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May 25, 2011
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
  • New Orleans students post gains on state tests for fourth year
    Students in the Recovery School District in New Orleans made gains on state tests for the fourth straight year, again outpacing their peers across the state. The percentage of students considered at grade level or above has doubled to 48%, from just 23% in 2007. Officials said the progress shows that reforms such as turning many schools into charters after Hurricane Katrina have been successful. "The New Orleans system of schools works. Period. End of story. And we cannot go back to a system that does not put children's needs first," superintendent John White said. The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (5/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Learning centers aim to excite students about creative writing
    Cal Joy, director of Web development at Edutopia, describes the learning taking place through 826LA in Los Angeles, which provides differentiated and project-based instruction in the art of creative writing for students. Students in 826 programs -- located in other cities as well -- produce finished written projects, from books to newspapers and films, while teachers offer in-school support to help excite students about creative writing. Joy's blog (5/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Spend 5 minutes a week to become a better literacy leader this summer. Subscribe to The Big Fresh, our FREE weekly e-newsletter of resources for K-12 literacy coaches and teachers. Tools, tips, & strategies featuring practical & friendly advice - study group guides, observation templates, booklists, and more. Click here for free samples and to sign up.
  Professional Leadership 
  • L.A. teachers union rejects calls for furloughs
    Los Angeles education officials are asking the city's teachers to agree to six furlough days to save about 3,200 teaching jobs, keep school libraries open and help the school system balance its budget. However, the teachers union says the latest budget proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown should allow the city to rescind all of the nearly 7,000 layoff notices issued to school employees earlier this year. "No [layoffs]. No cuts. No furloughs. That is our plan," union President A.J. Duffy said. Los Angeles Times (5/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New student tests will be used to evaluate NYC teachers
    New York City schools are expected to administer as many as 16 new standardized tests next school year, which would be used to evaluate teachers. Under new statewide regulations, 40% of teachers' evaluations are to be based on standardized tests or other measures of student performance. In New York City, officials say the new standardized tests will focus on tasks rather than multiple choice. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • Blended-learning charter focuses on students' individual needs
    Hawaii Technology Academy, which offers a combination of online and face-to-face instruction, is the fastest growing charter school in the state. Students complete a baseline assessment upon enrollment and are each given a customized learning plan, which teachers review and adjust on a weekly basis. "It's one size fits one; it's not one size fits all," school leader Jeff Piontek said. Honolulu Star-Advertiser (5/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nonprofit group to rate educational potential of media
    The nonprofit Common Sense Media is expanding its media-rating system -- which looks at whether movies, video games and websites are appropriate for children -- to include an evaluation of their educational potential. The new ratings will be aimed at providing a list of resources for a particular skill a student needs to learn or a teacher wants to teach. Some in the industry expressed concerns about the group's efforts, particularly in its expertise in educational content and the methods used to determine ratings. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (5/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • A teacher helps a struggling learner to see his strengths
    Education blogger Valerie Strauss in this post shares the story of a once-struggling student with learning disabilities who credits the patience and guidance of a sixth-grade teacher for helping him succeed as an adult. Gary Cohen writes of how special-education teacher Pat Zimmerman had the patience and persistence to help him see his own potential and learn to focus on his strengths rather than his deficits. The Washington Post/The Answer Sheet blog (5/24)
  Read more from the top education blogs here

  Policy Watch 
  • N.J. high court orders $500 million increase in aid to schools
    New Jersey is failing to fulfill its constitutional requirement to educate poor and minority students and must increase school funding by $500 million next year, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The ruling mandates the additional aid be split among 31 poor school districts in cities such as Newark and Paterson. The decision was seen as a blow to Gov. Chris Christie, who has made school-spending cuts a priority of his administration. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

"Once in a blue moon, you read a professional book that is so good...that you stay up half the night to read it in its entirety" (SLM Essential Reads). Writing to Explore gives you everything you need to carry out an exciting adventure writing project in grades 3-8. Packed with student samples and practical teaching tips. Preview the entire book online!

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

  In the Field 
  • Analysis reveals the college majors with the biggest payoffs
    If you want to earn the big bucks, major in petroleum engineering, pharmacy or computer science, says Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce in an analysis of 171 college majors. "Getting a degree matters, but what you take matters more," says Anthony Carnevale, the center's director. USA TODAY (5/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASCD News 
  • Discovering hope: Grading and mindset in a differentiated classroom
    Isn't differentiated instruction all about shifting to a growth mindset, one that helps all learners perceive themselves as works-in-progress? Find out what staff development coordinator Glenda Horner has to say about it in her latest ASCD EDge blog post as she continues to chronicle her district's experiences with implementing DI. The post also explores her takeaways from a recent professional-development experience focused on re-dos, retakes and do-overs. Read Horner's post. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What's not working in school leadership
    Enabling educators to simply drop students off at the principal's office and reacting personally to negative events are two common traps school leaders can fall into. Find out which additional "don'ts" of school leadership made Chris Canter's top five list by reading through his latest ASCD blog post. Share your feedback in the comments section. Read on. 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
Elementary Principal Vacancies (2)Charlottesville City SchoolsCharlottesville, VA
Program Administrator for Virtual EducationCharlottesville City SchoolsCharlottesville, VA
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
Vice President of Curriculum & InstructionConnections EducationBaltimore, MD
Turnaround Principals-Elem/HSAcademy of Urban School LeadershipChicago, IL
Area SuperintendentFulton County SchoolsAtlanta, GA
Administrators-in-Residence (2011-12)Green Dot Public SchoolsLos Angeles, CA
Dean-Milwaukee Scholars Charter School (School Leadership)National Heritage AcademiesMilwaukee, WI
Principal, Lewis Elementary Dual Language Magnet SchoolRed Clay Consolidated School DistrictWilmington, DE

He who is sorrowful can force himself to smile, but he who is glad cannot weep."
--Selma Lagerlöf,
Swedish author

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