Afternoon Announcements: August 15, 2014

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August 15, 2014 01:22 pm

We wrap up another week of education news. And we continue to fight the good fight to make every child a graduate, prepared for college and a career.

Duncan Extends NCLB Waivers for Five States Education Week
Five states—Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Wisconsin—will get to keep their No Child Left Behind waivers for another year, the U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday. But two of the extensions come with some pretty big buts.

Tests Show NYC Made Bigger Gains in Reading WNYC
While students across New York State made gains on this year’s math tests in grades 3 through 8, scores remained stagnant in the English Language Arts. The results in New York City were slightly better, with students making progress in both categories and narrowing the gap between city and state scores.

Third of Va. Schools Could Lack Accreditation Washington Post
Nearly one-third of Virginia’s public schools will not earn full accreditation this fall after reading and science scores dropped precipitously on state-mandated standardized tests, according to state education officials.

Could ‘Community Schools’ Work in Philly? Newsworks
In Philadelphia, 40 percent of school-aged kids live in poverty. One in five students has had some contact with the Department of Human Services. In an effort to help city children achieve academically despite socioeconomic and cultural trappings, City Council has started examining the idea of turning schools into social-service hubs. On Wednesday, Council held its first hearing on the possibility of creating “school-based family service centers,” commonly known as “community schools.”

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Afternoon Announcements: August 14, 2014

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August 14, 2014 02:19 pm

Lots of news today!

Education Week has a lot of good ed news from today and yesterday:

Insiders: Slim Hope for ESEA Reauthorization Politics K–12 blog
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act will never be reauthorized. At least that’s what 20 percent of education “insiders” surveyed by a Washington consulting group think. The new survey released Thursday by Whiteboard Advisors found that 72 percent of a small group of key education influentials agreed that, at the very least, Congress won’t update the federal education law until after December 2015.

With Fractions, Common-Core Training Goes Beyond ‘Invert and Multiply’ Curriculum Matters blog
“Who would draw a picture to divide 2/3 by 3/4?” asked Marina Ratner, a professor emerita of mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley, in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece. Ratner meant the question as rhetorical—she’s an adamant opponent of the Common Core State Standards in math and spends the article arguing that they’re making math education in the country worse. Her point was that drawing such a picture is a waste of time and makes the problem overly complex.

Despite Training, Half of Teachers Feel Inadequately Prepared for Common Core Curriculum Matters blog
Teachers are getting steadily more training in the common core, but they’re not feeling much more prepared to teach it, according to survey results released Thursday by the Education Week Research Center. Results from the study show that while far more teachers are attending common-core training, they are giving those sessions low marks for quality.

Other Education News and Op-Eds

This op-ed is written by Eric Sheninger, principal at New Milford School in NJ. Sheninger will be a special guest during the Alliance’s August 28 webinar “Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times”
Schools Need to Work Better for Kids than Adults Huffington Post
The world is changing, but many schools are not. Are the needs of our learners being met, and will they be prepared to succeed in this world? When I think about this question my own child comes to mind.

Science Academies a Hot Trend for Fall in North Jersey NorthJersey.com
With schools set to open in about three weeks, the hottest trend in education is the launching of special academies for science, technology, engineering and math, aimed at training future high-tech workers and capturing the fascination of young people born to a digital age.

State Data Finds Nearly Half of Michigan Schools Need Improvement USA Today
Nearly half of Michigan’s schools need improvement and only 50 schools statewide earned the highest accountability rating by the Michigan Department of Education, according to data released this morning. In addition, as many as 30 schools statewide have fallen to the bottom of the heap for at least three years in a row, making them ripe for potentially being placed in a state reform school district.

Why Los Angeles Sends Failing Students on to the Next Grade Hechinger
When Alberto Cortes was held back in fourth grade because of low math skills, he thought his world had come to an end. “The first day of going back to fourth grade, I see all my friends with new teachers there in fifth grade,” Cortes said. At first the humiliation and embarrassment of retention motivated Cortes to try hard in his classes. But by seventh grade, he was smoking and doing graffiti to impress kids and shed his reputation as the “dumb” older kid.

Ed Reality Worse Than Numbers Show Las Vegas Review-Journal
It’s no secret Nevada schools are doing poorly, “remaining at the bottom of all those lists,” but that’s not the entire picture, said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga on Wednesday. The truth is even worse than the statistics would have you believe, he added.

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Afternoon Announcements: August 12, 2014

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August 12, 2014 12:59 pm

Yesterday, we lost a brilliant actor and comic genius when Robin Williams died. NPR offers a nice story on What Robin Williams Taught Us About Teaching.

What the U.S. Could Learn from the Polish Education System USAToday
Is it time for the student to offer the teacher a few lessons? Twenty-five years ago, Americans like economist Jeffrey Sachs were running around Poland helping to turn moribund socialism into a vibrant market economy. Now, with the U.S. trying to fix its lagging educational system, it might just learn a thing or two from Poland, which in the past decade has moved sharply forward from the rear of the international pack and beats the U.S. on most performance measures. And it didn’t even spend a lot money to get there.

Creating an Ever-Flexible Center for Tech Innovation New York Times
Dan Huttenlocher does not like walls. This is not so much an aesthetic preference as it is a practical concern. Walls divide people and define spaces. They restrict movement. They discourage exchange. And they are a pain to move if your needs change, especially when they are stuffed with cables, ducts and other infrastructure accessories.

A $5 Billion Bounty: How to Use eRate Support for Wi-Fi eSchool News
The eRate will provide $5 billion over the next five years to help schools and libraries install Wi-Fi and other technologies needed to deliver broadband within their buildings; this article explains how.

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Afternoon Announcements: August 11, 2014

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August 11, 2014 01:29 pm

White Students No Longer in the Majority Boston Globe
For the first time ever, US public schools are projected to have more minority students than non-Hispanic whites, a shift largely fueled by growth in the number of Hispanic children.

Black Men Need More Education Than White Men to Get Jobs Atlantic Monthly
A new report shows yet another way African Americans face systematic disadvantage on the job market.

Boosting College Readiness Is Goal for New City Schools CEO Baltimore Sun
As hundreds of Baltimore public school graduates prepare to set foot on a four-year college campus in Maryland this month, nearly half will notice something familiar on their schedules: a class they took in high school.

Poverty and the Perception of Poverty–How Both Matter for Schooling Outcomes An opinion piece by OECD’s Andreas Schleicher (posted August 8, 2014) in eSchool News
Socio-economic disadvantage is a challenge to educators everywhere. Compensating for students’ socio-economic disadvantage is one of the greatest challenges facing teachers, school leaders and education systems as a whole. However, data from PISA show that some countries are much better at this than others.

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Morning Announcements: June 4, 2014

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June 04, 2014 12:02 pm

Lawmakers Pressure FCC Ahead of Changes to E-Rate Rules Education Week’s Politics K–12 blog
As schools begin to break for summer, lawmakers and lobbyists are turning up the heat on the Federal Communication Commission, which has promised to revamp its E-Rate system before the start of the next school year.

Teachers Hit The Common Core Wall NPR: All Things Considered
This time next year, millions of schoolkids in the U.S. will sit down for their first Common Core test. In some places, the stakes will be high — for kids, their teachers and their communities. The goal of the Core benchmarks in reading and math is to better prepare students for college, career and the global economy. But the challenges are huge.

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Morning Announcements: June 3, 2014

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June 03, 2014 11:50 am

Lots of interesting ed news today (IMHO). Enjoy!

What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades New York Times
Does handwriting matter? Not very much, according to many educators. The Common Core standards, which have been adopted in most states, call for teaching legible writing, but only in kindergarten and first grade. After that, the emphasis quickly shifts to proficiency on the keyboard.

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Morning Announcements: June 2, 2014

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June 02, 2014 11:42 am

Is the Deck Stacked Against Black Boys In America? nprED
The numbers are grim. Black boys are more likely than white boys to live in poverty, and with a single parent. They’re also more likely to be suspended from school and land in prison, and less likely to be able to read. But what to do about it? That’s the question before My Brother’s Keeper, a White House task force created earlier this year. On Friday, President Obama released the team’s first 90-day progress report. The New York Times reports on this as well.

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Afternoon Announcements: May 30, 2014

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May 30, 2014 02:24 pm

For the first time since 1962, the 87th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee had co-champions!

Scripps National Spelling Bee 2014 Results: Winner, Finalists and Funny Moments Bleacher Report
Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe made history by becoming co-champions at the 87th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Twenty-two tense rounds of stress-inducing action came down to Hathwar and Sujoe, as they dueled through the toughest words the tournament had to throw at them before all puzzles were exhausted.

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Afternoon Announcements: May 29, 2014

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May 29, 2014 04:32 am

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the passing of Maya Angelou Imperial Valley News
“Maya Angelou was not just a phenomenal writer and artist – she was a teacher and mentor whose words will live on for generations.”

School Spending Increases Linked to Better Outcomes for Poor Students Education Week
In districts that substantially increased their spending as the result of court-ordered changes in school finance, low-income children were significantly more likely to graduate from high school, earn livable wages, and avoid poverty in adulthood.

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Morning Announcements: May 28, 2014

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May 28, 2014 11:00 am

Who else is excited about the National Spelling Bee, besides me?

5 Things to Know About the National Spelling Bee abcNews
Here are five things to know about the 87th edition of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which began Tuesday and concludes Thursday with the finals broadcast in prime time.

States Intervene When School Districts Hit Financial Trouble Stateline
Pushed to the brink of financial ruin, the Normandy School District in Missouri will officially breathe its last breath on June 30.

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