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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit March 27, 2015

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Education funding gaps: Which states are hitting, missing the mark?
The Christian Science Monitor
While the debate rages over the federal budget and how much will go to K-12 schools, states and localities supply the biggest share of education dollars — about 87 percent on average. But is that money distributed fairly to the students who need it most? School districts that serve the most students in poverty receive an average of $1,200, or 10 percent, less per student in state and local funding than districts with few students in poverty, according to a report by The Education Trust released by The Education Trust, a group in Washington that advocates for closing economic and racial inequities in schools.
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Connecting principals to school districts' top academic priorities
Education Week
The chief academic officer for the Highline, Wash., school district works directly with principal supervisors to craft professional development plans for principals and teachers. In Omaha, Neb., curriculum leaders worked with a private company to develop an app to chart how principals are progressing toward meeting academic goals. And in the Montgomery County, Md., schools, the associate superintendent for curriculum and instructional programs meets once a month with principal-advisory groups and then reports back to the CAO. It's a regular collaboration that was behind the district's decision to implement its Common Core aligned curriculum in multiple stages.
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Report: How well are American students learning?
Brookings
The 2015 Brown Center Report represents the 14th edition of the series since the first issue was published in 2000. It includes three studies. Like all previous BCRs, the studies explore independent topics but share two characteristics: they are empirical and based on the best evidence available. The studies in this edition are on the gender gap in reading, the impact of the Common Core State Standards — English Language Arts on reading achievement, and student engagement.
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Why kids need to move, touch and experience to learn
MindShift
When students use their bodies in the learning process, it can have a big effect, even if it seems silly or unconnected to the learning goal at hand. Researchers have found that when students use their bodies while doing mathematical storytelling (like with word problems, for example), it changes the way they think about math. "We understand language in a richer, fuller way if we can connect it to the actions we perform," said Sian Beilock, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago.
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More schools, more challenging assignments add up to higher IQ scores
Penn State via Science Daily
More schooling — and the more mentally challenging problems tackled in those schools — may be the best explanation for the dramatic rise in IQ scores during the past century, often referred to as the Flynn Effect, according to a team of researchers. These findings also suggest that environment may have a stronger influence on intelligence than many genetic determinists once thought.
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Education Department pledges to prioritize needs of language learners
Education Week
The U.S. Department of Education says it is developing a strategy to elevate the national focus on English language learners, the nation's fastest-growing student population. The plan, which touches on topics ranging from parent engagement to teacher preparation, is a "framing guideline for how we want to think about English-learners across different levels of the organization," said Libia Gil, the head of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition, or OELA.
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Does student motivation even matter?
The Atlantic
At schools around the globe, girls outscore boys, and bored students are better test takers than their more motivated peers. These topsy-turvy observations are the latest findings in a report from the Washington-based Brookings Institution, research that is part of a long-running series that aims to put a finger on the pulse of academics in the United States and abroad.
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       A. I have to push students through the basic language art skills.
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Powerful classroom lessons: It all begins with the hook
Edutopia
How do you introduce new projects to your students? What is your hook? Great project-based learning begins with an engaging launch that grabs students' interest and pulls them in. Every project needs a hook.
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Research seeks scale for measuring student engagement
Te@chThought
Educators believe that student engagement in the classroom is crucial to learning and that it can increase achievement and enrollment in challenging courses while decreasing dropout rates. Until recently, teachers and administrators lacked tools to measure the engagement levels of their students in the classroom. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has developed a scale that quantifies student engagement and could help educators identify barriers to student participation and increase levels of student involvement and learning.
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New data tool exposes size of funding gaps for students in poverty
The Journal
Two weeks after a report from the Center for American Progress explained how a calculation loophole in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act results in Title 1 schools receiving about $1,200 less per student than comparable schools, a new report confirmed the size of the gap from a different angle. The latest work from The Education Trust also offered an ambitious set of data analysis tools to help states and districts understand the gap. Ed Trust is a non-profit advocacy organization that promotes academic achievement for all students, particularly students of color and low-income.
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Forging strong school relationships
District Administration Magazine
Once a month, Tim Mills, superintendent of Washington's Bellevue Public Schools, sits down for a one-on-one conversation with each member of his school board. Obeying parameters honed in a 16-year superintendent career, Mills asks about board members' families, answers their questions about school district business — and takes care not to lobby them for votes on future agenda items. "It's really about me getting to understand their interests, their needs, how they feel that I, as a superintendent, can help them in their role," says Mills, whose suburban Seattle district enrolls 19,000 students. "It is building that personal relationship with board members, which I think creates a great deal of trust."
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School districts benefit from marrying curriculum and IT planning
EdTech Magazine
When Springdale Public Schools in Arkansas began rolling out the first of 15,000 Google Chromebooks to students in the spring of 2014, administrators were confident that they had chosen the best device to support the district's curriculum. Distributing hardware was only part of the implementation plan though. To ensure the technology would mesh with learning goals, the district knew teachers would need training and support.
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Free summer school access to lessons for schools, districts
eSchool News
Educators and administrators across the country are looking for innovative, effective ways to ensure their students do not become victims of the "summer slide" as well as attain mastery of state and national standard benchmarks. Learning Upgrade, provider of engaging song and game based curriculum for math and reading, is offering complimentary summer school access to its Web-based, standards aligned curriculum to all qualifying U.S. schools and districts.
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As market surges, schools struggle to find the best tech products
The Hechinger Report
Five middle school students in this western Pennsylvania town stand in a darkened room over a pie chart projected on the floor. Using motion-sensor wands, they manipulate sections of the circle, making pieces representing 1/8 and 1/24. At a high school in the same district, students sit on couches in the entertainment technology center and program video games and design 3-D models.
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Digital instructional materials outpace print, study says
eSchool News
Teachers now are using more digital instructional materials than print materials in the classroom, according to a new study from Education Market Research/Simba Information. The Shift to Digital in Reading, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies is the product of several EMR surveys: EMR's Supplemental Products Market: 2014 survey, conducted in the Summer 2014, and EMR's latest Social Studies Market survey, conducted in the Fall 2014. Supporting evidence also comes from EMR's surveys of the Reading, Mathematics, and Science/STEM market segments.
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Arne Duncan gives himself a 'low grade' on overhauling teacher prep
The Washington Post
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that his agency deserves a "low grade" for its efforts so far to overhaul regulations for teacher-preparation programs, saying that too many K-12 educators are not ready for the classroom. "We have light years to go, we have so far to go," Duncan said, speaking in Washington at the annual legislative conference of the Council of Chief State School Officers. "We've changed the world in some pretty profound ways, but we have not changed the world in that way." Teacher-preparation programs are often criticized, including by educators themselves, for being mediocre and for focusing too heavily on the theory and history of education at the expense of equipping teachers with the hands-on skills they need to work with students.
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In Congress, new attention to student-privacy fears
NPR
Several efforts in Washington are converging on the sensitive question of how best to safeguard the information software programs are gathering on students. A proposed Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015 is circulating in draft form. It has bipartisan sponsorship from Democratic Rep. Jared S. Polis of Colorado and Republican Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana. Drafted with White House input, the bill joins a previous Senate proposal, plus much action on the state level, from regulators, and from industry and other sector leaders. Consumer groups like Common Sense Media and companies like Microsoft have spoken positively of the bill.
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This teacher's 'Uptown Funk' parody is perfect motivation for mandatory exams
PopSugar
Testing season just got a lot more fun thanks to a Texas middle school teacher and the year's most parodied song. To help her sixth grade students relax before the STAAR Test — the state-mandated State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exams — McMath Middle School teacher Kelli Hauser got down with Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk." Hauser, who goes by LadyHauza on YouTube, and her posse of teachers changed the lyrics and replicated the video of the song, singing, "This test is ice cold, it's supertough, so you've been told, this one's for the kids and teens, thinkin' machines ... " and "STAAR Test we're gon' give it to you, STAAR Test we're gon' give it to ya. It's testing day, we've learned a lot, don't believe me just watch!"
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How compatible are Common Core and technology? (The Hechinger Report)
The 5 keys to successful comprehensive assessment in action (Edutopia)
Schools overcoming homeless hurdles (District Administration Magazine)
Homework vs. no homework is the wrong question (Edutopia)
Reversing the teacher dropout problem (Scholastic Administrator Magazine)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Arizona governor seeks review of Common Core education standards
The New York Times
Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, a critic of the Common Core, urged state education officials to re-evaluate those standards, adopted by the state and meant to guide what students learn from kindergarten through graduation. He said he saw them as an example of the federal government overstepping its bounds. In a speech outlining his agenda to the State Board of Education, the governor did not call for repealing the Common Core, but instead asked the board to review the language and mathematics standards "in their entirety" and tailor the curriculum in ways to meet the needs of students in Arizona.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger calls on Congress to save funding for after-school programs
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling on Congress to preserve federal funding for after-school programs in a proposed reauthorization of the 2002 No Child Left Behind law. At a national summit in Los Angeles, Schwarzenegger will join education, business and law enforcement leaders in demanding that any bill maintain after-school funding. A House proposal would eliminate after-school centers designed to help children in low-income neighborhoods and 68 other programs in favor of a flexibility grant that would allow states to decide how to use funds.
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Register for April 16 webinar on grit and entitlement
NAESP
Principals are dealing with the challenges of a growing trend of entitlement. In this webinar, Jim Grant will provide classroom-tested strategies to help principals reverse an assumption of entitlement mindset in their schools. They will be able to implement a seven-step grit and mindset initiative to help students as well as solicit parents' support. The unintended consequences of overindulgence and entitlement have far-reaching implications for students' long-term health and well-being. Information learned in this session is foundational to students' social/emotional learning, as well as academic success.
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Find fresh ideas at NAESP 2015 Conference
NAESP
Top-notch principals know what's happening in education now and what's coming next. NAESP's 2015 Conference — Best Practices for Better Schools™ will showcase both. On June 30-July 2, school leaders from around the country will convene in Long Beach, California, to learn together, swap best practices and explore exciting new ideas. The roster of expert speakers includes Todd Whitaker, Robert Marzano, Erik Wahl, Heidi Hayes Jacobs — and more. Register online today.
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