Afternoon Announcements: Arlington Public Schools to Provide Tablets for Every Student

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Posted:
February 28, 2014 04:12 pm

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Arlington Public Schools is the next school district to provide every student with an Internet-capable tablet. The new technology initiative will roll out by giving second graders iPads and all sixth graders Chromebooks next fall. The Washington Post

Can Washington State pass a teacher-evaluation law that gets federal approval? Politics K-12

Nevada is making it easier for students to pass the state math proficiency test required for high school graduation. Education Week

A deeper look at the most recent PISA results on the new Learning Deeply blog. Education Week

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Afternoon Announcements: National Urban League Endorses the Common Core

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Posted:
February 27, 2014 04:25 pm

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According to a new survey released this week, the majority of teachers believe that the Common Core state Standards will make a positive difference for most students. Huffington Post

The National Urban League endorsed the Common Core State Standards, and here’s why. Huffington Post

An increasing number of parents, education advocates, and teachers are pushing to get rid of ‘zero tolerance’ discipline policies that push students out of school instead of keeping them in the classroom. NPR

Career and Technical Education teachers don’t easily fit into the boxes used for many teacher evaluation systems. The Quick & The Ed

http://www.viator.com/tours/Washington-DC/The-Abraham-Lincoln-Experience-Coach-Tour-in-Washington-DC/d657-2890LINCOLN

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Learning Deeply

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Posted:
February 27, 2014 01:58 pm

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A new blog from Education Week, “Learning Deeply” will explore a range of topics about deeper learning. For Robert Rothman, a senior fellow at the Alliance for Excellent Education and a contributor to “Learning Deeply,” deeper learning “means that students are able to use the knowledge and skills they gain in each academic subject in order to think critically, collaborate, communicate effectively, direct one’s own learning, and have an academic mindset that allows one to explore and learn on their own.”

In the introductory post, Rothman and co-contributor Jal Mehta – associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education – tell a little about themselves, their definitions of deeper learning, and the purpose of the new blog. They write:

…The goal of this blog is not to argue the case for deeper learning. Rather, it is to discuss what it looks like at the practice and policy levels and to challenge one another’s thinking about instructional change. We fully expect the participants in the blog–who will include students (yes, students!), teachers, leaders of school networks, researchers, district and state officials, and representatives of policy organizations–to disagree from time to time, both by virtue of where they sit and because of their experience and understanding of research on student learning and school organization. We hope that bringing together these voices from varied perspectives will enable the kind of discussion across levels and roles that is missing from many discussions in education today. And we sincerely hope that readers will add their voices and perspectives as well.

A wide range of contributors will post several times a week. Be sure to check back here and, of course, on the Learning Deeply blog, to join the conversation on deeper learning.

Read the full post on Learning Deeply.

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Afternoon Announcements: Ed. Dept. Releases Guidelines to Protect Student Privacy

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Posted:
February 26, 2014 04:31 pm

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In more than a few classrooms around America, educators are going beyond the curriculum to teach students about what it means to be a responsible citizen and an active learner. It’s improving school climate and curbing discipline problems. Homeroom

New privacy guidelines issued by the US Department of Education seek to help schools and districts protect student privacy, especially when dealing with online data. Politics K-12

The additional $2 billion in E-Rate funds pledged by the Federal Communications Commission will take time to reach schools. The program provides wireless Internet for schools and libraries. Education Week

Many teachers are hopeful but nervous when it comes to the new Common Core State Standards. The Hechinger Report

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Afternoon Announcements: Conflict Resolution Programs Curb Suspensions in Maryland

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Posted:
February 25, 2014 04:31 pm

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How well do math textbooks prepare students for the Common Core State Standards? The Washington Post

Some teachers in rural Florida are embracing the Common Core State Standards and already seeing student engagement and comprehension improving. The Hechinger Report

Almost a dozen schools in Maryland are utilizing conflict resolution programs that stress talking through personal and academic issues to resolve problems rather than engaging in disruptive behavior. Suspensions at Sligo Middle School in Silver Spring are down 80 percent since the program’s inception. WAMU

Florida is the most recent state – after New York and Ohio – to release “value added” data on teachers to news outlets. Teacher Beat

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New Assessments: Questions to Ask

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Posted:
February 25, 2014 03:37 pm

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States face momentous decisions in the next few months. One of the most important is choosing a new assessment system to measure students’ progress toward standards for college and career readiness. The decision they make will have enormous implications for student learning and teaching in the coming years.

Since 2010, all states have revised their standards or adopted new ones in the past few years, and most (forty-six and the District of Columbia) have adopted the Common Core State Standards. New standards call for new assessments, because the standards call for substantial shifts in instructional practice, and current tests are not designed to measure the new learning goals. But tests do more than just measure what students have learned—they also provide concrete examples of the kind of learning the standards spell out, and they signal to teachers and students what kinds of performances are expected.

States will have a number of options for new assessments. Most states are part of one of two consortia of states that are building new assessments specifically designed to measure progress on the CCSS: the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. But other organizations are also creating new assessments, including ACT.

What factors should states consider? A new brief by the Alliance for Excellent Education suggests some questions to ask.

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Afternoon Announcements: Libraries Forced to Close in LAUSD

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Posted:
February 24, 2014 03:30 pm

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Budget cuts in the Los Angeles Unified School District in California have eliminated hundreds of library aides, forcing libraries to close their doors. Los Angeles Times

Australia implemented a program to curb truancy: if a student dropped out, her family lost welfare benefits. Would a similar program work in the United States? Hechinger Ed

Minneapolis Public Schools has taken decisive action to narrow the achievement gap between students of color and their peers. Will it work? Minnesota Post

For one year, Idaho will be exempt from reporting data to parents, teachers, and administrators on how students are performing to federal officials. Politics K-12

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Afternoon Announcements: Tackling Poverty and Improving Education Go Hand in Hand

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Posted:
February 21, 2014 04:46 pm

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These are three things that one writer feels the President has done to improve K-12 education in the last year. Huffington Post

Washington State had its waiver request dubbed as “high risk” by the US Department of Education. Senator Patty Murray might be able to help. Politics K-12

Tackling poverty and improving education go hand in hand. Charlotte Observer

Students need more than remedial courses to ensure they’re ready for college coursework – we need higher standards in K-12 schools. The Hechinger Report

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Afternoon Announcements: Ed. Dept. Rejects Waiver Requests on Teacher Evaluation for Arkansas and Utah

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Posted:
February 20, 2014 04:23 pm

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The US Department of Education rejected Arkansas and Utah’s requests for waivers from the teacher-evaluation component of the No Child Left Behind act. Both states asked for more than a delay. Politics K-12

Australia sets a high bar for incoming teachers. What can the US learn from their system? Hechinger Ed

A new survey shows that the majority of Americans don’t know much – if anything – about the Common Core State Standards. It also suspects that the majority of Americans would support the Standards if they knew more about them. Huffington Post

February is Career and Technical Education month. A new report emphasizes the importance of strong CTE educators. The Quick & The Ed

http://hechingered.org/content/can-the-u-s-learn-from-australias-high-bar-for-new-teachers_6569/

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Afternoon Announcements: What Does a Common Core Math Lesson Look Like in Practice?

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Posted:
February 19, 2014 04:13 pm

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The newest issue of Straight A’s, the Alliance’s bi-weekly newsletter, includes articles on the President’s ConnectEd initiative, a roundup of State of the State addresses, and the FCC’s decision to double funding for the program that provides Internet in schools and libraries, among others. Straight A’s

In one New York classroom, students use laptops to sketch quadrilaterals as part of a Common Core math lesson. Chalk Beat NY

California is increasing the number of computers and the speed of Internet access in schools in an effort to be prepared for the roll out of new online assessments. The Sacramento Bee

New research finds that how much state governments spend per pupil and how they spend it does have a significant impact on student achievement. Education Week

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