Morning announcements: Is $1.7 billion too much or too little for the nation to spend annually on standardized testing?

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Posted:
November 30, 2012 03:47 pm

heck ya

How much do standardized tests costs? A new report from the Brown Center, that looks in detail at the costs of assessments, find that the U.S. spends $1.7 billion per year, or an average of $65 per students in grades 3-9 on testing. Education Week

And speaking of spending a lot of money, charter schools spend millions of taxpayer dollars every year on advertising to recruit new students. The information is gleaned from Kantar Media, based on advertising rates and buys. Huffington Post

During the 2009-10 school year, 69 percent of California’s student-body were students of color or Native American. These students graduated on-time, at a lower percentage than their white peers. A new Alliance report calls for equity in education to close the achievement gap and ensure economic prosperity for individuals and the country. The Press-Enterprise

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Categories:
Assessments, California, High School Graduation Rates, Michigan

Afternoon announcements: Arne Duncan for Secretary of State?

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Posted:
November 29, 2012 07:20 pm

yell

Thomas Friedman made waves with his column yesterday in which he nominated a new Secretary of State to replace Hillary Clinton. Who is it? Unexpectedly, he picked Arne Duncan. New York Times

Responding to Thomas Friedman’s nomination of him for the next Secretary of State, Arne Duncan joked that he’d sooner be a stripper than a handle the country’s state affairs. I’m guessing he’s not on the short list of candidates after that response. Huffington Post

Students in Pinellas County, Fla. are rocketing into the future with the use of palm scanners to pay for lunches. Who needs cards when you have your DNA? USA Today

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Categories:
High School Graduation Rates

Afternoon announcements: Teachers should not be “part of some collective trade union bargaining process”

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Posted:
November 28, 2012 08:15 pm

smallmicrophone

There’s some good news in the education world today. The biennial report card on American youth is out from The Josephson Institute of Ethics, and it finds that cheating, lying and stealing among high school student is on the decline – for the first time in a decade! Huffington Post

Who’s in charge of Detroit’s public schools? Teachers, parents and the like seem to be confused over the answer to this question. The confusion stems from the repeal of Public Act 4, a law that allowed the state to appoint its own leaders to run school districts. Huffington Post

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Categories:
Michigan, Teachers & Leaders

Everyone’s getting Straight A’s!

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Posted:
November 28, 2012 02:37 pm

straight a

While the U.S. Congress must confront crucial economic issues this month, every school, district, and state leader must make critical decisions in the next two years involving digital learning that will shape education for decades, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education. The report, The Nation’s Schools Are Stepping Up to Higher Standards, identifies four key challenges that public school district leaders must systemically address in the next two years and otlines the essential elements for developing a comprehensive digital strategy.

Under the Obama administration, the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program, which targets the nation’s lowest-performing schools, has allocated up to $2 million per school at more than 1,300 schools, approximately 40 percent of which are high schools. The data released on Nov. 19th by the U.S. Department of Education provides the first overview of performance for the first group of schools after one year of implementing the SIG program. While acknowledging that it is too soon to establish a clear connection between School Improvement Grants (SIG) and school performance, the data shows “positive momentum and progress” in many schools that received funds through the SIG program.

Although President Obama was unable to shepherd a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act through the U.S. Congress during his first term, he did encourage states to enact education reforms through the Race to the Top competition and provide additional flexibility under NCLB through waivers. However, even though Obama also made investments in education one of the key prongs of his economic plan, the percentage of Americans who believe he can improve education during his second term dropped slightly—from 71 percent in 2008 to 68 percent in 2012—according to a post-election poll by USA Today and Gallup.

Read our full e-newsletter, “Straight A’s,” here. To receive our bi-weekly newsletter in your inbox, emailJAmos@all4ed.org.

Categories:
Digital Learning

Robyn Young: BYOD – Rethink cell phone use in the classroom

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Posted:
November 27, 2012 07:07 pm

robyn young

The following blog post comes from Robyn Young, the school librarian at Avon High School and the Avon Advanced Learning Center in Avon, Indiana. She is a former Media Specialist of the Year in the State of Indiana.

My cell phone died.  OK – it didn’t die…I killed it. It fell off of my counter and landed right in the middle of my dog’s water bowl. The bowl is only 6 inches in circumference and about one inch deep, but that didn’t matter. I snatched the phone out of the water as fast as I could, but it was too late.  It was dead. And I didn’t back up the data on it.

The really bad part is that I’ve always kind of made fun of the people who don’t back up the data on their phones or who aren’t more careful with them, but now that it has happened to me, I guess that it’s really not that funny. Sure, my contacts and calendar are backed up automatically in iCloud, but my very favorite app – that has all of my school and personal notes in it – wasn’t backed up. Not only that, but I was left without a phone at all for three days while I figured out if mine could be fixed.

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Categories:
Digital Learning, Digital Learning Series

Afternoon announcements; Alliance report links economic success to academic achievement

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Posted:
November 27, 2012 06:44 pm

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A new Alliance report finds that there is a strong correlation between economic prosperity and growth and equity in education. Minority and low-income students make up increasing percentages of the total number of students. As future consumers and workforce members, it’s essential for these students, and all students, to receive a quality education for America to remain competitive in the future. Education Week

The US Department of Education made waves with several big announcements this week. The Department has named 61 finalists in its Race to the Top-District Competition. The competition will allocate $400 million among the districts chosen for the strongest school reform plans. Washington Post

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Categories:
Achievement Gap, High School Graduation Rates, Teacher Quality

Afternoon announcements: More educators using rap to teach

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Posted:
November 26, 2012 07:41 pm

more educators

First, the New York Times reported that several educators have joined forces to start an initiative to use hip-hop to teach science in the classroom. Now, a rapper known as 2 Pi is busting rhymes in classrooms to educate students on mathematics. Washington Post

Increasing number of states and districts are foregoing graduation tests in lieu of college readiness exams. The newest state to add its name to the list is Ohio. The state will replace the Ohio Graduation Test with a nationally standardized college readiness exam, such as the ACT, and 10 subject-area exams. Education Week

Many first-generation and low-income students don’t receive the information on college, the financial aid process and other elements of postsecondary education they need to succeed. College Summit, a national nonprofit whose mission is to raise the number of low-income students who attend college, aims to change that by providing informational sessions to low-income students. LA Times 

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Categories:
College & Career Readiness, Teachers & Leaders

Afternoon announcements: Hip-hop education reform

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Posted:
November 20, 2012 05:41 pm

charlie

T-2 days until Turkey day! The Alliance will be taking a blogging break starting tomorrow, November 21st, to celebrate the holiday. We’ll be back with our daily #ednews roundup and our other content on Monday, November 26th. We wish you all safe travels and a happy Thanksgiving!

Indiana University released a new report this week with interesting findings: there is a positive correlation between the amount of time students spend working on their homework and their performances on standardized tests. Perhaps more interestingly, there is little correlation between homework time and better grades in math and science. Washington Post

It’s well-known that with the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will come higher academic benchmarks for students. For students who struggle under the current system, it’s easy to think they will lag further behind under the more rigorous standards. But an Education Sector study shows that, on the contrary, there is “no evidence that high standards have hurt low-achieving students.” It’s possible they’ve even helped. Education Sector

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Categories:
Common Core State Standards, Digital Learning, Federal Education Reform

Blended learning: The next major reform intervention for PreK-12

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Posted:
November 20, 2012 03:59 pm

blended learning

The following blog post comes from Dr. Michael J. Martirano, superintendent of St. Mary’s County Public Schools in Leonardtown, Maryland. 

In September 2012, I challenged every educational leader and teacher in America to examine programmatic offerings and interventions that are being implemented in their respective school districts for the purpose of ensuring that every young person is on a positive trajectory to achieve the goal of graduating from high school with the skills that will allow him/her to be ready to attend college and enter the workforce.

As this school year has progressed and the first marking quarter has come to a close in most school districts, we are examining our performance data to ensure that students are making the incremental progress needed to ensure that mastery of content is occurring and that students are on pace to graduate from high school, on-time. Like many of my colleagues, I am never fully satisfied when I learn that some of our young people are falling behind and not staying on track to graduate in four years.

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Categories:
Blended Learning, Digital Learning

Baltimore County magnet school seamlessly integrates technology

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Posted:
November 19, 2012 09:23 pm

baltimore county

This blog is a guest post from Dana Novotny and Flo Falatko, educators at Cromwell Valley Elementary Regional Magnet School of Technology in Towson, Maryland. It is part of our Digital Learning Day series. You can read all the posts in our ongoing series here.

All students at Cromwell Valley Elementary Regional Magnet School of Technology (CVE) participate in a rigorous technology magnet program. This program reflects our belief that in order to be successful and productive in the 21st century, students need to use technology as a tool to enhance their knowledge base and communication skills.

As you walk through the halls of CVE you see students and teachers seamlessly integrating technology. The school day at CVE starts with our tech-based Morning Announcements, produced by and starring CVE students. Classes view these announcements through Safari Montage® on their interactive whiteboards. All students participate in this activity throughout the year.

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Categories:
Digital Learning, Digital Learning Series, Maryland, Technology