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Your daily serving of high school news and policy.
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Posted:
December 16, 2014 04:40 pm
Featured Entry:

Core of the Matter: Equity and Deeper Learning (#CoreMatters)

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The following blog post is another in the Alliance’s “Core of the Matter” blog series focusing on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and struggling students. It was written by Stanford University Professor Linda Darling-Hammond and New York University Professor Pedro Noguera. 

Growing acknowledgement that U.S. schools, particularly those working with traditionally underserved populations, are not preparing all students adequately for college and career success has sparked a series of reform efforts.  Among these is the development of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that emphasize critical thinking and analytic skills needed for today’s knowledge-based society and workplace. These standards intend to create “fewer, higher and deeper” curriculum goals.  If implemented successfully, they could support the kind of teaching that would enable students to develop deeper learning competencies, including a flexible understanding and ability to apply core academic content, to solve complex problems, to work collaboratively, to communicate effectively, and to learn how to learn — goals that are not currently supported in the existing accountability system.

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Categories:
College & Career Readiness, Common Core Equity Series, Common Core State Standards, Deeper Learning, Equity, Students of Color, Teacher Preparation, Teacher Quality, Teachers & Leaders
Posted: December 17, 2014 12:00 pm

Afternoon Announcements: NYC Teachers Score High with New Teacher Evaluation System

Teachers
Posted:
December 17, 2014 12:00 pm
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Nine out of 10 New York City teachers received one of the top two rankings in the first year of a new evaluation system that was hailed as a better way of assessing how they perform, according to figures released on Tuesday. Although very few teachers in the city were deemed not to be up to standards, state officials and education experts said the city appeared to be doing a better job of evaluating its teachers than the rest of New York State. The New York Times

The Oakland Unified School District is at the forefront of a new approach to school misconduct and discipline. Instead of suspending or expelling students who get into fights or act out, ‘restorative justice’ seeks to resolve conflicts and build school community through talking and group dialogue. NPR

Minneapolis schools Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson is stepping down in early 2015, as the school district wrestles with persistent issues like achievement gaps between racial groups. Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

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Posted: December 16, 2014 01:53 pm

Afternoon Announcements: Report – U.S. Students Spends Six Hours a Week on Homework

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Posted:
December 16, 2014 01:53 pm
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Teens in Shanghai spend 14 hours a week on homework, while students in the U.S. spend about six. That’s according to a new report on data the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development collected from countries and regions that participate in a standardized test to measure academic achievement for 15-year-olds, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). The Atlantic

The New York State Board of Regents want the state to increase education spending by $2 billion next year, a spike that would include an extra $70 million for the city’s pre-kindergarten expansion. Chalkbeat NY

According to a U.S. Department of Education report, black girls were suspended more than girls of any other racial group. Between 2011 and 2012, 12 percent of African-American girls in public elementary and secondary schools were suspended, while just 2 percent of their white counterparts were suspended, statistics some say are indicative of a larger, discipline problem. The Huffington Post

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Posted: December 15, 2014 12:30 pm

Afternoon Announcements: Report – Grade Retention Has Dropped Dramatically in the Last Decade

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Posted:
December 15, 2014 12:30 pm
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A new study from the American Educational Research Association  found that the rate at which kids are held back — in education circles it’s called “grade retention” — has dropped dramatically. From 1995 to 2005, the overall retention rate hovered near 3 percent. But, from 2005 to 2010 it fell to 1.5 percent. NPR

Along with increasing the E-Rate funding cap by $1.5 billion, making the program the third largest source of federal funding to schools with $3.9 billion yearly, on December 11 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also approved an increase in required rural broadband speeds for companies that receive Connect America funding. edSurge

Alternative paths proposed by Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson that rethink seat time for DC high schools would allow students to get a diploma faster or, in some cases, without having to spend time in a traditional high school.The Washington Post

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan waded into Philadelphia’s public school financing crisis—and, more broadly, funding issues in Pennsylvania and the nation in an Op-Ed to the Philadelphia Inquirer Friday calling out the injustice of inequitable school funding.

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Posted: December 12, 2014 01:25 pm

Deeper Learning Digest: Soft Skills Are Deeper Learning Skills

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Posted:
December 12, 2014 01:25 pm
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The ‘Deeper Learning Digest’ is a bi-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. Please be sure to follow @deeperlearning on Twitter for more on deeper learning.


A student’s ability to display a deep understanding of academic skills is important, but what about that same student’s development of ‘soft’ skills? The way a young person communicates, interacts, and collaborates in an academic or workplace setting are increasingly important. Laura S. Hamilton, a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and Brian M. Stecher, associate director of RAND Education point out that these skills which are growing in importance go largely unmeasured in schools. Hamilton and Stecher call for research to develop better measures these competencies. Learning Deeply

A new report from the Jobs for the Future Students at the Center  initiative offers evidence of the ways digital tools in the classroom can support deeper learning.  Rafael Heller, a principal policy analyst at Jobs for the Future, writes that the report, authored by Christopher Dede, shows that technology has not previously supported innovation in the classroom, but rather heloped teachers to the “same old, ineffective things more efficiently.” Still, Heller adds, “When developers have been careful to ground their work in principles of effective instruction… technology-based instruction has shown significant, positive effects on student learning.” Learning Deeply

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Assessments, College & Career Readiness, Deeper Learning, Deeper Learning Digest
Posted: December 12, 2014 01:00 pm

Afternoon Announcements: FCC Votes “Yes” on Expanding High-Speed Internet Access in Nation’s Schools and Libraries

WiFiComputer
Posted:
December 12, 2014 01:00 pm
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 The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday adopted a broad expansion and overhaul of its program to bring high-speed Internet into schools and libraries. The E-Rate program will grow by $1.5 billion, to a spending cap of $3.9 billion, the first change in the base spending cap since it was set in 1997. The New York Times

Overall retention rates for grades 1 through 9 declined by almost half from 2.9 percent in 2004-05 to 1.5 percent in 2009-10, according to “Patterns and Trends in Grade Retention in the United States, 1995-2010,” a report released Thursday by the American Educational Research Association (AERA). EdSource

Pearson has won a competitive tender from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to develop the framework for 2018′s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which is widely used as a benchmark for evaluating education systems worldwide. The Journal

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Posted: December 12, 2014 12:15 pm

Connecting Over ConnectED Coffee

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Posted:
December 12, 2014 12:15 pm
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This post was written by Mary Wegner, Ed.D, Superintendent of  Sitka, Alaska School District.


To say it was an honor to be selected as part of the ConnectED to the Future  event at the White House is an understatement. Every one of the 100+ superintendents who were at this event is a leader who creates learning spaces that help students connect to their learning and to their future. I found it fitting that the first thing we experienced once through the White House security process was a cup of coffee served in a cup bearing the Presidential seal. This is not a cup of coffee like every other cup of coffee, and the ConnectED to the Future event was not like any other gathering of superintendents.

As the sole superintendent from the great state of Alaska, I knew none of my fellow #FutureReady Superintendents before the event began; however, by the time the event ended I had made personal and professional connections that I hope will last a lifetime. We felt the historic significance of being part of this inaugural group of superintendents, and we didn’t want to lose the momentum.

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Categories:
College & Career Readiness, Connected Learning, Digital Learning, Digital Learning Day, Education Technology, Future Ready, Teachers & Leaders, Technology
Posted: December 10, 2014 12:35 pm

Afternoon Announcements: FCC Slated for Vote on Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries

WiFiComputer
Posted:
December 10, 2014 12:35 pm
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On Thursday, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is slated to vote on modernizing the E-rate program for schools and libraries across the country. A new analysis released today by the Alliance finds significant gaps in U.S. students’ access to high-speed internet. According to FCC data, roughly two-thirds of the nation’s students lack access to high-speed internet with African-American, Latino, low-income, and students in rural areas being more likely to attend schools with slow connections. If the votes to increase funding for E-rate, some 43.5 million more students will benefit from high-speed Wi-Fi. The Alliance offers state by state analysis on E-rate, considering what an additional $1.5 billion annually to improve internet access could mean for U.S. schools and libraries.

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Posted: December 09, 2014 11:40 am

Morning Announcements: Louisiana Receives NCLB Waiver Extension

Announcements
Posted:
December 09, 2014 11:40 am
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Federal officials have again granted Louisiana a renewal of its No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver. The U.S. Department of Education said Monday that Louisiana has implemented reforms that go above and beyond the law’s requirements. The Republic

Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be required for the first time to take ethnic studies classes as part of an effort to encourage stronger cultural understanding. The LA Times

About 7,500 New Orleans school employees who lost their jobs after Hurricane Katrina appear to have exhausted their options in Louisiana courts after the state Supreme Court decided Monday to reject the plaintiffs’ request for a rehearing. The Times Picayune

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Posted: December 08, 2014 12:15 pm

Afternoon Announcements: The Seven Largest School Districts in U.S. to Teach Computer Science

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Posted:
December 08, 2014 12:15 pm
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The seven largest school districts in the U.S. encompassing New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Houston and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are joining more than 50 others to start offering introductory computer science to all their students, the White House said Monday, an initiative that will help give an additional 12 million K-12 students access to computer science education.  The Huffington Post

75,000 New York City eighth grade students have entrusted their application choices for one of the city’s 426 public high schools to a computer program that will arrange their school assignments for the coming year; In just a couple of hours, all the sorting for the Class of 2019 will be finished. The New York Times  

The federal government is putting prisons on notice, reminding them that incarcerated students with disabilities are legally entitled to the same rights and protections granted to students with disabilities in public school settings. The Huffington Post

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Posted: December 05, 2014 11:46 am

Deeper Learning Digest: Deeper Learning is Personalized, Effective Learning

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Posted:
December 05, 2014 11:46 am
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The ‘Deeper Learning Digest’ is a bi-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. Please be sure to follow @deeperlearning on Twitter for more on deeper learning.


Erin Frew, principal of New Tech West High School in Cleveland, OH, discusses personalized learning and project based-learning as one of the Alliance’s Project 24 Team of Experts. Frew describes how her school used Project 24 gears to change how it utilized time curriculum to better serve students using the method of ‘scaffolding’ to engage students in deep learning.

New Englanders support students learning Deeper Learning skills, according to a recent survey conducted by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy. Spanning six states and 380 residents in the Northeast, the Rennie Center survey found that 93 percent believe communication skills and critical thinking skills are “Very Important” skills for students to learn in school. In addition, 77 percent of those polled feel that schools should allow students the opportunity to advance to more challenging content.

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Categories:
College & Career Readiness, Deeper Learning, Deeper Learning Digest, High School Reform
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