Morning Announcements: February 28, 2013

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Posted:
February 28, 2013 03:45 pm

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Good morning and welcome to your announcements! Today is the last day of February. Yes, it is only the 28th day of the month. If you feel cheated by not having at least two if not three more days in this month, you’re not alone. Calendar class action lawsuit, anyone?

Before we jump into it this morning we want to draw your attention to two great events here at the Alliance today. First., at 1pm EST, join us for a #FixFinAid Twitter Town Hall. This Town Hall will examine solutions for the federal student aid system that can benefit students and spur college completion. Then, immediately following the Town Hall, join us for a webinar titled “Planning for Progress in Digital Learning: Introduction to Technology and Infrastructure,” that’s related to our Project 24 initiative. We hope to see you at both of these!

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Digital Learning, Technology

Afternoon announcements: SAT exam gets a makeover

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Posted:
February 27, 2013 09:08 pm

yell

The SAT is set to change again. The standardized test used in part for entrance to colleges and universities around the country will get a makeover, according to David Coleman, president of the College Board. In an email to the College Board’s 6,000 members, Coleman said the changes will reflect the “core set of knowledge and skills” that high school graduates need to succeed in college. Washington Post

The publisher of Education Week, Editorial Projects in Education, released a study finding that teachers are unconcerned about preparedness when it comes to implementing the Common Core standards. Education Week

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Categories:
Economic Impacts, Education and the Economy, Higher Education

Everyone’s getting Straight A’s: The State of the Union

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Posted:
February 27, 2013 07:35 pm

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President Obama focused on a growing economy in his February 12 State of the Union address; one featured way he aims to improve the economy is through improving education for all students. The President outlined several education proposals – including high-quality preschool available to every child, greater access for high school students to take college courses, and a new competition to redesign America’s high schools. State of the Union

The sequester is mere days away, and the White House, in an effort to encourage Congress to stop it from happening, released a report with state-by-state funding tables detailing how sequestration will affect federal programs, including educational programs such as Title 1 and special education. The across-the-board cuts would total $85 billion. Sequestration to hit March 1

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EPI’s 2013 International Forum on Education & the Economy theme “return on investment”

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Posted:
February 27, 2013 05:05 pm

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It’s not surprising that the Education Policy Institute’s (EPI) 2013 Forum on Education and the Economy theme is “return on investment.” Students today will drive our economy tomorrow – as workforce members and consumers; the way to ensure theirs and the continued success of the U.S. economy is through a quality, equitable education for all students.

I have been invited to participate in this year’s conference and am honored to share my thoughts, along with research from my organization – the Alliance for Excellent Education, on the link between graduating our students and growing our economy. I will be in excellent company, presenting alongside experts and academics such as Nancy Zimpher from SUNY, Zakiya Smith with the Lumina Foundation, Pasi Sahlberg – who will offer us a global perspective as an official from Finland’s Ministry of Education, and Arthur Levine of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, among others.

The annual International Forum on Education and the Economy will take place March 21-23 this year in Orlando, Florida. Throughout the forum, we will discuss college and career readiness, college costs and affordability, education and the economy, student retention, persistence, & completion, and science, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), all with the end goal of providing world-class education for all students, everywhere.

The Forum welcomes interested elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and workforce education program stakeholders from within the U.S. and around the world to join. If you’d like more information on participating, visit EPI’s website at http://www.educationalpolicy.org or email info@educationalpolicy.org. There are discounts available for institutional groups of four or more from one school, institution, or organization.

I’m looking forward to engaging with other education leaders and practitioners on maximizing our investment and return in our educational system at Education Policy Institute’s annual International Forum on Education and the Economy. Please stop and say “hello” if you attend!

Bob Wise is president of the Alliance for Excellent Education

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Education and the Economy

The Digitization of Our Classrooms

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Posted:
February 26, 2013 09:55 pm

the digitization
This guest post is from Ken Halla, Ph.D., a National Board Certified Teacher at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Virginia. 
One day all of our students will have interactive lessons where the teacher will walk around the room connecting information, helping pupils do their work and making sure that the necessary learning is being done correctly and where appropriate, collaboratively.  Classes will be self paced and conclude with interactive assessments that measure students’ ability to find and use online resources to answer probing questions.

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Categories:
Deeper Learning, Digital Learning, Digital Learning Series, Gear: Curriculum & Instruction

Afternoon announcements: High school dropouts cost the economy billions

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Posted:
February 26, 2013 05:33 pm

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Citing the Alliance’s research on the economic cost of high school dropout rates, this feature article looks at the U.S.’s economic need to graduate more students ready for college and a career. Associated Press

Come Monday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will announce a new initiative that will extend kindergarten to a full day in all of the city’s public schools. The current system allows schools to choose whether to meet the by-law minimum of a half day. Chicago Sun-Times

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Dropout Factories, High School Graduation Rates

Afternoon announcements: U.S. on track for 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020

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Posted:
February 25, 2013 08:59 pm

us on track

Stopping these sequestration cuts isn’t rocket science, according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Sec. Duncan called the cuts and Congress’s inability to negotiate a resolution to avoid them “dumb,” as well, on “Face the Nation.” CBS News

Is cursive handwriting obsolete? Some lawmakers in North Carolina are trying to ensure that it’s not and that it won’t be. A bill introduced in the State House this week would make cursive a part of the curriculum in elementary schools. Charlotte Observer

Teacher protests over standardized tests have spread to Massachusetts; this time professors – from big name schools Harvard, Tufts, and Boston, among others, have signed a public statement encouraging officials to stop overusing high-stakes standardized tests. Washington Post

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Categories:
Economic Impacts, Education and the Economy, High School Graduation Rates

Digital Overload

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Posted:
February 22, 2013 08:46 pm

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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 daughter said something interesting that really got me thinking about our connection with technology. She is an 18-year-old freshman in college and she said that she doesn’t feel as smart as she used to feel. She is having a really hard time keeping her focus when she is working on assignments or studying and doesn’t really know why that is happening.
After having watched her study when she came home last weekend, I definitely know the problem. She is constantly connected to her phone or laptop. She regularly checks (and by regular, I mean every couple of minutes) Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and sometimes even old-fashioned Facebook, mostly because that is where her mom and her mom’s friends often post. She also listens to music on her phone through YouTube, so she has to change songs every three minutes. While she is still as smart as ever, this situation has led to an atmosphere that is not conducive to learning.

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Categories:
Digital Learning, Digital Learning Series, Education Technology, Teachers & Leaders, Technology

Afternoon announcements: Student achievement varies by state

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Posted:
February 22, 2013 08:03 pm

heck ya

Megan Allen, fifth-grade teacher and 2010 Teacher of the year, testifies before the U.S. House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Thursday about the particular, devastating impact that sequestration will have on high-needs students if Congress allows the automatic spending cuts to go into effect on March 1. Read part of her testimony. The Answer Sheet

New analysis from the National Center for Education Statistics, released on Thursday, looks how public school students in the nation’s five largest states performed in the standardized math and reading tests between 1990 and 2011. The results were mixed. Washington Post

Arne Duncan spent an hour talking with reporters on Thursday. He commented on NCLB waivers, sequestration, and the Common Core, among other things. Politics K-12

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Categories:
Achievement Gap, Economic Impacts, Education and the Economy

Everyone’s getting Straight A’s: Launching Project 24 and the state of the states

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Posted:
February 22, 2013 07:27 pm

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It has been a very exciting and busy month for the Alliance. In our newest edition of our bi-weekly newsletter Straight A’s, we give you the low down on our second annual Digital Learning Day, the launch of a new district-level initiative, and we explore what state governors have planned for education in the coming year in their state of the state addresses. You can read this entire edition of Straight A’s online here.

Signifying the growing importance and demand for digital learning strategies in the classroom, nearly 25,000 teachers, millions of students, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, and U.S. Representative George Miller (D-CA) joined the Alliance for Excellent Education on February 6 for the second annual Digital Learning Day, a national campaign that promotes digital learning and spotlights successful instructional technology practice in K–12 public school classrooms across the country. Let’s Get Digital

As part of the Digital Learning Day celebration, the Alliance announced “Project 24,” a ground-breaking new initiative to help school districts plan for and effectively use technology and digital learning. Already, more than 400 school districts, representing approximately 2.5 million students across forty-two states and the District of Columbia, have signed up for Project 24. The “24”represents the next twenty-four months. Launching Project 24

In this issue of Straight A’s, we covered seven state of the state addresses: Alaska, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Nevada, and New Mexico. Of highlight…

  • Alaska governor Sean Parnell set a goal of raising Alaska’s high school graduation rase -currently under 70 percent – to 90 percent by 2020.
  • InDelaware, Governor Jack Markell focused on teachers – the importance of them, retaining them, and recruiting effective ones.
  • Georgia ‘s Governor, Nathan Deal, discussed focusing resources on K-12, maintaining and growing the HOPE scholarship, and increasing the high school graduation rate.
  • Hawaii is going digital. Governor Neil Abercrombie is looking to digital learning to raise educational achievement.
  • Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa plans to revitalize Iowa’s school system and focus on teachers and college and career readiness. He said it’s an “economic and moral imperative” that students finish high school ready for college and a career. We can’t help but like the way he thinks.
  • Nevada ‘s governor, Brian Sandoval, took a different approach in his address, focusing on English Language Learners, early literacy, and dropout prevention. His goal is to ensure that every Nevada schoolchild can read by the third grade.
  • New Mexico is making strides to lower the dropout rate, Governor Susan Martinez emphasized. She announced several successful dropout prevention programs currently working in her state that she wants to see expanded.

You can read the full issue of Straight A’s online. If you’d like to receive Straight A’s in your inbox, send an email to jamos@all4ed.org.

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