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Resistance to high stakes testing spreads
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A rising tide of protest is sweeping across the nation as growing numbers of parents, teachers, administrators and academics take action against high-stakes testing. Instead of test-and-punish policies, which have failed to improve academic performance or equity, the movement is pressing for broader forms of assessment. From Texas to New York and Florida to Washington, reform activists are pressing to reduce the number of standardized exams. They also seek to scale back the consequences attached to test scores and use multiple measures to evaluate students, educators, schools and districts. More


Do scores go up when teachers return bonuses?
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Chicago, parents were fuming over a weeklong strike by teachers. Around the rest of the country, in the face of growing evidence that many U.S. students are falling behind, administrators have tried to devise different ways to motivate teachers. Among the contentious issues is whether teachers should be held accountable for their students' performance on standardized tests. Such efforts have produced enormous conflicts between school districts and teachers. In many parts of the country, administrators and teachers have fought one another to a standstill. More

Study finds achievement differences tied to curricular choices
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At a time when states and districts are on the lookout for textbooks and related instructional materials to guide the teaching of the Common Core, a recent study offers a cautionary tale about the selection of publishers' wares. First, don't underestimate the importance to student learning of the particular curricular program chosen. Using different curricula, even if they share the same general pedagogical approach, can produce significant differences in learning gains, the study finds. More

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Teaching social and emotional skills in schools
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More schools are working to change school culture through programs aimed at improving the social and emotional skills of students. The lessons directly teach young people how to interact with one another in positive ways, deal with anger and solve problems, and new studies show they improve academic performance, too. As more schools try this approach, researchers have begun paying closer attention to the effects of social and emotional learning on behavior and academic achievement. More

Kansas school board likes drift of science standards
The Associated Press via Lawrence Journal World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Science standards that are under development received high marks from the Kansas state school board for pushing hands-on instruction over textbook learning, even from members who have worried that the new guidelines will be too friendly toward evolution. State Board of Education members praised the proposed standards for emphasizing that students in all grades should design and pursue experiments. Kansas and 25 other states are working with the National Research Council on common standards for possible adoption in their public schools. More

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Study: Segregation prominent in schools
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The United States is increasingly a multiracial society, with white students accounting for just over half of all students in public schools, down from four-fifths in 1970. Yet whites are still largely concentrated in schools with other whites, leaving the largest minority groups — black and Latino students — isolated in classrooms, according to a new analysis of Department of Education data. The report showed that segregation is not limited to race: blacks and Latinos are twice as likely as white or Asian students to attend schools with a substantial majority of poor children. More

Educators fight online slams
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After years spent trying to shield students from online bullying by their peers, schools are beginning to crack down on Internet postings that disparage teachers. Schools elsewhere in the U.S. have punished the occasional tweeter who hurls an insult at a teacher, but North Carolina has taken it a step further, making it a crime for students to post statements via the Internet that "intimidate or torment" faculty. Students convicted under the law could be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished with fines of as much as $1,000 and/or probation. More


Nonmedical vaccination opt-outs on the rise
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An increasing number of parents are getting state approval to allow their children to opt out of school-mandated vaccinations for non-medical reasons, according to a new analysis. Dr. Saad Omer, author of the correspondence published in the New England Journal of Medicine, warned that this trend is leaving large populations of children at risk for developing potentially deadly illnesses that haven't been seen in the United States in many years. More

Survey: Parents prefer reading print books to young kids
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Don't count print books obsolete just yet — especially when it comes to younger kids. A study released by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center shows that even among parents who like reading e-books with their kids, the majority still prefer to read print books over e-books with their children. The survey, which included 1,200 parents of children age 2 to 6, showed that, of those who owned iPads (462 in total), an overwhelming majority — 89.9 percent — said they read mostly print books and some e-books, compared to 7.5 percent who say they read print books and e-books equally with their children, and only 2.7 percent who read mostly or exclusively e-books. More

What adults think about school bullying
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. adults repeatedly rate bullying as a major health problem for U.S. children. But a new poll from the University of Michigan shows adults have different views about what bullying behaviors should prompt schools to take action. The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health recently asked a nationwide sample of adults what behaviors should be considered bullying and what behaviors should spur school officials to intervene. More

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Book recommends no tackle football, soccer headers for U-14 Kids
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When it comes to youth-sports concussions, Dr. Robert Cantu knows what he's talking about. Cantu, who serves as the chief of neurosurgery at Emerson Hospital and the co-director of Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, has long been considered one of the leading U.S. youth-concussion experts. Now, in a new book, "Concussions and Our Kids," Cantu lays out a number of potentially controversial recommendations to help prevent youth-sports concussions, including restricting youth-athletes under the age of 14 from playing tackle football, body-checking in ice hockey or heading soccer balls. More

School tuna contains excessive mercury, environmentalists' report says
Environmental Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canned albacore tuna purchased by U.S. schools contains more mercury than what government officials have reported, raising the risks for some tuna-loving kids, according to a new study from a coalition of advocacy groups. Children who eat two medium servings of albacore, or white, tuna per week could be exposed to as much as six times the dose that federal guidelines consider safe, according to the report prepared for the Mercury Policy Project. It is the first study to test the mercury content of tuna brands purchased by schools. More


The stealth inequities of school funding
Center for American Progress (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education has been called the passport to the future. It has been defined as the great equalizer and lauded as being a key to unlocking the American Dream. Yet too many children — often low-income and minority children — are denied access to high-quality education because they attend schools that are underfunded and under-resourced. The sad reality is that gross funding inequities continue to exist in this country, and too often the schools serving students with the greatest needs receive the fewest resources. More

New developments enhance school video use
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thanks to new advancements in video technology, students and teachers can hold live, face to face conversations with scientists in remote areas of the globe from whatever device they might own. Teachers can choose from a variety of free or low-cost tools to prepare video-based lessons that let them "flip" their classroom. And schools can use any number of products that make video editing and production more accessible for students. School video use has come a long way from the days when expensive (and clunky) video conferencing systems were required to connect students and subject-matter experts in different locations. More

Research alliances link scholars and educators
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Long-term partnerships, rather than one-off studies, may become the new norm for researchers looking for access and districts looking for answers. A forthcoming study commissioned by the William T. Grant Foundation, of New York City, finds more districts are developing long-term, structured relationships with researchers. It says the trend is driven by tight local budgets and an increased federal focus on making education research usable. The study highlights potential bridges between researchers frustrated with low use of their studies by practitioners and district officials who are wary of researchers' use of their data. More

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Stopgap spending measure deals with highly qualified teacher issue
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's a big budget showdown brewing in Washington, but school districts have at least some funding information to go on now, at least for the next six months, thanks to a rare bipartisan bill that passed the House of Representatives and is expected to gain approval in the Senate. With very little fanfare or drama, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to extend funding for almost every federal agency until March 27, well after the presidential election. There's actually a very small increase for the education department, about $417 million, according to the Committee for Education Funding, a nonprofit organization in Washington. More

Education department awards $6.6 million grant to support arts education
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education awarded a grant of $6,640,000 to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to implement and expand its efforts in arts education and arts integration at the national level. Beginning with the first year of a three-year program, this grant will allow all children access to the life-changing benefits of an arts education. More


It's back to school again for Chicago students
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It was back to school — again — for hundreds of thousands of Chicago Public Schools students this morning, including Carter and McClaran Shirley who were excited to get back with their friends. Carter, a sixth grader at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, had just become accustomed to switching teachers for different subjects when the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike, suspending school for a week and a half. His sister, McClaran, is in seventh grade. Their mom, Liz Shirley, said she kept her kids busy with math workbooks as her second-grader, Durham, practiced his handwriting. More

DC schools set new achievement targets for students by race and income
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Every public school in the United States has aimed for the same goal over the past decade: that all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014. But that noble ambition, educators and experts almost universally agree, was never realistic. Now, in the District and many states, goals over the next five years tend to be lower for black, Hispanic and poor children than they are for white and Asian students, and in the District, they tend to be higher at schools in affluent areas than in poor neighborhoods. It's a policy shift that strikes some parents as a form of prejudice. More

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Aging, polluting school buses remain on California roads
California Watch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tens of thousands of California schoolchildren ride aging school buses that emit harmful pollutants, an analysis of state data shows. Unlike many states, California does not require bus owners to take buses off the road after a set number of years. As a result, California has some of the oldest buses in the nation. The emissions from older school buses are harmful to both children and air quality for the broader community. Children riding in conventional diesel school buses are exposed to more air pollution than those riding in cleaner natural gas or low emission diesel buses, according to a 2003 study conducted by the California. More

Texas piloting two new teacher evaluation systems
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The teacher strike that has given Chicago kids an unwelcome vacation is partly about money but largely about teacher evaluations. Across the country, from California to Florida, demands for better assessment of public school instructors have inspired pointed, if less dramatic, reactions. In Texas, education officials are also quietly developing a successor to the current, largely ignored, state-mandated teacher evaluation system. But the hot-button issue for arguments nationally — using statewide standardized tests to evaluate teachers — is not even on the table here. More

Middle school using cloud computing for down-to-earth education
Hobart News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Jessica Macias missed a day of school recently due to illness but she didn't miss her social studies class. Macias, a Hobart Middle School eighth-grader, was able to log into class from home using Google Apps, an online document system that allows people to use it just by logging on, much like the Web-based email services Hotmail and Gmail. Called cloud computing, data is stored on servers at a remote location rather than in their laptops. It's also interactive, allowing teachers to post homework assignments and other information online for students. The School City of Hobart is using the latest technology, with each student using a computer in the classroom and classrooms using social media like Facebook and Twitter. Several elementary and secondary teachers in the school district are using Google Apps and social media in their classrooms. More

Build student leadership with resources from NAESP
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Strengthen your school's student council and celebrate the contributions of student leaders with resources from the National Principals Resource Center. It's your one-stop shop for student council advisor and member handbooks, pins, recognition medallions and kits for student leadership. More

October recognized as National Principals Month
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Congress has declared October as National Principals Month, continuing a three-year tradition launched by NAESP and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The declaration recognizes the vital contributions principals make to schools and communities. Throughout the month, NAESP will be spotlighting principals and exemplary school leadership, including the recognition of this year's class of National Distinguished Principals. More


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