Afternoon announcements: What you need to know about federal student loans

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Posted:
March 29, 2013 06:38 pm

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What does the public need to know, that they don’t, about federal student loans and aid programs? After more than a dozen organizations, including the Alliance for Excellent Education, submitted recommendations on improving the system, some basic truths were revealed. The Quick & the Ed

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced on Monday that his administration may take over the public school system within six to eight weeks. He suggested various ideas for what the takeover would look like. He referenced New Orleans, where many schools were converted to charter schools. Wall Street Journal

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Afternoon announcements: Teachers rank highest in ‘well-being’ among professionals

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Posted:
March 28, 2013 07:31 pm

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Chicago teachers, public school supporters, and even students rallied and marched against the closing of 53 elementary schools. The Chicago Teachers Union organized the protest, which saw 127 people detained. Chicago Tribune

Providence, Massachusetts received a $5 million prize in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, and they plan to use it to study the “word gap,” or how the difference in the amount of language a baby is exposed to advances their academic success. They’ll give low-income families recording devices to calculate how many words the children hear, compared to higher-income families, and coach parents on how to boost language exposure. The Boston Globe

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Afternoon announcements: Will Nebraska adopt the Common Core?

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Posted:
March 27, 2013 04:14 pm

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El Verano Elementary School in California’s Sonoma Valley has partnered with the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, to help English Language Learners with their science and language skills. The students keep science journals that help them learn English, as well. Education Week

Each of the 16 Race to the Top winners are pursuing more “personalized learning” approaches in different ways. Many of the districts are using technology to create more student-centered learning approaches, while others are emphasizing teacher professional development. Education Week

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Everyone’s getting Straight A’s: Alliance expert on higher education testifies before Congressional committee

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Posted:
March 27, 2013 03:58 pm

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Every other week, the Alliance for Excellent Education posts a new edition of Straight A’s: Public Education Policy and Progress, an online newsletter. Here are excerpts from this issue. You can read the entire articles online here.

This month, the U.S. Congress passed a Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 spending package that avoids a government shutdown by keeping the federal government funded through the end of the fiscal year on September 30. The bill provides $65.8 billion in discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Education—an amount that reflects the 5 percent across-the-board cut mandated by the sequester—compared to $68.1 billion in FY 2012. Congress passes fiscal year 2013 spending bill

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Afternoon announcements: Students protest Chicago school closings

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Posted:
March 26, 2013 08:35 pm

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Nine school districts in California have submitted a No Child Left Behind waiver application to the U.S. Department of Education. State officials have approved it, though reluctantly. Politics K-12

The Common Core State Standards offer educators a way to teach beyond worksheets and textbooks. One algebra teacher shares his excitement. Education Week

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Supporting 21st-century competencies

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Posted:
March 26, 2013 07:00 pm

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What does it take to succeed in the 21st century economy? This question has taken on new significance as it becomes clear that in a continually changing global economy, the skills that served the nation well in the past might not prepare us for economic success in the future. As the skills needed to succeed evolve, so too must the ways in which the nation’s high schools prepare its students to succeed.

An increasing number of high schools are focusing on developing “deeper learning” competencies – the ability to think critically, solve complex problems, master core academic content, work collaboratively, and communicate effectively, as a means to prepare students for both college and career. There has also been increasing attention on grit, tenacity, and perseverance, as additional competencies critical for success.

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Afternoon announcements: BYOT movement gaining momentum

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Posted:
March 25, 2013 08:14 pm

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How does our hyper-technology laden culture affect babies’ early learning? A new feature explores the ‘touch-screen generation.’ The findings may surprise you. The Atlantic

Arne Duncan co-penned an editorial today calling for fines for collegiate athletic coaches whose students don’t graduate. He proposes that coaches be fined for not promoting a healthier sports-school balance. USA Today

The Bring Your Own Technology, or BYOT, movement continues to gain momentum as a growing number of schools allow and encourage students to bring technology into the classroom. Teachers utilize learning apps in the classroom to improve learning and meet each student where they are. New York Times

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Five Steps for Creating The Digital Learning Plan You Need

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Posted:
March 25, 2013 07:55 pm

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This Project 24 series blog post is from Jennifer Barnett. Jennifer is a Technology Integration Specialist at Childersburg High School in Childersburg, Alabama and a member of the Project 24 Team of Experts.

5 steps“Be prepared.”

Sometimes I’m a little jealous of the Boy Scouts. They have this great motto, a snazzy uniform, and a really cool three-finger salute. What’s even better is that they are known for their mission and work. Everything they do centers on preparedness. In fact, I bet you already know their mission: to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes. Even if you were unaware of the exact wording of their mission, I’d guess you do understand their organization’s plan. The Boy Scouts have done a fabulous job creating a plan to teach boys how to plan. (Sounds like teacher heaven to me!) Without a doubt, the planning process is crucial to the success of any school or organization.  What can be gleaned from organizations with outstanding plans? What might be considered the most crucial elements of the planning process? Let’s investigate.

Project 24 is an urgent call to action on the need for systemic planning around the effective use of technology and digital learning to achieve the goal of “career and college readiness” for all students. Part one of this framework was the vision. Let’s say you have a clearly defined vision for your school or district’s digital learning program where your instructional practices require the effective use technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience. You’ve studied best practices on creating this vision and you are ready to create a plan.  What now?

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Afternoon announcements: Sequestration cuts hit Native American schools hardest

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Posted:
March 22, 2013 02:34 pm

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There are two paths to implementing the Common Core State Standards – one that resembles No Child Left Behind and the other that transforms teaching and learning. Ensuring that the Standards are adopted and utilized in a way that benefits students and teachers is essential. Education Week

The across-the-board federal budget cuts, or sequestration cuts, are disproportionately affecting Native American schools. Most Native reservation school campuses receive federal Impact Aid intended for schools that can’t collect local property taxes. USA Today

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Afternoon announcements: No more zombie survival skills for students

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Posted:
March 21, 2013 08:15 pm

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More than 1,300 D.C. high school graduates are in limbo – accepted to college but waiting to hear whether they will receive the funding they need to attned under the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant program. The program provides $10,000 to more than 6,000 students entering college. The reason for the holding pattern goes back to sequestration and budget problems in Congress. Washington Post  

A middle school in Oregon that offered a ‘zombie survival skills’ extracurricular class will not offer it anymore. It’s being replaced by an “exploratory reading class.” We can only hope they’ll do an in-depth reading of World War Z. Education Week

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