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Study: Black students suspended more often than others
USA Today
Black students are suspended more than three times as often as their white classmates, twice as often as their Latino classmates and more than 10 times as often as their Asian classmates in middle and high schools nationwide, a new study shows. The average American secondary student has an 11 percent chance of being suspended in a single school year, according to the study from the University of California-Los Angeles Civil Rights project. However, if that student is black, the odds of suspension jump to 24 percent.
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Testing touchscreen tables in classrooms
CNN
Forget tiny iPads — the classrooms of the future might turn entire tables into interactive touchscreens. Given that many children can sit rapturously before a glowing touchscreen for hours, such gadgets seem like a natural for the classroom. But as with any new teaching technology, it's important to make sure it actually helps students learn and teachers teach before getting caught up in its "cool" factor.
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Paint or paint app? Value of creating digital vs. traditional art
MindShift
While it may be easy to imagine how iPads can support classroom studies with reading, history or science, some of the most groundbreaking — and creative — work with digital tools may be happening in arts classes. Schools using iPads are incorporating them in art and music classes, too — and not only as tools for measuring and remembering, but for creating as well. Whether or not students grow up to become the next David Hockney — who has created several New Yorker covers using the iPad's drawing tool — teachers say there is value to learning to create using digital tools, especially when blended with more hands-on means of expression.
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Math by way of art: For school, arts plus math is really adding up
KPCC-Radio
Administrators and teachers are grappling with how to boost math scores to prepare students for an increasingly technology based work force. Jefferson Elementary in Pasadena, Calif., may hold some of the answers. The school's been using art to teach its students math. On a recent visit, students were working on an elaborate art project. They were asked to sketch two ideas that would later become a 3-D sculpture. The catch — the students were given a budget and a price list and could only use the art supplies they could afford.
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The great handwriting debate
The Huffington Post
Rob Furman, an elementary principal, author and national presenter, writes: "There has been a great deal of discussion around the topic of teaching cursive handwriting in the 21st century. Research on the debate is riddled with reasons both for and against including handwriting in the curriculum. Often, it is a discussion that is not necessarily being debated by those that need to make the decisions — the educators. I am a member of an educational organization titled South Hills Area School District Administrators, and our last meeting's topic was, 'The Great Handwriting Debate.' This article is our combined efforts to attempt to answer the question, 'Should we continue to teach cursive handwriting?'"
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  • 5 must-have elements for every online class
    EdTech Magazine
    When 2013 Online Teacher of Year Renee Citlau moved to the classroom after previous careers in business and accounting, she was alarmed by what she encountered: Too many students were not engaged in their own educations; some struggled with even the most basic language skills. Surely the nation's schools and teachers could do better. Citlau enrolled in an online master's program through Pepperdine University and began to consider the benefits of online education in K–12 classrooms.
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    Defining moments
    Connected Principals (commentary)
    Dan Kerr, a contributor for Connected Principals, writes: "So this week I'd like to talk a little bit about the defining moments in a student's life, as well as the kind of 'learning' that I believe to be the most profound, impactful, and enduring throughout a student's education. I have to admit that I was inspired to write this post because of the experiences, the stories, and the anecdotes that came out of last week's China Trips."
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    We need a new approach to principal selection
    Education Week (commentary)
    In charting a course to sail your boat around the world, you don't hire a navigator who still believes the Earth is flat. Yet we continue to ask those vested in our present education system to create a new vision for educating our children. We must move away from the biased opinions of the past to create a new, more effective job description for principals who can turn around failing schools. While the investment in current principals is significant, it may not necessarily be able to provide the new direction needed. This is because it is based on a paradigm reliant on outdated geography.
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    Making mistakes
    NPR
    We try so hard to be perfect, to never make mistakes and to avoid failure at all costs. But mistakes happen — and when they do — how do we deal with being wrong? In this episode, TED speakers look at those difficult moments in our lives, and consider why sometimes we need to make mistakes and face them head-on.
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    10 education technology tools of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s
    eSchool News
    We don't know about you, but sometimes the eSchool News editors are amazed to hear about the education technology students use to learn in schools these days: mobile gaming apps, 3-D printing and robots? Many of the editors still remember the prestige of walking to the front of the class and writing on the chalkboard with colored chalk. To celebrate technologies of the past, the editors of eSchool News have compiled a list of the education technologies we and our teachers used back in the day — you know, before the Internet even existed. Can you think of an ed-tech tool not on the list? What was your favorite classroom tool when you were in school?
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    How to turn an urban school district around — without cheating
    The Atlantic
    The recent public school test-cheating scandals in Atlanta and Washington D.C., are insidious not only in their impact on their own communities, but also in feeding a broadly held misperception that urban school districts are beyond salvaging. Reports suggesting progress in any city are now more likely to be dismissed out of hand as the product of selective data collection or outright misconduct. That's what makes the case of Cincinnati, Ohio, so interesting and instructive.
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    4 suggestions to help you lead by relationships and realize your vision
    Edutopia (commentary)
    The key to building relationships that will strengthen an educational leader's vision is being highly accessible and spending quality time talking and listening to teachers and support staff. This might seem like old news to veteran educators, but with email and social networking as the prevailing ways of communication, it is worth reminding leaders that there is no substitute for pressing the flesh.
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    Xerox stepping into grading school papers
    USA Today
    Think back to third grade. You take a quiz on multiplication, you get a B on it. What do you and your teacher know? Generally speaking, that you're fairly adept at multiplication. But that score says very little about what you don't know — whether the questions you got wrong had something in common, or whether many other students in your class had trouble with those same problems. Xerox Corp. — which made $22 billion last year on everything from office equipment to business process outsourcing — is about to get into the business of grading school papers, as well as turning those answers into analyzable data.
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    Plan aims to determine students' socioeconomic status
    USA Today
    Looking for a clearer picture of how poor, middle-class and wealthy students perform in U.S. schools, the Obama administration wants to redefine how it calculates children's socioeconomic status. In a new white paper, just released, the U.S. Department of Education proposes classifying students by more than just their parents' income or education levels. It explains the federal government should be able to tie test scores to a host of indicators, including: whether parents own or rent their home, how many times a family has moved in the past year and whether anyone in their household gets medical assistance.
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    Student achievement goals at issue in senate NCLB renewal effort
    Education Week
    Until recently, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate education committee, and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, the panel's top Republican, were in talks to see if there was any chance of getting a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the long-stalled No Child Left Behind Act together in this Congress. But now it's looking like the two lawmakers were unable to resolve fundamental disagreements, making an already very tough reauthorization process that much harder.
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    Paint or paint app? Value of creating digital vs. traditional art
    MindShift
    While it may be easy to imagine how iPads can support classroom studies with reading, history, or science, some of the most groundbreaking — and creative — work with digital tools may be happening in arts classes.

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    Is the Common Core initiative in trouble?
    The Washington Post
    Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently met with Chamber of Commerce leaders and urged them to be more vocal and forceful in defending the Common Core State Standards. Why?

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    States pull back from Common Core
    U.S. News & World Report
    Lawmakers in some states hope to halt the transition to the Common Core State Standards, even as school districts across the country are rolling them out.

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    Task force: Sandy Hook Elementary should be torn down, rebuilt
    Los Angeles Times
    Faced with what one official called a "gut-wrenching" decision, a task force has voted to tear down the old Sandy Hook Elementary School and build a new one in its place. The committee of 28 officials in Newtown, Conn. unanimously recommended the plan after weeks of discussion. Other options included renovating the current building or building a new school in a different location. The decision to rebuild on the property is a symbolic step for the community, which lost 20 children and six educators in a December shooting rampage. Since the massacre, the 430 surviving students have attended school at a building in a neighboring town.
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    Holding children back called 'the last option' in Missouri
    Springfield News-Leader
    Missouri school districts are expected to boost the skills of students with the poorest reading skills — or hold them back a year. A 2001 state law states that students who can't read at a third-grade level or above by the end of their fourth-grade year can't move on to fifth grade. Springfield school officials try to address the problem long before that stopgap measure kicks in.
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    Teacher pay gaps among Washington area schools could deepen
    The Washington Post
    After years of pay freezes and unpaid furloughs, physical education teacher Steven Lightman received a roughly $8,000 annual salary bump this school year. But it wasn't because Lightman's school system decided to give the veteran teacher a raise. He made it happen himself by switching Washington-area school districts. Lightman, a Prince George's County, Md., teacher for 11 years, started working in Montgomery County, Va., last fall. He is one of many teachers reaping the benefits of living in a region where a dramatic boost in pay can be just a county away.
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    DPS wants Colorado to make training to teach English learners mandatory
    The Denver Post
    Three kindergartners waited gleefully as Heather Christman showed them a clear plastic bag filled with miniature cars and blocks. The children, all English language learners, had just finished reading the book "My Car." They would use the blocks and the cars to give examples of words they learned: faster, slower, ramp, bridge, over and under. Christman teaches at Denver's Goldrick Elementary School, where about 70 percent of the students are learning English. She had no experience working with English learners when she moved to Colorado from Alabama eight years ago to begin a teaching career. But when she was hired by Denver Public Schools, Christman was required to take two years of training to work with English learners.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        School principals share keys to success (eSchool News)
    States' online testing problems raise Common Core concerns (Education Week)
    Learning takes time: Growing movement seeks to expand length of school day (Deseret News)
    Most parents support mobile learning devices (eClassroom News)
    Report: Why it is hard to monitor bullying at schools (The Washington Post)

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




    Middle school principal uses social media to connect schools and communities
    The Keller Citizen
    Social media tools have transformed the way Keller, Texas, Timberview Middle School principal Carrie Jackson does her job and enhanced the school experience for students, parents, teachers and community members. Now Jackson is sharing her knowledge with educators from around the world since she was named a 2013 Digital Principal by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
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    PD spotlight: The achievement gap
    NAESP
    Tap into free, online professional development with PD 360. This month's video segments explore data use, formative assessment and equity walkthroughs. NAESP members receive exclusive access to four, high-quality videos each month, perfect for individual learning or staff training. Visit the newly revitalized, easy-to-navigate PD 360 page to watch.
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    Teacher appreciation: 9 recognition tips and ideas
    NAESP
    What keeps educators excited and motivated? Two ingredients, according to author Diane Hodges, are recognition and appreciation from colleagues, administrators, parents, students and the community. Throughout this month, celebrate your staff members' contributions with ideas from Hodges's book, "Season It With Fun," available in the National Principals Resource Center.
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