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Should there be a bar exam for teachers?
Take Part via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Eager law school graduates are tasked with taking the dreaded bar exam before they practice law. What do you suppose would happen if there was a similar test for teachers? Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, was the first to propose this idea at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June. Weingarten, who strives to help the teacher labor unions in her charge, suggested the bar exam in part as a way to help counter the impression that unions protect failing teachers. More


Youngest kids in class may be more likely to get ADHD diagnosis
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new study from Iceland adds to existing evidence that kids are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder if they're among the youngest in their grade at school. The findings suggest — but don't prove — that some children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder when they're just less mature than their peers. More

ALEC votes down anti-Common-Core resolution
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The way the American Legislative Exchange Council, the controversial conservative think tank in Washington, has handled the Common Core State Standards has generated an interesting conflict in the education community. Some who have dealings with ALEC believe the common standards could mean progress for K-12 schools, but others involved in the group believe the standards represent the camel's nose in the tent and a prelude to greater federal intrusion in state and local education policy. More

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Some states preserve penmanship despite tech gains
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The pen might not be as mighty as the keyboard these days, but California and a handful of states are not giving up on handwriting entirely. Bucking a growing trend of eliminating cursive writing from elementary school curriculums or making it optional, California is among the states keeping longhand as a third-grade staple. The state's posture on penmanship is not likely to undercut its place at the leading edge of technology, but it has teachers and students divided over the value of learning flowing script and looping signatures in an age of touch pads and mobile devices. More

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Study: Students with access to full-time librarians do better
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As school districts look for ways to save money, supporters of school libraries point to a recent study showing Pennsylvania students do better on state tests in reading and writing if they have access to strong school libraries. The study found students with access to a better-staffed, funded, equipped, stocked and accessible school library are more likely to score advanced and less likely to score below basic on the state reading and writing tests. More

Cap on special education testing concerns schools
The Tennessean    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The push for educational accountability is creating a delicate balancing act for advocates of children with disabilities, who want improvement measured but don't want children or schools punished for poor scores. Two issues are at the forefront. One is a federal limit on the percentage of students who can take alternative tests, regardless of how many children qualify for them. More


Palm scanners get thumbs up in schools, hospitals
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At schools in Pinellas County, Fla., students aren't paying for lunch with cash or a card, but with a wave of their hand over a palm scanner. "It's so quick that a child could be standing in line, call mom and say, 'I forgot my lunch money today.' She's by her computer, runs her card, and by the time the child is at the front of the line, it's already recorded," says Art Dunham, director of food services for Pinellas County Schools. Students take about four seconds to swipe and pay for lunch, Dunham says, and they're doing it with 99 percent accuracy. More

Free Web tools make classroom management fun
The Digital Shift (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Richard Byrne, a high school social studies teacher, writes: "When I decided to become a teacher, the first course I took was on classroom management. It involved all sorts of rubrics and checklists for documenting student behavior — certainly not the most fun aspect of the job, but a necessary one. The records that I learned to keep have come in handy over the years, especially for sharing with students' parents when we meet to discuss their children's work. Thankfully, taking attendance and other record keeping no longer require paper, nor do parents and students have to wait until conference time to review this information." More

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Report: Innovative teaching not technology alone has 'greatest impact' in the classroom    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The academics from Nottingham's Learning Sciences Research Institute, in collaboration with the London Knowledge Lab, say that — just like traditional school resources — the key to success is the way in which digital technologies like interactive whiteboards, laptops and tablets are used. This new research suggests we need to ask more meaningful questions about technology and learning. The traditional approach asks whether a type of technology helps learning and always finds the answer is "it depends." So instead we need to ask what are the most effective activities for learners and then find ways that technology can support them. More

Better teacher-candidate mentoring targeted
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Summer Brewer's first student-teaching experience taught her many things, all learned the hard way. The teacher she was apprenticed to gave students worksheets for whole class periods and never got up from her desk. By Ms. Brewer's fourth day, her mentor was spending most of her time in the teachers' lounge. "I was essentially a full-time teacher," said Ms. Brewer, now a second-year high school English teacher in the Henderson County district, in Tennessee. "I'm not sure how [she] still gets student-teachers, unless the principal does it because he knows it's the only way any teaching will get done." More


Young teachers drawn to kids, career starts tricky
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Jordan McNeil offered skills in high demand by public schools when she graduated from college with a dual major in special education and elementary education in 2011. She needed just one interview to find the right spot for her, a classroom where she and two assistants spend all day teaching eight autistic children. A year into her career, she says the greatest satisfaction comes from the skin-tingling "light bulb moments" when someone's knowledge really opens. Moments "when something really clicks with one of my students and I can see it, that they've figured it out and they understand," she said. "It's the little moments that make it worth it." More

Survey: School bullying often victimizes children with intelligence or talent
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 90 percent of British children have been bullied or have witnessed someone being bullied due to their intelligence or talent, a survey by the U.K.-based Anti-Bullying Alliance has found. The research indicates that more than a quarter of the 1,000 11- to 16-year-olds surveyed, or 27.3 percent, have quit an activity they enjoy for fear of being bullying. About half have downplayed a talent for the same reason — a number that rises to 53 percent among girls. More

What is DOE's stance on using testing data in teacher evaluation? Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Marciano Gutierrez, a 2012 Teaching Ambassador Fellow, on loan from Alta Vista High School in Mountain View, Calif., writes: "A recent letter to the Department of Education from a teacher in Cincinnati contained a quote that really struck me: 'It is not at all that I am afraid of what my test scores might reveal. I am more concerned about what my student's test scores will not reveal.' The quote rings true of so many classrooms across the country, including my own. I teach students who have been removed from other institutions due to behavior, chronic absences or other issues that have prevented them from being successful in the traditional school setting. Each of my students has been identified as a potential dropout and each has a profound set of challenges that manifest in the classroom." More

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Schools eat up challenge of new federal nutrition standards
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sizzling saucepans, men and women in chef pants running with pots of water and frantic cries for salt made the cooking stations at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena like a scene from a show on the Food Network. Further enhancing the resemblance were boxes of mystery ingredients: acorn squash, alfredo sauce, persimmons, a pineapple and animal-shaped graham crackers. But the frenzy wasn't a taping of the show "Chopped." It was the recent California School Nutrition Assn.'s annual conference. More

Education department analysis paints mixed picture of SIG program
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two-thirds of chronically underperforming schools that tapped into a big new infusion of cash under the federal School Improvement Grant program made gains in math or reading, but another third saw student achievement decline in their first academic year, according to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Education. A quarter, or slightly more, of the schools in the program had seen their student progress slip before they got the grant, then saw gains after they received SIG funding, the analysis found. More


Oregon district dedicates Wednesday mornings to teacher collaboration for teacher, student benefit
The Oregonian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Oregon, Gresham-Barlow School District's shift to a late start on Wednesdays is already helping educators sharpen instruction and get a better grip on individual student needs, administrators say. Teachers at every level meet with other teachers to discuss student data, assessments and outcomes. After a few months, teachers already are seeing results. More

Report: Transform teaching by providing ongoing PD and career opportunities
EdSource    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With about one-third of all new teachers in the United States leaving the profession within five years, California can stem this loss and improve teacher quality by extending time to train new teachers and providing more opportunities for career growth, a report released by Accomplished California Teachers concluded. The report also emphasizes the need to attract high-quality teachers to low-performing schools by not only offering higher pay, but also release time and additional stipends earmarked for ongoing professional development relevant to the needs of the students they teach. More

Education funding proposal allows school choice, more online learning
Detroit Free Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A draft bill prepared for Gov. Rick Snyder would fundamentally change K-12 education in Michigan, allowing students to choose school districts, make greater use of online learning and earn financial incentives of $2,500 per semester for completing high school early. The proposed Michigan Public Education Finance Act would replace the School Aid Act of 1979, the law that governs education funding, and provide for learning at "any time, any place, any way and at any pace," said Richard McLellan, the Lansing attorney Snyder tapped to lead a rewrite of the law on how Michigan pays for education. More

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Feds: Teachers in three states embroiled in test-taking fraud
The Associated Press via The Kansas City Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It was a brazen and surprisingly long-lived scheme, authorities said, to help aspiring public school teachers cheat on the tests they must pass to prove they are qualified to lead their classrooms. For 15 years, teachers in three Southern states paid Clarence Mumford Sr. — himself a longtime educator — to send someone else to take the tests in their place, authorities said. Each time, Mumford received a fee of between $1,500 and $3,000 to send one of his test ringers with fake identification to the Praxis exam. In return, his customers got a passing grade and began their careers as cheaters, according to federal prosecutors in Memphis. More

Elementary principal adds programs to build performance
The Sacramento Bee    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Micah Hayhurst pulled a small blue chair up to a table and leaned in to talk to Dre. He eats lunch with the third-grader every Thursday as part of the Jump Mentor Program at Theodore Judah Elementary in Folsom, Calif. Hayhurst is the male role model that Dre doesn't have at home. They usually wrap up their hour by tossing around the football. The Rotarian was introduced to the school when Principal Canen Peterson invited his club to take a tour. He is now one of the many volunteers — including a number of Rotarians — at the school. More

Granite's engaging 'hub' helps special needs students succeed
The Salt Lake Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Whittier Elementary School in West Valley City, Utah, has all the usual fixtures, from desks to whiteboards to a playground, but it also has the unexpected — a climbing wall, a disco ball and a zipline. Its wing for special needs students includes a sensory room with multi-colored lights, a boom box with calming music, a vibrating mat and soft mats for jumping or resting. The nurse's office has three full-time nurses and a host of medical equipment. The physical therapy room is typically used by about 20 students a day, but it serves up to 60 on busy days. More

Tap into STEM resources on PD 360
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This month, take STEM to the next level at your school with PD 360. There's still time to watch November's selection of online professional development videos focused on STEM. NAESP members get free access to PD 360's wealth of video-based materials and related resources for both individual learning and staff training. More

NAESP Career Center offers job-hunting tools
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The NAESP Career Center, supported by Job Target, is the only dedicated national job bank for principals in public and private elementary and middle schools. Peruse job listings, post your resume, browse a wealth of career resources and even schedule a session with a career coach. More


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