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Study: Common Core could boost US math performance
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Common Core State Standards in mathematics have the potential to enhance students' academic performance if properly implemented, but most states have a long way to go, according to research from William Schmidt, a University Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University. At an event co-sponsored by Achieve, Chiefs for Change and the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Schmidt presented a briefing on his work, titled Common Core State Standards Math: The Relationship Between High Standards, Systemic Implementation and Student Achievement. More


School lunch debt: Districts taking to collection agencies, meal swap-outs to stave off unpaid bills
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Americans are likely hearing from debt collectors more in recent years than in the past, but a practice that may become even more common: debt collecting for unpaid school lunches. A lot of school-aged kids are getting free lunches — not because they are backed by the government's free and reduced-lunch program, but because parents haven't been paying off lunch bills, forcing a number of districts to foot the cost. More

New study highlights the need for health education programs to ward off childhood obesity
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Attitudes, relationships, intentions and personal behavior control are all factors that could affect a child's decision in either reaching for an apple or grabbing a bag of chips, according to a new study out of the University of Cincinnati. The research by Paul Branscum, assistant professor of health and exercise science at the University of Oklahoma, and Manoj Sharma, a University of Cincinnati professor of health promotion and education, is published in the International Quarterly of Community Health Education. The study focused on 167 fourth-and-fifth-grade elementary schoolchildren in the Midwest over a 24-hour reporting period. More

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Students make gains in testing on science
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
American eighth-graders have made modest gains in national science testing, with Hispanic and black students narrowing the gap between them and their white and Asian peers, the federal government reported. Students tested last year scored an average of 152 out of a possible 300, up from 150 in 2009, a small but statistically significant improvement. The latest results are based on a representative sampling of 122,000 students in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, part of the Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress. More

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Parent report cards are novel way to boost support
The Associated Press via Salon    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators exasperated by the need for greater parent involvement have persuaded Tennessee lawmakers to sign off on a novel bit of arm-twisting: Asking parents to grade themselves on report cards. Another Tennessee measure signed into law recently will create parent contracts that give them step-by-step guidelines for pitching in. The report card bill — which would initially apply to two struggling schools — passed the Legislature, and the governor has said he is likely to sign it. Participation in the programs is voluntary. More

Study: Most ELLs are in districts that fall short of federal goals
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most of the nation's English language learners were enrolled in school districts that failed to reach all of their accountability goals for that group of students in the 2008-2009 school year, according to a national evaluation of the federal program that supports English-language-acquisition services. While more than half of the school districts that receive federal funding to support programs for ELLs reported meeting all their academic goals in 2008-2009, those districts served only 39 percent of the total ELL population. And, in that same school year, only 10 states achieved all of their accountability goals for ELLs under the No Child Left Behind Act. More


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What's the best way to encourage kids?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Around kitchen tables, in school hallways, from the sidelines of playing fields, the exhortations ring out: "You can do it!" "The sky's the limit!" "Go for the gold!" Raising the aspirations of children — especially those who are economically disadvantaged — has been a popular prescription for many years, and it's not hard to see why. What could be wrong with encouraging kids to set their sights high? But "what has been missing," write a group of British researchers in a report, "is any evidence that the recommended initiatives actually lead to the outcomes assumed by the policy." The report, produced for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, reviewed programs designed to bolster students' goals for the future. More

Report: Early-grade teachers require different skill set
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Preparing early-grade teachers properly is key because of the important role they play in building the foundations of learning. And doing so requires a different skill set than that of teachers in later grades, says Laura Bornfreund of the New America Foundation in her report, "Getting in Sync: Revamping Licensing and Preparation for Teachers in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and the Early Grades." According to Bornfreund, disparate preparation of early-grade teachers has resulted in many lacking the complete training they need to successfully teach younger kids. More


Getting a teaching license may soon include a new test — Can hopefuls handle a classroom?
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
To earn a teaching license in most states, candidates must pass a handful of exams — largely multiple-choice — that test basic skills and knowledge of specific subjects. Some states also include tests that focus on teaching strategies. One state, Montana, requires no tests at all, just graduation from a teaching program. This pathway to the classroom has long been called into question. Now, 25 states — including Minnesota — are preparing to test a brand-new assessment that will judge teachers-to-be on how they work with real students. More

Why we need a longer school day
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As written by Eric Schwarz: "The National Center on Time and Learning and the Ford Foundation announced the launch of the 'Time to Succeed' Coalition, a group dedicated to more time in school. I added my name as a signatory, along with cosignatories such as Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin of KIPP and Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers, with great enthusiasm not because I'm a joykill who is looking to make kids 'suffer' longer hours in school, but because I know without a doubt that if we don't provide more learning time for the students who need it most — primarily those disadvantaged by poverty — we will leave the bulk of these children unprepared for success in school and careers. That is not fair and is not the American way." More

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House passes bill to stave off cuts, but K-12 advocates still worried
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education advocates have been sweating for months over a series of planned cuts that are slated to hit every K-12 program in January — unless Brokedown Congress can figure out a way to stop it. Well, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would stop the cuts — known in Inside-the-Beltway speak as "sequestration" — for a year for all programs, and permanently for defense spending. But education advocates — and the White House — aren't exactly celebrating. They say the cure is worse than the disease. More

New advocacy groups shaking up education field
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new generation of education advocacy groups has emerged to play a formidable political role in states and communities across the country. Those groups are shaping policy through aggressive lobbying and campaign activity — an evolution in advocacy that is primed to continue in the 2012 elections and beyond. Bearing names meant to signal their intentions — Stand for Children, Democrats for Education Reform, StudentsFirst — they are pushing for such policies as rigorous teacher evaluations based in part on evidence of student learning, increased access to high-quality charter schools, and higher academic standards for schools and students. More

Jump in food need has Minnesota schools looking for ways to help
Minnesota Public Radio News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New data from the Minnesota Department of Education show a growing number of students rely on the federally funded National School Lunch Program. The numbers have school officials looking for ways to ensure that children are well-fed and able to learn — even outside school hours. The evidence of increased need "reflects the severe financial hardship that so many Minnesota families are facing," said University of Minnesota economics professor Ben Senauer, co-author of "Ending Hunger in Our Lifetime: Food Security and Globalization." More than 37 percent of children in Minnesota public schools can't afford to pay for lunch. More


New Jersey standardized tests will no longer ask 3rd-graders to reveal a secret
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State education officials will no longer use a standardized test question that asked third-graders to reveal a secret and write about why it was difficult to keep. The question appeared on the writing portion of some versions of the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge given to third-graders. And it drew criticism from some parents, who thought it was inappropriate. The state Department of Education said the question was reviewed and approved by it and a panel of teachers. It said the question was only being tried out and would not count in the students' scores. More

Wisconsin's application for flexibility under federal No Child Left Behind law could be denied
The Associated Press via Appleton Post Crescent    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wisconsin's application for flexibility under the federal No Child Left Behind law is at risk of being denied, according to a federal review that found the state's proposal for holding schools accountable vague and deficient. The U.S. Education Department wrote a letter to state education officials saying that a peer review panel found deficiencies in the state's waiver application. More

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Students join National Bike to School Day
The Auburn Citizen    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Auburn, N.Y., students joined the effort to lead a healthier lifestyle while keeping bicycle safety in mind. Stacy McNeill, school policy coordinator with the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, said a Healthy Schools NY grant was used for local bike programming at Casey Park and Genesee elementary schools. School resource officers and police were at all five buildings helping students participate safely in National Bike to School Day. "We're trying to push children to engage in healthy lifestyles, get out of cars and walk and ride more," said Phyllis Price, Casey Park principal. More

Living history through Revolutionary War encampment
Yorktown Patch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students at Crompond Intermediate School in New York got to live through the Revolutionary War period as they participated in the largest encampment at their school. Dressed in uniforms, the fourth grade students marched in their ranks, carried muskets, bags, set up tents, "fought a war" by singing songs and took various workshops to learn more about what life was like during that time period. By "living history," students not only learn the material they're taught in the classroom, but also remember it. More

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Check out staff development resources on PD 360
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This month's online professional development topic for NAESP members is teacher and staff development. NAESP members get free access to PD 360's wealth of video-based materials and related resources for both individual learning and staff training. Start learning now. More


Evaluation and measurement: Ideas from Principal
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The May/June issue of Principal explores the best ways to evaluate and measure student, teacher and principal performance. Visit Principal online for all the articles and web extras, including the latest piece in the five-part Unlocking Autism series and a web exclusive on the Common Core. More

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