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3 critical education topics affecting US students
eSchool News
An annual report examines the persistent gender gap in reading performance, how the Common Core is impacting reading achievement, and how intrinsic motivation plays a key role in student engagement, and offers analyses in all three areas. The study is the fourteenth Brown Center Report on American Education and is divided into three sections, each dedicated to an independent topic and each based on the best evidence available, which is further described in each section.
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Most Americans think public school teachers are underappreciated and underpaid
The Huffington Post
Most Americans agree that public school teachers should get paid more money and treated with more respect, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. In light of National Teacher Appreciation Week this week, The Huffington Post, in collaboration with YouGov, conducted a nationally representative poll on the topic of teacher appreciation. The survey results suggest most Americans think teachers deserve a week dedicated to appreciating them, if only because this group does not get enough respect the other 51 weeks of the year.
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Districts out ahead of states in adopting Next Generation Science Standards
Education Week
While statewide adoptions of the Next Generation Science Standards continue to prove slow and steady, some districts are jumping the gun on their states and starting to bring the new standards to classrooms as soon as possible. In many cases, science teachers themselves have led this charge. "I think what you're seeing really is grassroots support among science teachers everywhere regardless of what's happening at their state level," said David L. Evans, the executive director of the Arlington, Va.-based National Science Teachers Association, which provided guidance during the standards' development.
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Memorial Day in the classroom: Resources for teachers
Edutopia
For most students, Memorial Day means a three-day weekend, one last mini-break before the end of the school year. But the last Monday in May is the perfect opportunity to use class time to honor the men and women who lost their lives in war. Here are some of the best lesson plan resources for Memorial Day, along with some engaging multimedia resources. It's not always easy to capture student attention late in the school year, but hopefully these resources help. For starters, here's a brief video from The History Channel that looks at the origins of the holiday.
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My child struggles with writing: Why typical evaluations don't do the job
By: Howard Margolis
Typical writing evaluations are often inadequate. Knowing this may help you convince school or private evaluators that your child needs a different kind of writing evaluation, one that might use but doesn't depend on standardized tests to compare him or her to other children. Instead, outside of standardized testing, it directly examines what he or she can and can't do well and tries to identify external barriers to progress. There are several important written requests you may need to send the school. If you're faced with resistance, there are possible actions to lessen or eliminate it.
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Instructional rigor
Scholastic Administration Magazine
It's a hard goal, but achievable if principals make sure their teachers follow these three critical guidelines. Over the past few years, the concept of rigor has taken hold in education. Although it is typically used when referring to the Common Core or other state standards, it is also addressed in discussions about improving student performance. One of the challenges is that rigor is a loaded word. Many teachers quote the dictionary definition ("extremely thorough") as a reason not to implement rigorous instruction. But instructional rigor is not harsh or rigid. It is not assigning more homework or work that is not achievable.
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How to create the learning community vital to project-based learning's success
MindShift
Project-based learning has become a hot topic as educators look for ways to effectively get students solving problems, working collaboratively and producing evidence of their learning. But as educators turn to this long-standing pedagogy for content delivery, it's easy to forget to build up the learning skills and dispositions that make the approach successful.
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    1. WHICH ONE IS YOU?
       A. I have to push students through the basic language art skills.
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Memorizers are the lowest achievers and other Common Core math surprises
The Hechinger Report
It's time to debunk the myths about who is good in math, and Common Core state standards move us toward this worthy goal. Mathematics and technology leaders support the standards because they are rooted in the new brain and learning sciences. All children are different in their thinking, strength and interests. Mathematics classes of the past decade have valued one type of math learner, one who can memorize well and calculate fast. Yet data from the 13 million students who took PISA tests showed that the lowest achieving students worldwide were those who used a memorization strategy — those who thought of math as a set of methods to remember and who approached math by trying to memorize steps. The highest achieving students were those who thought of math as a set of connected, big ideas.
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The latest trends in classroom design
K-12 TechDecisions
How we "do" education has changed immensely in the last decade. Pedagogy has evolved and the role of the teacher has shifted from the bestower of knowledge to the facilitator of it. Educators now flip their classrooms, encourage active, project-based learning and increasingly use online tools to deliver a more personalized education experience. These changes in teaching and learning have had a dramatic effect on how we think about and design classroom spaces.
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School playground designs solve problems and get kids active.
Dr. Melinda Bossenmeye
The purpose of the Peaceful Playgrounds Physical Activity Programs is to introduce children and school staff to the many choices of playground games available on playgrounds and field areas. The Peaceful Playgrounds blueprints, playground stencils, and playground game guides make laying out your new playground a breeze.
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Promoted by Dr. Melinda Bossenmeye




Survey: More educators are using social media for fundraising
THE Journal
According to the results of the sixth annual CASE/Huron/mStoner Social Media Survey, more schools, colleges and universities worldwide are using social media to boost their fundraising results, and are experimenting with new strategies. Some 57 percent of respondents reported using social media to fundraise in 2015, compared to 47 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, 59 percent reported experimenting with new social media fundraising strategies.
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What's the future for mobile devices in the classroom?
EdTech Magazine
Mobile devices are more prevalent in K-12 classrooms than ever. A new survey on mobile learning from Project Tomorrow shows that today's schools are relying increasingly on students having experience with devices like smartphones and tablets to engage in modern curriculum. Project Tomorrow's 12th annual Speak Up Research Project surveyed teachers and students at more than 8,000 schools and 2,600 school districts to gain insight on how these devices are affecting education.
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What schools can learn from Google about nurturing creativity
Edudemic
What motivates people to work? Most people would say money, and those people would only be partially correct. In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, author Daniel Pink writes about radical practices implemented by Australian software company Atlassian and search engine giant Google that have taught us a lot about what really motivates human beings to work. Hint: it is not the proverbial carrot on a stick.
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Just how widespread are digital state testing issues?
Education DIVE
Spring is here, which also means it's standardized-testing season. While No. 2 pencils and Scantron bubble sheets were once assessment staples, many states have upgraded to computer-based assessments in recent years. The transition, unfortunately, has not been entirely smooth. With the new format, new issues like broadband infrastructure, data security and a variety of digital glitches have entered the equation.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords TECHNOLOGY.




When kindergartens expel African-American kids, what do they learn next?
The Hechinger Report (commentary)
Educators must be banned from applying out of school suspensions on our youngest kids. Action must be taken when more more than 7,400 Louisiana children from kindergarten to third grade are suspended for loose charges like "willful disobedience" (aka being a kid). The state's black families are feeling the brunt of those suspensions. Black students represented 44 percent of kids in all grades last year but received 71 percent of all expulsions.
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How a collaborative mindset helps teachers reach all learners
eSchool News
The implementation of the Common Core State Standards has been met with anxiety from administrators and educators at every level, because, like any major change, it can seem scary and overwhelming. General education teachers have had to learn and apply new instructional strategies to address the new standards and the vision that the standards embody, particularly universal design for learning. Special education teachers have been required for the first time to become pseudo subject-area experts to help struggling students and those with learning disabilities meet the standards.
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Senate bill may provide big boost to competency education
By: Brian Stack
In a news release to its members last month, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) announced that it has been assisting in the reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The bill is moving forward from committee to the full Senate as the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECAA), a bill last updated as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in 2001. On their blog, iNACOL's Maria Worthen said this about the work: "Overall, ECAA moves ESEA in a direction that should appeal to many in the field of blended, online and competency education. The bill would open up greater flexibility around how state systems of assessments and accountability are designed, and eliminates some time-based constructs, such as the highly qualified teacher definition."
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Hillary Clinton pitches immigration as an education issue
Education Week
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said at a Nevada high school that she wants to give students who came to the county as undocumented minors a path to citizenship. And she'd like to help their parents remain in the country legally too, through a major overhaul of the immigration system. Her remarks — and especially the choice to champion the policy at a high school, surrounded by undocumented students who would benefit from it — makes it clear that the Clinton campaign plans to link the issues of immigration and educational equity.
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Most states lacked expertise to improve worst schools
The Washington Post
The Obama administration handed out more than $3 billion to the states and the District of Columbia to help them turn around their worst-performing schools as part of the federal stimulus spending that took place after the 2008 recession. But most states lacked the capacity to improve those schools, according to a new analysis by federal researchers. Although turning around the worst schools was a priority for nearly every state, most did not have the staff, technology and expertise to pull those schools out of the bottom rankings, according to a brief by the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Education Department.
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Plan unveiled to overhaul school system in Detroit
The New York Times
Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan unveiled a proposal to overhaul the failing Detroit public school system by creating two districts — one to manage paying off billions of dollars in debt, the other to oversee the day-to-day operations of the schools. The plan from Snyder, a Republican, was met with opposition even before it was officially announced: Hundreds of Detroit teachers called in sick to attend a protest at the State Capitol in Lansing. Their absence shut 18 public schools for the day. Teachers argued that Snyder's plan would not improve outcomes for Detroit children and that it was just a step toward turning the district into an all-charter district.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Does Common Core ask too much of kindergarten readers? (MindShift)
Coding from kindergarten to graduation (District Administration Magazine)
It takes courage to make schools better (Edutopia)
Doctors say head lice should not bar kids from school (HealthDay News via Medical Xpress)
Skip a grade? Start kindergarten early? It's not so easy (NPR)

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




Effective principal practices
NAESP
Prince George's County Public Schools, MD, has been involved in the NAESP Mentor Program for many years and in The Wallace Foundation's Principal Pipeline Initiative. Two of the PGCPS principals, Kim Washington and Niki Brown — NAESP Nationally Certified Mentors — share their leadership ideas and practices in the latest Wallace Foundation project: School Leadership in Action: Principal Practices. In this series of videos, exemplary principals in varied school settings nationwide bring to life and reinforce the five key practices of effective principals.
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Getting beyond the entitlement mindset
NAESP
Every educator has probably had to deal with a student who in one way or another acts entitled. The student might not think he or she should have to do certain assignments, or may expect a better grade than is received. But this attitude represents more than just a headache for parents, teachers and principals. In addition to creating academic difficulties, entitled students won't have the mindset they need to succeed when presented with challenges later in life.
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Before the Bell is a digest of the most important news selected for NAESP from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs, an independent organization that also manages and sells advertising. The presence of such advertising does not endorse, or imply endorsement of, any products or services by NAESP. Neither NAESP nor Multiview is liable for the use of or reliance on any information contained in this briefing.

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