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May 19, 2011
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Teacher uses college materials to teach research, writing
    A fourth-grade teacher in Louisiana developed a project to teach research and writing skills to her English-language learners, while helping them also get excited about going to college. Teacher Tobie Lynn Tranchina requested admissions information from numerous colleges, which the students used in several classroom lessons including one on persuasive writing. "They became the recruiter and they had to write a persuasive essay and tell the other students why they should come to their school," Tranchina said. The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (5/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
900 California Schools Improve Scores with Lexia Reading "My K-2 teachers swear by Lexia. Without it, we wouldn't be seeing this kind of improvement. It's the best reading software, bar none." Dr. Michael Bachicha, Cabrillo Unified Schools. Research-proven Lexia Reading can dramatically improve your students' reading skills, too. Learn more.
  Professional Leadership 
  • Denver teacher group makes recommendations on evaluation system
    A group of Denver-area educators called the New Millennium Initiative have released recommendations for improving teacher evaluations. Among their suggestions, the group is advocating for the development of pre- and post-tests to measure student achievement during one year, rather than comparing students' scores with those from past years. The teacher panel is sponsored by three education groups -- including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation -- and similar groups have been created nationwide. The Denver Post (5/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teacher fellowships aim to improve the STEM classroom
    The push to promote the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math in schools is being hampered by a lack of qualified STEM educators, says Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and former president of the Teachers College at Columbia University. He advocates a new model for preparing and educating STEM teachers, which includes fellowship programs already in place in some states that put STEM professionals and recent graduates in hard-to-fill classroom positions. The Washington Post/The Answer Sheet blog (5/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Register for a SIOP® Institute
Learn how the SIOP® Model helps close the ELL achievement gap. Understand the proven framework and practical strategies for teaching both academic content and language skills in ways that are more effective for English learners. See upcoming dates and register for the online or face-to-face Institutes available to you.
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • Technologies to watch for in education
    Cloud computing and mobile devices are the technologies expected to change education over the next year, according to an annual report by the New Media Consortium. The report, released Tuesday, named game-based learning and open content as technologies to watch over the next two to three years. Personal learning environments and learning analytics are expected to make a major impact on education in closer to four or five years. Education Week/Digital Education blog (5/17), T.H.E. Journal (5/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Educator Views on ChatGPT/AI Writing Tech
Calling all K12 educators: share your insights on ChatGPT/AI Writing Tech! All information in this five minute survey will remain confidential and respondents will be entered to win one of five $50 Amazon gift cards. Take the survey here.
  The Whole Child 
  • Dietitian: Physical activity has role in academic success
    Schools have reduced the amount of time students have for physical activity, which is part of the obesity problem and may affect learning, registered dietitian Kathy Warwick writes. A Charleston, S.C., elementary school found that increasing activity time from 40 minutes a week to 40 minutes each day, along with combining learning and exercise, helped raise standardized test scores. The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.) (5/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study ties lead exposure to poor academic performance
    Data on 35,000 Connecticut children indicate that children who were exposed to lead before age 7 had poorer performance in reading and math tests in the fourth grade compared with those who weren't exposed to the metal, with higher exposure corresponding to lower test scores. The chance of having been exposed to lead from sources such as paint residue and dust was much higher among blacks than whites, the study found. Boston Herald/The Associated Press (5/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Free upcoming webinar series
Join Amplify for our webinar series, Literacy Is Opportunity, to explore the how, what, and why of powerful literacy education. Learn why knowledge building is critical to learning, how to shift away from balanced literacy, and more. Register now!
  Policy Watch 
  • What do struggling schools need in order to improve?
    Additional resources at struggling schools in Philadelphia did lead to improvements, according to research from the nonprofit Research for Action. However, the report finds the district's efforts to turn around poor-performing schools over the past year have been mixed. The environment is improved at many schools and student attendance overall is up, but lateness has increased and new teachers need additional support. The Philadelphia Inquirer (5/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Conservative school budgets win voter approval across N.Y. state
    New York state voters on Tuesday passed more than 93% of school budgets, which proposed the lowest average budget-to-budget increase statewide in more than 15 years. With just partial results available Wednesday evening, 634 budgets had passed and 44 were rejected. Districts' budget plans had to offset a $1.3 billion reduction in state school aid. The budgets of the state's five largest districts do not get put up for a vote. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Get your students crafting stories like a pro. In Writing Stories award-winning author Carolyn Coman (What Jamie Saw, The Memory Bank) offers sage advice and practical exercises on all aspects of fiction-writing-getting ideas, plot, setting, characters, dialogue, and more. Preview the entire book online!

"Comprehension is an active engagement with text; it is an act of thinking." (Fredericks, 2006) SDE's one-day Differentiated Reading Comprehension Strategies inservice training delivers dynamic strategies and powerful ideas to guide teachers in designing a successful differentiated reading program. More information. Call 1-877-388-2054 now.

Interested in learning more about advertising in ASCD SmartBrief? Contact Joe Riddle at (202) 407-7857 or  

  In the Field 
  ASCD News 
  • The formative assessment action plan
    In their latest ASCD book, "The Formative Assessment Action Plan," experts Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher share a realistic approach to formative assessment and explain how four key steps work together to create a comprehensive formative assessment system. Find out how this approach helps build student competence and understanding, and explore classroom examples that bring each step to life. Read sample chapters from the book. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What's your strategy for eliminating disrespect in the classroom?
    Share a story about transforming disrespect into respect in your classroom or school in the September issue of Educational Leadership, ASCD's flagship magazine. Brief stories submitted by readers will be featured in a new column that debuts in the September issue on promoting respectful schools. Don't miss your chance to contribute; the submission deadline is June 6. Share your story here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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PrincipalsGrande Yellowhead Public School Division No. 77Edsosn, Alberta and Hinton, Alberta, Canada
Head of Instructional SystemsBridge International AcademiesWorldwide, NY
K-12 School TeacherThe International EducatorWorldwide, DC
Teachers - Think Global School - Mandarin, Science, Creative ArtsThink Global School - International Schools ServicesPrinceton, NJ
District SuperintendentOxnard Union High School DistrictOxnard, CA
Chicago Area & Southern CA - Account ExecutivesMIND Research InstituteChicago, IL
Assistant PrincipalsGreen Dot Public SchoolsLos Angeles, CA
PrincipalSouthwest Leadership Academy Charter SchoolPhiladelphia, PA
Director of Research and AssessmentConnections EducationBaltimore, MD
Associate/Assistant Professor in P-12 EducationEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson City, TN
Vice President of Curriculum & InstructionConnections EducationBaltimore, MD
Field Supervisor for Student TeachersTeachers College, Columbia UniversityNew York, NY
Turnaround Principals-Elem/HSAcademy of Urban School LeadershipChicago, IL
Area SuperintendentFulton County SchoolsAtlanta, GA
Principal (K to 8)Gary Lighthouse Charter SchoolGary, IN
Dean-Milwaukee Scholars Charter School (School Leadership)National Heritage AcademiesMilwaukee, WI
Administrators-in-Residence (2011-12)Green Dot Public SchoolsLos Angeles, CA
Principal, Lewis Elementary Dual Language Magnet SchoolRed Clay Consolidated School DistrictWilmington, DE

If you hire only those people you understand, the company will never get people better than you are. Always remember that you often find outstanding people among those you don't particularly like."
--Soichiro Honda,
Japanese engineer and industrialist

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