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February 13, 2013
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News about teaching and education excellence

  Top Story 
  • Obama highlights education in national address
    President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for a greater investment in preschool for children, saying all students should have access to high-quality programs. In his State of the Union address, Obama also called for greater investment in modern school buildings, as well as rewards for high schools that offer high-tech curricula. In the Republican response to the address, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida called for an increased focus on Advanced Placement courses, vocational training and expanded school choice. Education Week/Politics K-12 blog (2/12), CNN/Schools of Thought blog (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lessons on government, history from the State of the Union: President Barack Obama's State of the Union address can serve as a springboard for a range of classroom lessons, including discussions about the history of the speech and what's involved in preparing a presidential address that covers so many issues. Annissa Hambouz and Michael Gonchar write in this blog post that teachers can have students compare the most recent speech to previous addresses or even identify goals outlined by the president and track them to see whether the federal government makes any progress toward meeting the objectives. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Learning Network blog (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Students need vocabulary instruction every day to build lasting word knowledge. Word Nerds shows you how to fit it into an already-packed literacy schedule with a classroom-tested 5-part plan that improves achievement while building confidence and enthusiasm. Includes reproducible planners, organizers, and rubrics. Preview the entire book!
  Focus on Practice 
  • Will common core's questions kill the love of reading?
    The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts push a practice known as "close reading," in which students are asked questions as they read to assess their understanding. Colette Marie Bennett, the English Department chairwoman at Wamogo High School in Connecticut, criticizes this practice as insulting to authors. Bennett writes in this blog post that the practice could lead educators to kill students' love of reading. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Schools Today 
  • Study: Some states relax graduation rate accountability
    Few states are complying with federal accountability requirements under No Child Left Behind waivers when it comes to calculating the number of students graduating on time, according to a recent study by the Alliance for Excellent Education. The Washington, D.C.-based policy organization, launched by former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, found that while Delaware and New York have boosted graduation accountability for graduation rates, some states have relaxed -- or altogether ignored -- 2008 federal accountability requirements. ABC News/The Associated Press (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Developing Leaders 
  • Teachers partner with university to develop online STEM classes
    Quinnipiac University in Connecticut will work with area teachers this summer to develop online-learning opportunities for middle- and high-school students, as part of the Online Resource Through Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program. School leaders say they joined the program to strengthen collaboration and enhance engineering education. Record-Journal (Meriden, Conn.) (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

In her new DVD Talk to Me English teacher Cris Tovani invites your staff into her 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!

Expand your repertoire for engaging and empowering students. Student-Driven Learning gives you a wealth of new ideas for getting to know your students, motivation, routines that engage kids, fostering creativity, sparking critical thinking, and meaningful assessment. Click here now to browse the entire book!

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  Policy News 
  • Ill. teachers seek time to form professional learning communities
    Teachers at an Illinois high school are seeking time one morning per week to collaborate -- allowing them to form "professional learning communities." Geneva High School principal Tom Rogers and associate principal Doug Drexler appeared before the District 304 School Board to present the plan, which seeks time for collaboration starting next school year. While school board members seemed supportive of the change, some also pointed out potential issues that could result from starting school 50 minutes later for students. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Several excuses are always less convincing than one."
--Aldous Huxley,
British author

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