October 27, 2021
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Report: Talking in school about race benefits students
The railing outside a New York City school is adorned with ribbons displaying messages of peace and hope, along with a sign calling for the end of hate against people who are Asian. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Students should be able to have discussions at school about race and racism, according to a guide from the Aspen Institute. The "United We Learn" guide highlights how engaging in such conversations may help improve outcomes for students, noting that among ninth- and 10th-graders in one district, those who took ethnic studies were more likely to pass state exams and graduate from high school.
Full Story: District Administration (10/26) 
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SEL is the future of STEM
STEM education aims to prepare students to solve the big problems of the world, it's not enough just to know how to code and calculate. Creating solutions — especially for today's issues — means tapping into our humanity. We explore this connection between STEM and SEL at this year's SmartBrief Education STEM Pathways Summit on October 28. Register now!
Focus on Practice
Are teachers using materials aligned with Common Core?
More teachers reported using curriculum materials aligned with the Common Core State Standards between 2019 and 2020, but that growth flattened during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a RAND Corporation report. The report found that teachers were more likely to use curriculum aligned with the standards in math classes than in English classrooms.
Full Story: Education Week (10/26),  The 74 (10/26) 
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Taking a Multisensory Approach to K-5 Reading
Elementary school is a crucial time of growth in the educational journey of children, and strong literacy skills are a key facet of that journey. Using a multisensory approach to K-5 reading can lay a foundation for reading proficiency that lasts a lifetime. Learn how!
Schools Today
La. district to engage parents to improve literacy
Students spend as much as 85% of their time outside of schools, so teachers in a Louisiana school district are taking steps to engage parents in efforts to boost literacy among students. The district has held events to engage parents, and work is underway to form a parent task force to develop plans to get more families involved in students' education.
Full Story: The News-Star (Monroe, La.) (tiered subscription model) (10/24) 
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Creating Proficient Readers with Multisensory Literacy
Multisensory approaches to literacy have gained popularity in recent years as educators explore new ways to keep their students engaged. When combined with systematic and explicit instruction, multisensory literacy begins to move learners towards being proficient readers.
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Free eBooks and Resources
Free eBooks and resources brought to you by our partners
TIP: A Simple Strategy to Inspire High Performance and Lasting Success
Whatever your role, or level of success in your career, TIP will help you discover, or remember, how to consistently bring unique value to your team, your organization, and your most important customers. This easy read will provide a strategy for personal success, complete with coaching and action plans. Download now.
Effective Communication Skills—The 10 Things You Need to Know
This tips and tricks guide starts with explaining what communication skills are and the importance of them in the workplace. Then it will provide you with the top 10 communication skills and how to obtain each of them. This guide has everything you need to sharpen those skills. Download now.
Developing Leaders
Free, online PD program to support Ariz. teachers
K-12 schools in Arizona are partnering with the state's public universities to support teaching and learning, writes Kathy Hoffman, Arizona superintendent of public instruction. In this commentary, Hoffman writes that the partnership recently led to the formation of the Arizona Virtual Teacher Institute, a free, online professional development program for teachers statewide.
Full Story: The 74 (10/26) 
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Connecting to Tech Industry Professionals Matters.
Students with STEM career knowledge are more likely to choose a STEM career, according to the International Journal of STEM Education (2018). Amazon Future Engineer offers virtual career talks and panel events with Amazon engineers, designers, interns and more.
Policy News
The federal child tax credit helped about one-third of parents who have a household income below $25,000 purchase school supplies in July and August, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The organization suggests that Congress make the child tax credit permanent for families with very low incomes.
Full Story: K-12 Dive (10/25) 
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A ceremonial bill signing was held Monday for a law enacted Oct. 15 in Massachusetts that will expand access to free school meals for students by mandating that schools with a majority of students from low-income households join federal free meal programs. Local food assistance nonprofit Project Bread estimates that about 10,000 students could benefit from the law.
Full Story: WBUR-FM (Boston) (10/25) 
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Why Education Leaders Need Coaches, Too
Teachers and staff carry an ever greater responsibility for student success. And if there was ever a time when leader coaching and professional development were needed, it's now. Read this SmartFocus to make sure your leader PD and coaching has the potential for greatest impact.
National Board Update
Student voices: The intersection of mindfulness, mental health, and social justice in the classroom
Linda Yaron Weston, an NBCT from California, gives you a look inside the minds of students. Weston writes this blog post featuring her students and how they are feeling, and dealing with issues in the face of the pandemic. Read more.
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Being a Black teacher in America today
Peggy Brookins, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, writes in this blog post about the recent events that have taken over the country. An NBCT, Brookins writes about her experiences as a Black teacher in America and encourages everyone to join hands on the path forward. Read on.
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