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December 5, 2012
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News about teaching and education excellence

  Top Story 
  • Effort to create "bar exam" for teachers moves forward
    The recent proposal by the American Federation of Teachers that teachers would have to take a test similar to the bar exam that lawyers take is advancing. Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, said that within 90 days, he will move to create a commission to work on a list of standards that beginning teachers should know. "It's an opportunity for the profession to step back and say these are our expectations based on what the profession sees as important to have when you step foot in the classroom on the first day," Thorpe said. Education Week/Teacher Beat blog (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

In her new DVD Talk to Me best-selling author Cris Tovani invites teachers into her English classroom to observe 14 individual and 5 group conferences where she differentiates instruction by listening to, learning about, and connecting with her students. Click here now to view two conferences from the DVD!
  Focus on Practice 
  • Teacher: Education needs a new game with new rules
    Education is competitive and a game that students, teachers and politicians play, veteran educator David Warlick writes in this blog post. He writes that a new game is needed. "Releasing our children from the school-as-usual game board and saying, 'Game On' to authentic world-relevant learning, requires a new discussion that is completely and irrevocably separated from elected politicians and their ridiculous campaigns," he notes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Essential Recipes for Effective Literacy Instruction
Filled with classroom-tested techniques for teaching even the most hard-to-reach students, The Literacy Cookbook contains easy-to-adopt tools for strengthening comprehension, reading, writing, and oral fluency. Features materials aligned with ELA Common Core Standards as well as access to a robust companion site. Read more >>
  Schools Today 
  • Kentucky's test scores drop after adopting common core
    Terry Holliday, Kentucky's commissioner of education, expressed surprise to see proficiency scores for the state's students fall after adopting the Common Core State Standards for reading and math. In this interview, Holliday says teachers are enthusiastic about the process and improvement is expected. "Everybody who does this the first year of assessment of Common Core should see numbers very similar to what we saw. But I'm very confident that as each year moves forward, as the kids close the gap and the teachers close the gap, we'll see scores go back up," Holliday said. U.S. News & World Report (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Middle-school program helps struggling students catch up
    The Gwinnett County school system in Georgia has created an accelerated one-year program, called STEP, to help overage eighth-graders gain a year in school and get back on track to on-time graduation. Modeled as an academy on middle-school campuses, the program has students using a combination of traditional and online learning to conquer the eighth- and ninth-grade curricula in one year. "They're generally students who really can achieve but who have not been able to find that real-life connection they need," Sweetwater Middle School principal Georgann Eaton said. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (12/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Implementing A District-Wide Science Success
Veteran education leader Mike Dillon has helped his school district continue on a steady path of success in science. The Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts program and kits, available through Carolina Biological, have ensured that an entire district maintains a culture of high academic achievement. Read the case study.
  Developing Leaders 
  • Professional development should be an ongoing, daily practice
    The one-size-fits-all model of professional development available to most teachers does not work, veteran teacher Katrina Stevens writes in this blog post. Stevens suggests a learning community model with daily, ongoing PD focused on student learning. "In order to successfully implement new practices and improve student learning, a learning community needs to 1) focus its efforts, 2) work collaboratively, 3) be willing to reflect and examine what's working and 4) be willing to make adjustments when they aren't seeing the desired outcomes for students," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy News 
  • NCLB rewrite is needed by Congress, Duncan says
    U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is looking to Congress to revamp the No Child Left Behind Act, an effort he says the elected body needs to get serious about handling. So far, 34 states and the District of Columbia have been given waivers under the NCLB law. Noting that he will remain in the Obama administration for the "long haul," Duncan says he will concentrate his efforts on improving teacher and principal quality, and the Race to the Top grant program. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

What are 8 keys to schoolwide math success? Small Steps, Big Changes helps you and your staff set goals, create a culture of mathematical thinking, and translate high-level standards such as Common Core into effective classroom practice. Includes examples from diverse schools across the country. Preview the entire book online!

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  NBPTS Update 
  • Do you have an interesting or inspiring story to tell?
    Are you an NBCT? We'd love to hear about your journey to board certification. Do you know an NBCT who's making a difference in their local area? We'd love to hear about the impact of NBCTs in your school and community. Tell us your story! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The forceps of our minds are clumsy things and crush the truth a little in the course of taking hold of it."
--H.G. Wells,
British author

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