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November 14, 2012
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News about teaching and education excellence

  Top Story 
  • Report: States face challenges in adopting evaluation reforms
    In six states that were early adopters of teacher-evaluation reforms, some are struggling to support the changes, according to a report from the Center for American Progress. The study of efforts in Colorado, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Tennessee found that common challenges include a lack of funds and differences in how the evaluators are trained. States also are struggling to evaluate teachers who do not teach subjects covered by state exams. The Huffington Post (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Have you ever seen a five-paragraph essay outside school walls? Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay explains the pitfalls of this approach, and gives you practical strategies for reclaiming the literary essay and encouraging thoughtful writing in response to literature. Preview the entire book online!
  Focus on Practice 
  • Teacher shares her classroom uses for Learnist
    English teacher Hauna Zaich writes in this blog post how she uses Learnist -- a website similar to Pinterest and is designed for educators -- in her eighth- and 10th-grade classes. Zaich uses "Learnboards," which are collections of Web resources, for her flipped-classroom lessons such as instruction on grammar where she uses reading, examples, videos and online activities. "I see so many possibilities for Learnist in my classroom and am excited to apply this innovation to my teaching practice," she writes. Zaich's blog (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Enhance social and emotional learning
Give your students the opportunity to practice perspective-taking, empathy, critical thinking and decision-making. Register for RedRover Readers online course hosted by Humane Society University. $55 fee, includes curriculum and a free book! Class starts January 12. Register now.
  Schools Today 
  • Teachers to sue over firings in Detroit
    Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson today was expected to announce plans to sue the city's school district over what the union describes as the "improper" dismissal of about 422 teachers at the beginning of the school year. "The issue is not that they were laid off, but the manner in which they were laid off," Johnson said. The Detroit News (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Instruction days, teachers' pay are restored by L.A. school board
    Following the approval of a ballot question on Election Day that directed more funding to schools in California, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted Tuesday to reverse early cost-saving measures to scale back the academic year and teachers' pay. "The immediate good news," said Superintendent John Deasy, is "the ability to finally say to our employees: You work a whole year and you get paid a whole year." Los Angeles Times/L.A. Now blog (tiered subscription model) (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Developing Leaders 
  • Teacher turns flipped instruction on its head
    A middle-school teacher in Amherst, N.Y., has adopted the flipped instructional method -- with a twist. Rather than creating instructional videos for his students, Rob Zdrojewski has his students use screencasting technology to create instructional videos for teachers. In the videos, which serve as professional development for teachers, students offer instruction on technology, such as using Gmail and Google Drive. Each video is 90 seconds or less. T.H.E. Journal (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NBCTs are "best of the best" in N.Y. district
    Officials in a New York school district say they pride themselves on the number of National Board Certified Teachers on staff. The district currently has seven such teachers, who were called the "best of the best" by Croton-Harmon School District's superintendent of schools, Ed Fuhrman. "While there are definitely personal opportunities for advancement for NBC (National Board Certified) teachers, it's the motivation to be a master of their craft and make a difference with their students that paces them," said Deborah O'Connell, assistant superintendent. "The rigor they have endured to achieve this certification truly sets them apart.", N.Y. (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teacher organizes school visits for American Education Week
    A North Carolina school district celebrated American Education Week -- recognized from Nov. 11 to 17 -- in part, by inviting county leaders, including the sheriff, mayors and others, to visit classrooms for the day. High-school social studies teacher Laura Hunter organized the visits as part of an effort to better inform local leaders about the challenges schools face and get them talking about successes in the district as well. Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.) (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy News 
  • Private-school vouchers are recommended by Tenn. panel
    A panel in Tennessee is recommending the state issue vouchers to low-income students to serve as full payment for private-school tuition. However, members of the governor's task force say they are unsure whether such students should have to be enrolled in struggling schools to be eligible. Critics, including a representative of the Tennessee Education Association, said vouchers would take much-needed funds away from public schools. The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) (free registration) (11/13) 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!

Boost kids' creativity as they write and play with words and ideas! Breathe, Stretch, Write uses simple movements and yoga principles to connect the power of movement and body awareness with innovative writing exercises. Based on workshops the author has led for 20+ years. Click here now to preview the entire book online!

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  NBPTS Update 
  • National Board wins coveted Investment in Innovation (i3) Grant
    The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has received top marks in its category for the U.S. Department of Education's i3 (Investing in Innovation) Development grant competition. The $3 million grant is designed to advance student achievement in high-need schools in grades 3 to 6 mathematics and science through improved teacher preparation and early-career teaching support. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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