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December 10, 2012
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Stability balls replace chairs in Maine classrooms
    Data from a fifth-grade classroom in Maine where stability balls were used instead of traditional chairs will be analyzed to determine what effect they had on students. Teacher Robin Norsworthy said her students loved using the stability balls, which sport legs to prevent rolling and are intended to improve students' handwriting, posture and core strength, among other things. Depending on the data from the 13 test classrooms, officials said they could expand the use of stability balls to additional classes. Bangor Daily News (Maine) (free registration) (12/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Case Study: How an LAUSD school tripled academic gains
A Los Angeles school's strategy for successful reading instruction using Lexia Reading helped reduce the school's dependence on traditional testing methods, while allowing for more personalized instruction to be delivered. Read about how the school was able to forego some of the district testing requirements by using Lexia Reading.
  School Leadership 
  • Okla. schools train teachers on literacy for common core
    Tulsa, Okla., area schools are preparing teachers to inject literacy into math, science and social studies as Common Core State Standards arrive in 2014. Owasso Public Schools hired Ken Stamatis, a literacy professor at Harding University in Arkansas, to provide a two-year literacy training program for its teachers by modeling classroom strategies via Skype and answering questions afterward. "We're really stepping out and trying to equip all our teachers with what they're going to need to address these objectives and help all our kids," said Angela Parks, elementary curriculum coordinator for the Owasso district. Tulsa World (Okla.) (12/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Can assessments help reduce dropout rates?
Bergenfield Public Schools in New Jersey reduced its dropout rate from 63 to 0 and increased its percentage of seniors applying to a college or university from 55% to 97%. To see how STAR Enterprise™ assessments helped Bergenfield achieve these numbers, view this brief video.
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • Should computer science have a place in the common core?
    Two education outreach professionals at Google say there isn't enough focus on computer science in the Common Core State Standards or the Next Generation Science Standards. Google's Maggie Johnson, director of education and university relations, and Jordan Lloyd Bookey, head of K-12 education outreach, in this blog post urge parents, educators and the public to learn more about the common core and advocate for a higher profile for computer science in the new standards. "Advancing our students' understanding of the principles and practices of computing is critical to developing a globally competitive workforce for the 21st century," they write. The Huffington Post/The Blog (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  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 
  • Utah seeks to enhance high-school rigor
    Officials in Utah are seeking to make high school more rigorous, in part by altering graduation requirements. Among proposals being considered is giving students more flexibility in how they earn credits, for example by allowing them to skip courses such as physical education if they can pass a competency test in the subject. Other proposals call for altering grading and moving computer literacy courses to middle school. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Faculty Lounge 
  • Teacher: How NCLB could have succeeded
    No Child Left Behind did not live up to its promises, writes teacher Mark Sass, in part because its underlying premise was largely ignored -- "all students are expected to learn and achieve at high levels." In this opinion article, Sass writes that the law should have brought changes to instruction, grading and funding formulas, among other things. "It is time that the cultural shift embedded within NCLB becomes visible and actionable in Colorado, and across the country," he writes. Education News Colorado (12/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The language you use in the classroom can change 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 
  • The ultimate gift guide for educators
    Whether you're holiday shopping for a first-year classroom teacher, the school tech guru, or an administrator, ASCD communications specialist Katie Test has put together a holiday gift guide with something for every educator. Visit the Inservice blog to browse Test's top resource picks for this holiday season and find out which gift she says is ideal for any staffer looking for the next big idea in education. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • District powerball: Who will win millions?
    The latest issue of the Capitol Connection e-newsletter zeroes in on the Race to the Top-District competition, a $400 million program that will support creation of personalized learning environments for kids, and its current finalists. You'll also find a snapshot of School Improvement Grants data; read about staff changes at the U.S. Department of Education; and learn about ASCD's Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy, coming to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27 to 29. Read on.
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Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.,
American physician, writer and poet

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