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Should parents 'friend' their child's teacher?
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the typical teacher skews younger, chances are that your child's teacher has a Facebook page. What should you do if he or she sends a "friend" request? And should you take the initiative and "friend" the teacher yourself? Ask the teacher and/or principal what their policy is on friending parents on Facebook. More and more districts are actively supporting teachers in creating professional school accounts so this may be a good option for some educators. There are also educators and administrators who welcome friend requests from parents, students, teachers, etc. More


Survey: Parents, teachers believe broadband boosts performance
Multichannel News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It looks like an apple for the teacher just doesn't cut it anymore, unless it can access the 'net. According to a poll from the Leading Education by Advancing Digital Commission, teachers and parents say schools should be doing more to improve access to technology in education, with access to the Internet high on the list. The vast majority of parents and teachers said they would rather spend money on Internet-connected digital devices than the same amount on text books. More

Students' science proficiency all over the map
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A series of reports found that K-12 students in many states spend less time learning science and don't have access to rigorous science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses — and that many states have low benchmarks for eighth-grade science proficiency. The reports come from Change the Equation, a CEO-led effort to improve STEM education launched by the Obama administration as part of its "Educate to Innovate" initiative. They examine student performance, access to educational opportunities, and the amount of instructional support that teachers and schools receive in STEM-related courses. More

Going online to ease Common Core transition
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Common Core implementation can be defined as the steps taken by states, counties and districts to raise awareness, build resources, develop and establish professional learning opportunities and collaborations, and align curriculum, instruction, and assessments, as well as strategies and practices developed and reflected upon by teachers. Online learning communities can provide a space for teachers nationwide to come together as peers to navigate standards implementation. More

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Ohio raises 3rd-graders' reading bar
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As many as 10,000 third-graders could be held back next school year if they fall short of new cut scores set yesterday by the state Board of Education on the state reading test. Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, students will have to score 392 or better out of roughly 500 to move on to the fourth grade. "It's a good starting point," said Rep. Gerald L. Stebelton, chairman of the House Education Committee and a nonvoting member of the state board. More

Learning English as a second language in public schools
Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The melting pot metaphor is stronger than ever in American schools today. With 40 million foreign-born residents currently in the U.S., 17 percent of whom have entered the country between 2005 and 2012 — English as a Second Language programs in are booming in public schools. The National Center for Education Statistics cites an increase in students speaking a language other than English at home, from 4.7 million in 1980 to 11.2 million in 2009. Students who are learning to speak English are called English Language Learners and often referred to as ELLs. More

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Privacy, equity and other BYOD concerns
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the Bring Your Own Device movement continues to gain momentum, allowing students to use their own devices (mobile phones, laptops, tablets) in school, administrators and educators are figuring out how to iron out concerns and issues that crop up. One of the biggest issues educators continually bring up is equity. More

Fact of the day No. 43: Spending on education programs not buying better test scores
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The federal government has spent more than $293 billion in the past decade to improve student academic performance, on top of a combined $5.5 trillion spent by the states. But despite priority treatment from Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, reading and math proficiency levels haven't budged. A quarter of high school seniors don't meet basic reading standards and a third fall below basic math proficiency. More


Common Core thrusts librarians into leadership role
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's the second week of the school year, and middle school librarian Kristen Hearne is pulling outdated nonfiction books from the shelves. She is showing one teacher how to track down primary-source documents from the Vietnam War and helping a group of other teachers design a project that uses folk tales to draw students into cross-cultural comparisons. With the common standards on her doorstep, Hearne has a lot to do. Her library at Wren Middle School in Piedmont, S.C., is a nerve center in her school's work to arm both teachers and students for a focus on new kinds of study. More

7 steps to implementing critical student skills
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Administrators and educators know they must integrate higher-order thinking skills into teaching and learning if today's students are to compete on a global scale. But school leaders sometimes struggle with exactly how to weave such skills into the curriculum. Now, steps for successful integration of four key skills are outlined in a new book by Ken Kay and Valerie Greenhill, both of EdLeader21, a professional learning community for 21st century educators. More

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Schools look to weed out nonresidents
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Officials with Greenwich Public Schools in Connecticut are doing more than just making house visits to ensure their students live in the district. A new policy this year requires parents or guardians registering their child for school to complete notarized affidavits testifying to their address. Lying, the document points out, could result in criminal prosecution. More

Charter school network offers its own data system to all schools
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As gathering data about student performance becomes a bigger priority in education, schools are faced with different choices on how to capture that data. A slew of tech companies offer a variety of products they've developed for schools, but some school districts are creating their own data systems. California-based charter network Aspire Public Schools is one of them. More


Research links 'responsive' teaching to academic gains
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fifth-graders in schools where teachers faithfully used the "Responsive Classroom" teaching approach performed better on statewide assessments of mathematics and reading skills than their peers at schools that did not use the social-emotional-learning program's strategies as much, according to new research presented at a national conference. More

Paul Ryan budget proposal to cut federal spending could pull millions from some school districts
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A New America Foundation analysis has calculated that under Paul Ryan's budget proposal to cut federal spending by 20 percent, 77 percent of the 1,500-plus school districts that rely on federal funds for 20 percent or more of their annual revenue could wind up losing millions. The districts most at risk of losing more than 10 percent of their annual revenue are smaller ones — enrolling between 100 and 2,000 students — that rely heavily on the federal government for education funding. More

Department of Education awards more than $6 million to improve Indian education and professional development
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education awarded 22 grants totaling more than $6 million to improve educational opportunities and achievement for American Indian children in 13 states and to provide professional development for individuals of American Indian descent who serve in the education field. More

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LA Unified, union OK system of evaluating principals
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the first time, Los Angeles public school principals will be evaluated under a new system that includes student achievement as one measure of administrators' effectiveness. Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy announced the one-year agreement with the administrators' union, calling it a "remarkable breakthrough." More

Texas Senators to examine longer school days, years
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Top education leaders in the Texas Senate are examining ways to improve classroom learning, including extending school days and school years. Democratic Sen. Royce West of Dallas is filling in as chairman for a Senate Education Committee meeting. Members will also discuss ways to improve learning within the normal parameters of the school day and year. More


New principal evaluation system rolled out in Illinois school district
Daily Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Principals in Elgin-area school district U-46, and across Illinois, will find themselves under the microscope this school year with the implementation of a statewide evaluation system that grades principals based on professional practice and multiple measures of student growth. The Performance Evaluation Reform Act was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn in 2010. But the performance evaluation system went into effect Sept. 1. More

Florida school funding lawsuit will go to trial
The Associated Press via The Miami Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The fate of Florida's public schools could soon be decided at a landmark trial. After three years of legal wrangling, the Florida Supreme Court refused to block a lawsuit that accuses the state of shortchanging Florida's public schools. This means that lawyers for Republican Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature will now have to defend the amount of money that goes into public school classrooms and the state's high-stakes system of testing. More

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Hopkins receives $7.4 million grant for Baltimore schools STEM education
The Baltimore Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 1,600 Baltimore city elementary school students will benefit from a $7.4 million grant awarded to the Johns Hopkins University, that the institution will use to implement a new science, technology, engineering and math program that will make STEM education a community enterprise. The program, called STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools, is a partnership between city schools and the university that targets students in grades three through five, at nine elementary schools. More

Learning moves outdoors in Illinois
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Watching butterflies alight on flowers, spotting birds streaking across the sky or checking a gauge that measures rain water are just a few of the ways in which students at Oak Elementary School in Hinsdale, Ill., will be learning differently this year. With the start of the new school year, the school opened an outdoor classroom surrounded by trees and flowers. It also is furnished with benches and WiFi and sound capabilities to allow an entire class of 20-some students to go outside to learn. More


NAESP and NASSP release report on principal evaluation
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Creating better evaluation systems for principals has emerged as a cornerstone of education reform, and NAESP and the National Association of Secondary School Principals have joined forced to create a framework for effective principal evaluation. "Rethinking Principal Evaluation," released this week, describes a new paradigm that includes multiple measures. More

Sharing the Dream grant deadline extended to September 19
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Apply today for the 2012-2013 Sharing the Dream grant program. The NAESP Foundation, with the and MetLife Foundation, will be awarding 25 elementary and middle schools with $5,000 each to create projects focused on global engagement. More


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