Making an Impact: One District’s Approach to Deeper Learning

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Posted:
June 22, 2016 03:42 pm

Maker space

As part of the Alliance for Excellent Education’s (the Alliance’s) ongoing series about how districts and schools are fostering deeper learning outcomes for students, the Alliance contacted Chad Ratliff, director of instruction for Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) in Virginia, to discuss his efforts to bring Maker-centered work to the district and its connections with deeper learning. ACPS is one of the first school districts nationally to recognize the value of Maker-centered learning, an instructional approach that encourages students to solve problems by tinkering, building, inventing, or otherwise creating physical or digital artifacts. ACPS started its efforts three years ago when the district’s Monticello High School converted its library to a Makerspace (pictured above). The district also reimagined the elementary remedial summer school programs as Maker academies.

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Deeper Learning Digest: Ensuring Deeper Learning is for All Students

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Posted:
June 17, 2016 12:05 pm

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With one-third of American workers engaging in freelance, or project-based, work, Getting Smart explores how all students are being prepared for a project-based world. The article dives in to the issue of equity in project-based learning (PBL), including which students have access to this style of learning instruction. “PBL has thrived in affluent schools where students have the basic skills and self-management to engage in complex multi-step projects,” the article notes, whereas “schools serving low income students are often overwhelmed with the challenge of students entering well below grade level,” and therefore are not focused on PBL instruction. Learn more about how groups are working to give all students access to PBL in Promising Practices in Equity and Project-Based Learning.

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Deeper Learning Digest

New Data Reveals Chronic Absenteeism Affects Over Six Million Children in U.S. Schools

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Posted:
June 17, 2016 09:30 am

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Millions of children missed at least fifteen days of school in the 2013-14 school year, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The first-ever national comprehensive data collected on issue of chronic absenteeism revealed that 6.5 million students, or 13 percent of all students and 18 percent of all high school students, from all over the country, are missing three weeks or more of school.

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Every Student Succeeds Act

The Role of Career and Technical Education in College and Career Readiness

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Posted:
June 14, 2016 03:13 pm

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In the present economic climate, pursuing a postsecondary degree has become a necessity, making the need for every student to graduate from high school college and career ready more important than it has ever been. Career and technical education (CTE) can play a critical role in providing high school students with this level of preparation. In high-quality CTE programs, students concurrently take rigorous courses, cultivate career skills, and can earn credit toward a postsecondary credential while in high school. Work-based learning opportunities and academic rigor are two essential characteristics of effective CTE pathways.

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Every Student Succeeds Act

Open Education Resources: Where do I begin?

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Posted:
June 06, 2016 12:29 pm

Open Education- Where do I begin

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Andy Marcinek, Chief Open Education Advisor at the US Department of Education (ED), to explore how schools can benefit from Open Educational Resources (OERs) and what is being done in this area nationwide. With support from ED, state leaders, and new platforms for curation and discovery, there has never been a more exciting time to rethink traditional, static instructional materials. Open Education Resources were the highlight of this Future Ready webinar as they align to the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment gear of the Future Ready Framework. From equity, to cost, to teacher empowerment, many benefits of open resources exist.

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Future Ready

Deeper Learning Digest: Students in Charge of Learning

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Posted:
June 03, 2016 04:35 pm

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Abner Oakes, director of outreach and strategic partnership at the Alliance, dives into how early college high schools promote deeper learning for students. Early college programs allow students to earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree free of tuition. In a blog post, Oakes zeroes in on Bard Early Colleges, which has schools in Baltimore, New York, New Orleans, Cleveland, and Newark. These early college schools emphasize collaborative work, require students to build upon and apply what they have learned, and expect students to be active in their education. These elements align very closely with deeper learning competencies, Oakes explains. “For historically underserved young people, early college high schools like Bard offer a pathway not only for high school success but also for postsecondary success,” he writes, “Perhaps there will be a time in the future when a high school education becomes synonymous with a college education and with a full preparation for life.” Learn more: http://deeperlearning4all.org/essa/supporting-deeper-learning-at-early-college-high-schools.

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Deeper Learning Digest

Underrepresentation of African American Students in Gifted Programs

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Posted:
June 02, 2016 02:14 pm

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I remember the heart-sinking moment of being removed from gifted classes during my transition to high school after having been a high-achieving elementary and middle school student in Baltimore County, Maryland. As an African American student who previously faced poverty and a host of other issues, being “gifted” was part of my identity. Even though gifted classes were available at the high school I attended, no one from the school district consulted me before my transition into lower-tracked classes.

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