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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

Discipline and Diplomas: Keeping students at their desks

students at desks via US Army Corps of Engineers on flickr
Posted:
April 24, 2014 11:52 am
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The following post was written by Donique Reid, a policy and advocacy intern at the Alliance for Excellent Education.

In January, individuals crowded into Frederick Douglas High School in Maryland to listen as federal officials praised the school district for reducing student suspensions. The event came shortly after the US Departments of Education and Justice issued new federal guidance around school discipline policies. The new policies emphasize restorative justice and aim to end practices that often disproportionately discriminate against students of color.

In an address to the nation, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, acknowledged that under current school discipline policies across the nation, students of color and those with disabilities are far more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white counterparts. According to the Civil Rights Data Collection on school discipline, African American students are three times more likely to be suspended than white students, even when they commit similar offenses. The new guidance encourages states to amend policies that target specific students and to abandon zero-tolerance policies that suspend or expel students, even on their first offense, in schools.

Encouraging districts to focus on prevention and supportive approaches to increase student engagement and, ultimately, keep students in the classroom, will lead to improved school climates and improve student learning outcomes. But not everyone seems to agree.

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Categories:
Discipline, Maryland, School Climate

Afternoon Announcements: Latest Round of Investing in Innovation Contest to Start This Week

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Posted:
April 23, 2014 04:09 pm
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Chronic absenteeism is linked to health problems in a new strategic plan from a school district in Oregon. SF Gate

Early college programs in Ohio allow students to earn college credit before completing high school. State Impact

A new study finds that 2 in 5 Americans are earning postgraduate degrees. At this rate, America will join the ranks of the world’s most educated nations by 2025. NPR

The latest round of the Investing in Innovation federal competitive grant competition begins this week. Between 10-12 winners will share $135 million. Politics K-12

Categories:
Ohio, Oregon

Meeting of the National Adolescent Literacy Council

literacy
Posted:
April 22, 2014 03:09 pm
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On April 10, the National Adolescent Literacy Coalition brought together more than sixty educators, researchers, and policymakers to learn about advancing literacy in an era of increased demands for a highly literate, twenty-first century citizenry. What became clear in a series of presentations was that scaling up consistent, evidence-based literacy practices as part of secondary-level coursework continues to be a complex challenge.  

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Categories:
Literacy, Pennsylvania, Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy program

Morning Announcements: inBloom to Shut Down

Morning_Announcements
Posted:
April 22, 2014 11:10 am
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inBloom, a non-profit corporation that manages student data for public school districts across the country, announced this week that it will close. The announcement comes amid controversy over protecting student data privacy. The New York Times

As states prepare to implement the Common Core State Standards, they are looking to make purchases, including buying curriculur materials, enhance their professional development offerings, and technology purchases. Education Week

Libraries are looking to use a Google-like search to make academic content more accessible for students and educators. The Chronicle of Higher Education

Is skimming content online changing our brain’s ability to stay focused while reading? WAMU

6th Group PBATs with scorers from Alabama, D.C., KDE, many KY Districts

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Uncategorized

Afternoon Announcements: Illinois Granted NCLB Waiver

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Posted:
April 21, 2014 12:15 pm
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In addition to the health care law, Republicans and Democrats are squabbling over the Common Core State Standards. The New York Times

Districts across the country are handling Common Core standards implementation in different ways; some are choosing new curriculum from established publishers while others are writing their own. Education Week 

“Career academies, which are increasing in number in Prince George’s County, are an extension of the decades-old and well-known vocational programs, where students learn how to repair brake pads, hang drywall or wash and set hair. The new academies aim to prepare students for the workforce, offering them a curriculum that provides hands-on experience.” The Washington Post

The US Department of Education has granted Illinois a waiver from some of the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act. Politics K-12

Categories:
Illinois

U.S. Labor Department Launches “Books that Shaped Work in America” Initiative

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Posted:
April 21, 2014 10:06 am
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Summer is fast approaching and everyone is on the lookout for some great books to fill time lounging by the pool or the beach. In celebrating its 100th anniversary, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) partnered with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress to create the “Books that Shaped Work in America” initiative.

From Richard Scarry’s Busy Busy Town to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Jungle, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and many more, the initiative includes books aimed at all ages and demographics.

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Categories:
Uncategorized

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
Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.