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Afternoon Announcements: October 18, 2011

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October 18, 2011 05:02 pm

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Education Daily reports on a National Center for Education Statistics’s (NCES) study that finds 1 in 10 new teachers leaves after first year. But what can be done to help them stay? While the NCES study does not offer policy recommendations, a new brief  from the Alliance for Excellent Education calls for induction supports that provide coaching and guidance by well-trained mentors and increased opportunities for novice educators to collaborate with colleagues.

The Associated Press reports that U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), the chairman and top Republican, respectively, on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, announced Monday an agreement to move forward on bipartisan legislation to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. Also, Education Week reports that a last-minute change to draft language to rewrite NCLB included scaling back the teacher evaluation mandate.

The Boston Globe examines the growing numbers of infants and toddlers who are playing with smartphones and tablets. “But for many children, plain old books aren’t enough,” the article reads. “Companies are rolling out an ever-growing line of products, from apps for learning ABCs to toddler-size tablets, that are giving rise to a generation of digital natives. The trend is just emerging, and many specialists can’t say how much technology is the right amount and whether it will hamper child development. But there is little doubt we are seeing only early stages of a hyperconnected world that is changing childhood.”

And here are two articles on how schools are using year-round schools to close achievement gaps and eliminiate slippage in reading and math skills that can occur over the summer, especially in low-income students. First, the Huffington Post explains how extended school days may help low-income and minority students achieve more learning throughout the year, and lose less of this new knowledge over the summer. Second, the Associated Press profiles West Virginia, where educators are considering year-round schools.

USA Today looks at the growing number of opportunities that are cropping up to help college students with learning disabilities hone the skills they will need on a mainstream college campus.

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