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DOE announces 16 winners of Race to the Top-District competition
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education announced today that 16 applicants — representing 55 school districts across 11 states and D.C. — have won the 2012 Race to the Top-District competition. These districts will share nearly $400 million to support locally developed plans to personalize and deepen student learning, directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness, close achievement gaps, and prepare every student to succeed in college and their careers. More


3 square meals at school
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In thousands of school districts across the country, instead of asking mom or dad, "What's for dinner?," students are posing that question to cafeteria workers. That's because of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, signed into law in December 2010, which funds a third meal in schools where at least half of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. According to the Congressional Budget Office, more than 21 million students will be eating dinner at school by 2015, and 29 million by 2020, at the cost of $641 million from 2011 to 2020. Advocates for the poor welcome this added nourishment for poorer students, although conservatives like Rush Limbaugh disagree. More

US students still lag globally in math and science, tests show
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fourth- and eighth-grade students in the United States continue to lag behind students in several East Asian countries and some European nations in math and science, although American fourth graders are closer to the top performers in reading, according to test results released on Tuesday. Fretting about how American schools compare with those in other countries has become a regular pastime in education circles. Results from two new reports, the "Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study" and the "Progress in International Reading Literacy Study," are likely to fuel further debate. More

Global STEM achievement ups and downs since 1995
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Iran, Portugal and Singapore might not have a lot in common, but here's one thing they share: All have seen their fourth grade science scores skyrocket since 1995. That's based on the new results from the Trends in International Math and Science Study. The same isn't true, however, of the United States. The scores of our fourth-graders in science are about the same as in 1995. Meanwhile, some participating countries and jurisdictions have seen their scores slip in particular subjects and grade levels, including Sweden, Norway, Japan and Alberta, Canada. More

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Does the use of Twitter improve education?
Connected Principals (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There has been post after post acknowledging how educators love Twitter while also encouraging others to use it themselves. With that though comes skeptics (as there should be), questioning whether the use of Twitter is beneficial to educators. More

Teachers' perspectives on evaluation reform
Center for American Progress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Of all school factors — from extended learning opportunities to family and community engagement to smaller class sizes — teachers exert the largest impact on student achievement. What was once fervently believed by practitioners and parents but questioned by researchers is now a well-established fact: Teachers make a crucial difference in students' academic performance. Despite this reality, efforts to improve teacher quality through performance evaluation have made little ground. The consequences of evaluation have generally been negligible in terms of teachers' instructional improvement or continued employment. There is scant evidence that evaluation has improved the quality of teachers' classroom instruction or led to the dismissal of underperforming teachers. More

5 common misconceptions about today's students
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It seems that every generation has a few gripes about the younger ones. But are there misconceptions specific to today's students? In the recent article, "Question of the Week," eSchool News asked our readers what they thought were the "common misconceptions about today's students," similar to our "Common misconceptions about teachers" feature. More

Building social and emotional skills in elementary students: Passion and strengths
Edutopia    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In this nine-part series, Edutopia will look at important factors that influence the happiness and social and emotional learning of elementary school age children. These are very useful in helping students learn, manage emotions better and increase empathy. More

Smart-Girl tackles tween angst with team building
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The girls sit in a wriggly circle, dressed in variations on skinny jeans and hoodies and sneakers, a few wearing a touch of lace and their first makeup, one wearing a head scarf. There are budding starlets, tomboys, shy kids, girls who bounce in their chairs. And they talk, each in turn, telling who they are on this dark November evening at Kearney Middle School in Commerce City, Colo.: "I'm at Level 11 'cause I'm hyper." "I put pictures of computers in my 'me' brochure because I like techno." This is Smart-Girl, an activity program for middle-school girls that puts a laser-like focus on the years when girls' anxieties go through the roof — years when they can feel like they're under daily assault from without and within. More

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Are expelled students more likely to drop out?
The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two years ago, two social-justice groups set out to answer a seemingly simple question: How many students in the state of Washington are expelled from school each year or are suspended for more than 10 days? They still don't have a clear answer. In a report, Washington Appleseed and TeamChild were able to identify 9,329 incidents involving an unknown number of students in the 2009-2010 school year. Because of inconsistent and incomplete reporting by school districts and the state, they think that number greatly understates the total. More

School names can be lessons in recognition
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Celebrities? Historical figures? Neighborhoods? As L.A. Unified replaces temporary generic campus names with permanent monikers, the process has become political, controversial or just plain wacky. More


Why swimmers are smarter than you
Men's Health via Yahoo    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Middle school may have been a helluva lot easier if you had spent a little more time in the pool. New research out of Australia says that children who are taught to swim at an early age hit certain physical and developmental milestones faster than kids who learn later in life. Over the span of three years, researchers surveyed the parents of more than 7,000 children age 5 and under and found that the age kids learned to swim correlated with when they began accomplishing certain skills. More

iPads to enhance learning for education majors
eClassroom News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Beginning this spring, 575 undergraduate students at the University of Oklahoma's Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education will be given fourth-generation iPads to complete assignments and create lesson plans, and they'll carry their course work into the professional world with them. "Students will use iPads within the curriculum to create digital content for classes and prepare to teach in K-12 schools with similar iPad programs," said Erin Yarbrough, director of Web communications at OU. More

Study: School absences translate to lower test scores
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Missing even a few days of school seems to make a difference in whether eighth-graders perform at the top of their game, according to a new analysis of results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The report, the first of a planned series of analyses of NAEP's background-survey data, looks at how fourth- and eighth-graders use existing school time, including their attendance, instructional time and homework. More

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Peanut butter, garlic bread back on school plates
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a battle over healthier school lunches that pitted the Obama administration against school children, chalk up a point for the kids. Students have been complaining that some of their favorite foods were taken off the plate because of the Obama administration's efforts to make school lunches healthier. More

Comparing the leading classroom observation tools
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Policymakers in states from coast to coast are demanding more rigorous teacher evaluations that lead to real improvements in instruction — and school systems are changing their practices as a result. Central to this effort are software tools that help school leaders record their observations during classroom walkthroughs and share this information with teachers to foster their professional growth. More

Why our schools need education technology professionals
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The professional workforce has been quick to adopt new technology tools. We readily accept that tablets and smartphones, teleconferencing and social media are now essential fixtures of the workplace for millions across the globe. Yet we've been slow in extending these advances to our schools, and in particular our K-12 schools. While many children's home lives are abuzz with the same platforms and devices as the 21st century workplace, school just hasn't kept pace, and in many classrooms pedagogies are barely more inclusive of new technology than they were in the 1980s. More


US Department of Education: English-learner services a priority
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some state and local directors of programs for English language learners, along with advocates for this growing subgroup of students in America's public schools, have been raising concerns for some time that the U.S. Department of Education has not treated the unique needs of ELLs with the prominence that it should. Central to their complaints is the splitting of responsibilities over Title III, the provision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that provides roughly $750 million in federal aid to states and local districts for English-language acquisition programs. More

FTC urges app makers to protect kids' privacy
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Developers of smartphone and tablet apps aimed at children have done little in the past year to give parents "the information they need to determine what data is being collected from their children, how it is being shared, or who will have access to it," the Federal Trade Commission reports. "Our study shows that kids' apps siphon an alarming amount of information from mobile devices without disclosing this fact to parents," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz says in a statement released by the commission. More

Expert: More school funding won't improve outcome
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An expert testifying for the state of Texas said that increasing the amount of money spent per public-school pupil hasn't translated to higher standardized test scores or increased student performance. "If you look at the data, it doesn't support the argument that spending more money will improve student achievement," University of Missouri economist Michael Podgursky, an expert on education spending, told state District Judge John Dietz. More

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Kentucky nervous about new Common Core school standards
Stateline    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Kentucky this year, the percentage of elementary and middle-school students who rated "proficient" or better on statewide math and reading tests declined by about a third. Kentucky high schoolers also experienced a double-digit percentage point decline in both subjects. Those results may sound dismal, but they were better than state education officials had expected. Kentucky is the first state to tie its tests to the new national Common Core standards in English and math, and state officials had projected that the new, tougher standards could yield declines of as much as 50 percent. More

The District releases results of nation's 1st standardized test on health and sex education
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fifth- and eighth graders in the District are pretty well-versed in emotional-health issues but have a lot to learn about the human body, according to results from the city's (and the nation's) first standardized test on health, physical education and sex education. High school students, meanwhile, correctly answered an average of three out of four questions about sexuality and reproduction — but knew far less about how to locate health information and assistance. Overall, city students correctly answered an average of 62 percent of questions about nutrition, wellness, disease prevention and sex education. More

Florida board selects advocate of Jeb Bush policies as Florida education commissioner
The Florida Times-Union    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Florida Board of Education members voted unanimously to select Indiana's recently ousted school superintendent as Florida's new education commissioner. Tony Bennett has been a public advocate for many of the reforms championed by former Gov. Jeb Bush. Those positions have earned him praise from Gov. Rick Scott and board members but scorn from teachers unions and some public education advocates. More

Proposals for 2013 conference due today
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. Presentation proposals are due today, Dec. 14. More

Catch up on NAESP's webinars on Common Core, inclusive play and more
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP's free webinars offer on-demand learning opportunities on the topics educators face every day, from implementing the Common Core standards to integrating technology to bullying. Watch the latest archived webinar about inclusive playgrounds, or register for the next webinar in January on brain-based classroom strategies. More


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