July 15, 2021
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Tackling the achievement gap
Remote learning more popular as Delta variant rises
(Christian Ender/Getty Images)
Virtual learning programs will be offered by 128 of the nation's largest school districts, and 12 more are still deciding. The Delta variant of the coronavirus is prompting many parents to seek online learning options, particularly for younger students.
Full Story: The 74 (7/13) 
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Report: Measures needed to boost science education
(Pixabay)
A recent report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine warns that preventive measures are needed to ensure the US stays competitive in the sciences. Many high schools, particularly those with large numbers of students of color, do not offer core STEM classes, and many teachers do not feel prepared to teach science topics, according to the report.
Full Story: Education Week (7/13) 
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Study finds rural gap in science, math engagement
(Pixabay)
Fewer rural students pursue science and math majors in college -- even as careers in those fields are increasingly in demand, according to an analysis of federal data by researchers at Claremont Graduate University and Indiana University. Data shows that suburban and rural students have the same interest in math and science careers in ninth grade, but by the end of their junior years, rural students' interest in those fields declines.
Full Story: The Hechinger Report (7/12) 
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Leadership strategies
True, effective reflection after a crisis, such as a pandemic, can help school leaders improve decision-making and outcomes during the next crisis, writes Fred Ende, director of curriculum and instructional services for Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. In this blog post, Ende shares four strategies to improve reflection, including engaging others, writing or recording reflections and conducting a "pre-mortem."
Full Story: SmartBrief/Education (7/8) 
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Jahana Hayes, a former high-school history teacher and a member of the US House since 2018, says it is critical to include teachers' voices when setting education policy. In this interview, Hayes shares how her experience as an educator helps inform her decision-making in Congress.
Full Story: Edutopia (7/12) 
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Effective instruction
Four educators presenting at the recent International Society of Technology in Education conference shared tips for connecting with remote students and helping them connect with the material. Among the suggestions, they note that both asynchronous and synchronous learners benefit from an organized course structure and open lines of communication.
Full Story: eSchool News (6/29) 
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Using acceleration rather than remediation to close achievement gaps is easy to understand but difficult to implement, David Steiner, director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, and Barbara Wilson, co-founder of Wilson Language Training, write in this commentary. Highly detailed planning and crucial professional development are needed for success, Steiner and Wilson write, as they explain lessons learned from accelerating with the Wilson Fundations structured literacy program.
Full Story: The 74 (7/7) 
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Policy & research
ESSER plans approved for 6 states, D.C.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona (right) speaking at a press briefing. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
The US Department of Education recently approved plans for Arkansas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington, D.C., to spend the remaining portions of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, or ESSER -- part of federal coronavirus relief. In Texas, officials intend to invest the funds in "high-dosage tutoring," and Arkansas similarly plans a "tutoring corps."
Full Story: Education Week (7/7) 
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The latest from Apex
Opportunity Knocked with COVID Funding for Schools: Here's How to Answer
Just over $200 billion. That's how much money the government is funneling into elementary and secondary schools to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. It's more than twice the next biggest influx of funding that K-12 education has ever seen. Michael Griffith, Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst at the Learning Policy Institute, recently shared his insights, exploring the possibilities available to districts. Read the blog.
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The Educator Mindset Needed for Successful Online Education
In this upcoming webinar, we go deep into the mindset of teaching digital curriculum, what's involved, and how the educator mindset for teaching digitally is vastly different from teaching in a traditional classroom. Justin MacDougall, an educator at Kingston City School, and BTS Sparks Heads of Education, Sean Slade and Alyssa Gallagher, share their insights on how this looks in practice. Register for the webinar.
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Case Study: Teammates on the Ice and in the Classroom
Student athletes need the flexibility to train and compete, as well as maintain their studies. In this case study, learn how the Northern Cyclones Junior Hockey Academy partners with Apex Learning Virtual School to ensure that students have access to digital curriculum providing academic rigor and flexible learning options. Read the case study.
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To realize our dreams we must decide to wake up.
Josephine Baker,
dancer, entertainer, actor, civil rights activist
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About Apex Learning:
An industry leader with deep expertise in digital curriculum, Apex Learning works closely with school districts across the country to implement proven solutions that increase on-time graduation rates and create opportunities for student success in school and beyond. The company is driven by the understanding that supporting the needs of all students – from struggling to accelerated – strengthens schools and creates stronger communities, brighter futures and a more equitable world. Apex Learning is accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED) and its courses are approved for National Collegiate Athletic Association eligibility. Apex Learning, where opportunity thrives. For more information, visit http://www.apexlearning.com.
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