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November 21, 2011
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Some private schools incorporate elements of a farming heritage
    Several private prep schools are incorporating agriculture into their curriculum and engaging students in the farm-to-table movement with working farms on campus. Some schools, such as the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn., are including elements of a farming heritage alongside rigorous academics and are growing enough vegetables to avoid outside purchasing this year. "We're not serving foie gras," said Joshua Hahn, assistant head of schools and director of environmental initiatives. "We're just growing enough staples to service our dining hall for the year." The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The Classroom of the Future is about Teaching and Learning — Not Testing. Lexia Reading® supports foundational reading development, pre-K through grade 12. By predicting student performance and prescribing instructional intensity, Lexia Reading helps millions of students learn to read — without ever stopping to take a test. Welcome to the Lexia classroom. Take a FREE product tour.
  School Leadership 
  • Chicago schools may see changes to teacher evaluations
    Illinois board of education officials are considering proposals to change the way teachers and principals in Chicago are evaluated. The proposed changes, which include having student performance count for up to 25% of annual teacher evaluations, are required by new state laws that also make teacher performance a more significant factor than seniority during layoffs. The new system will be open for public comment through the end of the December. Chicago Tribune (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Should teachers receive "cultural competency" training?
    More schools in Indiana and the U.S. are providing "cultural competency" training for teachers to help promote understanding among students and teachers and capitalize on diversity in the classroom. Some are critical of the concept that students from different backgrounds require different styles of instruction. Others say this strategy is effective because many teachers in urban schools are from racial and socio-economic backgrounds that differ from their students. The Indianapolis Star (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
STAR Assessments Now Linked to State Tests.
STAR Enterprise™ assessments are now linked to state tests and aligned to the Common Core State Standards, so educators can compare class performance. Also, educators can predict outcomes on high-stakes tests and determine where to add teaching emphasis. See STAR reports for your state.
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • Khan Academy site to allow uploaded content from teachers
    The Khan Academy, an online repository of educational videos, soon will allow teachers to upload their own instructional videos to the academy's collection, and create and customize their own "knowledge maps" for their classes. "The deal will be, you can use our tools if we can put your stuff onto our noncommercial public domain," the site's founder Salman Khan said. "We don't know how it'll turn out, but we suspect there will be some amazing things put up." blog (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Who will pay for Ohio's switch to online testing?
    Ohio schools will switch to online state tests in three years, but questions remain about how to pay for the computers and software needed for the change, plus how much the transition will cost. While some officials hope the state will shoulder the financial burden, others anticipate the cost will be transferred to local districts. "How things are implemented and what resources there are, that's a conversation that is ongoing," state education official Dennis Evans said. "We're still working on identifying all the resources and challenges and opportunities that lay ahead." Dayton Daily News (Ohio) (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Reading is a critical life skill that provides us with enjoyment, edification and education. When students embrace reading they boost literacy, improve learning and knowledge, and prepare for the workforce. In this SmartFocus on Student Reading, veteran educators offer tips to help your students get more from reading.
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by ASCD SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Policy Watch 
  • Students in Nev. district are encouraged to bike, walk to school
    Some schools in Clark County, Nev., are working on plans designed to encourage more students to walk or ride their bikes to school as part of a national Safe Routes to School program. Those involved in the program say so many parents driving children to schools creates a chaotic campus routine that can be unsafe for pedestrians. However, many parents refuse to end the practice of driving their children to school, citing concerns over safety. Las Vegas Sun (11/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Together, we are learning – to shape the future.
Concordia University-Portland's College of Education is one of the largest and most respected names in learning today. Built on a century of experience, our growing network of high-impact professionals represents the cutting edge of learning. Join the thought leaders in learning, with a Concordia EdD in one of five EdD specializations. Learn More
  Faculty Lounge 
  • Banning sweets from school parties might reduce obesity
    A study of four classroom birthday parties showed that children consumed an average of 344 to 455 calories from sweets and other sugar-rich items. However, children ate fewer calories, an average of 259 to 405, when fruits were served alongside sugary treats. The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, suggest that banning sugary treats from school birthday parties might curb childhood obesity, experts said. WebMD (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

New edition! Strategies That Work has helped over a million teachers explicitly teach comprehension strategies so students become engaged, thoughtful, independent readers. The 3rd edition includes 30 new lessons and new and revised chapters that tackle close reading, close listening, text complexity, and critical thinking. Preview the entire text online!
  ASCD News 
  • Two ways to take advantage of our free Common Core Webinar Series
    Tune in to ASCD Director of Whole Child Programs' Molly McCloskey's webinar episode, "The Common Core of a Whole Child Approach," Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Explore the relationship between a whole child approach to education and the Common Core State Standards and find out how the new standards and an educational approach that ensures each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged can help your students succeed. And if you missed either of the first two episodes in the series, access "Common Core Policy and Implementation" or "Common Core 101" in the webinar archive.
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  • Tell me about a time ...
    Don't miss your chance to contribute to Educational Leadership's "Tell Me About a Time" column. Whether you're a dedicated EL reader or an educator just discovering ASCD's flagship publication, we want to hear from you. For our March 2012 issue, tell us in 200 to 300 words, what you have discovered about learning to read that you didn't know when you first started out as an educator. And for our April issue, we'd like to hear about what you learned in school that was most important to your success after graduation. Tell us your stories. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Rules and models destroy genius and art."
--William Hazlitt,
British writer, philosopher and historian

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