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Teacher absence as a leading indicator of student achievement
Center for American Progress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On any given school day, up to 40 percent of teachers in New Jersey's Camden City Public Schools are absent from their classrooms. Such a high figure probably would not stand out in parts of the developing world, but it contrasts sharply with the 3 percent national rate of absence for full-time wage and salaried American workers, and the 5.3 percent rate of absence for American teachers overall. Certainly, it isn't unreasonable for Camden residents to expect lower rates of teacher absence, particularly when the district annually spends top dollar — more than $22,000 per pupil — to educate its students. And advocates for students of color, who constitute 99.5 percent of the district's enrollment, could potentially use these new data from the Department of Education to support a civil rights complaint. More


Schools are using social networking to involve parents
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Digital technology is providing a growing variety of methods for school leaders to connect with parents anywhere, anytime — a tactic mirroring how technology is used to engage students. Through Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and text messages sent in multiple languages, school staff members are giving parents instant updates, news, and information about their children's schools. Not only that, but a number of districts are also providing parents access to Web portals where they can see everything from their children's grades on school assignments to their locker combinations and what they're served for lunch. More

How to sustain Common Core efforts
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators and policymakers are heavily invested in the Common Core State Standards, and a new ASCD report aims to help school leaders effectively implement the standards to begin educational transformation. "Fulfilling the Promise of the Common Core State Standards: Moving from Adoption to Implementation to Sustainability" identifies activities that educators and policy makers at all levels can undertake to implement the standards successfully. More

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When ABCs are in a new language
The Miami Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hello. Hola. Bonjour. Ni Hao. Four languages. One meaning. Whether it's English, Spanish, French or Mandarin, mastering a second or third or fourth language is within reach — especially at a young age. Language and cultural programs for children are springing up across the county, as parents realize that fluency in a language connects children to their heritage and can open many doors. More

Schools provide teachers with the training tools for flipping the classroom
EdTech Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Equipping classrooms with technology is a good start, but schools also need to train teachers how to integrate those tools into their lessons and make learning more engaging for students. Teachers seem to be demanding it, in fact. According to CDW-G's Learn Now, Lecture Later report, 76 percent of high school IT professionals have received more teacher requests for help with technology integration and related professional development over the past two years. More

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Harvard wants to know: How does the act of making shape kids' brains?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A group of Harvard researchers is teaming up with schools in Oakland, Calif., to explore how kids learn through making. Through an initiative called Project One, they're investigating the theory that kids learn best when they're actively engaged in designing and creating projects to explore concepts. It's closely aligned with the idea of design thinking and the Maker Movement that's quickly taking shape in progressive education circles. More


Parents view yoga in elementary school as religious indoctrination
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parents in the seaside town of Encinitas, Calif., are in a twist over yoga, saying that adding the ancient practice of meditative exercise to the school curriculum is tantamount to religious indoctrination into Hinduism. School officials never thought that yoga, practiced by roughly 22 million Americans, would be controversial when they accepted a $533,000 grant from a local yoga studio to include Ashtanga yoga in a program where students also learn about healthy eating and cultivate small gardens. More

Surveys gauge generational divide in teaching
Education Week Teacher    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Newer teachers are more likely than their veteran counterparts to support controversial education policy changes such as using student growth in teacher evaluations, differentiating pay based on performance and decreasing tenure protections, according to the findings from two recent national surveys. Recently, the Boston-based teacher-policy organization Teach Plus released a report highlighting differences in attitudes between what it calls "new majority" teachers — defined as those with 10 or fewer years of experience, who now make up more than 50 percent of the teaching force — and "veterans" with 11 or more years of experience. More

Washington, DC, public schools alerts parents whose children are being taught by teachers who have not met 'highly qualified' definition
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Letters were recently mailed to parents with children in the District of Columbia Public Schools system, informing them if their child was being taught by a core subject area teacher who has not met the "highly qualified" definition. The document also contained instructions for how to access information on the non-highly qualified status of said teacher. Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, school districts are required to notify parents or legal guardians when their child has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks by a teacher who has not satisfied the requirements to be deemed "highly qualified." More

For some children with ADHD, music has similar positive effects to medication
Medical Xpress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A team of researchers, led by Florida International University Center for Children and Families director William E. Pelham Jr., set out to examine how distractions — such as music and television — affect children with ADHD. Traditionally, Pelham said, parents and teachers believe distractors only have negative effects. Pelham set out to discover how music and videos actually impact the abilities of children with ADHD to focus in the classroom. Leading into the study, Pelham believed the music would have negative effects in many cases, and would have no effects at best. But even a world-renowned psychologist and leading authority on ADHD can be surprised by his own research findings. More

Pre-K screening step toward child's success
St. Louis Post-Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cutting a piece of paper with scissors. Catching a ball or hopping in the air. The way words are formed and sound. Knowing the names of colors. These are simple actions for many children of pre-K age. However, some might have trouble with them, indicating developmental problems. The Affton School District's Parents as Teachers organization wants to help parents catch these problems before their children start school. The group is a tax-supported organization that will provide home visits and developmental screening for children from birth up to kindergarten. More

Improving education should be a common challenge — not a tug of war
The Hechinger Report (Commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When it comes to systemic education reform, there are no doubt delicacies of implementation, and differences of opinion about the relative importance of various initiatives, according to Matthew McCabe, history teacher in Chicago. But these differences are surmountable as long as there is a shared end goal: improved outcomes for children. For true — and substantial — education reform to happen, stakeholders must embrace nuance and face the challenges at hand with a common purpose. Labeling sides as "money-grubbing," "corporate reformers" or "lazy, ineffective union slackers" is counterproductive. This moment of new leadership for the Chicago Public Schools should be treated like the opportunity it is — a chance for a fresh start, a chance to rekindle the idea that there's common ground. More

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More students return to classroom, at strange schools in strange places
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It had only been a week and a half, but for students and teachers in New York City's most devastated areas, it might as well have been a whole summer. Two days after most of the city's schools reopened, students from several dozen schools too damaged to reopen finally resumed classes, but they were shoehorned into other school buildings, in unfamiliar classrooms after unfamiliar commutes. They arrived, ate lunch and left according to new schedules and among new faces. More


Pinning down the cloud
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The social networking site Pinterest offers more than wedding reception ideas and vegetarian recipes. In the hands of thoughtful educators, it's becoming a source of invaluable information. The virtual bulletin board gained an early reputation as a frivolous corner of the Internet. As tech-savvy teachers, school counselors and others in the field have seen the value of sharing important ideas in a quick and fun way, this social cloud resource has become a practical place to turn for helpful hints and expertise. More

Education department announces highest-rated applications for Investing in Innovation 2012 competition
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education announced results for the third round of the Investing in Innovation competition, which will award the 20 highest-rated applications more than $140 million to expand innovative practices designed to improve student achievement. These 20 potential grantees, selected from 727 applications, must secure matching funds by Dec. 7 in order to receive federal funding. More

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Obama wins re-election, but future unclear for schools
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the early hours of Nov. 7, teachers' unions were touting the re-election of President Barack Obama as a "victory" for both students and educators. But with the U.S. House of Representatives staying under Republican control and the Democrats maintaining a Senate majority that is too small to overcome repeated threats of filibustering by the GOP, it's unclear how much of Obama's education agenda will be implemented in the next four years. More

Teachers unions notch big wins on state education votes
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teachers unions won several big victories in both red and blue states Tuesday, overturning laws that would have eliminated tenure in Idaho and South Dakota, defeating a threat to union political work in California, and ousting a state schools chief in Indiana who sought to fundamentally remake public education. The night didn't belong entirely to big labor; advocates of charter schools, which are typically nonunion, scored a win in Georgia and looked likely to prevail in a tough fight in Washington state. More


A call for President Obama to change course on education
The Washington Post (Commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the election behind us, it is time for the Obama administration to step back from its education policy and access whether its foundation is sound and supported by evidence, according to Arthur H. Camins, director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. It is a moment to summon the courage to change course. We have had wars on drugs, poverty and terrorism. Now, depending on perspective, we have a war either for or on education. Certainly, many educators feel under siege. Popular slogans like, "Whatever it takes," sound like battle cries. This brings to mind the documentary film, "The Fog of War," as a metaphor for education reform. More

Sandy underscores maintenance, utility cost control, schools as shelters and environmental education
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honorees are outstanding examples of healthy, safe and efficient school facilities and outdoor environments, ensuring that all schools meet basic standards of health, safety, efficiency and modernization, so that students and staff can achieve to their full potential, is the goal. The impact of Hurricane Sandy on schools underscores the importance of facilities' maintenance and environmental health, controlling school utility costs and schools as emergency shelters. It also highlights the need for effective environmental education. More

Rural schools still facing ed-tech challenges
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educational technology stakeholders tout the benefits of mobile devices, broadband Internet and technology in the classroom — but in some rural schools, even the most basic ed-tech access is still a pipe dream. However, digital tools and persistence on the part of school leaders can help rural students achieve the same "connectedness" found in more populated parts of the nation. More

Washington County students carry devices to help Pitt monitor spread of flu
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the help of children who were off of school for Election Day, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh hope to find out if school closings can slow the spread of flu and other disease. Researchers distributed remote sensors called motes to about 450 students at Borland Manor Elementary and North Strabane Intermediate schools in the Canon-McMillan School District in Washington County, Pa., Students will wear the motes, the size of a beeper and weighing 3 ounces, on lanyards around their necks. Powered by batteries, motes send out a signal that will detect another mote when they get close to each other, and the encounter is electronically recorded. Data collected from motes should give researchers a comprehensive picture of how often children interact. More

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Massachusetts studies adding Spanish at kindergarten level
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kindergartners in Dover and Sherborn, Mass., will be learning Spanish in their classrooms next September if a plan first initiated by passionate parents four years ago is passed by the local school boards. The Elementary World Language Committee will take its proposal before the Dover and Sherborn school committees on Dec. 11. The plan calls for integrating Spanish into the kindergarten curriculum for 20 minutes four days a week during the next school year, and then expanding it over the following five years to include a half-hour of Spanish instruction in grades 1 through 5. More

Energize your school with STEM
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The November/December issue of Principal explores science, technology, engineering and math. See how to prioritize STEM in your school with tips on strengthening math education, ideas for partnering with businesses for STEM programs, and much more. Plus, don't miss the next installment in the "Charting Your Path" series for early career principals. More

Crayola and NAESP announce creativity grant winners
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP and Crayola are proud to announce the 2012-2013 winners of the Champion Creatively Alive Children grant. The program awards schools with $3,000 grants to create innovative, arts-infused education opportunities. This year's 20 winning schools from around the country will use the award to explore topics as varied as ancient civilizations, Chinese culture, literacy games and more. Read about each school and discover ideas for an arts-infused program for your school. More


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