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5 states to extend classroom time for almost 20,000 students in bid to boost achievement
The Associated Press via Star Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Open your notebooks and sharpen your pencils. School for thousands of public school students is about to get quite a bit longer. Five states announced that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools starting in 2013. Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee will take part in the initiative, which is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level. More


Reports highlight need for data mobility
eClassroom News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educational data must follow students as they cross state lines, and policymakers must be equipped with the tools needed to ensure that teachers, students and parents have access to this important information, according to two reports released by the Data Quality Campaign. One such tool is an open-source system that lets educators pull and use data from a range of existing sources, created with support from the Dell Foundation. More

Elementary's isolation room upsets some
CNN via WLFI-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An isolation booth at an elementary school in Longview, Wash., is causing quite a stir. Some parents are upset about the room, but school administrators defend it. In a matter of hours, photos of the isolation booth have been shared on Facebook about 100 times. More

Elementary pupils immersed in foreign language
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When it comes to lessons in other tongues, Kevin Fitzgerald, the superintendent of the Caesar Rodney school district in northeastern Delaware, is never at a loss for words. He speaks with pride about the fact that his district's high school, Caesar Rodney High School, offers six foreign languages: French, Spanish, German, Latin, and, more recently, Arabic and Mandarin. More

Making it a team effort: Students learn to collaborate
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lydia Dobyns writes: Watching high school freshmen navigate a collaborative project for the first time is a delight, or should I say watching them cross the "finish line" is a source of pride for all involved. Think of it like teaching your child to ride a bike, only this is a tandem bike built for six. As the teacher you function as the "push" coach and know that there are often spills and a few bruised hands in the early attempts. More

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Common Core sparks war over words
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As states across the country implement broad changes in curriculum from kindergarten through high school, English teachers worry that they will have to replace the dog-eared novels they love with historical documents and nonfiction texts. The Common Core State Standards in English, which have been adopted in 46 states and the District, call for public schools to ramp up nonfiction so that by 12th-grade students will be reading mostly "informational text" instead of fictional literature. More

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School field trips turn to virtual, digital technology
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Nina Corley, a high school history teacher in Galveston, Texas, prepares her students for a field trip, more often than not these days she sets up a large monitor in the front of her classroom and dials in to a live broadcast that is brought directly to the screen. In November, Corley's students virtually explored the late 1700s to learn about the French and Indian War. More

iPad app allows students to report bullying
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Police at the McAllen Independent School District in Texas hope students will use a new mobile app to report bullying or other threats to authorities before they happen. The district rolled out an app for iPads and other mobile devices that let students anonymously report incidents of bullying and threats of violence or suicide to school police instantaneously. More

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Students learn better with Star Trek-style touchscreen desks
Popular Science    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Observe the criticisms of nearly any major public education system in the world, and a few of the many complaints are more or less universal. Technology moves faster than the education system. Teachers must teach at the pace of the slowest student rather than the fastest. And — particularly in the United States — grade school children as a group don't care much for, or excel at, mathematics. More


Reforming teachers — and unions
The Hour (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Another critical demographic shift is occurring. This one is taking place, quietly, in teachers unions: Over the past several years, teachers who have spent 10 years or fewer in the classroom have become the dues-paying majority. The impact of this new majority is as important to the role of unions as the changing electorate is to presidential elections. These newer teachers, along with many longtime teachers, are looking for their unions to elevate the profession — not to sacrifice teaching quality for job security. More

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Beating the odds (and the naysayers) Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teachers at the Department of Education were impressed with the Terrel H. Bell principals that they met during this year's Blue Ribbon Schools National Celebration, but Blaine Helwig, the principal of Graham Elementary School, stood out because he has done what many thought was impossible: Using home-grown strategies that others thought wouldn't work. More


Big win for schools as Prop. 30 defies polls
EdSource (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
California schools' rendezvous with rock bottom is over. A massive grassroots campaign, an 11th hour surge in advertising and strategic targeting of likely voters pulled Proposition 30 over the halfway mark, giving both Gov. Jerry Brown and California public schools and community colleges a victory. With all of the vote reported, Prop. 30 led 53.9 to 46.1 percent. More

Los Angeles to revamp teacher evaluations
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Los Angeles public school teachers union reached a tentative agreement to allow student achievement metrics such as standardized test scores to factor in to teacher evaluations, making L.A. the latest district to embrace such methods. If the agreement is ratified by rank and file union members and by the Los Angeles Unified School District's board, evaluations would consider state assessment scores, attendance and suspension rates, course passage rates and academic performance, among other measures. More

North Carolina school rules teachers, students can't be Facebook friends
WLTX-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many of us love social networking; but, when is a tweet or friend request between teachers and students appropriate? Lenoir County Schools have adopted a new policy when it comes to social media. North Carolina teachers and students can no longer "friend" each other on sites like Facebook. More

Louisiana school voucher plan ruled unconstitutional
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Bobby Jindal's voucher program that uses tax dollars to send students to private schools was ruled unconstitutional by a state judge who said it's improperly funded through the public school financing formula. Judge Tim Kelley sided with arguments presented by teacher unions and school boards seeking to shut down the voucher program and other changes that would funnel more money away from traditional public schools. More

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Seeing students transform: One afternoon at a time
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Seneca Jamison writes: "WALSH ES. WE THE BEST!" is what you hear at Walsh Elementary School where inspired students are having a great time during Citizen Schools. In my first year as a teaching fellow, I have experienced so many great things with our students and in their apprenticeships. The apprenticeship that I co-teach is Brand You with citizen teacher volunteers from AOL. The objective of this apprenticeship is for students to learn the importance of branding and how to make a brand for themselves so they can be successful in life. More

Proposals for 2013 conference due in less than two weeks
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP's 2013 Best Practices for Better Schools National Conference and Expo of the Year is right around the corner! Join other nationally recognized speakers in shaping the professional program by sharing your best practices, expertise and successes in a concurrent session. Submit a presentation proposal today. More

Calling all aspiring children's book authors
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The NAESP Foundation is looking for the next great children's book — and it could be yours! Submissions for the National Children's Book Award Contest are due March 15. Prospective authors may submit a picture or chapter book written for children ages 3-16. Judging will be based on content, originality and age-appropriateness. Winners will receive a contract with Charlesbridge Publishing. More


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