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In the News



Parents outraged at new curriculum standards
The Daily Athenaeum, April 16, 2014
Recently, parents across the country have been reaching out to their local Board of Education to express distaste for the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Kids Count pushes for big payoff
MetroNews, April 16, 2014
A new survey shows most young children in West Virginia who receive child care don’t get it from licensed child care centers.

Del. officials eye science, technology and math
Education Week, April 15, 2014
State officials are joining with the Dow chemical company and Junior Achievement to strengthen science, technology, engineering and math instruction in Delaware's middle schools.

Companies sign on to career training push
The News Journal, April 14, 2014
A planned hub for Delaware students to prepare and get experience for their careers before graduating high school has gotten a boost from 10 companies that have signed on to provide money and opportunities.

Department of Education Releases New Parent and Community Engagement Framework
U.S. Department of Education, April 12, 2014
An example of how the elements of the framework can lead to improved engagement is exhibited in my hometown of Baltimore. Baltimore City Public Schools worked to support 12,000 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten homes, and to engage families in home-based literacy practices. Each week students received a different bag filled with award-winning children’s books, exposing children, on average, to more than 100 books per year. The book rotation also includes parent training and information on how to share books effectively to promote children’s early literacy skills and nurture a love of learning. Through the program, families are also connected with their local public and school libraries. At the culmination of the program, children receive a permanent bag to keep and continue the practice of borrowing books and building a lifelong habit of reading.

Looking at the Best Teachers and Who They Teach
Center for American Progress, April 11, 2014
We want to get the best teachers to the students who need them most, but a review of data from the newest teacher evaluation systems show that that is not always what happens. In an analysis of the newest data, we find that in some areas, poor students and students of color are far less likely than others to have expert teachers.

W.Va. administrators debate summer practice rule
Education Week, April 11, 2014
Some high school administrators are opposed to a proposed athletics rule that would expand voluntary summer practices in West Virginia.

More Than Half of Students 'Engaged' in School, Says Poll
Education Week, April 9, 2014
Students who have teachers who make them “feel excited about the future” and who attend schools that they see as committed to building their individual strengths are 30 times more likely than other students to show other signs of engagement in the classroom—a key predictor of academic success, according to a report released Wednesday by Gallup Education.

W.Va. must alter views on education, immigration
Herald-Dispatch, April 9, 2014
We also need a different attitude about education. The statistics say our financial support of education is not the problem, but our results, 49th in student achievement, means part of the educational success equation is missing. We need to change our state's culture regarding education. Parents and families must see the value of it for their children even if they, themselves, did not benefit from their own schooling.

Is the Stress of Poverty to Blame for Academic Failure?
Education Week, April 8, 2014
Every three years, 15 year-olds from around the world take a test to measure proficiency in reading, math and science, and every three years, the results for American students disappoint. Here are the latest: 36th place in math (behind Slovakia but just ahead of Lithuania), 28th in science, and 24th in reading (5 notches below Vietnam). Disappointing, but not the whole story.

Schools can overcome the challenges of poverty — with the right interventions
Hechinger Report, April 8, 2014
When President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper last month to help young men and boys of color reach their full potential, he shared what had made the difference in his own life: “I had people who encouraged me — not just my mom and grandparents, but wonderful teachers and community leaders — and they’d push me to work hard and study hard and make the most of myself…They never gave up on me,” he recounted, “and so I didn’t give up on myself.”

ESL Teachers in Common-Core Era Need Different Prep, Paper Argues
Education Week, April 7, 2014
As public schools move headlong into teaching new, more rigorous standards in reading, math, and science, English-as-a-second-language teachers must become more involved in the central enterprise of teaching and supporting academic content for ELL students than has traditionally been the case, a new paper argues.

Poverty-related Challenges Sap Instructional Time in High Schools
Education Week, April 7, 2014
Poverty-related challenges steal time from high school class periods, leading students at low-income schools to receive an average of half an hour less instruction per day than their higher-income peers.

The STEM Enrollment Boom
Inside Higher Ed, April 7, 2014
Policy makers regularly talk about the need to encourage more undergraduates to pursue science and technology fields. New data suggest that undergraduates at four-year institutions in fact have become much more likely to study those fields, especially engineering and biology.

New legislation cuts number of SOLs tests
Washington Post, April 7, 2014
That is poised to change next year. A bill passed in Richmond last month and signed by the governor Friday cuts the number of standardized tests that third-graders take in half, eliminating the social studies and science tests.

Robotics Day targets minority students for careers
The News Journal, April 7, 2014
When Derrick Hunter was in sixth grade, a teacher recognized his interest in math and suggested he go to a program on the weekend to enrich what he was learning at school.

More class time added for Thomas Jefferson students
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 3, 2014
''We don't want kids sitting in study halls," he said. ''We want to see them taking advantage of the opportunities. Raising the credits will match the increase in the additional educational opportunities they have.''

Study: Top Minority Students Fall Off During High School
US News, April 2, 2014
Despite entering high school at the tops of their classes, many high-performing minority and disadvantaged students finish with lower grades, lower AP exam passage rates and lower SAT and ACT scores than their high-achieving white and more advantaged peers, according to a report released Wednesday by The Education Trust.

D.C. Voters Toss Mayor Gray in Primary, Raising Questions About Schools
Education Week, April 2, 2014
Yesterday's Democratic primary for mayor in Washington not only denies a second term to Mayor Vincent Gray, it also raises major questions about what will become of the city's school system.

Teaching Argument Writing to ELLs
ASCD, April 1, 2014
How in the world are we supposed to apply the Common Core writing standards to teaching English language learners? We've been asking that question of ourselves and others over the past two years, and we suspect we're not the only educators doing so. After reviewing the many resources available that attempt to provide guidance to teachers of English language learners (see "Resources of Note") and combining what we've learned through our daily classroom experience, we've developed a tentative answer to that question.

Report finds wide racial disparity in U.S. children's well-being
Reuters, April 1, 2014
African-American children's poverty, poor housing and lack of access to education pose a national crisis, said a report released Tuesday that found a wide gap in well-being among U.S. children of different races.

Pittsburgh teachers and officials to explore 'community schools'
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 1, 2014
The Coalition for Community Schools, which is sponsoring the national conference, defines a community school as "both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.

New State Laws Require More Sex-Abuse Training in Schools
Education Week, April 1, 2014
An Illinois woman has turned the lessons she learned in her recovery from her own childhood sexual abuse into a nationwide push to pass state laws that require student lessons and teacher training about the issue in public schools.

U.S. Must Improve Outcomes for Minority Youth as Demographics Shift, Report Says
Education Week, April 1, 2014
As children from minority populations gradually become the majority in the United States, the country must address unequal outcomes and opportunities between racial and ethnic groups to ensure a prosperous future, a report released April 1 said.

Pre-K Suspension Data Prompt Focus on Intervention
Education Week, March 31, 2014
New data showing that thousands of children—including a disproportionate number of boys and black children—are suspended from school before reaching kindergarten have researchers and policymakers asking tough questions about pre-K discipline, and highlighting programs that help keep challenging children in preschool.

Technology and Graduation Rate: A Direct Correlation
Education Week, March 31, 2014
There is a lot of talk out there about ways to raise the graduation rate. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan proudly wore #80 in the NBA All-Star celebrity game to tout the highest graduation rate the country has seen since 1974. Educators are collectively working harder to help students make it to the high school finish line and get prepared for college and the workforce. There is a lot of credit to be handed out for the successful graduation rates around the country (of course, there are still plenty of areas for improvement), but I think one shining area deserves a lot of the praise: technology.

Racially Segregated Schools in America: The Bloomberg, Gates, Bush and Obama Legacies
Huffington Post, March 31, 2014
The just released UCLA Civil Rights Project report on increasing racial segregation in American schools identified schools in New York City and State as the most racially segregated in the United States. The report highlights the numbers, but unfortunately the Civil Rights Project shies away from drawing the hard and I think obvious conclusions.

Program disproves theory that 'doing science' isn't fun
The News Journal, March 29, 2014
The idea with the "exploding thing" was to teach children about gasses and projectiles. Put water in the empty film canister, add a piece of the fizzing tablet, quickly replace the lid and turn it upside down on the floor. In seconds, it launches off the floor as the cap pops off.

Washington County schools modifying summer literacy program
Herald Mail Media, March 26, 2014
Washington County Public Schools is changing its summer literacy program for young elementary school students in an attempt to improve results and attendance.

50 Years Later, Housing Programs' Reach Is Limited
Education Week, March 25, 2014
Fifty years after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a War on Poverty, the U.S. rental-assistance programs expanded through that initiative—public housing and rental vouchers—have provided a measure of stability for participating families and their children.

Segregated Housing, Segregated Schools
Education Week, March 25, 2014
School reform alone cannot substantially raise performance of the poorest African-American students unless we also improve the conditions that leave too many children unprepared to take advantage of what schools have to offer.

Districts Look to Promote Economically Integrated Schools
Education Week, March 25, 2014
When housing policies fail to break up concentrations of poverty in cities, some education researchers say school districts should take an active role in making sure their schools are economically diverse.

Federal report says low-performing D.C. schools are not getting required attention
Washington Post, March 24, 2014
D.C. education officials have failed to ensure that the city’s lowest-performing schools are implementing federally mandated changes meant to spur improvement and narrow achievement gaps, according to a new report from the U.S. Education Department .

Questioning Parental Involvement
Education Week, March 24, 2014
Healthy parenting is more art than science. What works well with one child does not work for another, even in the same family. Moreover, there are racial and cultural differences that play a powerful role. For example, the study found that white parents are at least twice as likely as black and Hispanic parents to request a specific teacher. Since the single most important in-school factor in learning is the teacher, this difference is significant.

Williams Valley's after-school program garners national interest
Republic Herald, March 23, 2014
At Williams Valley's CCLC program, activities are aligned to the classroom curriculum. That means instructors cover the topics in the curriculum, but in a different manner to meet the students' needs. The after-school program is completely free and open to students, regardless of their current academic scores or progress. It's hoped, however, that students will boost their academic scores in math, reading and science; reduce the number of discipline incidents; and improve their attendance records as a result of attending the program.

Desperate Times for Schools in the City of Brotherly Love
Education Week, March 23, 2014
Such is life in Philadelphia, my adopted hometown and former professional stomping grounds, where hundreds of public schools and tens of thousands of children have been left largely on their own to forage and fundraise for the basics of modern education.

School Data Finds Pattern of Inequality Along Racial Lines
New York Times, March 21, 2014
Racial minorities are more likely than white students to be suspended from school, to have less access to rigorous math and science classes, and to be taught by lower-paid teachers with less experience, according to comprehensive data released Friday by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

What Applying to Charter Schools Showed Me About Inequality
The Atlantic, March 20, 2014
School choice—exemplified by charter schools—has changed the relationship between parents, neighborhoods, communities, and schools. And D.C.'s experiment with choice is as fully developed as almost any other public school district in the United States. That day, I stood there primarily as a parent and (to a lesser degree) as a former first-grade teacher, not as someone who writes about public education for a living. But on Monday, that moment spilled into my day job. It’s been on my mind ever since.

Study Finds No Upswing in Racially Isolated Schools
Education Week, March 13, 2014
Using one type of school segregation measurement, Arace could be considered racially segregated because black students there share the school with relatively few students of other races. This type of indicator is known as an “exposure” or “isolation” index because it indicates whether the school’s demographics promote isolation or exposure among students of different races.

Montgomery County schools to look at personalized learning
Gazette.net, March 12, 2014
As part of its efforts to help schools better reach underperforming students, the school system will form a group of six schools interested in developing instruction plans focused on the interests and strengths of individual students, according to Kimberly A. Statham, deputy superintendent of teaching, learning and programs.

D.C. mayor says he plans to increase budget for schools by more than $100 million
Washington Post, March 11, 2014
The District’s traditional public and public charter schools would receive a major infusion of more than $100 million next year, including tens of millions to improve services for at-risk students, under a budget proposal announced Tuesday evening by Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D).

Early-Years Data Push a Touchy Topic in Delaware
Education Week, March 10, 2014
Delaware is launching a plan this month to collect data on 8,500 babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and post the information on its existing Web-based databank. The project is part of an ambitious—and, to some observers, troubling—effort to link individuals' educational information from birth through graduate school.

Montgomery County Superintendent to Parents: Upcoming State Tests Useless
Education Week, March 4, 2014
And now, the schools chief has sent that message directly to tens of thousands of parents in the 151,000-student district in a letter that basically tells them that the Maryland State Assessment that students in grades 3-8 must take in the coming weeks will be a colossal waste of time. That's because schools are now using the Common Core State Standards and the MSA tests are not aligned to the common core.

Number of High School Graduates to Decline by 2022, NCES Predicts
Education Week, March 4, 2014
New data from the National Center for Education Statistics forecast a decline in the number of high school graduates over the next decade and college enrollment rising, but at a much slower pace than in recent years.

Philadelphia Leader Makes the Case for Arts Education
Education Week, March 3, 2014
A big part of Mr. Creedon's leadership has involved championing the arts, connecting community resources with schools, and using research and findings on brain development to make his case. He reminds arts groups that young artists are future ticket holders and cites the artistic and scientific outputs of Sir Isaac Newton, Galileo, and Leonardo da Vinci to argue to educators that "science and creativity go hand in hand."

Prince George’s County schools hope to recruit more male teachers
Washington Post, March 1, 2014
Hoping to devise ways for the school system to recruit and retain men, Lewis, Gaskin and more than 100 male educators filled the auditorium at Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Springdale on Saturday for the county’s first male educator summit.

Henderson faces D.C. Council questions about achievement gap, middle schools
Washington Post, February 27, 2014
“What I hear is this constant cheerleading . . . about this fantastic trajectory we’re on” without a straightforward accounting of how disadvantaged students are faring, said Catania (I-At Large), who is chairman of the council’s Education Committee and is contemplating a run for mayor.

Women's Group: 'Common Core Will Help Close STEM Gender Gap'
Education Week, February 20, 2014
The American Association of University Women came out in support of the Common Core State Standards yesterday. And while education groups have been announcing their common-core allegiances left and right, what's interesting in this case is that the organization cites the need to close the STEM gender gap as a major reason for its support.

Delaware dropout rate hits 30 year low
WDDE, February 20, 2014
Delaware student dropout rate fell to a 30-year low during the 2012-13 academic year, according to a Delaware Department of Education report released Thursday. - See more at: http://www.wdde.org/57609-delaware-dropout-rate#sthash.Jg4DXauj.dpuf

Va. transgender students can play sports in gender they identify with
WTVR.com, February 19, 2014
The organization approved the measure to allow students who have undergone sex re-assignment surgery or hormone therapy to participate in sports in the gender they identify with.

Report offers first look at results of anti-bullying legislation
WDDE, February 19, 2014
A report released by Lt. Governor Matt Denn (D) and Attorney General Beau Biden (D) assess how well Delaware’s public schools are implementing laws passed in 2012 seeking to lessen the serious impact of bullying on students.

Cyber-Charter Applicants Face Tougher Times in Pa.
Education Week, February 18, 2014
In rejecting a recent group of applications to open cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania, state officials cited a litany of shortcomings, and one overriding concern: Who, ultimately, would be running the show?

Common Core and Parent Engagement
Education Week, February 18, 2014
School leaders can leverage parent engagement by explaining to parents that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are part of a larger effort aimed at ensuring all students graduate from high school ready for college and career. The Standards promote three important goals: addressing a smaller number of learning objectives but in greater depth; providing challenges so that all students have access to rigorous coursework; and assuring quality of curriculum and assessments across states. Paired with effective and engaging instruction, the CCSS hold promise for reducing learning gaps and increasing opportunities for students

Middle schools present vexing problem for D.C. leaders as parents choose other options
Washington Post, February 17, 2014
But as much as parents love Ross, a brick building tucked amid some of the District’s priciest real estate, many choose to pull their children out of the school before they graduate. Ross’s fifth-grade class last year had just eight students. Of last year’s 19 Ross fourth-graders, just nine stuck around to finish there.

Harm can continue even after bullying stops
USA Today, February 17, 2014
Intervening early to stop bullying is important because the health effects – including anxiety, depression and impaired self-worth – can persist even after bullying stops, a study shows.

Program aims to feed students
Charleston Daily mail, February 17, 2014
The little girl wanted a longer recess, but the little boy wanted an extra lunch. What they got was a new law aimed at helping children across the state.

MCPS forms ‘cybercivility’ task force
The Gazette, February 14, 2014
Now Montgomery County Public Schools has formed a task force focused on “cybercivility” and is seeking applications from parents, students, staff members and community members to fill its ranks.

Getting Low-Income Students on the College-Degree Path
Education Week, February 12, 2014
In January, the White House hosted more than 100 college, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders at the College Opportunity Summit, where first lady Michelle Obama announced: “It is our mission … to take real, meaningful action that will help our young people get into college and, more importantly, actually get their degree.”

Students at Prince George’s school learn in single-gender classrooms
Washington Post, February 10, 2014
This is how some lessons are taught at G. James Gholson Middle School in Prince George’s County: boys in one classroom, girls in another.

 

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