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April 9, 2012
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Will the common core help improve problem solving?
    Former administrator Ben Johnson writes in this blog that the Common Core State Standards focus on literacy will benefit students' problem solving. Johnson offers a real-life example in which he fixed a broken lawnmower by using what was believed to be useless junk stored in his garage. The junk -- like information stored in the brain -- was necessary to find the solution, or resolve the problem. Johnson's blog (4/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Educator blends academic subjects into art curriculum
    Eric Azcuy, who teaches art at the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science in New York City, frequently integrates academic subjects into art lessons for students in grades 6 to 12. The approach helps students see that art is "in everything," while allowing students who are less proficient in art to excel on the academic aspects of their assignments, Azcuy said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (4/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Lexia Closes the Gap within One School Year -- In a recent national study, 56 percent of a representative sample of K-3 at-risk students using Lexia Reading® as recommended advanced through one or more grade level of material to finish the year at the end-of-year benchmark for their grade. Download the white paper.
  School Leadership 
  • Minn. teachers, district consider more planning, class time
    A proposed new contract for teachers in Minneapolis would include slightly more time for lesson planning and instruction, adding four days to the school year and about 15 minutes per day of required planning time. Some critics say, however, the proposal falls short of implementing changes needed to spur improvements in student achievement. The contract still must be approved by the teachers' union and the school board. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (4/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • L.A. superintendent seeks to transform city's schools
    John Deasy has been chief of the Los Angeles Unified School District for less than one year. He said his goal is to work with teachers and administrators to transform the schools in the nation's second-largest district. "This place has been paralyzed by a culture of fear to do anything independent in leadership," he said. He added that now "we get things done." Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (4/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students in American Schools sparks discussion about what kids should read. The 2012 edition lists top books read by more than 7.6 million students in grades 1-12 and includes commentary from authors, educators, and experts, with a new section on the Common Core Exemplars. Click here for your free copy.
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • N.Y. district to buy earlier version of iPad
    A New York school district plans to use a grant to purchase iPad 2 devices for students, following an announcement that Apple would keep the technology on the market after the release of iPad 3. While the district has had some initial problems with a test program in which students used the first version of the iPad in class, officials say those can be resolved. The district also had considered expanding access to netbook devices but determined netbooks were too fragile., N.Y. (4/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  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 
  • Debate over school-voucher programs continues
    School-voucher programs that allow students to attend private schools using public funding are being created or expanded in many states. Supporters say the programs increase school choice and allow students -- particularly those from low-income backgrounds who attend low-performing public schools -- to access schools that might otherwise be out of reach. However, some critics say vouchers essentially are unconstitutional, allowing public money to be used by religious schools, while also diverting resources from cash-strapped public schools. Google/The Associated Press (4/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • USDA official touts new school nutrition standards
    Kevin Concannon, undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer sciences for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, spoke recently in Iowa about the importance of new school meal guidelines. He said the standards, which take effect July 1, will require schools to serve more fruits and vegetables and provide more federal money for school meal programs. "We see this as a major opportunity, not only to help children have access to nutritious food every day, but it can also -- in schools -- take some of the pressure off the households and people who may be struggling in this economy," Concannon said. Nebraska Radio Network (4/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

Daily 5 library collections! Update your classroom library and go deeper with The Daily 5 and The CAFE Book with these exclusive collections of fiction and nonfiction books for your classroom. Each grade (K-5) includes 200 popular and recently published titles, carefully selected and organized in labeled bins. Get details here!
  Faculty Lounge 
  • Rating is revised for documentary on bullying
    The new documentary film, "Bully," will now be rated PG-13, instead of R, after filmmakers hoping to attract a wider audience lobbied for the change. "We are getting so much interest to see the film, and this makes it much easier for schools to get behind it," director Lee Hirsch said. MSNBC (4/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Can the language teachers use change their students' lives? In Opening Minds Peter Johnston (author of the groundbreaking Choice Words) shows how words can shape students' learning, their sense of self, and their social, emotional, and moral development. Preview the entire book online!

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  ASCD News 
  • Common Core State Standards for math webinar: Shifts and instructional implications
    Join Student Achievement Partners' Sandra Alberti for a free webinar about the overarching priorities of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics Tuesday, April 17, at 3 p.m. EDT. Learn about the instructional shifts associated with the new standards and explore ways to implement change in thoughtful ways. Register. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Change this!
    "History is not carved out by horse-mounted heroes, but by the choices of everyday individuals living their everyday lives," writes ASCD constituent services director Walter McKenzie in a recent ASCD EDge blog post. McKenzie tells a moving story about his personal decision to step up to challenge and play a major role in bringing about positive change. Driving his point home, he encourages others to factor themselves in when calling for change in their personal and professional lives. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
--Virginia Woolf,
British writer

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