Nov. 13, 2014

NYSSCA leaders to attend San Diego White House Convening
NYSSCA President Gloria Jean & President Elect, Dr. Barbara Donnellan have been selected to participate in the San Diego White House Convening.
See the message below that they received.
It is a great time to be a School Counselor...

This event will be live streamed and much more information follows:


SED Submit public comments by Dec. 20 on multiple pathways to graduation
The public comment period for the new pathways to graduation for students in the arts, humanities, STEM and Career and Technical Education has begun and will end Dec. 20. Calling it a long overdue step in the right direction, NYSUT is asking members to submit comments in support of the move. Here's our news release on the Regents' announcement with links to the draft language and supporting material. Here's the public comments page. NYSUT has said the proposed pathways would allow all students to graduate by demonstrating they have a strong, core academic background, as well as the knowledge, skills and coursework in CTE or other areas to apply their interests to industry-related jobs in their chosen fields.More

SED seeking public comment on Statewide Strategic Plan for Science
SED and a group of advisers developed a draft Statewide Strategic Plan to improve P-12 science education statewide. It incorporates six critical components — Standards, Curriculum, Professional Development to Enhance Instruction, Assessment, Materials and Resource Support, and Administrative and Community Support. The Board of Regents has posted the plan for public review and comment. Here is the survey to collect feedback. And here's the Statewide Strategic Plan for Science. The survey will be available until Dec. 3. More

New York voters approve $2 billion borrowing for school technology
New Yorkers approved borrowing $2 billion for classroom technology such as laptops, high-speed broadband and interactive white boards. Voters passed the Smart Schools Bond Act by 62 percent to 38 percent yesterday, according to preliminary results from the Associated Press. Proceeds may also be used to build classrooms for pre-kindergarten programs, replace trailers with permanent space and install security systems. "I want the kids to be caught up with technology and be able to compete in the marketplace when they're older," said Rory Anderson, a 58-year-old social worker in Harlem. More

States listen as parents give rampant testing an F
The New York Times
Florida embraced the school accountability movement early and enthusiastically, but that was hard to remember at a parent meeting in a high school auditorium here not long ago. Parents railed at a system that they said was overrun by new tests coming from all levels — district, state and federal. Some wept as they described teenagers who take Xanax to cope with test stress, children who refuse to go to school and teachers who retire rather than promote a culture that seems to value testing over learning.More

Combating experiential deficiencies for at-risk students
When we think of at-risk students, it's easy to point to income levels and geography as the reasons why they are falling behind. But an often-overlooked contributor to this ever-widening gap is the fact that at-risk students come into school at a deficit of experience, especially around the humanities. They just don't have the same context as a student who has had the opportunity to experience his or her community's cultural offerings.More

Study: Random events may have ripple effect on students' test-taking and their lives
The Huffington Post
Students taking standardized tests should hope there are not high levels of pollution in the air on testing day. A new working paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that students in Israel who took high-stakes exams in areas with high levels of air pollution faced negative impacts throughout their lives. Researchers said they found a substantial negative relationship between students' exposure to air pollution on test days and their test scores, which has significant implications for educational attainment and future earnings.More

Should wealthy towns be able to secede from higher-poverty, higher-minority school districts?
The Hechinger Report
For years, Craig Foster, a retired Wall Street executive turned public school activist, has been zipping up and down the Pacific Coast Highway seeking support for a split between Malibu, the mostly wealthy, mostly white city of beachfront bungalows and modernist mansions, and Santa Monica, the equally picturesque but less moneyed city that shares its school district. Foster insists that once Malibu is independent from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, the city could roll out a K-12 foreign language program, beef up its middle school soccer offerings, and maybe even design an International Baccalaureate track for the city's four schools.More

Report: Hispanic students' math performance on steady uptick
Education Week
Hispanic students' performance on 4th and 8th grade national math exams improved significantly between 2003 and 2013, with an increase in some cases that amounted to the equivalent of one grade level, according to a new report released Monday by The Child Trends Hispanic Institute, a Bethesda, Md.-based education research firm. Charlotte, Boston and Houston were among the "notable" big-city school districts in which Hispanic students showed significant long-term (10-year) gains on 4th grade math assessments.More

New laws strengthen protection of student data
District Administration Magazine
States are ramping up student data privacy laws, with lawmakers in the 2014 legislative cycle passing 30 of 120 proposed bills aimed at protecting personal information. The most comprehensive law was passed in California in September. It prohibits educational sites, apps and cloud services from selling or disclosing students' personal information. The data also cannot be used to target advertising to students.More

New one-to-one initiative transforms special education
eSchool News
Hunched over their iPads, the three seventh-graders took turns reading the document displayed on their screens. One, Sam Seifert, followed along, while her special education teacher Jessica Waterstreet did the talking — Seifert has difficulty reading on her own. Seated near the center of the table, Blake Hanna recited the words softy, rushing through them quickly. Jacob Voracek, opposite Seifert, took the text more slowly, pronouncing each word with precision and care.More

Why trust is a crucial ingredient in shaping independent learners
Preparing students to be "college and career ready" is a catch phrase in many schools, but those same institutions often block large swaths of the internet in an attempt to protect students from acting inappropriately online. While well-intentioned, blocking useful digital tools prevents educators from guiding students through appropriate online behavior while still in the relative safety of school. College and job recruiters are seeking students who are creative problem solvers, collaborative workers and independent thinkers, but in many cases, rules prevent students from practicing those skills online.More

Features of classroom design to maximize student achievement
SAGE Publication via Science Daily
With so much attention to curriculum and teaching skills to improve student achievement, it may come as a surprise that something as simple as how a classroom looks could actually make a difference in how students learn. A new analysis finds that the design and aesthetics of school buildings and classrooms has surprising power to impact student learning and success.More