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Few states have replenished education funds cut during recession
McClatchy Washington Bureau
Only a handful of states that cut education money during the recession have increased it since the economic recovery, according to a report about how public schools are funded. It also found that most states don't funnel extra education dollars to public schools with high concentrations of poverty. "The nation as a whole, this report shows, is failing to provide the resources our students need," said David Sciarra, executive director of the Education Law Center, an advocacy group for equal educational opportunity that produced the report. It covers the nation's 49 million K-12 students in public schools.
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Shifting a school's culture
Scholastic Administrator Magazine
In 2013, Lowery Elementary received an "F" grade from the state of Louisiana. Our rural, high-poverty school faces many issues, but one of our biggest challenges was student behavior and its impact on learning. When we looked at the number of minutes students were out of class for infractions or suspensions, we saw a strong correlation with whether or not those students passed our state assessments. Another issue was communication among teachers.
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Do lazy June school days include too many movies and parties?
The Washington Post (commentary)
Jay Mathews, a contributor for The Washington Post, writes: "It was June 1, the traditional beginning of parental complaints about how little work is done as the school year nears an end. Arlington parent Drew Bendon put it well in an email to me: 'Every year the standardized tests come and go, and after that the education stops.' Virginia's Standards of Learning tests, as well as the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, are done. Movies and field trips to Kings Dominion are filling the void. Many parents think as Bendon does — that time in June is as precious as time in May and that something more could be done with it."
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Digital literacy: Unlocking technology's potential
Scholastic Administration Magazine
With 1:1 technology initiatives and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs increasingly being implemented in schools across the globe, the need for digital literacy education has become more important than ever. Although technology enables students to access more information in much less time, it does not always foster learning. Teaching digital literacy helps to manage all of the benefits of technology while helping students understand how to safely weed through the vast amounts of information online.
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Deeper learning in practice
Edutopia
Across the education sector, we define what students need to know and should be able to do for succeeding in college and career. We know that they need more than just the ability read and write — today's constantly changing workforce shows that they must be able to master academic content, communicate and collaborate effectively, think critically and become life-long learners.
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Debate persists around early reading standards
Education Week
Among the many debates around the Common Core State Standards is an ongoing one about kindergarten: Do the standards ask too much of 5- and 6-year-olds in reading? At the heart of the dispute is a literacy standard that says kindergartners should be able to "read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding." Experts agree it's a more advanced expectation than appeared in most previous state standards — but there's less consensus on whether it's a better expression of what kindergarten pupils should be doing or an overreach. And a series of papers in recent weeks and months is keeping the debate alive.
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District introduces gifted programs to push talented students, keep families
The Washington Post
When D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson came to the District in 2007, there was no office for gifted education and no plan for serving the city's most talented learners. The school system was overwhelmed with working to raise basic skills for the large number of struggling students. The lack of stimulating District classrooms sent many parents looking for gifted or advanced programs in the suburbs, led them to move their children to charter schools or private schools, or prompted long commutes to schools in the city's wealthiest Zip codes.
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5 of the most extreme claims made against Common Core in the last 5 years
The Huffington Post
A final version of the Common Core State Standards was released on June 2, 2010, meaning the education benchmarks turn 5 years old. It hasn't been a peaceful childhood for the Common Core. The standards, which have been adopted in a majority of states, emphasize critical thinking over rote memorization, and aim to make students more college- and career-ready. A bipartisan group of education experts, governors and state school chiefs developed the standards, and the Obama administration incentivized states to adopt higher standards through its Race to the Top competition.
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Cyberbullying and face-to-face harassment a toxic combination for kids
Today News
Not all bullying is equal, according to a new study, with the old-fashioned, real-life variety more damaging than the cyber kind. A combination of both, however, could be the real danger to kids. Researchers from the University of New Hampshire analyzed interviews with 791 people (ages 10 to 20) who had taken part in a previous harassment survey. They looked at three types of bullying: face-to-face, technology only and a mix of the two.
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Structured vs unstructured recess
Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer
Today I received a phone call from a second grade teacher. She indicated that she had a behavior challenged child (frequent discipline issues) and was growing pretty frustrated with him. In response to Jeremy (not his real name), who was hitting kids, pushing kids, and causing chaos at recess, the school decided that they would offer structured activities for all second grade kids, which limited them to a specific area of the playground. As you might expect, the parents were unhappy about this change. They felt that all children were being punished for one child’s behavior.
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Promoted by Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer


Get ready for E-rate 2.0 with highlights from the recent changes
EdTech Magazine
The Federal Communications Commission recently issued two modernization orders for the E-rate program. The orders went into effect this year. E-rate, created by the U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996, helps ensure that K-12 schools and libraries, particularly those in low-income or rural areas, have affordable access to telecommunications and Internet services. The program provides annual subsidies, or "discounts," of 20 to 90 percent for eligible services and technology equipment. The discount rates are determined by the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunches through the National School Lunch Program. Public K-12 schools and districts and most nonprofit schools are eligible for E-rate funding. Rural schools are typically eligible for higher discount rates than urban schools.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords TECHNOLOGY.


Research: Quick teacher-parent communications can reduce dropouts
THE Journal
A large but underused influence on student academic success in schools turns out to be parental communication. A new study done by researchers at Harvard University and Brown University found that a single individualized message sent weekly from a teacher to a parent documenting the student's performance in school was enough to reduce student failure by 41 percent. Students whose families received messages that focused on what they needed to improve in class were almost nine percentage points more likely to earn course credit.
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Education Department: Poorest districts have more trainee teachers
Education Week
Across 48 states and the District of Columbia, teachers in high-poverty school districts were about twice as likely to still be learning the ropes as teachers working in the flushest districts in 2011-2012, although the number of such trainee teachers is overall fairly small, according to a congressionally mandated report by the U.S. Department of Education. States reported that 1.5 percent of public school teachers are still completing their preparation — but are nevertheless considered "highly qualified" under federal law, according to the report. That amounts to about 35,500 teachers in all who fall under the category of what I'm going to call "interns" for the sake of brevity.
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Nevada's groundbreaking school-choice law: Help or hindrance to public system?
The Christian Science Monitor
A groundbreaking law in Nevada allows virtually all parents of K-12 students to opt out of public school but use their children's state education dollars for a customized education, including private or religious schooling, online classes, textbooks and dual-enrollment college credits. The money goes into an education savings account, and dollars not spent by the parent in a given year roll over for future spending — until the student finishes high school or opts back into public school. With this move — GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the legislation Tuesday — Nevada has made itself, in some ways, the educational-choice capital of the nation.
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Report finds school districts lag in implementing new science standards
EdSource
A review of some of California's largest school districts shows that fewer than half even mention the new science standards adopted by the state nearly two years ago in their Local Control and Accountability Plans, which they are required to draw up as a result of school reforms championed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The plans are supposed to focus on eight "priority areas" set by the state that include the implementation of the new science standards, known as the Next Generation Science Standards, which were adopted by the California State Board of Education in September 2013.
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Reports put a spotlight on Pennsylvania's education equity
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The word "equity" is getting a lot of attention in education lately. The state sent its plan for "ensuring equitable access to excellent teachers for all students" to the U.S. Department of Education. The Education Law Center in Newark, N.J., which advocates for equal education opportunity, and The Leadership Conference Education Fund in Washington, D.C., which promotes human and civil rights, teamed up to release two reports on the need for fair school funding.
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Some NCLB waiver states worry accountability 'pause' comes with strings
Education Week
Here's a wonky, but important question: What exactly should an accountability "pause" entail, and what shouldn't it entail? Why do I ask? Many states are switching to new standards and the assessments that go along with them, so the U.S. Department of Education has given states the option of hitting the snooze button, so to speak, on their school rating systems. The "pause" essentially gives schools time to adjust to the brand-new tests, without having to worry about whether the scores would affect their overall grade or label that might result from the tests. After all, school principals have been moved or even dismissed when their school drops suddenly from an A to a D, for example.
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Lunch lady knows there's no quick fix for feeding hungry kids
NPR
Della Curry gave a free lunch to a hungry child that may be costly. Curry is the kitchen manager — the lunch lady — at the Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, Colo. She set off a national debate this week when she said that last Friday, "I had a first grader in front of me, crying, because she doesn't have enough money for lunch," Curry told Denver's KCNC TV. "Yes, I gave her a lunch." And shortly thereafter, Curry was fired.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Why are so many states replacing Common Core with carbon copies? (The Hechinger Report)
How do we help our least motivated, most disruptive students? (The Washington Post)
Positively managing student behavior in the classroom (By: Savanna Flakes)
The case for starting sex education in kindergarten (PBS Newshour)
Play: Far more than purposeless activity (By: Debra Josephson Abrams)

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




Keep learning alive this summer
NAESP
Like most educators across the nation, principals are working hard to finish the year strong. This can be especially hard, though, when there's often only one thing on students' minds: summer. For many students, however, important gains made during the school year get lost in what's known as summer slide.
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Apply for a creativity grant from Crayola and NAESP
NAESP
Strengthen arts education in your school with a 2015 Champion Creatively Alive Children grant. Crayola will award up to 20 grants, which include a $2,500 monetary award and $1,000 worth of Crayola products. The deadline to apply is Monday, June 22.
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