4 districts are chosen as finalists for urban-education award | How to teach students about embodied cognition | What kind of training is needed in the after-school field?
Empower English learners to speak for themselves with Imagine Learning's literacy software. Download case study.
April 5, 2012
ASCD SmartBrief
News for the Education Profession

Learning and TeachingSponsored By
State leaders urge support for informal science learning
Informal science education that takes place outside of the classroom should be used as a way to further promote the study of science, technology, engineering and math -- or STEM -- subjects, according to a new brief by the National Governors Association. The report, writes education reporter Erik Robelen in this blog post, urges states to promote informal STEM learning at science centers, museums and other locations as well as through after-school programs. Education Week/Curriculum Matters blog (4/4)
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4 districts are chosen as finalists for urban-education award
Four school districts were named Wednesday as finalists for this year's Broad Prize for Urban Education, which recognizes urban school systems that show improved performance and progress toward narrowing the achievement gap. The finalists are: the Corona-Norco Unified School District in California, the Houston Independent School District in Texas, and the Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the School District of Palm Beach County, both in Florida. The winning district receives $550,000 for college scholarships for graduating seniors, while runners-up receive $150,000 each. U.S. News & World Report (4/4)
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Other News
Introducing the First Data-Driven Reading App -- Lexia Reading® for the iPad® is the only research-validated literacy program available for tablet devices, providing data-driven, individualized learning. It offers fun, engaging, and age-appropriate activities for K-3 students of all abilities, and struggling students grades 4-12. Available in late 2012.
School LeadershipSponsored By
What kind of training is needed in the after-school field?
Debate is ongoing about how best to prepare and train staff members who work as educators in out-of-school programs. Efforts modeled after K-12 professional development may be impractical because of high staff turnover, so many strategies focus on ensuring members of the after-school community have core competencies in the subjects they teach. Other strategies include pathways for staff to earn certificates and the development of self-assessment tools. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (4/4)
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Changes to teacher tenure, pay are advanced in La. Senate
The Louisiana state Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that includes changes to the way teachers are paid and receive tenure. Under the bill, teacher tenure would be more difficult to earn, while tenure protections would be linked to teacher performance under the state's new evaluation system. Pay also would be tied to student performance. The bill now heads back to the state House for consideration. The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (4/4)
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How should schools respond to students' off-campus online behavior?
School districts are struggling to determine when it is appropriate to discipline students for online behavior that takes place outside of school. In Minnesota, a 12-year-old student was disciplined by her school for Facebook posts she made from home. The district is now the focus of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, which claims the district violated the student's First Amendment rights. Current law, dating well before Facebook, permits districts to discipline students for off-campus behavior that disrupts the educational process. Minnesota Public Radio (4/4)
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N.J. district to provide iPad 3 devices for all students, teachers
A school district in New Jersey will spend $57,000 over the next year to provide an iPad 3 device for every student and teacher. Officials said most of the costs will be covered by a federal grant, allowing the district to rent the devices from Apple for three years. "We will have to come up with a policy for what happens if one is lost or damaged, much the same as we have a policy for textbooks," board President Chris Piparo said. Hunterdon County Democrat (Flemington, N.J.) (4/3)
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The Common Core State Standards have tremendous implications for all educators. Are you familiar with each of them? Marzano Research Laboratory will walk you through the major considerations of the CCSS during a FREE four-part webinar series. Prepare to align and implement seamlessly. Register today!
The Whole ChildSponsored By
First lady praises efforts of schools to curb childhood obesity
In the two years since first lady Michelle Obama launched her "Let's Move!" campaign, educators have taken a leading role in working to prevent childhood obesity, she wrote in a recent opinion piece. The first lady cites efforts to serve healthier meals in schools and attempts to encourage students to be more physically active. While strides have been made to improve students' health -- such as the adoption of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 -- she says there is still a long way to go. Education Week/Schooled in Sports blog (4/4)
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Cyclical bad behavior among students could be linked to hunger
Families who receive food stamps tend to spend the bulk of the subsidy at the beginning of the month, when the money is issued, data indicate. This trend has been shown to affect students, who tend to misbehave at the end of the month when household stress and hunger may be higher. Researchers, however, found that such issues were less prevalent at schools with snack programs. Peter Orszag, President Barack Obama's former director of the Office of Management and Budget, suggests food stamps be issued twice a month to help families extend their benefits. Bloomberg (4/3)
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In their new video Up & Running with the Daily 5, "The 2 Sisters" take you and your staff into real classrooms where teachers demonstrate the 10 Steps to Independence, brain & body breaks, differentiating student choices, strategies for "barometer students," Math Daily 3, and more. Available in DVD or new streaming format. View a 6-minute clip on modeling desired behaviors.

Policy WatchSponsored By
Detroit creates hybrid system within its school district
Ten Detroit high schools will be converted to "self-governing" buildings with a five-member board responsible for budget, operations and hiring, under a new hybrid system aimed at school improvement. The plan, unveiled Wednesday, also is meant to offer more choices to parents and students through expanded alternatives to out-of-district charters, said DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts. The Detroit News (4/4)
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Time and Attendance: The Core of Managing and Measuring Your Workforce
Based on data from Brandon Hall Group's 2014 Workforce Management Study, this paper explores the evolution of time and attendance, the impact of automation and integration, and the key role time and attendance solutions play in managing and measuring today's workforce. Read the Paper and Learn More

ED PulseSponsored By
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Faculty Lounge
Prevalence of food allergies rises among U.S. children
The prevalence of food allergies for every 100,000 children increased 33% from 3,566 cases in 2003-2004 to 4,848 cases in 2007-2008, according to a study presented at an American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology meeting. The prevalence of food allergies rose by an absolute rate of more than 2% in eight states, with New Hampshire having the highest overall prevalence rate at 6.7% of families reporting a child with a food allergy. Family Practice News (4/4)
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The Buzz
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Math Exchanges shows K-3 teachers how to foster rich discussions in small groups and help students construct new meaning and understanding as they establish themselves as mathematicians. Includes hands-on activities, an extensive appendix with reproducibles, and a chapter focused on kindergarten. Preview the entire book online!
Ideas, resources, and retweets from #ASCD12
Inservice blog has pulled together a post that spotlights "some of the best sources for thought-provoking commentary and practical applications for the smorgasboard of professional learning that was #ASCD12." Featured educator coverage of ASCD's 2012 Annual Conference -- or #ASCD12 on Twitter -- includes notes from sessions, free resources from the event, and tools discussed by presenters and attendees. Also included in the post are a few of the Inservice blog's favorite tweets from the conference. Read on.
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ASCD names elected leaders, presents affiliate awards
ASCD is pleased to announce Debra A. Hill, associate professor at Argosy University, as the association's new President. We are also honored to welcome four new ASCD Board of Director members -- among them New Jersey ASCD's executive director and administrators from different parts of the U.S. -- and to congratulate affiliate winners of our 2012 Area of Excellence Awards. More information is available in an official ASCD press release. Learn more.
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Anyone without a sense of humor is at the mercy of everyone else."
-- William Rotsler,
American cartoonist, graphic artist and author
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