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The states that spend the most (and the least) on education
The Washington Post
U.S. states' education spending averaged $10,700 per pupil in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but that average masked a wide variation, ranging from $6,555 per pupil in Utah to $19,818 in New York. There's an even larger range separating the lowest- and highest-spending of the nation's largest 100 school districts: At the low end is Jordan, Utah, at $5,708 per student; at the high end is Boston, Mass., at $20,502. Part of the variation is due to the huge differences in costs of living nationwide, which influence everything from teacher salaries to the cost of building and maintaining school facilities. Part is also due to economic realities — many states' education spending remains lower than it was before the recession.
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Positively managing student behavior in the classroom
By: Savanna Flakes
Discipline problems and behavior issues have always been and continue to be a leading frustration for teachers. The good news is that variables can easily be manipulated to have a positive influence on student behavior. By being proactive and purposeful in our planning, we can prevent behavior problems before they arise. By building positive relationships with students and explicitly teaching classroom routines, we can manage behavior and increase student motivation.
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The case for starting sex education in kindergarten
PBS Newshour
"Who here has been in love?" Anniek Pheifer asks a crowd of Dutch elementary school students. It's a Spring morning in Utrecht, and the St. Jan de Doper elementary school gym is decked in heart-shaped balloons and streamers. Pheifer and Pepijn Gunneweg are hosts of a kids television program in the Netherlands, and they're performing a song about having a crush. Kids giggle at the question. Hands — little and bigger — shoot up. Welcome to "Spring Fever" week in primary schools across the Netherlands, the week of focused sex ed classes ... for 4-year olds.
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Teaching syllables can mask meaningful morphemes
Edutopia (commentary)
Kelli Sandman-Hurley, Ed.D., a contributor for Edutopia, writes: "Syllable division can mask morphological boundaries and thus hide the meaningful structures of words. Now there's a statement to think about. How many times have you seen the word every misspelled as 'evry?' What did you do to remedy the situation? I bet you over-pronounced the word to help the student perceive all of the written syllables — that's what most teachers do, myself included. English is not a syllable-timed language. It is a stress-timed language. This means that syllables bear little to no effect on our writing system. Our written language, like any written language, is meant to convey and record meaning, not just to represent phonemes with graphemes."
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Play: Far more than purposeless activity
By: Debra Josephson Abrams
Some whisper, some laugh, some argue. They gesture wildly, demonstrate their ideas with their hands or drawings. From the air, from their minds, from their partners, they search for the English words they need. They are furiously engaged in play, and they have forgotten that I — the teacher — am in the room. It is just as education should be. As the final project in my ESL reading course for precollege students, I chose to have students create a game based on the novel we had read.
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Researchers testing the impact of text formatting on learning
THE Journal
A four-year research effort at the University of California, Irvine will test out the impact of changing the formatting of text to help middle school students improve their reading and writing abilities. The U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences has awarded $3.5 million to a School of Education research team that will be working with local Garden Grove Unified School District on a project that involves Chromebook computers, iPads and "visual syntactic text formatting." The project, "Digital Scaffolding for English Language Arts," is expected to begin in July and run until September 2019.
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Why one Common Core test should match the national exam known as the Nation's Report Card, and one might not
The Hechinger Report
For years, there has been a gulf between the sunny results on state tests that show the majority of students are doing just fine and the much lower performance on the tough national exam, the National Assessment for Educational Progress. As the scores on new, tougher Common Core tests are revealed this year advocates are hopeful that gap will shrink. But it's likely that the results of only one of the new Common Core tests will align closely to the NAEP, known as the Nation's Report Card. A larger number of states taking a different Common Core test will probably still continue to see a mismatch between the NAEP and their own state exams.
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If you build it, they'll learn better
U.S. News & World Report
For many of us, June marks the start of summer, when it's time to turn the air conditioner on full blast. But many of today's students, particularly low-income ones, are not that lucky, and far too many children attend school buildings that lack some of the most basic infrastructure necessities like air conditioning. Earlier this month, for instance, a hot spring day resulted in a Maryland school district reiterating its heat policy — students may stay home from a non-air conditioned school. Approximately one-third of New York City's classrooms don't have air conditioning, according to a news report from a few years ago, and in 2013, some schools in Chicago received donations of "hand-held fans" during an early summer heat wave.
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It's time to update your school website for mobile
eSchool News
If you've ever tried to get a button on your iPad to respond to a simple tap without success; squinted to be able to see letters on your mobile phone screen; or spent far too much time riffling through traditional website to get the information that you're looking for, then you know what poor responsive web design looks and feels like. A term developed by web designer Ethan Marcotte five years ago, responsive design refers to the "planning, development, and creation of a website that's fluid and optimized to accommodate any screen size."
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Bringing peaceful play to the elementary school playground
Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer
The kindergartners’ eyes grow big as they walk through the door at Cottonwood Elementary in Paola on Tuesday and catch sight of their colorful new playground. Cottonwood Elementary School kindergartner Shelia Kreusch enjoys the playground’s new colorful hopscotch design during recess Tuesday afternoon. After lining up along a row of red, yellow and blue shapes surrounding the blacktop, the eager students listen to their teacher, Niki Cash, explain why the playground was painted. The young faces light up with excitement when they hear about all the new games they’ll soon learn how to play.
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Why technology alone won't fix schools
The Atlantic (commentary)
Kentaro Toyama, a contributor for The Atlantic, writes: "For about a month in the spring of 2013, I spent my mornings at Lakeside School, a private school in Seattle whose students are the scions of the Pacific Northwest elite. The beautiful red-brick campus looks like an Ivy League college and costs almost as much to attend. The school boasts Bill Gates among its alumni, and its students come from the families of Amazon and Microsoft executives. Unsurprisingly, there is no dearth of technology: Teachers post assignments on the school's intranet; classes communicate by email; and every student carries a laptop (required) and a smartphone (not)."
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords TECHNOLOGY.


Still more questions than answers about how to treat ADHD
The Washington Post
Health care professionals, educators and patient advocates debate endlessly over attention deficit disorder. Some argue about the cause of the condition, which is associated with inattentiveness and, often, hyperactivity. Many disagree on treatment and parenting techniques. A dwindling group disputes whether it actually exists. Even its name — to be formal, it's attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — has been a source of debate. The label ADHD trivializes the disorder, asserts Russell Barkley, a neuropsychiatrist and professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina who has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles on the condition.
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Schools failing to address biased student discipline
Michigan State University via Science Daily
School districts are failing to address the discipline gap between students of color and white students — in some cases even blocking researchers from gathering data on the troubling trend, a scholar argues in a new paper.
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School funding 101
Scholastic Administrator Magazine
For school districts around the country, the well is going dry. Just as the job market demands more of our graduates, many districts are receiving less money than ever to educate our young people. But there is a solution — if we take the cue of state colleges and universities that have faced similar budget constraints. These institutions have established development offices that raise millions of dollars each year, and districts and school foundations have much to learn from them. Fortunately, people interested in public education — including parents, teachers, administrators and volunteers — are eager to learn and are beginning to implement changes in their districts.
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Learning management systems enhance K-12 instruction
District Administration Magazine
Widespread use of digital learning materials, an intensifying focus on achievement and the influx of digital devices into classrooms are increasing districts' need to have some form of learning management systems, experts say. Without an LMS, teachers and students trying to access online education tools must sign in and out of multiple applications, including open education resources, subscription-based learning programs, and websites that teachers created for their courses. Teachers also need to log in to the student information system and administrative applications, such as grade books.
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Education technology is spreading fast, but there's no recipe for success
The Hechinger Report
Many people are seeking the "secret sauce" for digital learning. As educators expand the use of education technology, they often face a tricky balance. These tools offer the possibility for innovation — trying something new in a quest to improve teaching and learning. But technology isn't cheap, and the risk of failure looms. To assure success, many educators try to find and follow a recipe for digital learning. But many crucial ingredients can't be found in a case study about "best practices," said Julie Evans, the CEO of Project Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization that advocates for math, science and technology education and annually surveys students and educators about their experiences with those topics.
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How to survive an ed-tech crisis
eSchool News
When North Carolina's Guilford County Schools had a tablet charger melt inside a student’s home in October 2013, it could have marked the end of the district's $16 million effort to give every middle school student a digital device. Instead, district leaders reacted quickly and decisively, suspending the program until they could ensure the safety of every child. They also negotiated for higher-quality devices and other concessions from their tablet supplier, Amplify, and they kept the community informed at every turn.
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Former Rep. George Miller worried Senate ESEA rewrite lacks accountability
Education Week
Former U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., has only been retired from Congress for five months, but he dove back into the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization discussion, saying the bipartisan proposal moving through the U.S. Senate may not have enough safeguards for poor and minority students. "I'm worried whether there'll be enough accountability," said Miller, who was back in the nation's capital to discuss what direction the Democratic Party should move on education issues at an event hosted by Third Way, a Washington think tank that focuses on finding common ground on difficult issues.
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States set varying passing bars on new teaching exam
Education Week
As they begin to set policies around a new performance-based licensing test for teachers, states are setting the bar in a variety of different places — a phenomenon that raises questions about across-state comparisons. The edTPA is a licensing exam that, among other things, requires candidates to submit a video of their teaching and analyze it. Some 12 states are in various stages of requiring the exam for teachers. When they set cutoff scores for the test, or the score a candidate has to achieve to pass, states take into account things like projected supply and demand in addition to quality issues.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Coding in the classroom: 16 top resources (Edudemic)
Teaching students the skills of expert readers (Edutopia)
What do you do with a student who fidgets? (NPR)
7 ways principals can support instructional coaches (Scholastic Administrator Magazine)
Why cursive mattered (The Atlantic)

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


Eligible Maryland schools to provide free meals to all students
The Christian Science Monitor
As anyone who has spent time in a classroom knows, a student learns better on a full stomach. A June 2013 survey of K-8 public-school teachers across the nation reveals that 40 percent of those surveyed considered hunger a serious problem in their classrooms. Fifty-six percent said that many or most of their students depended on school meals as their primary source of nutrition. Maryland's Hunger-Free Schools Act, set to take effect today, will make it possible for entire schools and school districts to provide free meals to students.
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On the growing diversity in schools
NAESP
Instruction for English language learners is more important than ever, especially as school demographics continue to shift. "Minority majorities," Latino test scores as compared to other cohorts, and what it all signifies for educators are some of the issues that Yvette Donado, senior vice president and chief administrative officer of the Educational Testing Service, will address at this year's NAESP Annual Conference in Long Beach, California. Here's a preview of her message.
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Register for June 9 webinar on using Google Apps
NAESP
"Organizing the 21st Century Principal — Using Google to Lead, Learn, and Manage" will explore how to use Google Drive and Calendar more effectively to make communication easy. Examples will be shown of how to more efficiently organize the copious amount of materials principals use daily. Free Google Apps will be modeled and shared so that principals can learn how to organize and manage committee meetings, school forms and materials, and professional development sessions. Montana principal Lori Schieffer will be presenting Tuesday, June 9, from 4–5 p.m. ET.
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