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September 17, 2012
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
  • Just a quarter of students deemed proficient on national writing exam
    Only about 25% of the eighth- and 12th-graders taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress writing assessment last year scored at the proficient level or higher. Students took the exam, known as the nation's report card, on laptops as part of a new format that requires answering questions and essay writing. Students also were evaluated based on how often they used editing tools, such as spell-check and copy-and-paste functions, so students with experience doing assignments on computers performed better on the test. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What is "deeper learning"?
    Defining and measuring "deeper learning" will require teachers to set clear goals and expectations, while giving feedback to let students know what's expected of them, according to a report from the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. A commitment from local, state and national policymakers will be needed for deeper learning -- a process of taking lessons learned in one situation and using it in another situation -- to become the standard, said Linda Darling-Hammond, professor of education at Stanford University and advocate for education reform. blog (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N.J. district tries out new literacy strategies
    Saddle River, N.J., school district officials are trying out new literacy strategies in an effort to boost students' performance on the state language arts exam. One such program is the "SuperKids" program, serving kindergarten through second grade, created by the Rowland Reading Foundation. Children learn about the alphabet through characters and sound, before moving on to reading and spelling. (Hackensack, N.J.)(free registration) (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Teach Holocaust Literature with Echoes and Reflections
Echoes and Reflections is the leader in Holocaust education, providing teacher training programs across the U.S. Earn professional development credit and explore classroom-ready materials― lessons include artwork, photos, poetry, diaries, visual history testimony, and connections to standards. Find a program today!
  Literacy Everywhere 
  • Maine program encourages families to read
    The York Family Literacy Program in Maine encourages parents to read with their children and participate in other educational activities. "We are empowering parents to be their child's first educator," said Katie Schindler, director of York Adult Education. "The home is the first place of learning." SeacoastOnline (Portsmouth, N.H.)(tiered subscription model) (9/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Organization promotes literacy in the doctor's office
    When children visit a doctor participating in the Reach Out and Read program, they walk away with a book and encouragement about the importance of reading. Earl Martin Phalen, CEO of the nonprofit organization, recently visited Oklahoma City to meet with community leaders and speak about the program's impact. "If we want our children to be successful globally, education has to start before kindergarten," he said. The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City) (9/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Education Policy 
  • N.Y. may break history and geography Regents exam into two tests
    New York's state-mandated Regents exams are required for graduation, but the traditional global history and geography test may be broken into two tests, and only one may be required to graduate. This social studies exam traditionally has had the lowest passing rate of all the Regents exams, including math, science, language arts and U.S. history. The Wall Street Journal (9/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Most states are developing common core implementation materials
    The majority of the 46 states signed on to implement the Common Core State Standards are developing curriculum materials and other teaching resources, according to a recent report. Still, only four of those states said they actually require districts to use materials aligned with the standards. The report also found that less than 50% of states have aligned their high-school graduation requirements with the standards. Education Week/Curriculum Matters blog (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • Role of librarians shifts with technology
    Sue Reinaman has been a school librarian for 18 years and she has seen her role as a school librarian change greatly by technology. She said she views herself as a guide who helps students find the appropriate print and online resources when searching for information. "It's always been about teaching them how to find and use information efficiently and ethically," Reinaman said. The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) (9/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Professional Learning 
  • Questions to pose to your professional learning community
    Leaning Forward's PD Watch BlogProfessional learning communities and school-leadership teams should answer several questions if they want to be productive during the school year, writes Stephanie Hirsh of Learning Forward in this blog post. She poses 13 questions, including asking whether the group is managed by skilled, well-prepared school principals or teacher leaders, such as school-based professional-development coaches, mentors, master teachers, or other teacher leaders. She also suggests asking whether the PLC has a defined and continuous cycle of improvement. Education Week Teacher/Learning Forward's PD Watch blog (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Reflections on the Education at a Glance 2012 report
    NCLE Director Kent Williamson discusses the information in this report and how it relates to decision-making in Lower Secondary Schools, teacher time, and the steps NCLE is taking to learn more, " ... about what happens in schools, districts, and communities where both professional learning and student learning thrives -- and what's missing where it doesn't." Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Free NCLE Web seminar -- Focus on the Core: An Introduction to Instructional Rounds
    In this live Web seminar, participants will hear directly from educational administrators how instructional rounds have influenced their work as instructional leaders focused on achieving equity and excellence in K12 public education; and learn about the purpose, essential elements, and potential rewards of using instructional rounds to get a clearer picture of what's actually taking place in the instructional core in their district's schools. Learn more and register today! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Editor's Note 
  • Updated SmartBrief privacy policy
    SmartBrief has updated its privacy policy to better reflect the state of the digital world. View the updated policy. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you won't do anything with it."
--M. Scott Peck,
American psychiatrist and author

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