Morning announcements: Maryland’s new metric

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Posted:
December 21, 2012 03:32 pm

happy holidays

High School Soup will be on holiday break until January 2nd. We will still be posting intermittently on our twitter and facebook accounts with education-related news. Follow us there. Happy holidays!

Maryland’s new metric for measuring school progress, the School Progress Index, aims to increase the number of students with proficient scores on standards tests by 2017. It sets more realistic targets for student achievement. Baltimore Sun

What were the top education issues of 2012? Vote and see the results of this poll. Education Next

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Additional Perspectives on the Future of Teacher Preparation in the Digital Age

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Posted:
December 20, 2012 06:31 pm

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On December 11, the Alliance held a webinar on the future of teacher preparation in the digital age that attracted an audience of more than 500 people. As a result, we were unable to get to as many questions from our audience as we had hoped. Happily, our four panelists agreed to answer some of our leftover questions in this space.

If you missed the webinar, archived video from it is available at https://all4ed.org/webinar/perspectives-on-the-future-of-teacher-preparation-in-the-digital-age/. Below are responses from our panelists: Dr. Barnett Berry, president and chief executive officer at the Center for Teaching Quality; Dr. Lynne Schrum, dean of the College of Human Resources and Education at West Virginia University; and Dr. Ronald Thorpe, president and chief executive officer of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

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Afternoon announcements: Arne Duncan to join task force on gun violence, mental health services

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Posted:
December 20, 2012 06:16 pm

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A roof over every student’s head, school breakfast and lunch for all eligible students, and an enriching, holistic curriculum are just a few of the items on this education wish list. The Nation

Several Cabinet officials, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, have been asked to join a White House task force to look at gun violence, mental health services and other issues that related to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last week. Politics K-12

The White House has a plan to avoid going over the so-called “fiscal cliff.” The GOP has a very different plan. What would these plans look like in action, and, importantly, how would they each affect K-12 education budgets? Politics K-12

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Students “scrub in” to linked learning at Health Professions High School

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Posted:
December 20, 2012 04:19 pm

As I walked from one hall to another on Thursday morning, I was surrounded by young men and women in scrubs. No, thankfully I wasn’t in a hospital; I was on a site visit at Arthur A. Benjamin Health Professions High School in Sacramento, California.

The scrubs students wore weren’t the only thing that distinguished Health Professions. Like many other schools in California implementing the Linked Learning high school reform approach, Health Professions has a comprehensive strategy to provide each student a personalized, rigorous, and relevant educational experience that transcends the scrubs. This strategy includes:

·Professional Learning Communities. Through professional learning communities—referred by the school as “salons”—teachers and staff at Health Professions integrate curricula across academic disciplines; combine academic and technical coursework; collaborate in creating project-based learning experiences for students; analyze data; and helpe identify and address student problems and challenges. This collaboration among teachers and staff enable each student to have more personalized and high-quality learning experiences.

·Linkages to Provide a College- and Career-Ready Education. As a certified Linked Learning pathway, the school makes necessary linkages to prepare each student for college- and- career success. Students are provided college- preparatory coursework that is aligned to California State University A-G standards; students are provided hands-on, career and technical education, and work-based learning experiences that make their learning experience relevant; and students are provided support services that address barriers standing between them and a high quality education. These opportunities help make the most important linkage, the linkage between students and their aspirations.

·Technical Education, Work Based Learning, and a 21st Century Education.  Schools like Health Professions are changing perceptions of career and technical education. At Health Professions, career and technical education and work-based learning help students to: develop the knowledge and skills to succeed in the workforce and postsecondary education; provide coherent themes to deliver rigorous academic content; and provide relevance to keep students engaged and in school. The key is that Health Professions High School isn’t preparing students for healthcare careers—the school’s students graduate prepared to succeed in a range of postsecondary education and career options.

·The Role of Partnerships.  Partnerships are a critical element to the success of Linked Learning pathways like Health Professions. Partnerships enable schools to fill in the gaps between the education the school is positioned to provide and the education students need to succeed. Health Professions partners are stepping up to this challenge. Business partners like Kaiser Permanente and Shriners Hospital provide students hands-on work-based and service-learning opportunities; postsecondary partners like U.C.Davis ensure students’ opportunities prepare them to make effective transitions to higher education; and community based partners help provide support services to meet other student needs. These are just some of the functions partnerships can serve. The partnershipsschools like Health Professions utilize ensure that the success of students is community-driven, not just a school-driven enterprise.

As one female student observed, “Learning is easier here.” The course requirements are no less rigorous— she had just finished a complicatedrole-playing presentation withthree other students— but she is learning by engaging in activities that interest her.

The Linked Learning strategy employed at Health Professions helpsprepare students for college and careers, not one or the other. Whether students end up trading scrubs for postsecondary graduation gowns, business suits, or some other uniform, their future will be a function of their decisions and aspirations, combined with the quality of an education process that truly engages them.

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

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Afternoon announcements: Arne Duncan gives a statement to teachers, principals and school administrators after Sandy Hook

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Posted:
December 19, 2012 05:10 pm

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The 16 winners of the first Race to the Top-District competition have a little over three months to outline how they will achieve the goals of their plans. The Department of Education will work with each winner to set up a timeline, deliverables and a budget. Politics K-12

The students of Sandy Hook Elementary School will return to class after winter break in the neighboring town of Chalk Hill. The location hasn’t been used as a school since 2011. Huffington Post

Read Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s statement to teachers, principals and school administrators in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Education Department

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Afternoon announcements: American public questions online classes

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Posted:
December 18, 2012 05:00 pm

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A new study shows that the performance of D.C. third-graders on standardized reading and math tests has not improved since 2007. Washington Post

Many universities nationwide are utilizing the cost-cutting, innovative technology of online classes. The next Florida public university may become the first to be an online-only school. Miami Herald

Despite the growing prevalence of online classes, doubt still lingers about their effectiveness, among the American public. In a new survey, only 29 percent of American adults believe they offer an equal education to a classroom, compared to 51 percent of college presidents who believe they provide the same value. Pew Research Center

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Afternoon announcements: schools, parents worried about safety

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Posted:
December 17, 2012 05:14 pm

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Schools nationwide are ramping up security amidst worries as they re-open their doors today after Friday’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Educational leaders are working to restore a sense of safety and security. New York Times

Increasing academic standards is leaving some students struggling, as one Virginia high school is learning. At Falls Church High School in Fairfax County, a school with a high percentage of low-income students, scores on the state math test plummeted – with the passing rate going from 92 percent last year to 75 percent this year, after implementing harder test standards. Washington Post

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John Merrow talks deeper learning, the “Holy Grail” of education

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Posted:
December 14, 2012 09:19 pm

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If there were a “holy grail” of education, what would it be?

In his weekly blog Take Note, John Merrow defines it as the big three: project-based learning, technology, and enthusiastic teachers. But not all three elements need to be present simultaneously for magic to be found. If need be, Merrow notes, the trifecta could be wrapped up into a single one of the components: technology.

Through technology, students can interact and communicate with enthusiastic teachers, without them needing to be present. Project-based learning is made even more accessible and content rich by allowing students to work alongside their peers around the world. All the essential components of the Holy Grail of Education can be achieved through technology devices and implementation in the classroom.

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Afternoon announcements: Philadelphia closing 37 schools

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Posted:
December 14, 2012 05:56 pm

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The Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K-12 Education has put together a list of what the best stories the media has covered in education in 2012 and the worst. Charter schools and teachers’ unions claim the top two “hit” spots, while teachers’ pensions and Common Core State Standards lead on the “misses” list. Hoover Institution

Earlier this week, Alliance president, Bob Wise, wrote about the upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Ending the school-to-prison pipeline.” Here’s an overview and wrap up of the hearing. Washington Post

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Jeremy Macdonald: Chrometastic web browsing

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Posted:
December 13, 2012 09:37 pm

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In my search for a more productive work experience and a more meaningful learning experience for students, I happen upon little things there and there that, for some, can mean lots. I don’t know what browser you’re using, but I’m quite fond of Google Chrome. It provides me with the quickest Internet experience, as well as the most innovative approach to streamlining life, work, and play.

I’ve mentioned Evernote once before in these posts, and I still continue to use it in many ways in and out of the classroom. But Evernote + Chrome is a dream-come-true for a techie like me. In addition to Evernote’s Web Clipper extension for Chrome (which is how I currently save online content for later viewing offline), they also have a nifty little tool called Clearly.

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