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Obama requests increase in US education spending to almost $70 billion
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama asked for almost $70 billion in education spending, a 2.5 percent increase over last year, while he cut several other agencies' requests. Obama's 2013 proposal includes a three-year, $8 billion plan to shore up career programs at community colleges that would be co-administered by the Education and Labor departments. The proposed budget would also keep interest rates on federal Stafford loans for college students from doubling to 6.8 percent, according to White House documents released. More

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New analysis makes case for higher ranking for US schools
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The idea that U.S. public schools are falling behind the rest of the world is widely accepted, but a new analysis of international data suggests that using rankings to sort global winners from losers is often misguided, exaggerating tiny differences between countries that may be producing nearly identical results. In other words, maybe U.S. schools are not as bad as you might think. More



Virtual education seen as understudied
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A flurry of reports and high-profile news articles over the past year has cast doubt on the effectiveness of online education, and raised concerns about the rapid growth of virtual education across the country. This increased attention comes as such education moves further into the mainstream of K-12 education and opens itself up to greater scrutiny. More

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Yoga in the classroom
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The elements of stress relief are catching on for even the youngest kids — many of whom face intensifying obligations in daily life. On any given day at Coconut Creek Elementary school in Florida, it's likely that you'll find the children in an unlikely position: downward dog. They lean on their hands with their bottoms in the air, swaying and breathing and centering themselves. Then, they curl up into child's pose and listen to their breath while steadying their heart rates. In the coming weeks, their yoga practice will intensify to help the children deal with No Child Left Behind testing in March. More

Program or be programmed
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With many schools dropping computer science programs, and with fewer and fewer students leaving school with these skills, there are fewer participants in creating software, games, apps and the like, and more people who are simply consumers of these products. With fewer participants comes less innovation. With less innovation, the consumers become trapped in whatever they are being sold. In addition, with less innovation comes less scientific progress. Without innovation and programming skills, devices like robotic arms on the Mars rovers or realistic limbs for soldiers returning from war would not exist. We need to support and maintain programming and coding in all our schools — not just our technical high schools or institutions of higher education. More

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Teachers debate value of 'close reading'
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Those of you who read here about the "close reading" exercise conducted by the Aspen Institute recently will be interested in a debate raging on the English Companion Ning. Teachers are debating, with no small degree of intensity, whether this key tenet of the common standards is a good thing. More

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School arts equals higher scores
The San Diego Union-Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
North County, Calif., third-graders who had the arts integrated into their regular curriculum showed remarkable improvement on standardized test scores, researchers announced. The Developing Reading Education with Arts Methods, or DREAM, program is in its third year of operation in 10 school districts, funded by a nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and led by California State University San Marcos and the San Diego County Office of Education. More



School budget cuts: How students say slashes are affecting them
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As school districts are facing massive budget cuts across the country, school programs, teachers and students are taking the hit. Across the country, 120 school districts had, as of October, moved to four-day school weeks while others are canceling field trips, shuttering after-school programs and charging students to play sports. The cuts are seen in Keller, Texas, where the district opted for a pay-for-ride transportation system versus cutting busing as a whole; In Georgia, where 20 days were slashed from the pre-kindergarten academic year; In California, where nearly half the districts axed or whittled away at art, drama and music programs. More

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Report: Using technology in the classroom requires experience and guidance
The Globe and Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's older, more experienced teachers — not younger, so-called digital natives — who are experimenting more with new technology in the classroom, a new report suggests. And although Twitter, YouTube and mobile devices have infiltrated Canadian classrooms, the study finds that educators have serious concerns that students are "not-so-savvy surfers" — too prone to accept information published online as fact and be led astray. More

How to engage parents online more effectively
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parenting is the toughest and most important role most adults will ever have. Yet, far too many feel ill equipped to handle the job. Others are simply too busy making ends meet, or so overwhelmed by life that parenting simply takes a back seat to more pressing concerns. As someone raised in a "survival of the fittest" family, with few rules, multiple crises and modest expectations, you can relate to other parents who feel inept when confronted by the litany of things educators expect parents to know and do. More

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Unstructured free play, recess need to be reinstated in schools
News-Medical.Net    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Evaluating the Let's Move! Initiative, Dr. Melinda Sothern, Professor of Public Health and Jim Finks Chair of Health Promotion at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, calls First Lady Michelle Obama brave for taking on the challenge of childhood obesity and suggests that she now consider working to move it up to the policy level. More

Rethinking testing in the age of the iPad
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the 3,200-student East Haven schools in Connecticut, elementary teachers did their initial student reading assessments a bit differently this school year. Instead of using paper and pencil to jot down observations about each of their students and then collecting and analyzing those notes by hand, each teacher used an iPad to collect the information and send it to a centralized database through software from the New York City-based ed-tech company Wireless Generation. More

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Can robots grade essays as well as humans?
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Essays have long been considered the gold standard for measuring students' understanding of a subject. But because multiple-choice tests have been graded by machines, making them easy and relatively inexpensive to administer, these sub-standard assessments are primarily what schools use for standardized tests. More

Mentoring pays off for some teachers
Statesman-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Beginning teachers often are dropped into their new classrooms and left to sink or swim — but at a cost to districts and students. In the past, nearly 40 percent of Oregon's Salem-Keizer School District's beginning teachers quit within the first five years, which means wasted recruiting and training dollars. "We have done teachers a disservice over the years by putting them in the classroom and just hope they make it," said Salem-Keizer Assistant Superintendent Mary Cadez. More

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Robert Glaser, who shaped the science of student testing, dies at 91
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Robert Glaser, a cognitive psychologist who helped define the terms of the national debate over student testing, and who pioneered ways of measuring not only how students learn but how teachers teach, died on Feb. 4 in Pittsburgh. He was 91. The cause was complications of Alzheimer's disease, said a spokesman for the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center, which Dr. Glaser helped found in 1963. More

Study to examine relationship between oral and silent reading in children
News-Medical.Net    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Study at Florida State uses eye-tracking to chart oral-to-silent reading transition. When a beginning reader reads aloud, her progress is apparent: Hunched over a book, little index finger blazing the way, she moves intently from sound to sound, word to word. I do not like green eggs and ham! I do not like them, Sam-I-am! But when that same child reads silently, it's much harder to measure how much she is reading — or understanding. Yet as she advances through school, teachers will expect her to learn increasingly through silent rather than oral reading. More

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Details of Obama's proposed $70 billion for education
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education would receive nearly $70 billion under President Barack Obama's FY2013 budget, which he presented to Congress. The $69.8 billion budget request represents a 2.5 percent increase — up $1.7 billion — from the 2012 budget. Notable funding areas include a $14 billion one-time investment in key reform areas: aligning education programs with workforce demands, supporting high-quality teachers, and increasing college quality and affordability. More

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$5 billion program would focus on teacher quality
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration is hoping that competition combined with cash will encourage states and school districts to improve the nation's teaching corps. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced details of the administration's proposed $5 billion program for a new Race to the Top-style competition, with states and districts competing for grant dollars to improve teacher quality, during a town hall meeting with teachers. Among the changes the administration is seeking: higher teaching salaries, compensation tied to performance, and more selective and improved teaching colleges. More



Bill aims to censor Arizona teachers' speech
The Arizona Republic via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Arizona's teachers better watch their mouths. A group of Republican state lawmakers is backing legislation that would require teachers to limit their speech to words that comply with Federal Communications Commission regulations on what can be said on TV or radio. The FCC regulations limit obscene, indecent and profane speech. Its determination of what falls into those categories is broad and based on context. For example, the FCC defines profanity as "language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance." More

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Educators denounce bill to shorten school year in Ohio; kids hail it
StateImpact Ohio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Often, when it comes to adjusting the school year, the idea is to extend it. But a bill sitting in the Ohio House Education Committee is intended to do the opposite. And some people don't think shortening the school year is such a great idea. As introduced, HB 191 would limit the school year to Labor Day through Memorial Day and also change state laws about the minimum time students actually have to spend in school. Currently, schools must be open for 182 days. The bill would have districts count school time in hours rather than days. That could — emphasis on the could — allow districts to shorten the time students spend in school. More

Home-schooling demographics change, expand
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There was a time when Heather Kirchner thought mothers who home-schooled their children were only the types "who wore long skirts and praised Jesus and all that." That was before the New Jersey resident decided to home-school her own daughter, Anya. Kirchner favors jeans, and like the two dozen other families that are part of the year-old Homeschool Village Co-op in central New Jersey, she doesn't consider herself to be particularly religious. "I was definitely not ready to hand over to anybody my 5-year-old, my baby," she says. "I would hate to miss this. They grow too quickly." More

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Free mentoring webinar this Tuesday
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Join NAESP Tuesday, Feb. 21 for "Inspired to Lead: Tips to Encourage the Next Generation of Great Principals," a free webinar on how to inspire, encourage and motivate aspiring principals to become game-changing school leaders. More

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Deadline approaching for Children's Book Award Contest
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Calling all aspiring authors. Submissions for National Children's Book Award Contest are due March 1. Prospective authors may submit a picture or chapter book written for children ages 3-16. Judging will be based on content, originality, and age-appropriateness, and winners receive a contract with Charlesbridge Publishing. Click "More" to read Frequently Asked Questions about the contest. More
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