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September 9, 2010
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Transition programs provide a solid start to high school
    About 100 Seattle students started ninth grade this week on a more solid footing after attending one of the city's most intensive summer bridge programs to prepare them for high school. Students were handpicked by teachers and administrators to attend the programs, which blend academics with introductions to teachers and high-school activities. Similar programs to prevent dropouts are becoming popular across the country amid research that shows they lead to improved achievement, behavior and self-esteem for students. The Seattle Times/The Hechinger Report (9/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Philadelphia high school implements mastery-learning model
    Class is back in session in Philadelphia, where educators are working to raise achievement at six schools designated by Superintendent Arlene Ackerman as Promise Academies. One high school is adopting the mastery-learning model of instruction. The approach uses pass-fail ratings instead of letter grades and allows students to progress through subjects at their own pace. Philadelphia Daily News (9/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Facilitate Effective Professional Development in Classroom Assessment for Learning. Get the tools you need to develop a learning team model of staff development for classroom assessment by joining Pearson Assessment Training Institute authors Jan Chappuis and Rick Stiggins at an upcoming Classroom Assessment for Student Learning Workshop.
  Professional Leadership 
  • Arctic research helps science teachers develop new classroom lessons
    Teachers from across the country participate in arctic research projects during the summer through PolarTrec, a professional-development and outreach program funded by the National Science Foundation and run by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States. Arizona science teacher Betsy Wilkening spent three weeks working with researchers and sampling snow in Alaska. She brought back lessons on bioaccumulation to her seventh-grade students. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (Alaska) (9/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Transform instruction for struggling readers with a two-day, in-district training on the topic of Response to Intervention in Literacy. Go beyond foundational RTI information and focus on quality instruction and intervention strategies to help struggling students succeed. Learn More.
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • Technology enhances history lesson for Virginia students
    A teacher-librarian in Virginia suggests a class project that blends history, technology and other lessons. Melissa Techman writes that after reading the book "Flotsam" by David Wiesner, her fifth-graders took digital photos of each other holding an object or with a background that has historical relevance, such as a pyramid. The students then connected the photos to a particular time period using the clues, and students shared the photos within the school and with neighboring schools via Skype. School Library Journal (9/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
One Solution. Student Achievement Anywhere. Over 1,500 school districts, impacting more than 7 million students, use our K-12 software solutions for Student Information, Learning Management, Special Education and Financial and HR Management. Visit to see what our customers say!
  The Whole Child 
  • Music and art classes are being eliminated at many Oregon schools
    Many Oregon school districts are eliminating music, art and other electives because of budget concerns and increased pressure for students to perform well on standardized tests in math and reading. "Even if I see that music education is a benefit to kids on a day-to-day basis, the evaluation of my school, my county at the end of the year will be based solely on standardized test scores in a few subjects," said a director of a national music-education association. The Oregonian (Portland) (9/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News boosts health and character education. from Verizon Foundation offers premium lesson plans, resources and activities to expand and enrich your instruction grades K-12. And if you're interested in connecting with other educators who share your interests and teaching priorities, be sure to join the Thinkfinity community. Go to today.

  Policy Watch 
  • Schools in Nevada work to curb cyberbullying
    School officials and police in Clark County, Nev., are promoting a new state law aimed at curbing cyberbullying in schools. Information is being distributed online to help parents recognize cyberbullying and understand what kinds of behavior will not be tolerated under the new law. The school district has also updated its anti-bullying policies. Las Vegas Sun (9/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fla. teachers' union challenges proposal to ease class-size restrictions
    Florida's largest teachers' union is challenging a proposed ballot initiative that would loosen restrictions on class size in the state's schools. If allowed by the court, the ballot measure would allow schools to exceed class-size caps by up to three students. The Florida Education Association argues that the measure would result in reduced state funding for schools and is not being made clear to voters. The state attorney general's office says it is clear the move would reduce spending. The Miami Herald (free registration) (9/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

Do your students find reading hard because they lack prior knowledge? In his short DVD Article of the Week, English teacher Kelly Gallagher describes a simple assignment that you can use all year long to build your students' awareness of what's going on in the world. Click here to view a sample clip!

Join the fall cohort of MA ASCD's Teacher Leadership Certificate Online program. Advance knowledge and skills in areas defined by current teacher leadership frameworks. Learn to use web 2.0 tools in an online community of educators in diverse roles. Earn 18 graduate credits toward master's or CAGS/Ed.S. Learn more from graduates.

Interested in learning more about advertising in ASCD SmartBrief? Contact Joe Riddle at (202) 407-7857 or  

  In the Field 
  • Middle school uses skateboarding in physical education classes
    Students at one Pennsylvania middle school are learning how to ride skateboards as part of their physical education curriculum. The school received a grant to purchase the equipment, which is being used to help students improve their balance and core stability, as well as promote an interest in lifetime fitness. "The interest and the excitement level right now, it's through the roof as far as the kids are concerned," a physical education teacher said. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (9/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New Jersey school creates an outdoor classroom
    A New Jersey K-5 school has an outdoor classroom on campus this year. The space will be used for nature observation and hands-on lessons in science and other subjects. "It's an opportunity for them to get outside and have the environment become part of their learning right in our own backyard," said the teacher who secured the grant for the new classroom. The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) (9/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASCD News 
  • "Teaching with Poverty in Mind" author session
    On top of the myriad obstacles children in poverty often face, poverty has also been shown to affect students' brain chemistry and structure. In a series of ASCD video segments, author Eric Jensen discusses how life experiences can shape student lives -- and brains -- for the best, not just the worst. Pulling strategies and ideas from his book, "Teaching with Poverty in Mind," Jensen empowers educators with a new mantra, explains how good teaching can mitigate the detrimental effects often linked to low economic status, and more. Listen in. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Education chat transcending the Twitter noise
    With thousands of collective followers, ASCD Twitter channels aim to engage educators across the globe in meaningful dialogue. The main @ASCD channel shares timely news, the latest policy developments and links to education resources and professional-development opportunities. Four additional feeds have also been established: @WholeChildAdv, to raise awareness of the importance of a comprehensive education; @Ed_Leadership, to share education information through the lens of ASCD's flagship magazine team; @ASCD_Inservice, to offer a fresh perspective by presenting everything from reading suggestions to the latest in education gossip; and @ascdmember, to provide ASCD member support and raise awareness of available resources.
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Director of Professional DevelopmentInternational Society for Technology in EducationEugene, OR
Physical Sciences Teacher DeveloperKnowles Science Teaching FoundationMoorestown, NJ
Biology Teacher DeveloperKnowles Science Teaching FoundationMoorestown, NJ
Dean (K-2) at North Saginaw Charter AcademyNational Heritage AcademiesSaginaw, MI
Dean at Southside Academy Charter SchoolNational Heritage AcademiesSyracuse, NY
Sr. Literacy AssociatePublic Consulting GroupPortsmouth, NH
Implementation ManagerCompassLearningBirmingham, AL
Project Manager and Professional Development FacilitatorMaryland Coalition for Inclusive EducationHanover, MD
Director of School PartnershipsInsight Education Group, Inc.Chicago, IL
Managing Director, Professional DevelopmentASCDAlexandria, VA
Head of SchoolBright Horizons Family SolutionsSan Francisco, CA
K-12 School TeacherThe International EducatorWorldwide, DC
Education Program Administrator (District Superintendent)DoD Education ActivityFort Benning, GA

A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues."
--Theodore Roosevelt,
26th U.S. president

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