Morning Announcements: What Happened to Common Core in Indiana?

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Posted:
March 31, 2014 10:17 am

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A thorough and good read on how the Common Core disintegrated in Indiana. Indy Star

Agricultural education is growing rapidly in urban, rural high schools in many areas of the country. The classes focus on the business aspects of the industry and urban forestry, among other things. High School Notes 

New data show that thousands of preschoolers are suspended – including a disproportionate number of black students and males. Education Week

The new way students are learning math in the Common Core State Standards focuses on conceptualizing the concepts, rather than simply executing an equation. Times Free Press

Categories:
Indiana, Tennessee

Morning Announcements: Chciago Museum Trains Teachers in How To Teach Science

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Posted:
March 28, 2014 11:37 am

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Chris Minnich, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, writes about the importance of the ongoing field testing for new assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Huffington Post

Three things that parents wish teachers knew. Do you agree with these? The New York Times

Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry has a program in place that offers educators professional development in how to teach science. So far the museum has trained 800 teachers. WBEZ

Philadelphia Schools Superintendent William Hite said this week that he will institute new rules that allows principals to consider other factors than superiority when selecting and assigning teachers. Teacher Beat

Categories:
Illinois, Pennsylvania

Deeper Learning Digest: Should We Replace the SAT With a Deeper Learning Performance Assessment?

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Posted:
March 27, 2014 04:31 pm

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The ‘Deeper Learning Digest’ is a weekly roundup of articles, blog posts, and other content around deeper learning. Make sure to add High School Soup to your RSS feed to stay up-to-date on all deeper learning news.

The newest issue of State Education Standards, the National Association of State Boards of Education’s (NASBE) journal, is all about deeper learning. The feature article summarizes the findings and recommendations of NASBE’s 2013 study group on deeper learning. NASBE

“Transforming schools using the Common Core, deeper learning, next-generation assessments, and project-based learning requires more work by educators (at least initially) and a significant change in practice at all levels, with the positive effects of this treatment not readily visible.  And just like a surgeon washing her hands, this investment of time, resources, and commitment will save lives.” Sandals on the Ground

Should the US scrap the SAT and replace it with a deeper learning performance assessment? A Modest Proposal

“If we are going to see student-centered deeper learning models of schooling spread, getting educators and policymakers to see this kind of learning in action–getting inside the walls of our schools and sitting beside the young learners they serve–needs to be a top priority.” Student-Centered Learning: Knowing it When We See It

A nice post on student-centered learning in action at the Lindsay Unified School District in Lindsay, California. Empowering Students for Today and Tomorrow

Categories:
California, Deeper Learning, Deeper Learning Digest

Transforming Monticello High’s Library Into the Creative Hub of the School

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Posted:
March 27, 2014 01:50 pm

Journalism in HackerSpace at Monticello High

The following is a guest post co-written by Joan Ackroyd and Mae Craddock, library media specialists at Monticello High School in Albemarle County Public Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia.

How do your make your high school library the creative hub of the school that it was always meant to be? It takes a unique perspective and a can-do attitude.

Our philosophy about library programming has always been one of open access and flexibility. As library specialists at Monticello High School in the Albemarle County Public Schools district in Albemarle, Virginia, we have seen the library evolve from a traditional, research- and reading-centered space that few students utilized to one where students and teachers flock to use the latest technology, collaborate on projects, and create content.

Our library at Monticello has not always been the “MakerSpace” that it is now, though. Picture a traditional setting with few students and a very quiet atmosphere. Those were very long weeks! However, as students learned that they were welcome at any time and could talk and eat while they worked, they began to visit in increasingly greater numbers.

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Categories:
Education Technology, Teachers & Leaders, Uncategorized, Virginia

Morning Announcements: New York Schools Most Racially Segregated in the Nation

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Posted:
March 27, 2014 11:46 am

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The Florida Senate passed a bill that would ban schools from collecting student data on political or religious affiliation. Education Week

Texas students who take Algebra 1 in 8th grade may be tested twice. Federal law requires the state to test students under the new high school graduation standards. State requirements would also mandate students take the assessment in the subject area. The Texas Tribune

A new report from the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles finds that New York state has the most racially segregated schools in the nation. AP

The Obama administration’s “promise zone” schools – an initiative helped at improving high-poverty communities – might have an advantage in the US Department of Education’s competitive grant programs. Politics K-12

Categories:
Florida, New York, Texas

Your Questions About the Common Core-Aligned Assessments Field Tests Answered

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Posted:
March 26, 2014 12:42 pm

computer lab via woodleywonderworks on Flickr

Beginning this month – and some this week, millions of students across the country are participating in an unprecedented event: field tests for new assessments that measure student performance against the Common Core State Standards. These field tests will provide vital information about the quality of assessments that is necessary before they are implemented in classrooms in more than thirty-five states next year. What can students, parents, and teachers expect from the field test? What do the consortia hope to learn from it?

Leaders from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) answered these questions and more during a recent Alliance for Excellent Education webinar. During the webinar, we received more questions than the panelists had time to answer.

We have compiled some of the questions that address pressing issues surrounding the field tests and recent developments around the assessments, and brought them to you in a Q&A form. Robert Rothman, senior fellow at the Alliance, and expert on the Common Core State Standards, deeper learning, and assessments, answers your questions after the break.

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Categories:
Assessments, Common Core State Standards

Morning Announcements: White House Report Praises Race to the Top Program

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Posted:
March 26, 2014 11:24 am

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“Such a reality—that principals’ time is too often strained by other requirements of the job to make room for substantive instructional coaching—is running headlong into the increasing demand for school leaders to be inside classrooms, watching and studying teachers, and helping them improve as part of new teacher-evaluation systems.” Education Week

Cursive handwriting may not be taught in many states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards. Some lawmakers would like to change that tenet of the standards. NPR

A new report from the White House praises the gains made in the Obama administration’s Race to the Top competitive grant program, but it contains very little data. Politics K-12

The recent White House report on Race tot he Top praises the program for unleashing “enormous positive change” in public schools around the country. The Washington Post

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Uncategorized

Replacing Snow Days with E-Learning Days

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Posted:
March 25, 2014 12:24 pm

studentipad via Brad Flickinger on Flickr

Sometime in the afternoon of the 11th snow day of the year, after watching the movie Finding Nemo for the third time and drinking hot chocolate, my third grader came to me with a question: “Mom, can you help me find something new to learn on the computer?”

“Do you want me to help you log into the school’s website?” I responded, confused. Her teacher had posted a nice list of educational games and websites on the class webpage earlier in the year.

“I’ve already done all those,” she replied. “I want something new. Something different.”

This winter has seen huge swaths of the country hammered repeatedly by large snow storms, leaving many schools and districts behind schedule. Having long ago used up all of their designated make-up days, many districts are scrambling to fill in the gaps in their curricula by extending school years and cutting their spring breaks short.

In at least nine states, schools and districts are exploring the viability of e-learning days as a way to fill in the educational void left by unpredictable winter storms. Referred to as “cyber days” by some schools, e-learning days allow teachers to turn traditional snow days into days with an instructional purpose. E-learning days tap into snow days’ untapped potential, providing students with activities and assignments to be completed from the safety of their home. In an era where many students have access to vast quantities of information virtually anywhere through computers, phones, and tablets, providing teachers with an alternative to lost instructional time seems almost like a no-brainer.

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Categories:
Digital Learning

Morning Announcements: DC Fails to Make Federally Mandated Changes in Low-Performing Schools

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Posted:
March 25, 2014 10:08 am

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a bill to repeat the Common Core State Standards. Indy Star

A new report from the US Department of Education finds that DC education officials have not given low-performing schools the attention required to narrow achievement gaps and improve outcomes. The Washington Post

“Economically disadvantaged students come to school behind on average,” said Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, a Washington-based think tank. “When you separate out family and school effects, there’s also this large penalty associated with attending a high-poverty school.” Education Week

In a recent New America Foundation policy brief, the organization recommends that Congress require outcomes-based measures of program quality for teacher-preparation programs. Teacher Beat

Categories:
District of Columbia, Indiana

Morning Announcements: Bob Wise and Dr. Yong Zhao Discuss Big Data at CoSN

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Posted:
March 24, 2014 10:00 am

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“One thing that Dr. Yong Zhao and the Hon. Bob Wise agree on is this: K–12 education isn’t giving the nation’s students everything they need in its current form.” EdTech Magazine

Big data is entering classrooms, and it’s allowing teachers to spot trends in why students pick wrong answers on tests, among other things. The Wall Street Journal

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gave a speech spotlighting the opportunity gaps that persist in America’s education system. Read the full speech here. Education Department

Jeff Rose, the superintendent of the Beaverton, Oregon public schools district, writes about how his school district is trying to change discipline policies to promote equity and keep students in school. Education Week

Categories:
Oregon