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Education reform movement learns lesson from old standards
NPR
Common Core — the new set of national education standards in math and English language arts — will take effect in most states next year. This move toward a single set of standards has been embraced by a bipartisan crowd of politicians and educators largely because of what the Common Core standards are replacing: a mess. In years past, the education landscape was a discord of state standards. A fourth grader in Arkansas could have appeared proficient in reading by his state's standards — but, by the standards of another state, say Massachusetts, not even close.
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Schools seeking to arm employees hit hurdle on insurance
The New York Times
As more schools consider arming their employees, some districts are encountering a daunting economic hurdle: insurance carriers threatening to raise their premiums or revoke coverage entirely. During legislative sessions this year, seven states enacted laws permitting teachers or administrators to carry guns in schools. Three of the measures — in Kansas, South Dakota and Tennessee — took effect last week. But already, EMC Insurance Companies, the liability insurance provider for about 90 percent of Kansas school districts, has sent a letter to its agents saying that schools permitting employees to carry concealed handguns would be declined coverage.
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Everything you need to know about Common Core testing
THE Journal
These words, uttered by teachers, parents and students, have been part of standardized testing folklore for many years. As many current state-level accountability measures are dominated by multiple-choice questions with only four options, guessing has seemed almost strategic. Well, things are about to change.
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For students, lesson of 9/11 is summer enrichment
The Baltimore Sun
Vivienne Sharp is too young to carry with her vivid memories of Sept. 11, 2001, but she had a solemn reaction as she walked in the rain last week amid the long benches of the Pentagon's memorial to those who died that day. "It is a beautiful piece of architecture. It is really sensory," she said. Every one of the benches has the name of a victim carved into it, all 184. "The gravel is crunching when you walk on it and you can hear the water flowing under the benches."
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword SUMMER SCHOOL.


The soft sciences matter as much as ever
Los Angeles Times (commentary)
A report released bears out what many educators have been predicting: Amid rising college tuition, increased global economic competition and a job market that disproportionately rewards graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, students are seeking degrees in what they and, indeed, many in our nation view as lucrative business and hard-science disciplines. The study is from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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  • To the mat: Parents to appeal ruling allowing yoga in public schools
    The Christian Science Monitor
    A ruling by a San Diego County Superior Court judge that teaching yoga in the schools does not violate the First Amendment's separation of church and state has riled the parents who brought the suit, who now plan to appeal. In the San Diego area case, a couple with two children in the Encinitas Union School District filed suit to have the yoga instruction stopped, saying it violates state law prohibiting the teaching of religion in public schools. Students attend two, 30-minute yoga classes each week in a program supported by a $533,000 grant from the Jois Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Encinitas, Calif., that promotes Ashtanga yoga.
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    How to improve the e-Rate
    eSchool News (commentary)
    The United States is credited with bringing forth some of the greatest technologies of our time — technologies that are being used today to raise the standard of education for people of all ages, in all circumstances, all around the globe. As a nation, we must take steps to ensure that students and teachers in the United States can benefit from these same resources.
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    From the principal's office: Learning artifacts
    Tech&Learning
    Eric Sheninger, a contributor for Tech&Learning, writes: "I routinely speak about the need for students to produce learning artifacts that demonstrate conceptual mastery. Knowledge often comes to us via transcribed content or artifacts, which is derived from others' knowledge. These are facts, concepts, processes, procedures, and principles (Clark & Chopeta, 2004). Thus, artifacts are used in the learning process for creating knowledge, while in turn, knowledge creates new artifacts. With the technological tools that are at our disposal today this has become easier than ever."
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Should schools still teach cursive? (MindShift)
    PARCC approves test performance-level descriptions by grade, subject (Education Week)
    At retooled summer schools, creativity, not just catch-up (The New York Times)
    The top 10 myths about preschool (Center for American Progress)
    iPads in the classroom: Worth doing right (InformationWeek)

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


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    20 intriguing school AV products
    eSchool News
    eSchool News recently published a report on three key developments in school AV technology, based on the news to come out of InfoComm 2013, the world's largest audio-visual technology trade show. Now, here are 20 more intriguing school AV products that we saw at InfoComm and the International Society for Technology in Education conference in San Antonio — including a portable audio system that can facilitate small-group instruction and an easy solution for "flipping" your classroom using any iOS device.
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    8 ways kindergarten holds the key to 21st century instruction
    eSchool News
    Sam Gliksman, a contributor for eSchool News, writes: "I was recently giving a workshop at a local elementary school. While walking around and speaking to teachers and children, it suddenly dawned on me that several of the 'revolutionary' educational changes we've been calling for have actually been around for quite a while — just talk a stroll down to the kindergarten classes. If only the rest of school looked a little more like those classrooms."
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    Ole Miss' Principal Corps expanding
    The Clarion Ledger
    An education program training Mississippi teachers for leadership roles is expanding to encompass the southern region of the state for the first time in the program’s five-year history. With its latest class — referred to as a cohort — the University of Mississippi's Principal Corps now reaches all corners of the state. The 13-month program gives K-12 teachers two internships under qualified principals across the state during the academic year, according to Ole Miss spokesman Andrew Abernathy. Additionally the participants take graduate coursework in Oxford over the summer and during certain weekends throughout the rest of the year.
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    Study: Todays' schools lack creative teaching and learning
    eSchool News
    A new survey reveals that creative teaching and innovative learning are stifled by an over-reliance on testing and assessment, forcing teachers to stay inside a restrictive curriculum that will limit students' ability to excel in the future workforce. The study, sponsored by Adobe, states that "transformative change" is needed to inject a creative boost into the current education system, and that despite a worldwide demand for creativity and creative thinking, today's students are not prepared to enter a workplace that requires inventive thinking.
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    How to improve the e-Rate
    eSchool News (commentary)
    The United States is credited with bringing forth some of the greatest technologies of our time — technologies that are being used today to raise the standard of education for people of all ages, in all circumstances, all around the globe.

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    Are you ready to be a school principal?
    eSchool News
    Modeling excellence, building a team of dedicated educators and instilling a sense of pride throughout the school community are all essential when it comes to establishing and maintaining a successful school culture, according to effective school principals.

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    To improve school climate, examine recess
    Edutopia
    As we look at ways to create environments that allow teaching and learning to thrive, it's time to take a long, hard look at the critical role of recess in our schools.

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    NCLB waiver states split on new flexibility offer
    Education Week
    States with waivers from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act are almost evenly divided on whether they will take U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan up on his offer of extra time to begin using new teacher-evaluation systems to decide which educators to hire, fire, or promote. The federal Department of Education has decided to allow states that received waivers by the summer of 2012 to push back the deadline for using their new evaluation systems. Initially, schools were supposed to have those systems fully in place by 2015-2016.
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    House readying K-12 bill for floor
    National Journal
    Legislation that would fundamentally rework the K-12 education system is headed for the House floor, according to Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., The bill passed out of his committee last month. Now its members are promoting it with videos emphasizing different aspects of the legislation. The most recent video deals with one of the more emotional elements of the law — how to hire and evaluate teachers. The Republicans on the committee are touting the bill's removal of federal qualification requirements that they say get in the way of hiring the best teachers.
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    Feds' advice on school intruders worries some experts
    Education Week
    New guidelines from the Obama administration for planning for emergencies at schools following the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., touch on everything from school design and storm shelters to planning emergency drills and balancing privacy and safety. But one facet of the plan, released June 18, is on active-shooting situations, and some of the recommendations in those scenarios make school safety experts nervous — namely, a suggestion that school employees try to fight an intruder when given no other choice.
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    Survey: Most states undecided about Duncan's extra waiver flexibility
    Education Week
    In the wake of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's offer to shift the teacher-evaluation timeline by one year for waiver states, Politics K-12 decided to survey all of the eligible states to see if they plan to apply for this new flexibility. The takeaway? Most are undecided, but a sizable number of states — or 14 — say they don't need or want the flexibility, for a variety of reasons. Some, such as those headed by members of Chiefs for Change, believe any delay is a delay in accountability. Other states, such as New York, Colorado and Tennessee, told us they won't pursue it because their timelines are set out in state law or regulations.
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    Arne Duncan urged to intervene in Philadelphia school funding crisis
    The Washington Post
    The Philadelphia public school funding crisis is real. Thousands of people are being laid off, counselors, nurses, teachers, assistant principals, sports programs, arts classes and much more are being decimated. Here is a letter that American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and historian/education activist Diane Ravitch just sent to Education Secretary Arne Duncan asking him to intervene in the crisis.
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    New California school funding formula gives more money to help low-income, ESL students
    The Huffington Post
    After several decades without any major changes, the way California funds its schools is being completely revamped. Gov. Jerry Brown signed several new bills into law that will allocate more money to help disadvantaged students and give districts more control over how their money is distributed, according to the Associated Press. The bills replace California's previous school-funding system, which California Newswire describes as "overly complex, inefficient and inequitable."
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    Check out NAESP Convention News Online
    NAESP
    The NAESP Annual Conference and Expo — BEST PRACTICES FOR BETTER SCHOOLS™ — is just days away! Whether you’ll be in Baltimore or not, keep up with all the latest conference happenings with Convention News Online. It’s your hotspot for daily articles, blog posts, and photos from the event. Don’t forget to check out conference tweets with the hashtag #NAESP13.
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    New opportunity for school leaders: Principal Ambassador Fellowship
    NAESP
    The U.S. Department of Education is looking for up to three of the nation's best and brightest principals for its inaugural Principal Ambassador Fellowship. Applications are now available for this part-time, year-long leadership opportunity. Principal Ambassadors are outstanding practicing principals with a record of leadership, strong communication skills and policy insight. The deadline for applications is July 16.
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