districts set education policy. Such conservative groups as Heritage Action for America and Club for Growth are among the opponents.More

Differentiated instruction: Top 5 low-prep strategies
By: Savanna Flakes
James R. Delisle recently wrote a controversial commentary for Education Week titled, "Differentiation Doesn't Work." But what Delisle may not realize is that differentiation is not a set of prescriptive strategies, rather a purposeful way of planning to account for student differences. Differentiation is a journey, not a one-stop fix or end point. To support teachers who are looking for some low-prep differentiation strategies, I have compiled the top-five strategies that take minimal planning time but can have a big impact in the classroom.More

Teaching kids how to learn without study drugs
In a shifting economy without any assurances of success, there's a lot of pressure on students to succeed in school. More and more kids are going to college and the application process is competitive. To help stand out, students are taking on tougher course loads, along with extracurricular activities and leadership roles. In order to pack everything in, some kids turn to prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin to stay awake and focus on school work and test prep. They can obtain the medication from doctors, peers and sources they find online.More

Will gifted education weather the Common Core?
THE Journal
According to a study by the Fordham Institute, education reform "gadfly," some districts and states believe that the Common Core gives them a reason to "ditch" services for gifted students, equating the standards with advanced education. "The Common Core was really meant to be a floor and not a ceiling," said Jonathan Plucker, a professor of education at the University of Connecticut and an expert in gifted education, who wrote the Fordham paper examining the situation for high-achieving students.More

Study suggests mental reflection and rest boost learning
Psychology Today (commentary)
Keep your "nose to the grindstone" is the advice we often tell young people is an essential ingredient of learning difficult tasks. A joke captures the matter with the old bromide for success, "Keep your eye on the ball, your ear to the ground, your nose to the grindstone, your shoulder to the wheel: Now try to work in that position."More

Dealing with Common Core backlash
District Administration Magazine
As debate over the Common Core continues to spread in major media outlets, local administrators must address parent and community concerns to keep the focus on student learning. "The need for parent communication with the Common Core caught many administrators by surprise, because this idea of having standards and revising curriculum isn't new for district administrators," says Sandra Alberti, director of field impact at Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit started by Common Core creators to help educators implement the standards.More

Should we replace textbooks with e-readers?
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
You might think the answer is a resounding "yes" in this digital age, but a recent report from The Washington Post has shown some surprising facts to the contrary. It seems that millennial students — who we think are buried in electronics all the time — are more attracted to the white pages of physical books than we thought. Their main reason? The awareness that they can retain information better when they read print. Still, proponents of e-readers say that the benefits far outweigh the negatives.More