Project 24 MOOC-Ed Registration Open For January 2014

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Posted:
December 20, 2013 02:39 pm

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Would you like to join colleagues from around the country and the world to learn more about the Digital Learning Transition? The Alliance for Excellent Education, in partnership with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University, is pleased to announce that registration is open for the Planning for the Digital Learning Transition in K-12 Schools massive online open course for educators (DLT MOOC-Ed). This course utilizes the Alliance’s Project 24 Framework and involves experts from across the country and will be in two parts. The nine-week experience kicks off January 20.

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Afternoon Announcements: House Passes Bipartisan Budget Agreement

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Posted:
December 13, 2013 02:55 pm

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International Human Rights Day was December 10, and to celebrate, the United Nations honored 5 individuals who are making the world a better place. Huffington Post

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan agreement that would roll back many of the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration. School districts and early-childhood education programs could see some financial relief if the agreement makes it through the Senate. Politics K-12

D.C. Public Schools has purchased 85,000 new books for school libraries around the city. The Washington Post

The U.S. Department of Education is forced to scrap analysis done on a $5 billion federal program that puts money into failing schools because of a contractor’s error. The Washington Post

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Afternoon Announcements: Middle-School Students Create Apps in the Classroom

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Posted:
December 12, 2013 03:35 pm

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Middle-school students at Howard University Middle School are putting their technology and science education to the test by creating apps that help the community. NPR

It’s that time of the year for end-of-the-year wrap-ups, round-ups and lists. Here’s one list of the most notable education stories of 2013. The Atlantic

The House and Senate are negotiating a deal that, if passed, could provide some financial relief to school districts impacted by across-the-board sequestration cuts. Politics K-12

A program launched in Michigan aims to fill the gap between skilled held by recent high school graduates and the skills needed in current jobs. Crain’s Detroit Business

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Assessing Student Learning of Twenty-First-Century Skills

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Posted:
December 12, 2013 01:10 pm

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Profound changes in the nation’s economy, demography, and technological landscape have prompted educators to rethink what competencies students must have to succeed in the twenty-first century. In response, education leaders recognize the need to challenge fundamental assumptions about how we educate and prepare students to meet the demands of employment, advanced training, and civic participation. These demands fall hard on teachers and students. Growing concerns about how to significantly improve the quality of education for all students is generating healthy debate about the use of meaningful assessments that capture outcomes beyond simple academic content knowledge.

On November 19th, the Alliance, in partnership with Asia Society, held a webinar on the design of “state-of-the-art” measures of twenty-first century skills—the central focus of a RAND working paper  presented at the October 2013 meeting of the Global Cities Education Network in Singapore. The final report will be published shortly and posted on the Asia Society website. Panelists Tony Jackson, Vice President for Education at Asia Society, and Laura Hamilton, Senior Behavioral Scientist at RAND Corporation, explored an expanding array of tools to assess student proficiency in critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and collaboration essential for success in an interconnected global economy. Gen Ling Chang from the Toronto School District in Ontario, Canada—one of the highest performing systems in the world—discussed what this means for designing curriculum and arming teachers with the knowledge and skills to help all students attain high-level cognitive and interpersonal skills. For more information, see, Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools.

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Afternoon Announcements: Common Core Was Not ‘Cooked Up’ Behind Closed Doors, Idaho Gov. Says

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Posted:
December 09, 2013 04:37 pm

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Western countries fared in the “average” to “poor” range on the recent PISA results. The OECD, which administers the test, cautioned that the United States and some western European countries need to address education gaps to improve scores. The New York Times

Clintondale High School in Michigan is the nation’s first completely ‘flipped’ school. Teachers record video lectures for their students to watch at home, and they complete their ‘homework’ assignments in class, working with other students and receiving individualized help from teachers. PBS Newshour

“The notion that Common Core was cooked up behind closed doors is wrong,” said Idaho Governor Butch Otter in a recent interview. Idaho Statesman

This in-depth feature at one honor roll student’s home life in a homeless shelter brings with it a reminder that in order to close education gaps, students need to be fed and healthy. The New York Times

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Leveraging Linguistic Diversity: Lessons from International Schools

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Posted:
December 09, 2013 11:35 am

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On November 7, the Alliance held a webinar to showcase Seattle Public Schools (SPS) international education K-12 pipeline featured in the Alliance report, Embracing Linguistic Diversity: The Role of Teacher Leaders in Building Seattle’s Pipeline of International Schools. Seattle educators Karen Kodama, International Education Administrator, and Noah Zeichner, National Board Certified Teacher at Chief Sealth International High School, described how international schools cultivate a schoolwide focus on bilingualism and global competency as part of a rigorous program of studies.

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Afternoon Announcements: New York City High School Graduation Rate Rises

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Posted:
December 06, 2013 03:30 pm

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this week that the four-year graduation rate for students who entered high school in 2009 reached an all-time high. WNYC

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have joined other philanthropists in donating $9 million to a nonprofit organization to bring internet connectivity into the nation’s public schools. The Washington Post

The US Department of Education has decided to delay an expansion of its civil rights data collection for two years. The survey used to collect data questions students about discipline and bullying in their schools. Politics K-12

“Humble. Compassionate. Experienced. These are some of the attributes that Alexandria students, parents, and teachers said they are looking for in a new superintendent during a community forum Thursday night at T.C. Williams High School.” The Washington Post

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Afternoon Announcements: Oklahoma Governor Fallin Stresses Common Core Standards is Not a Federal Program

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Posted:
December 05, 2013 04:29 pm

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““By implementing new standards, assessments, and teacher development programs, the United States is taking important steps to produce significant changes in classroom practice and student outcomes over the next few years. These changes could, in turn, result in significant improvement in PISA scores in 2015,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education. “More importantly, improvement in PISA performance would also signal that more students in the United States have developed the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in an increasingly complex world.” Deepest Learners

The U.S. Department of Education have approved requests for extensions on implementing the teacher-evaluation portion of the No Child Left Behind Act for Nevada and Mississippi. Politics K-12

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed an executive order on WEdnesday that she believes will squelch concerns that the state’s implementation of the Common Core Standards is not a federal program. The Oklahoman

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Afternoon Announcements: Duncan Calls for Raised Academic Standards

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Posted:
December 04, 2013 04:16 pm

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Forty-seven advocacy groups signed a letter to Senate leaders asking them to move forward on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Politics K-12

The U.S. Department of Education has a new staffer. Amy McIntosh, a senior fellow in the New York Department of Education’s Regents Research Fund, will join the federal Department’s office of planning, evaluation, and policy development. Politics K-12

“We must invest in early education, raise academic standards, make college affordable, and do more to recruit and retain top-notch educators,” Duncan said, responding to the release of the 2012 PISA Results during PISA Day yesterday. NBC News

Students in Massachusetts excelled on the PISA test, ranking below only participating countries – Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The Boston Globe

Here’s a great resource that breaks down the most ‘common’ questions about the Common Core State Standards. Stateline

 

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