Report: Assessment, definition of career readiness varies | Middle-school teacher explains why he writes alongside students | Fla. high school creates AP academy to add rigor for eager students
Web Version
November 6, 2013
ASCD SmartBrief
News for the Education Profession

Learning and TeachingSponsored By
Mont. school adopts active, workshop-style lessons
A top-performing elementary school in Montana is working to further improve student achievement, in part, by adopting a workshop-style instructional method across the curriculum. For math, reading, science and more, teachers conduct a 15-minute lesson before allowing students to work with their peers, then working independently and finally regrouping as a class to share what they learned. Teachers also take time to collaborate with each other and parents. Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Mont.) (11/6)
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Report: Assessment, definition of career readiness varies
Data show that 96% of students nationwide are taking at least one career and technical education course and 38% are taking at least three, according to a recent report from the Center on Education Policy. The center found that student assessments for career readiness varies by state -- and sometimes is determine by individual districts -- with the most popular test being ACT's WorkKeys. eSchool News (free registration) (11/6)
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Other News
Top 3 Things to Look for in a Common Core Reading Program
(1) Does it include authentic text from a wide variety of genres, with the right balance of informational and literary text? (2) Do the questions consistently require students to give text-based evidence to support answers? (3) Does it embed professional development at the point of instruction? See all 13 things to consider in a CCSS program.
School LeadershipSponsored By
Iowa works to attract, retain teachers with leadership opportunities
An Iowa school district is considering a plan to expand coaching for more teachers as part of the state's Teacher Leadership and Compensation System -- a plan intended to attract and retain teachers through improved compensation. The Cedar Falls School District already offers mentoring for new teachers, but it is working to improve opportunities for educators to take on leadership roles. Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Iowa) (11/6)
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Free chapter from MRL!
Learn how to create a successful vocabulary program, guided by both academic and content area terms taken directly from the mathematics and English language arts standards. The authors address the challenges presented by the CCSS on students' ability to learn vocabulary and teachers' ability to teach it. Download now!
Technology in the ClassroomSponsored By
Transitioning to a connected classroom
As more schools integrate iPads into classroom lessons, educators are being faced with more decisions regarding student choice. In this commentary, Don Orth writes about the need for connected classrooms to be redesigned to allow students to make important choices, for technology tools to expand teaching and learning, and to transform learning from the traditional model. Edudemic (11/4)
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Ensuring all students have equal access to STEAM learning
It's critical that all students have equal access to vital STEAM learning and computer science opportunities. Read this case study to learn how LEGO® Education worked with Miami Dade County, the largest school district in Florida, to provide all students with equal access to STEAM learning and computer science CTE pathways. Download now!
Managing BudgetsSponsored By
Overhaul of education spending on Colo. is rejected by voters
A referendum in Colorado to increase personal income taxes to raise an additional $1 billion for public schools and to reform the way public education is funded was voted down Tuesday by a margin of nearly two to one. The measure, which would have directed more funds to schools with higher populations of at-risk students, was approved by state lawmakers earlier this year, but it required voter approval. The Coloradoan (Fort Collins, Colo.) (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (11/5)
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Ala. considers move to digital textbooks
Proposed legislation in Alabama would secure $100 million to help schools transition from traditional textbooks to electronic texts. Officials say the funds would allow schools -- on a voluntary basis -- to purchase laptops, tablets and other technology, which could be used in place of paper textbooks. If approved, officials said it could take two to three years, or more, for the money to be distributed to schools. The Gadsden Times (Ala.)/The Associated Press (11/4)
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Engage and Inspire Emergent Bilingual Students
Foundational English alone is not practical for the long-term success of Emergent Bilingual students. They need language lessons taught concurrently with literacy to increase English-language acquisition. Download this SmartFocus to learn key instruction tips for Emergent Bilingual students’ success.
Policy WatchSponsored By
D.C. considers giving school leaders power to retain students
The Washington, D.C., Council tentatively has approved a bill that would give school leaders more power to hold back elementary- and middle-school students who are not performing at grade level. The measure, which effectively would end social promotion in the district, also would require students who are held back to attend summer school unless they've been excused. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (11/5)
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Student Connectivity Through Smart Campus
Between fall 2019 and 2021, undergraduate enrollment dropped 6.6%, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Utilizing Verizon's smart campus design for students and staff can help increase your enrollment numbers and enrich the student experience. Download the white paper.
Faculty Lounge
Schools see rise in number of homeless students
School districts nationwide say they are seeing their population of homeless students swell, according to a recently released analysis by the National Center for Homeless Education, part of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. There are now 5,302 homeless students in the 59,000-student Mobile, Ala., school district -- up from more than 2,000 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. School districts in many areas are stepping in to help serve the needs of homeless students and their families. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (11/6)
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The Buzz
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. Click here now for details!
Help your science students learn through investigation -- A sample lesson
In his new ASCD book, Succeeding with Inquiry in Science and Math Classrooms, prominent science educator Jeff C. Marshall promotes inquiry-based learning as an important pathway to growing students' thinking skills and engaging them in thoughtful problem-solving. Stop by the Inservice blog for a sample inquiry-based lesson from the book.
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ASCD Board of Directors: Apply now!
ASCD's 2013-14 Nominations Committee is now seeking qualified applicants for a position on ASCD's Board of Directors in 2014. Visit our website to access the application form, get information on qualifications for office, and learn about the time commitment involved. Board members serve a four-year term. E-mail ASCD governance manager Becky DeRigge with any questions.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
K-12 School Teachers Needed for International SchoolsThe International EducatorMultiple Locations, International
Product Manager, Professional LearningCORWIN Thousand Oaks, CA
Teach Overseas!International Schools Services (ISS)Multiple Locations, International
DC Public Schools PrincipalDC Public SchoolsWashington DC, DC
DC Public Schools Assistant PrincipalDC Public SchoolsWashington DC, DC
Account ExecutiveNWEAMultiple Locations, United States
Director of Partner Accounts, West (Sales)NWEAMultiple Locations, United States
Senior Program ManagerNWEAMultiple Locations, United States
Department of Educational Foundations Millersville University Millersville, PA
Regional Sales Consultant (Contract Position) ASCDAlexandria, VA
Executive Director, Curriculum and InstructionGwinnett County Public SchoolsSuwanee, GA
Director, Tools for Teachers (Part-Time, Contract Position)ASCDAlexandria, VA
Click here to view more job listings.
A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company."
-- Charles Evans Hughes,
American statesman
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