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Obama, Romney spar over education funding
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama said his Republican rival for the presidency, Mitt Romney, favors cutting the education departments budget by up to 20 percent, while Romney insisted that was false. The moment was one of many during their first debate in which the two candidates disagreed sharply over policy decisions with important implications for schools. Seeking to draw a distinction between himself and Romney, Obama recalled a teacher he met in Las Vegas who had students sitting on the floor and using 10-year-old textbooks. He suggested that Romney's plans to cut taxes by 20 percent across the board while also cutting federal spending don't add up — and they won't allow the nation to make important new investments in research and education. More


States get millions to train special educators
Disability Scoop    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly two dozen states will benefit from millions in new federal funding to improve training for those working with special education students in the nation's schools. The U.S. Department of Education says it is sending more than $24 million to 22 states. The funding is intended to help recruit and retain highly-qualified special educators, support teachers in blending the needs of those with disabilities and the new common core standards and train educators to utilize positive behavioral interventions and supports, among other initiatives. More

Common Core gets spotlight in presidential debates
Education Week (Commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As written by Catherine Gewertz: In case you haven't heard, education got a nice little slice of the spotlight in the presidential debate. I'll leave it to Michele McNeil, one of our intrepid federal beat reporters, to explain it all for you in her blog post and her story about how a Romney presidency could change the education landscape. As we've noted before, the presidential contest is raising the profile of academic standards. That trend continued last night; when the president of the United States says the word "standards" before a massive national audience, you know something's up. More

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Study finds benefits to infusing math into science lessons
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the prevalence of the acronym STEM in education parlance today, interest has grown in not just promoting the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics as separate entities, but in figuring out the ways they can intersect to enhance learning. A recent project funded by the National Science Foundation took this issue to heart, by supporting the development of a math-infused science curriculum and then studying its effects on math learning. New findings from that project show a statistically significant boost in math achievement for the eighth-graders exposed to the lessons, when compared with a control group of students who were not. More

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Online schools face backlash as states question results
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Virtual public schools, which allow students to take all their classes online, have exploded in popularity across the United States, offering what supporters view as innovative and affordable alternatives to the conventional classroom. Now a backlash is building among public officials and educators who question whether the cyber-schools are truly making the grade. In Maine, New Jersey and North Carolina, officials have refused to allow new cyber-schools to open this year, citing concerns about poor academic performance, high rates of student turnover and funding models that appear to put private-sector profits ahead of student achievement. More

How important is grit in student achievement?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Before she was a psychology professor, Angela Duckworth taught math in middle school and high school. She spent a lot of time thinking about something that might seem obvious: The students who tried hardest did the best, and the students who didn't try very hard didn't do very well. Duckworth wanted to know: What is the role of effort in a person's success? More

Some schools actually want students to play with their smartphones in class
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If there is one thing that the mobile-computing era has made clear, it's that kids love touch screens. Because those touch screens — smartphones, iPads, Kindles and the like — are an inevitable added distraction to the classroom, schools across the country are struggling to deal with the growing prevalence of the technology. But a growing number of schools are embracing these hand-held, Internet-ready devices by creating policies that put them to use in the classroom. More


Public schools turn to parents' dollars for support
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The space used to be a vacant field, sandwiched between Casis Elementary School and a parking lot in Texas. Now, thanks to diligent fundraising and an architect parent, it is a state-of-the-art outdoor classroom, where young students take lessons in every subject from math to creative writing. There is an open-air "room" with long green tables and benches, rosemary filled garden beds and a lily pad-studded pond. A small stone amphitheater nearby also serves as a large scale sun dial. The outpouring of support that produced the classroom is a pattern in well-heeled West Austin, where community members also pooled their resources when Casis' 60-year-old library needed new shelves — and when, down the road at O. Henry Middle School, the campus could not afford to hire the teachers it needed to maintain small class sizes after state budget cuts. More

Google says Apps for Education now has more than 20 million users
TechCrunch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Google just announced that its Apps for Education suite is now being used by more than 20 million students, faculty members and staff worldwide. The company made this announcement in a blog post celebrating the upcoming World Teachers' Day on Oct. 5. Google Apps For Education launched almost exactly six years ago. The service seems to be growing at a rate of about 5 million new users per year. In 2010, Apps for Education had about 10 million users and last year, Google announced that it had signed up an additional 5 million users for the service since. More

Learning disabilities causes, treatments commonly misunderstood, survey shows
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent nationwide survey of nearly 2,000 Americans by the National Center for Learning Disabilities has found that many people are uncertain about the causes and treatments of learning disabilities, and believe more education on the subject is needed in their children's schools. Of those who took the online survey, 12 percent indicated they have a learning disability, while 8 percent of the parents surveyed said they have a child with a learning disability. More

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Bill Nye 'The Science Guy' talks flipped classrooms
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bill Nye "The Science Guy" was fired up when he talked to an audience of students and teachers in a webcast, sponsored by Capella University, about flipping the classroom. The scientist and former Disney/PBS television host says flipped classrooms are "changing the world." "We can put video up on the Web, where everybody can see it. It's changing the world," said Nye who hosted the event with's Taylor Pettis. More

McGraw-Hill executive: Tech will make us rethink age-grouping in schools
Gigaom    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Online platforms like Khan Academy are already starting to flip classrooms across the country so that students can learn at their own pace. But some think it might not be too long before technology pushes schools to personalize education in even more structural ways, so that students are no longer grouped by age, but by competency. Noting advances in educational technology — from online platforms that deliver instruction to programs that analyze student learning data &mdash Jeff Livingston, senior vice president of College and Career Readiness at McGraw-Hill, said he thinks that in the next five to six years, schools and educators are going to have to rethink age-grouping as the primary organizing principle for K-12 education, especially at the high-school level. More

Study: Activity programs fail to get kids moving
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Programs aimed at increasing the physical activity of children have so far failed to get kids moving very much, says a new research review. That failure to boost how much kids walk, run, jump and otherwise move around during the day helps explain why the programs also have failed to put a dent in child obesity, say researchers of a new study. More


When curious parents see math grades in real time
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ever since her 12-year-old twin sons went back to school in August, Catherine Durkin Robinson has been telling herself, "Steer clear. Think first, and keep away," she says. The hazard she's avoiding? Logging on to her school's online grade-reporting system to see how her boys are doing. When she checked their grades online late last year, "I saw Cs and I almost lost my mind," she says. Her sons' teachers later explained that the grades weren't up-to-date and that Zachary and Jacob were actually doing very well. But it was a shock she'd rather not repeat, says the Tampa, Fla.-based manager for a nonprofit education organization. More

Technology helps make speech therapy easier
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With speech language pathologists in short supply, the Special Education Local Plan Area of rural Glenn County in northern California has turned to PresenceLearning to provide online speech therapy services for about 10 Willows Unified School District students. Vicki Shadd, SELPA director and assistant superintendent for the Glenn County Office of Education, said recent advances in Web conferencing technology and great computer infrastructure at Willows Intermediate School have allowed students to work with a live speech therapist online. More

How technology is empowering teachers, minting millionaires and improving education
TechCrunch (Commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thanks to the rise of in-classroom technology, the focus in education tends to be on student engagement and how to improve learning. It becomes easy to forget the importance of great teachers. Startups, entrepreneurs, businesses (and the rest) need to remember that technology doesn’t have to put teachers in jeopardy; it can help them lead the education evolution, even if their traditional role in the classroom becomes obsolete. More

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Education chief wants textbooks to go digital
The Associated Press via NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Worried your kids spend too much time with their faces buried in a computer screen? Their schoolwork may soon depend on it. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called for the nation to move as fast as possible away from printed textbooks and toward digital ones. "Over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete," he declared. It's not just a matter of keeping up with the times, Duncan said in remarks to the National Press Club. It's about keeping up with other countries whose students are leaving their American counterparts in the dust. More

Obama, Biden launch initiative for military kids
The Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Madeline Stevens knows what it's like to be a military brat. "The first week of school, it's really hard," said Stevens, a 17-year-old from Jacksonville, Fla., who has moved eight times with her naval aviator father and attended 10 different schools. "You sit by yourself at lunch; you try and make friends in classes. When you're younger it's easier because, you know, you just share crayons, and you're new best friends." But in high school Stevens said she's had to integrate herself into sports and clubs to make friends, many of whom already have known each other most of their lives. The shuffle also has been a strain academically. More

Romney: 'I'm not going to cut education funding'
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, in his most detailed comments about education spending yet, pledged during the presidential debate with President Barack Obama in Denver that he would not cut federal education funding if elected — even as he made the case that he's the best choice to rein in a mounting deficit. "I'm not going to cut education funding. I don't have any plan to cut education funding and — and grants that go to people going to college ... I'm not planning on making changes there," said Romney, who for the first time specifically addressed education spending — something he's been continually attacked on by the Obama campaign. More


Using stand/sit workstations in classrooms: Lessons learned from a pilot study in Texas
Global Physical Activity Network    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This study is a pilot study of using sit/stand desks in primary school children in Texas. With increased interest in decreasing total sitting time or interrupting sitting time, there is a need for feasibility studies that assess whether it is possible to change the workplace or in this case the school environment. This study attempted to do that in a group of 6-7-year-old children in Texas where they had modifiable desks. An earlier report from this research project indicated that standing children expended around 17 percent more energy, that is 17 percent more calories were used than those who remained sitting. More

Despite slim savings, more Colorado districts opt for 4-day week
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the last 40 minutes of each day, Vickie Seivley and every other teacher at Gilcrest Elementary works with students on "authentic literacy" — an intense focus on reading and writing designed to squeeze the most out of an abbreviated, four-day school week. Last spring, the 1,800-student Weld County RE-1 school district decided to follow a strategy born of the energy crisis in 1980 and embraced by dozens of Colorado districts — and lately, by still more amid budget-slashing economic times. By stretching the school day and shortening the week, districts balance their budgets with cost savings on support staff, maintenance, food service and transportation. They face inevitable push-back from parents with day-care concerns but avoid tough cuts in other areas. More

Teachers in the Pennsylvania's public schools have higher targets to meet and less money to do it
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The release of the 2012 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment scores last week provided some shocking results: The number of districts making adequate yearly progress, known as AYP, statewide fell from 94 to 60.9 percent and the number of districts in Allegheny County that failed to make the mark increased from four in 2011 to 17 in 2012. Making those results even more disturbing is the fact that they come just two years before the federal No Child Left Behind Law requires 100 percent of students to test proficient or advanced in math and reading or districts and schools face possible sanctions, including such drastic measures as the loss of federal funds or state takeover. More

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School funding inequity forces poor cities like Reading, Pa., to take huge cuts
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The day before school starts, 8-year-old Tianna wakes up worried. She's worried about the cafeteria food that she receives for free, because usually "it's nasty." She's worried about making friends, since she'll be in a new school. But most of all, she's worried about where all the fired teachers will go. "When we were at assembly, I learned that people didn't have enough money to let all the teachers come back next year, so they were kicking teachers out," explains Tianna, in a quiet, earnest voice as she bounces up and down on her chair. "There was this one teacher that I really liked, and she's getting kicked out." More

Chicago teachers vote to approve 3-year contract
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Members of the Chicago Teachers Union overwhelmingly have approved a new three-year contract that includes pay increases and a new evaluation system, union officials announced. Union spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said the contract was ratified by 79 percent of the union's membership. The contact was ratified by a vote of 16,428 to 4,337. The contract now must be approved by the Chicago Board of Education, which is scheduled to meet in late October. More

10 Milwaukee Public Schools targeted for GE Foundation innovation funds
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ten Milwaukee elementary schools will get extra funding to support more coaching for teachers and collaborative planning time over the next four years thanks to a retooled $20.4 million grant from the GE Foundation that aims to increase student achievement in Milwaukee Public Schools. More

Proud to be a principal? Tell us why!
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Being a principal is the best job in the world," says Jon Millerhagen, a Minnesota National Distinguished Principal. He's also the first featured principal for the Proud to Be a Principal Spotlight, a month-long contest for principals to share the triumphs, successes and special moments that make being a principal so rewarding. See what else Millerhagen has to say about the principalship, and submit your own story. You could be featured on the NAESP website and win a gift box. Tell us why you're proud to be a principal today. More

Magazine archives open for National Principals Month
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In honor of National Principals Month, NAESP has opened the 2011-2012 archives of Principal magazine. NAESP members always have access to the archives, but in October, any educator can peruse the pages of the award-winning magazine. Don't miss stories from the "Unlocking Autism" series, the entire issue devoted to best classroom practices, strategies from the most dynamic voices in education, and more. More


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