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Obama threatens veto of House GOP 'No Child Left Behind' update
The Hill
President Barack Obama is threatening to veto a House bill to update the No Child Left Behind education law. The bill, called the Student Success Act, would "represent a significant step backwards in the effort to help our Nation's children and their families prepare for their futures," the White House said in a statement on Wednesday. The administration worries that the bill, authored by Reps. John Kline, R-Minn., and Todd Rokita, R-Ind., is too lax on state education standards, neglects students in historically underserved areas and fails to address poorly performing schools.
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Report: 2013 trends in online learning virtual, blended and flipped classrooms
Tech&Learning
The term "digital conversion" is becoming increasingly prevalent in school site and district office conversations about how to improve student achievement, enhance teacher effectiveness and stimulate new levels of parental engagement in schools. As discussed in Project Tomorrow's "Speak Up 2012 National Report" on the digital learning views of educators and parents, teachers are on the front lines of all of these digital conversions.
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Study: Technology in the classroom helps writing (sort of)
The Washington Post
Technology in the classroom has made students better collaborators, but not necessarily better writers, a new study says. The survey by Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that most teachers thought the use of technology — from tablet devices to Google Docs — encouraged collaboration among students in middle and high schools. But teachers were worried about students using informal language and improper citations in their writing.
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Study finds spatial skill is early sign of creativity
The New York Times
A gift for spatial reasoning — the kind that may inspire an imaginative child to dismantle a clock or the family refrigerator — may be a greater predictor of future creativity or innovation than math or verbal skills, particularly in math, science and related fields, according to a study published in the journal Psychological Science. The study looked at the professional success of people who, as 13-year-olds, had taken both the SAT, because they had been flagged as particularly gifted, as well as the Differential Aptitude Test.
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Study finds clues on how to keep kids engaged with educational games
North Carolina State University via PhysOrg.com
If you want teams of students to stay engaged while playing educational games, you might want them to switch seats pretty often. That's one finding from a pilot study that evaluated how well middle school students were able to pay attention to game-based learning tasks. Students at a Raleigh, N.C., middle school were divided into two-person teams for the pilot study. Researchers from North Carolina State University then had each team test gaming concepts for an educational game called "Engage," which allows only one student at a time to control gameplay. The researchers were trying to determine how effective educational gaming tasks were at teaching computer science concepts, but were also monitoring how engaged each student was.
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  • Teacher recruitment tool will factor in controversial ratings
    eSchool News
    In an incendiary move guaranteed to divide the education community, the National Council on Teacher Quality has partnered with a Web-based teacher hiring system that will factor in the Council's recently released teacher preparation program ratings. NCTQ's annual study rated the quality of teacher prep programs, stirring the education reform pot, with many institutions praising the report, while others say NCTQ doesn't have the experience to rate teacher preparation programs.
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    Roundtable: Infrastructure, teacher training key to improving technology in classrooms
    The Washington Post
    The future of digital learning in classrooms will require more than just getting tablets in the hands of students to be successful. Education leaders and policymakers must focus on investing on infrastructure and professional training for teachers and administrators to grow technology in education. That was one of the major themes education technology experts, lobbyists and policy makers repeated at a Monday roundtable discussion, organized by Internet Innovation Alliance, and which focused on how private and public sectors can work together to improve digital learning in the nation's classrooms.
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    The charter school vs. public school debate continues
    NPR
    Charter schools turn 21 this year. In that time, these privately run, publicly funded schools have spread to 41 states and enrolled more than 2 million students. But one key question lingers: Do kids in charter schools learn more than kids in traditional public schools? There have been lots of skirmishes over charter school data over the years. But few have created as big a ruckus as the of charter schools released recently by Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes, or CREDO.
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    Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword CHARTER SCHOOLS.


    Important steps in a mobile learning initiative
    eSchool News
    Having a clear vision when contemplating a school or district mobile learning program, as well as being flexible when building that program, are two essential steps if school technology leaders want to bring a mobile learning initiative to fruition. During an edWeb.com webinar on mobile learning, Scott Newcomb, a teacher at St. Marys Intermediate School in Ohio and themobilenative.org blogger, shared experiences and tips he has gained in the five years that his school has operated a "bring your own device" mobile learning initiative.
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    4 ways educators can save on classroom expenses
    U.S. News & World Report
    Outfitting school classrooms is big business. Educators spent roughly $3.2 billion last year to stock their classrooms with everything from disinfectant to educational games, according to an annual report by the National School Supply and Equipment Association. Of that total, $1.6 billion came directly out of teachers' pockets, according to the report, which surveyed nearly 400 elementary, middle and high school teachers.
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    What can schools sell instead of candy? Trash bags
    The Associated Press via The Boston Globe
    When Beth Hendrickson first proposed selling garbage bags instead of candy as a school fundraiser, "people laughed at us." They don't laugh anymore. Hendrickson, principal of St. Ann Interparochial School in Morganfield, Ky., says the school makes $20,000 a year selling garbage bags. And it's not just parents of the school's 230 students who buy them. Local businesses and government offices in Morganfield — population 3,500 — buy garbage bags from the school as well.
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    Demographic change amplifies importance of academic achievement
    Education Week
    One-year-old Ka'Lani is so fascinated by a round plastic toy that she doesn't see her mother, Ke'sha Scrivner, walk into the Martha's Table day care, chanting her name while softly clapping out a beat that Ka'Lani keeps with a few bounces on her bottom. Once on welfare, Scrivner worked her way off by studying early childhood education and landing a full-time job for the District of Columbia's education superintendent. She sees education as the path to a better life for her and her five children, pushing them to finish high school and continue with college or a trade school.
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    High-quality professional development for teachers
    Center for American Progress
    Professional development in education has gotten a bad reputation, and for good reason. Everyone on all sides of the education reform and improvement debate agrees that what most teachers receive as professional opportunities to learn are thin, sporadic and of little use when it comes to improving teaching. According to Harvard University Professor Heather C. Hill, the "professional development 'system' for teachers is, by all accounts, broken."
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    10 interactive whiteboard 'don'ts'
    THE Journal
    When it comes to interactive whiteboards, nearly everybody has heard a horror story. You know, like the one about some ignorant teacher who grabbed the nearest magic marker and began scribbling a lesson all over that inviting, shiny surface. Using IWBs as mere dry erase boards may be an obvious misuse, but it is by no means the only one. These "worst practices" generally stem from failing to understand what whiteboards can really do in the classroom. T.H.E. Journal asked several educational technology leaders to share some common "don'ts" for teachers using an IWB. Here are the top 10.
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    10 interactive whiteboard 'don'ts'
    THE Journal
    When it comes to interactive whiteboards, nearly everybody has heard a horror story. You know, like the one about some ignorant teacher who grabbed the nearest magic marker and began scribbling a lesson all over that inviting, shiny surface.

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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."

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    Should schools still teach cursive?
    MindShift
    Sophomore Andrew Forbes of Nashville, Tenn., used cursive everyday in elementary school, from third grade through eighth grade. He was required to write out all his papers, worksheets, and notes in the flowing line of slanted script.

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    House lawmakers set to debate No Child Left Behind Act rewrite
    Education Week
    On the eve of a possible vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on long-stalled legislation to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act, the bill's road to passage is still somewhat bumpy. House leaders have scheduled votes on a host of amendments to the proposed Elementary and Secondary Education Act revision — 26 of them altogether. But so far, a vote on final passage hasn't been scheduled, which gives leaders extra time to twist some arms, if they need to.
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    STEM Education Coalition opposes house GOP bill to rewrite No Child Left Behind
    Education Week
    With the U.S. House of Representatives slated to debate major K-12 legislation as soon as today, a broad-based STEM coalition argues that the bill lacks a robust STEM education focus and should not be supported. A key complaint of the STEM Education Coalition — which includes leaders in education, business, and the STEM professions — is that the Republican bill to rewrite the federal No Child Left Behind Act would abolish the Mathematics and Science Partnerships program. Funded at $142 million for the current fiscal year, this program seeks to improve the content knowledge of teachers in math and science, and to help improve student achievement.
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    Arne Duncan presses lawmakers to back universal pre-K
    POLITICO
    Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he's urging reluctant Republicans in Congress to get on board with funding universal preschool. One of the big sticking points for Republicans has been coming up with new money for the program. "I'm spending time every day, including this morning, talking to Republican members of the House and Senate to try and encourage them to be supportive of this," he said.
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    Senator calls for transition action plan
    Disability Scoop
    A new proposal in the U.S. Senate would allocate federal dollars to develop a national plan to help those with developmental disabilities transition to adulthood. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said that he's introduced a bill that would fund research to determine the most effective interventions and support services for young people aging out of the school system. The legislation calls for the creation of a national strategic action plan and would provide grants to train "transition navigators" who would help youth with disabilities access the supports they need to live independently.
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    States show improvement in special education
    Disability Scoop
    A growing number of states are meeting their responsibilities to provide special education services, federal officials say. In letters sent to each state this month, the U.S. Department of Education indicated that 38 states met their obligations to serve students with disabilities for the 2011-2012 school year. That's up from 29 the year prior. Each year, the Education Department assesses how well states fulfill their plans under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and assigns one of four ratings: "meets requirements," "needs assistance," "needs intervention" or "needs substantial intervention."
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Everything you need to know about Common Core testing (THE Journal)
    Education reform movement learns lesson from old standards (NPR)
    5 leadership questions to finish (and start) the school year with (Tech&Learning)
    Nation's principals build playground for Baltimore school (The Baltimore Sun)
    Common strategies for uncommon achievement (Center for American Progress)

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






    The conference is over, but the learning continues
    NAESP
    NAESP's Annual Conference and Expo — BEST PRACTICES FOR BETTER SCHOOLS™ — just wrapped up over the weekend. Conference News Online is the place to catch up with convention news. You'll find blog posts, tweets, photos, and articles about select conference events so you can still get the full conference experience.
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    Gamification: The (new) new normal
    NAESP
    Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage people and solve problems. According to NAESP 2013 Annual Conference speaker Gabe Zichermann, gamification can boost student intelligence and problem-solving. Zichermann, CEO of Gamification Co., is considered the world's foremost expert on designing engagement strategies, and he maintains that game-based learning is changing education.
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