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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

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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Uncategorized

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

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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

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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

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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
Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.