Morning Announcements: April 29, 2011

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April 29, 2011 03:49 pm

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Education Week covers a new Center on Education Policy report finding that the proportion of schools failing to make adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind last year rose to 38%, as the 2014 deadline for getting all students “proficient” in reading and math approaches.  Ed Week also reports on a study finding that U.S. students typically encounter an easier math curriculum than those in many other nations, with wide differences also seen across states and school districts.  And one more story from Ed Week on proposed changes to federal privacy rules likely to take effect this summer that would offer first-time guidance on managing student privacy in using longitudinal education data just as states and districts put the finishing touches on federally mandated data systems. 

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Report Round-Up

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April 29, 2011 02:09 pm

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Doing Better for Families from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation. This report finds that poverty in households with children is rising in nearly all OECD countries and argues that governments should ensure that family support policies protect the most vulnerable.

Winning the Future: Improving Education for the Latino Community from the White House. This report finds that Hispanics students are by far the largest minority in U.S. public schools — comprising more than 1 in 5 in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

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Using Technology to Learn

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April 28, 2011 07:00 pm

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Our Children Are Leading Us to a Bright Future,
We Shouldn’t Let Them Go Alone

I will never forget the day of great shame as I came to call it, as I watched my then-five-year-old nephew program the VCR that had eluded my best efforts since the day I bought it.  They say “a child will lead them.”  I have never heard a truer statement.

To this day, I am still not exactly sure how to program a VCR—a device nearly as irrelevant in the present modern world as an abacus but I am pretty good with my blackberry as long as I don’t get fancy with it.  Of course my nephew, now a teenager, can make it do things far beyond my capabilities.  The reality is children in the digital age have embraced technology in a way that few of us who grew up in the dark ages when MTV still showed music videos have ever imagined.  This is clearly demonstrated by the findings released recently by the Project Tomorrow “Speak Up” survey and report titled “The New 3 E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged and Empowered–How Today’s Students are Leveraging Emerging Technologies for Learning.”

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Morning Announcements: April 28, 2011

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April 28, 2011 02:57 pm

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According to Education Week, state GOP leaders are pushing to expand vouchers. Ed Week also reports on how students are making math connections using smart phones.

The Connecticut Post interviews students and school officials that think a bill to raise the drop out age may not help.

Students in about a dozen South Carolina high schools are learning personal finances through an online course funded by the state’s bankers, and Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday she wants all high schools to participate, the Associated Press reports.

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Stats That Stick: April 27, 2011

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April 27, 2011 08:26 pm

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Hispanics students are by far the largest minority in U.S. public schools — comprising more than 1 in 5 in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Hispanics are also projected to account for the majority of the nation’s population growth between 2005 and 2050. –Miami Herald on the White House’s “Winning the future: Improving education for the Latino community” report

One in four children in the United States is being raised by a single parent. –Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

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Morning Announcements: April 27, 2011

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April 27, 2011 03:41 pm

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A bill in Texas would amend the state education code to bar the state board of education or local district boards from adopting the common core state standards, Education Week reports.

The Gates Foundation announced today that it will be investing $20 million in game-based learning and other tools to help the new national education standards into the classroom, according to the Associated Press.

The AP also reports that the Georgia Department of Education is offering free tutoring to high school juniors who don’t pass the math portion of the state’s graduation test this year.

Rounding the corner on the design of new teacher-evaluation plans, states and districts are beginning to wrestle with the significant technical and logistical hurdles for transforming their blueprints into reality, Education Week reports.

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How Are Professional Development Providers Held Accountable?

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April 26, 2011 09:00 pm

Last week, Education Week reporter Catherine Gewertz blogged about a recently released Alliance policy brief on the need for aligning comprehensive K-12 literacy plans with the English-Language Arts common standards. In her post, she wrote:

The brief also argues that teachers aren’t adequately prepared for, or supported in, the job of building literacy in students, especially those in middle and high school. When ESEA is reauthorized, it should hold teacher education programs and professional-development providers accountable for teachers’ effectiveness in literacy instruction, the brief argues (though it doesn’t specify how PD providers would be held accountable, and I’m curious to know).

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Morning Announcements: April 26, 2011

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April 26, 2011 04:32 pm

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In an op-ed in The Daily Princetonian, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan uses the Alliance’s study on education and the economy to call on more young people to lead the charge in education reform.

High school classes may be advanced in name only, according to the New York Times. Reporter Sam Dillon writes, “According to a recent Department of Education study, the percentage of high school graduates who signed up for rigorous-sounding classes nearly tripled over the past two decades.  But other studies point to a disconnect: Even though students are getting more credits in more advanced courses, they are not scoring any higher on standardized tests.” (See the graph to the left that accompanied the story).

The Mercury News asks “How much more can California lop off public education before they bolt for private schools?”

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What’s on the books?

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April 26, 2011 02:11 pm

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“What’s on the books” is an occasional look at state laws and legislation that pertain to high schools and high school students.

  • Graduation Requirements: The OregonHouse recently passed a bill that would add one more graduation requirement — proof that students are thinking seriously about the future and job opportunities. Under H.B. 2732, students would have to do one of three things: apply to a higher education institution, submit an application to enlist in the military, or attend an orientation session for an apprenticeship or training program. –The Oregonian
  • Absenteeism Policies: Under Maryland law, any person who has legal custody or care and control of a child five years old and under 16 who fails to see that the child attends school or receives instruction is guilty of a misdemeanor and a first conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $50.00 per day of unlawful absence or imprisonment or both; a second or subsequent conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $100 per day of unlawful absence or imprisonment or both. -Read more from theBaltimore Sun
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Morning Announcement: April 25, 2011

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April 25, 2011 03:42 pm

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The New York Times reports on New York City schools that are experimenting with implementing the common standards in the classroom. The article provides several examples of what teachers are doing differently writing, “A math teacher, José Rios, used to take a day or two on probabilities, drawing bell-shaped curves on the blackboard to illustrate the pattern known as normal distribution. This year, he stretched the lesson by a day and had students work in groups to try to draw the same type of graphic using the heights of the 15 boys in the class.”

Duncan Issues Far More NCLB Waivers Than Predecessors, Education Week reports.

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