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Your daily serving of high school news and policy.
Posted:
April 14, 2014 11:16 am
Featured Entry:

The Governor’s Speech You Don’t Want to Hear on Common Core State Standards

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For more than two decades in elected office, I delivered numerous speeches explaining why I was taking a controversial action. To prepare for opposition, I often conducted the mental exercise of composing the speech I thought opponents would give.

With some state legislators and governors pushing hard to stop the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, I decided to pretend once again that I am delivering the opponent’s speech.

Bob Wise is president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia.

Categories:
Assessments, College & Career Readiness, Common Core State Standards

Morning Announcements: Oregon School Districts Hiring 2,000 New Teachers

friday
Posted:
April 18, 2014 11:27 am
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A perfectly sensible if slightly boring idea is walking down the street. Suddenly, the ideological circus descends, burying the sensible idea in hysterical claims and fevered accusations,” writes David Brooks in a new op-ed. “This is what seems to be happening to the Common Core education standards, which are being attacked on the right because they are common and on the left because they are core.” The New York Times

A new report from the federal government finds that English language learners are underrepresented in strategic high school reform efforts. t|h|e Journal

President Obama and Vice President Biden made a joint appearance this week to promote the administration’s $550 million in new job-training funds. The Chronicle of Higher Education

Good news in Oregon: schools districts across the state are extending job offers to nearly 2,000 teachers this year, an impressive turnaround. Oregon Live

Categories:
Oregon

Scaling Up Twenty-First-Century Teaching

webinar
Posted:
April 17, 2014 03:18 pm
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Urban systems across the globe face common challenges in developing effective approaches to professional learning for teachers, including practices that develop students’ twenty-first-century skills and global competencies. How can systems build educator capacity to ensure all students attain the high-level competencies essential to succeed in knowledge-based economies, regardless of their cultural or economic background?

On April 10th, the Alliance, in partnership with Asia Society, held a webinar on scaling up twenty-first-century teaching—the focus of the March 2014 meeting of the Global Cities Education Network (GCEN) in Shanghai-China. Launched in 2012 by Asia Society, GCEN provides a forum for prolonged dialogue among top-performing systems in the United States and Asia, providing members extended opportunities to dive deeply into a central issue that is common among them.

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Categories:
Teacher Effectiveness, Teachers & Leaders, Texas, Uncategorized

Afternoon Announcements: College Board Releases Sample Questions From New SAT

Morning_Announcements
Posted:
April 17, 2014 12:52 pm
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On children who cross the border to get an education, Arne Duncan said, “They are putting everything everything on the line to get a great education, and it’s frankly inspiring.” Real Clear Politics

A new report released this week describes the education afforded to school-age inmates in the juvenile detention system is “inadequate” and ineffective. Huffington Post

It’s crunch time for Indiana to approve new state-crafted education standards to replace the Common Core State Standards. Education Week

The College Board released some sample SAT questions. How would you do on the new version of the test? Poll Daddy

Categories:
Indiana

Linked Learning 101

linkedlearning
Posted:
April 16, 2014 02:15 pm
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This week I sat down with Monica Almond, a policy associate at the Alliance for Excellent Education, to learn more about the Linked Learning educational approach. Linked Learning connects students to their interests through partnerships with local businesses, organizations, and educational institutions. Students learning in a Linked Learning environment have the opportunity to gain real-world, hands-on experience in a variety of industries outside of school, better preparing them for college and a career. Monica is the Alliance’s policy lead on Linked Learning and shared some of her insight into this emerging approach. After the break, Monica answers 7 questions about Linked Learning.

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Categories:
California, Linked Learning

Morning Announcements: Bandwidth a Challenge for Online Testing in Some Schools

Morning_Announcements4 (1)
Posted:
April 16, 2014 11:53 am
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As Florida school districts transition to online testing tied to higher education standards, some schools are facing challenges posed by limited bandwidth, number of computers, and classroom space. State Impact

California has twice as many Hispanics for their population as the national average but a lower-than-average number of Hispanics with a college degree. The Hechinger Report 

Around 47,500 students were suspended or expelled in Washington State in the 2012-2013 school year. The Seattle Times

The College Board released sample questions for the new SAT. Obscure vocabulary words will not be included in this revision of the test. NPR

Rep. Dave Loebsack, a rural education advocate from Iowa, will be the top democrat on a House K-12 subcommittee that handles K-12 policy. Politics K-12

http://www.outsideonline.com/photo-galleries/outdoor-adventure/skiing-and-snowboarding/Jeremy-Jones-in-Nepal-Andrew-Miller-Photography.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=tweet#slide-5

Categories:
California, Florida, Iowa, Washington

A Deep Look at Deeper Learning

deeper learning.blog
Posted:
April 15, 2014 01:12 pm
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What would it take to enable all students to receive the kind of education they need to develop the knowledge and skills essential for their success? Hundreds of schools are already dedicated to ensuring that students develop a deep understanding of core academic content and that they can use their knowledge to think critically, solve complex problems, communicate effectively, collaborate with others, learn how to learn, and develop appropriate academic mindsets. These are the deeper learning competencies needed for college and careers. But making that kind of education available for all requires changes in policy.

The new issue of the State Education Standard, a publication of the National Association of State Boards of Education, takes, well, a deep look at deeper learning. It includes a summary of a report produced by a NASBE study group, which issued three key recommendations for state policies to support deeper learning. These are:

  • Support a system that comprehensively addresses the nature of learners and the unique needs of individual students. This includes developing standards that reflect the broad needs of young people; training educators to teach diverse students; and improving school climates so that they are conducive to learning.
  • Align students’ educational experiences with 21st century college, career, and civic demands. This includes providing students with guided awareness activities; preparing educators to facilitate deeper learning competencies; and taking advantage of Open Education Resources to support deeper learning.
  • Enable a system driven by quality and open to innovation. This includes designing innovation zones and investing in data systems to evaluate policies.

In another article, I argue that state policies need to be comprehensive. While individual policies on standards, assessment, teacher education, and the use of time are critical, these policies will only be effective if they complement one another.

Other articles address assessments for deeper learning, education for citizenship, the importance of social-emotional learning, and proficiency-based systems.

State boards of education are critical to the development of deeper learning. Boards have responsibility for standards, teacher education, and other policies that affect what students learn and how classrooms are structured. It is good to have them in the conversation.

Robert Rothman is a senior fellow at the Alliance for Excellent Education and author of the book Fewer, Clearer, Higher: How the Common Core State Standards Can Change Classroom Practices.

Categories:
Deeper Learning

Afternoon Announcements: Personalized Learning Decreses District’s Dropout Rate to Zero

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Posted:
April 15, 2014 12:46 pm
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One school district decreased their dropout rate all the way to zero percent through a focus on personalized learning. Ed Surge

In Minnesota, an increase in the number of students who speak languages other than English and/or who are bilingual have led to a shift in how educators teach. Some teachers are emphasizing a second language to better prepare students for a career. Twin Cities

Several education industry groups are working together to outline some guidance on policies and practices involving student-privacy, when it comes to data. Education Week

State lawmakers in Tennessee are considering legislation that would delay testing for the Common Core State Standards – an attempt at a compromise. Jackson Sun

Justin Boots
7602 CENTERVILLE RD
MANASSAS, VA

Categories:
Minnesota, Tennessee

Afternoon Announcements: Students Read More and Deeper with the Common Core

Morning_Announcements3
Posted:
April 14, 2014 04:35 pm
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Increased attention on how student-data privacy is handled has brought the spotlight down on technology vendors. Education Week

What do teachers need to do to help students master the new requirements in the Common Core State Standards? A new report from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics looks at the answer. Curriculum Matters

“You are not being tested,” sixth-graders in California were being told before taking the pilot tests aligned to the new Common Core State Standards. “The questions themselves are being tested.” Los Angeles Daily News

DC schools are seeing a difference in how students read with implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Students read more and read deeper into the works. WAMU

Categories:
California, District of Columbia

LAUSD Awarded Federal Grant for Linked Learning

Obama YouthCareer Connect, photo via the White House
Posted:
April 09, 2014 12:43 pm
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On April 7, President Obama announced 24 winners of $107 million in federal grants that reward school districts for integrating real-life work experience into academic curriculum. The funds come as part of the Obama administration’s YouthCareer Connect program, an investment that the president believes will prepare students today for the “in-demand jobs of the future.”

The White House describes the program as a national competition that is backed by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Labor, to “start redesigning America’s high schools for the 21st century economy.” Schools are encouraged to partner with local businesses, organizations, and education agencies to incorporate on-the-job skills into traditional classroom learning. Students in these programs across the country are able to earn certificates in different professional fields, after demonstrating mastery of basic skills.

Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD) was awarded a $7 million grant, the highest available to an individual district, for their innovative Linked Learning educational approach. Linked Learning appeals to students’ interests in various professional fields to better prepare them for both college and a career. Students on a Linked Learning pathway have the opportunity to expand their critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills, among many others, by applying their classroom knowledge to real-world experiences.

Linked Learning sets students up for success by making it easier to enter high-demand fields like information technology and computer science by integrating crucial skills with academic content mastery. A new evaluation report found that students in linked learning pathways earn more credits in the first two years of high school compared to their peers.

Obama made the announcement at Bladensburg High School in Maryland, one of several schools in the state that will share an award.

“The idea behind this competition is how do we start making high school, in particular, more interesting, more exciting, more relevant to young people,” Obama explained. “We want to invest in your future.”

Other winners include the New York City Department of Education, and school districts in Denver, Indianapolis, and Clinton, SC.

“A world-class education means preparing every young person with the skills they need for college, for a career, and for a lifetime of citizenship,” Obama said.

Learn more about Linked Learning at http://all4ed.org/issues/linked-learning/.

Categories:
California, Linked Learning

Diving Deeper into Deeper Learning

deeper learning.blog
Posted:
April 08, 2014 01:13 pm
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Four students from Polaris Charter Academy in Chicago—two young men and two young women—sat on the stage in front of me awaiting their chance to speak. They didn’t look nervous at all, which was surprising given that they were about to give a keynote address in front of hundreds of educators, advocates, students, and philanthropic partners.

What came next not only moved me, but it deeply touched every member of the audience. The four students proceeded to speak passionately about a project-based learning assignment they were given on the U.S. Constitution that eventually became a community-wide movement for peace. These “Peacekeepers” (the name they chose for those involved in their effort) captivated the audience, leaving us all overwhelmed by the endless possibilities found in deeper learning, particularly for those students who hailed from rough scrabble neighborhoods like West Humboldt Park—the neighborhood these four students called home.

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Categories:
Deeper Learning
Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.