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The pathway to Common Core success
Center for American Progress
The Common Core State Standards began in 2009 as a state-led effort to measure the nation's students against a shared benchmark. At first, the standards received broad acceptance. Education leaders and elected officials alike agreed that students and the U.S. education system would benefit from internationally competitive standards that guarantee common, rigorous learning goals for students across the nation. But as the standards rolled out — and as they continue to roll out — the Common Core has become a political football, so much so that some political pundits are predicting that it will be a significant issue for 2016 presidential hopefuls.
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Games charge students' imaginations
Education DIVE
Decried for decades by many as a form of media that will rot kids' brains, digital games have increasingly found support in education as a generation that grew up playing them and recognized their potential entered the workforce. Still, there are plenty of critics who see the rise of game-based learning approaches as an ed tech flavor of the week.
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Avoiding 'learned helplessness'
Edutopia
We all have students that just want to "get it right." We all have students that constantly seek the attention of the teacher. "Did I get this right?" "Is this what you want?" Now while it's certainly a good thing to affirm students in their learning, many times we want students to be creative with their learning. We allow them to own their learning and create assessment products where they can show us what they know in new and inventive ways. Because of this, there isn't "one right answer," yet our students are often trained to think that there can be only one.
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Do more to help students with disabilities learn English language
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Limited English proficiency students with disabilities represent an increasingly large segment of the student population in the U.S. and represent more than 10 percent of all the children with special needs in the U.S. qualified to receive language training and educational support under the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act law of 2004. The law mandates that education providers build on the unique abilities of students with disabilities, challenging conventional beliefs on disability.
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How would you do on NAEP social studies questions?
Education Week
The latest results of the 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress tests in U.S. history, civics, and geography prompted a lot of head shaking. Scores for 8th graders have been stagnant since 2010. Fewer than one-third of students scored proficient or better on any of the tests. Results of the NAEP tests, also termed "the nation's report card" were released last week. The mediocre performance and low scores on some questions drew consternation from some experts about the state of social studies education today.
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5 math apps for math averse students
Edudemic
Math is a core subject and one used in everyday life, especially throughout the K-12 years. Students who enjoy and generally perform well in math classes will have their choice of an amalgam of apps to aid them in both study and enjoyment. There are, however, a fair number of students who simply don't like to do math at school and who certainly won't easily be tempted to do extra math at home. Luckily, there are a series of apps available to help math averse students. Some of these are geared towards students who need visual stimulation such as colors, patterns and graphics to remain engaged in general math concepts.
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Simple exercises to improve ELL reading skills: Science
By: Douglas Magrath
English for science courses will help students who have passed the admissions test and are not quite ready to begin their courses in the scientific fields. Outside of the sheltered ESL and TOEFL classes, the demands are different. Life outside of ESL presents a different set of challenges. A practical approach to English for science has students exposed to both the target language and the target field by combining field experience with language learning.
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New read-aloud strategies transform story time
Education Week
Reading a picture book aloud from her armchair, 20 children gathered on the rug at her feet, kindergarten teacher Jamie Landahl is carrying on a practice that's been a cornerstone of early-literacy instruction for decades. But if you listen closely, you'll see that this is not the read-aloud of your childhood. Something new and very different is going on here. What's happening in Ms. Landahl's classroom at Ruby Duncan Elementary School reflects a major shift in reading instruction brought about by the Common Core State Standards. In place in more than 40 states, the standards expect children to read text carefully and be able to cite evidence from it to back up their interpretations.
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Schools rethink health class, incorporate mindfulness training
The Wall Street Journal
On a recent afternoon, Riverdale Country School students stretched in the dark, streaks of sunlight illuminating yoga mats and bowed heads. In gym class at the elite Bronx private school, monitors strapped to students' chests beamed their heart rates to display screens suspended from the ceiling. In a course on study habits, the class closed their eyes for a moment of guided meditation. More independent schools are pushing to redefine what it means to teach health, shattering the stereotype of awkward classes and squirming students. Many New York schools are incorporating mindfulness training to help students handle stress and replacing lectures on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases with interactive sessions on life skills, such as communication and decision-making.
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An updated playground is more than play space
Dr. Melinda Bossenmeye
A peaceful playground — isn’t that the dream of all students, parents and educators? Where recess is a time of socialization, fresh air and physical activity, rather than a period marked by conflict and bullying. That’s the concept behind the new play space at Wilsonville’s Boeckman Creek Primary School.
The play space improvement project began in November 2006 when several parents indicated an interest in updating the playground. Ten parents and four staff members volunteered to form a committee and established the goal of a space with activities that would develop fitness and allow for cooperative, imaginative play.

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Promoted by Dr. Melinda Bossenmeye




There's an unexpected downside to more kids getting free meals at school
TakePart
At a time when more impoverished kids than ever are attending public schools, the idea seemed like a no-brainer: Eliminate the stigma those kids might feel when receiving government-subsidized breakfasts and lunches by offering free meals to all students, including their better-off peers. But like other well-intentioned policy shifts, "free meals for all" programs some districts have adopted are having unintended consequences that could hurt the very children the idea was designed to help.
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Creating a digital HR department
Scholastic Administration Magazine
In recent years, we've seen a significant shift toward making classrooms digital to offer alternative learning methods and more effective instruction. Since students are the top priority, it makes sense that we invest in technology in the classroom to improve teaching and learning. But this transformation leads to the question: Where else might this trend foster improvement? Could districts save money and streamline their hiring processes by creating digital HR departments?
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The ed tech trends on the cusp of mainstream
eSchool News
This year, BYOD and makerspaces have their stars on the rise — they could be in 20 percent of classrooms by year's end. And over the next few years, 3-D printing, adaptive software, and even wearable technologies in schools could do the same, according to an advanced preview of this year's K-12 Horizon Report, an annual trendsetting look at the current state of technology and learning produced by the New Media Consortium. Each year, the report confers with a panel of education experts and takes a close look at the trends, challenges, and underlying developments driving today's education technology adoption and implementation.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords TECHNOLOGY.




Congress temporarily renews funding program for rural schools
NPR
Rural counties and school districts can now breathe a sigh of relief. Federal money for schools to offset the loss of tax revenue from nontaxable federal lands expired last September. The fix was tucked into another bill, but it's only temporary.
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Research and the pursuit of equity under ESEA
Brookings (commentary)
Current drafts of the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act fall short of a commitment to use research to improve education. The bills — the "Student Success Act" in the House and the "Every Child Achieves Act" in the Senate — no doubt represent compromises and tradeoffs as any major legislation would. But who is arguing for less research and innovation in education?
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Congress clears budget that locks in sequester-level education funding
Education Week
Congress passed a fiscal year 2016 budget that locks in sequester-level funding, ensuring no new money for federal education spending and outlining further cuts to federal education programs over the next decade. "This balanced budget will provide Congress and the nation with a fiscal blueprint that challenges lawmakers to examine every dollar we spend," said Senate budget chairman Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo. "Americans who work hard to provide for their families and pay their taxes understand that it's time for the federal government to live within its means, just like they do."
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What happens in Vegas includes crowded, struggling schools
NPR
Las Vegas is back, baby. After getting slammed by the Great Recession, the city today is seeing rising home sales, solid job growth and a record number of visitors in 2014. But the economic rebound has exacerbated the city's severe school overcrowding and left school administrators, lawmakers and parents scrambling. Giant dump trucks and earth moving machines groan and spray dust just behind Robert Forbuss Elementary, in the desert on the edge of southwest Las Vegas. They're piling rubble and dirt as if they're constructing a dam for an imagined waterway. But this is not part of normal building. The developer wants these new homes elevated for better views of the Vegas casino strip.
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What really happened to Atlanta's students when their teachers cheated
The Atlantic
A Georgia judge just finalized prison sentences for eight Atlanta educators, the latest development in a drama that has transfixed the city since 2011. That year, state investigators found that nearly 180 teachers and principals had illegally tampered with scores on state tests, both by telling students the right answers and by secretly correcting the work students handed in. Once held up as a model of urban school reform, Atlanta now gets cited as an example of everything wrong with test-based accountability. Under intense pressure to meet impossible targets, as well as the guidance of a superintendent who fostered what investigators called "a culture of fear," educators cracked — or so the story goes.
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More than 5,000 Mississippi 3rd-graders could be held back this year for low reading scores
The Hechinger Report
Results of the new third-grade reading test announced Thursday that aimed to make it tougher for students to advance if they don't read at grade level could mean 15 percent of the test-takers will repeat third grade. Some 38,000 public school students took the Third-Grade Reading Summative Assessment, widely known as the "third-grade gate," created under state law to address lagging reading skills and prevent the practice of "social promotions."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Beating the Common Core (Scholastic Administration Magazine)
School leaders: Tips for coaching your super teachers (Edutopia)
Educational vacations versus standardized testing (The Atlantic)
3 critical education topics affecting US students (eSchool News)
Most Americans think public school teachers are underappreciated and underpaid (The Huffington Post)

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




4 resources on flipped communication
NAESP
If you're not flipping communication yet, you should be. That's the sentiment expressed by former principal and flipping enthusiast, Peter DeWitt. But what exactly is flipping communication? And how can principals leverage it? Flipping communication is about maximizing face-to-face time by leveraging time away from the group, a technique that can be done with students, parents or with staff.
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What's your 'NAESP story'
NAESP
What defines your NAESP membership experience? Is it connecting with others in the field or sharing your passion for creating a foundation for learning with the next generation? Or is access to cutting-edge information and discovering ways to bring technology into your school most valuable? We want to hear from you! Tell us how NAESP has influenced the programs you've implemented, the leadership techniques you've employed, the way you deal with families and manage staff, or the technology you’ve applied.
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