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New report identifies problems with international school rankings
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new report that tackles a number of hot-button education issues argues that U.S. academic performance might not be as poor as originally thought when compared to other countries—and that the Common Core standards might not have the impact many are hoping. The 2012 Brown Center Report on American Education is organized into three sections: Common Core State Standards, achievement gaps in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and international test scores and rankings. More


House GOP lawmakers push plan to update education law
The Associated Press via National Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
House Republicans pushed ahead with a plan to update the federal No Child Left Behind education law by shifting more control to states and school districts in determining whether children are learning. A hearing on a pair of bills to have states develop their own systems to identify low-performing schools and turn them around came days after President Barack Obama freed 11 states from some of the George W. Bush-era law's most stringent mandates. To get waivers, states had to submit plans and get the administration's approval. More

Study: Common standards will not affect student achievement
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Will the Common Core State Standards improve student achievement? Not according to a new study. The crux of the argument in the Brookings Institution report is that there is not much of a connection between standards — even rigorous ones — and student achievement. If there was a connection, we would have seen signs of improvement from states' own individual standards — all states have had standards since 2003 — but NAEP scores don't bear that out, author Tom Loveless argues. More

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Mississippi school systems ponder sex education options
The Associated Press via The Mississippi Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School districts across Mississippi are continuing to weigh their options on sex education classes. Mississippi schools have until June 30 to decide how to incorporate "abstinence-only" or "abstinence-plus" classes into the curriculum for the 2012-2013 school year. State law allows abstinence-only programs to include discussion of condoms and contraceptives if they give the risks and failure rates of each. Abstinence-plus programs have more leeway to discuss condoms and contraceptives but are still required to provide the risks and failure rates. More

7 standards for effective professional development
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Terms like "work collaboratively," "share what you know" and "problem-solve as a team" are commonly associated with the kinds of 21st-century skills that most people agree today's students should learn—but according to a professional development expert with decades of experience in the field, those terms should apply to teachers, too. During the American Association of School Administrators' National Conference on Education, Stephanie Hirsch, executive director of Learning Forward, discussed how her organization has redefined its standards for teacher professional development to keep up with what is being expected of today's students. More

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Teachers: Blocking tech in classrooms impedes learning
The Toronto Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Blocking social networks and banning cellphones in schools makes it difficult for teachers to do their jobs effectively in a digital world, a new report says. "School policies around technology are very frustrating to me," an elementary school teacher from Atlantic Canada says in the report from the Media Awareness Network, a Canadian nonprofit that promotes digital literacy. "I think it's one of the biggest benefits of having the Internet in our classrooms or on our projectors, is being able to connect with others on in a real-time situation but, in fact, we can't use Skype." More

Nielsen: Kids like actually like tablets for educational activities
ZDNet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Are tablets good enough to replace babysitters or playmates? The short answer would be no, but new research suggests that kids are using these mobile devices to fill such roles to some extent. Surveying tablet-owning households with children under 12, Nielsen Wire found that seven out of every 10 kids used the tablet during the fourth quarter of 2011 — up 9 percent from the previous three months. More


Online menu helps food-allergic kids
Education News Colorado    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Add this to the list of challenges youngsters with severe food allergies have to put up with — getting to the school lunchroom and discovering that there's nothing on the menu they can safely eat. Jamie Humphrey, administrative dietician with Colorado Springs School District 11, knows that's happened to kids. And while the district always offers a "gluten-free special of the day" for students with special dietary needs, that doesn't always accommodate the range of students' food allergies. Some youngsters simply always must bring lunch from home. But some parents fear that children who never get to go through the lunch line feel left out, and they want schools to do better at ensuring allergic children always have at least some choices available. More

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Children with IBD have difficulty in school, mostly due to absences
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Children with inflammatory bowel disease may have difficulty functioning in school, particularly because their tendency to internalize problems can impact attendance. These are the findings from a Nationwide Children's Hospital study appearing in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. "Both IBD and its treatment have the potential to disrupt school functioning," said Dr. Wallace V. Crandall, director of the Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Nationwide Children's and study author. More

Google's apps for education and the new privacy policy
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In late January when Google announced that it was replacing 60 different privacy policies across its multiple sites and services with a single one, you might have thought Congress had taken up SOPA and PIPA again. That's how loud the outrage was from much of the social galaxy. But what has been ignored is the impact that could be felt by schools that have signed up for Google Apps for Education. Will the new privacy policy affect the agreements Google has with K-12 schools? According to Google, the short answer is no, but with a nuance. More

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7 misconceptions about how students learn
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Will Rogers once said, "It isn't what people don't know that hurts them. It's what they do know that just ain't so." That's the introduction to a list of seven myths about learning on the website of the Independent Curriculum Group, which is part of a movement of leading private college preparatory schools with teacher-generated curriculum. Many people — educators included — still cling to some of these misconceptions about learning because they base what they think on their own experiences in school, ignoring what 21st century science and experience are revealing. More

'Value added' concept proves beneficial to teacher colleges
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The use of "value added" information appears poised to expand into the nation's teacher colleges, with more than a dozen states planning to use the technique to analyze how graduates of training programs fare in classrooms. Supporters say the data could help determine which teacher education pathways produce teachers who are at least as good as — or even better than — other novice teachers, spurring other providers to emulate their practices. More


Obama proposes NAEP cut; seeks state pilot for global testing
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One item tucked into President Barack Obama's new budget request that you might have missed is a proposed cut to the esteemed "nation's report card." The administration wants to trim $6 million from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a key measure of U.S. student achievement across disciplines relied upon by educators, policymakers, researchers and journalists. The proposal comes as part of a $70 billion budget request for the U.S. Department of Education that, overall, would increase the agency's discretionary coffers by 2.5 percent. More


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Santorum questions education system; criticizes Obama
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With his candidacy surging, Rick Santorum questioned the legitimacy of state-run public education systems and suggested that President Barack Obama's agenda sprang from a "phony theology." At one appearance, he said the idea of schools run by the federal government or by state governments was "anachronistic." Santorum did not say public schools were a bad idea, and he said that there was a role for government help in education. But it was the latest in a series of comments by the former Pennsylvania senator — who is tied in polls in the critical Ohio and Michigan primary contests — suggesting that he takes a dim view of public schooling. He and his wife home-schooled their children. More

Federal K-12 footprint at core of ESEA hearing
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Congressional lawmakers in charge of overseeing the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act are deeply divided on the right role for the federal government in K-12 education. The measures, introduced Feb. 9 by the committee's chairman, U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., would significantly scale back the federal role in overseeing K-12 policy, leaving nearly all accountability decisions up to the states. They have yet to garner Democrat support. More


A last-minute deal on teacher evaluations in New York
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York State education officials and the state teachers' union reached an agreement on a new evaluation system, just hours before a deadline set by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who had threatened to impose his own way to measure the quality of teachers' work. The agreement, which also applies to principals, puts the state one step closer to safeguarding $700 million in federal education aid. By pushing the two sides toward a compromise, Cuomo ended a nearly two-year stalemate and stole the spotlight from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who for a decade has focused much of his attention on education. More

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Court: Chicago teachers don't have rehire rights
Chicago Sun-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hundreds of tenured Chicago Public School teachers laid off for economic reasons in 2010 did not have the right to be rehired to new jobs, unlike other teachers in the state, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled. CPS officials hailed the decision as "historically significant" and a reaffirmation of reforms that began with the 1988 Chicago School Reform Act and the discretion it gave CPS principals to hire staff. More

Colorado teacher-evaluation bill signed into law
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rules that change how teachers and principals will be evaluated — and how they will earn or lose tenure — were signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper. The rules were passed as House Bill 1001, with 99 of 100 possible votes in the general assembly. "The work the council did initially plus the input from the state board was truly collaborative," said Kerri Dallman, a member of the council who drafted the rules. "That's one of the reasons I think it sailed through without changes." More

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New Hampshire Senate approves school-aid plan
The Associated Press via Seacoast Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New Hampshire would have more power over school funding, but would be required to provide at least some aid to communities under a constitutional amendment the Senate approved Wednesday and passed to the House for its consideration. The Senate voted 17-7 to replace a House proposal with one of its own. A few words separate the two chambers from putting a constitutional amendment on school aid on the November ballot, but the words are enough to divide them. More

Denver turnaround schools show 'unreal' improvement in students' math scores
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Denver's largest school turnaround effort is already producing student achievement that has surprised even early supporters of education reform in the city's far northeast. "The math tutoring has been unreal. It's big," said Allen Smith, executive director of the 11 new and turnaround schools in far northeast, now called the Denver Summit Schools Network, or DSSN. More

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NAESP elections open March 26
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This spring, eligible NAESP members will elect a new president-elect as well as directors for Zones 5, 7 and 9. Voting will open Monday, March 26, and will close Tuesday, April 24. Electronic ballots will be available through our website — but members will need to log in for access. Prepare now for voting by making sure that you can log in, and contact NAESP if you have any trouble. More


Mentor program training dates announced
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The NAESP National Mentor Program trains experienced principals to give back to their profession by serving as mentors for emerging school leaders. Six trainings have been scheduled for 2012-2013, including one March 19-21, before the NAESP National Conference and Expo of the Year in Seattle. More
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