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Morning Announcements: June 3, 2014

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June 03, 2014 11:50 am

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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.

Big-City School Districts Have Teacher Attendance Problems USA Today
Teachers in the USA’s largest school districts missed an average of 11 days, according to a report on teacher attendance released Tuesday. The study from the National Council on Teacher Quality looked at attendance for more than 234,000 teachers in 40 districts during the 2012-13 year and found that 16% of all teachers were classified as chronically absent because they missed 18 days or more.

The Common Core Curriculum Void nprED
Right now, America’s schools are in a sprint. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards. That means new learning benchmarks for the vast majority of the nation’s young students—millions of kids from kindergarten through high school. And, for many of them, the Core will feel tougher than what they’re used to. Because it is tougher.

Ipswich 6th Graders Calculate a Rebellion Ipswich Chronicle (MA)
Two sixth grade math classes lost an entire week’s worth of instruction taking a trial run of a new test and now they want payment for their time.

State Test Scores Drop After Teachers Are Barred from Grading Exams from Their Own Schools Daily News (New York)
Scores on [New York state’s] high schooler’s English Regents exams plummeted in 2013 after the city instituted new grading rules to prevent score inflation. Some teachers admitted that sympathetic in-house scoring was rampant before the policy change, but stopped short of calling it cheating.

New York State Sets Focus on English-Learners Education Week
With the shift to the common standards and recent history of low student-achievement results as catalysts, education leaders in New York state are pushing a new agenda for English-language learners that calls for more accountability for their needs and more opportunities for rigorous bilingual and dual-language instruction.

Schools Get Road Map for Improving Discipline Practices Washington Post
A national report described as a first-of-its-kind road map for improving discipline practices in U.S. public schools was released Tuesday, with 60 recommendations intended to help schools reduce suspensions and create better learning conditions.

Survey Says Superintendents Back Common Core, Wary on Implementation Education Week
A [June 3 American Association of School Administrators’s] survey of more than 500 district superintendents and administrators from 48 states shows that most of the local K-12 leaders are firmly behind the Common Core State Standards. But it also finds general sentiment that the standards are being implemented too quickly, that strict accountability based on the standards needs to slow down, and that there’s insufficient support to make sure the transition to the standards goes well.

Educator’s Perspective: New Presentation Delivery Platforms Huffington Post blog post by Sriya Chakravarti (educator, researcher, policymaker, curriculum designer)
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” – Bill Gates
The above quote resonates with me deeply. Lately, I have been researching a lot on how to make my classes more engaging, and so I decided to do some research on the presentation delivery platforms. After some field and desk research, I found that 90 percent of all presentations are based out of PowerPoint. It is the standard go-to tool when it comes to creating presentations. This made me dig deeper into the realm of presentations. I started wondering if it is really static or are there new presentation technologies bubbling on the horizon.

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