Wednesday, March 30, 2011

TEACH Campaign Supporting the Teachers of Tomorrow

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education launched the TEACH campaign. In an effort to inspire and empower Americans to become teachers, they are providing job postings, teacher prep, financial aid, and testimonials from current teachers. To encourage discussion around the teaching profession, they also have plans to set up TEACH Town Hall events in communities and on college campuses.

Read more about the TEACH campaign

What do you think about this idea to create a specific online path to teaching for those interested in the profession?

Will there be more qualified and prepared teachers entering the classroom as a result?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Philadelphia School Fighting Against the Foods Affecting Student Achievement

20 percent of children in the United States are obese. With everyone from Michelle Obama to the parents in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods working to lower the percentage, how are they doing it?

In Philadelphia, William D. Kelley School is fighting against obesity by expelling soda and sweet snacks from their school, while gym teacher, Beverly Griffin, teaches healthy eating using a toy model of the federal food pyramid and rewritten children’s songs.

Amelia Brown, the principal of the kindergarten through eighth grade school, said that deplorable diets caused headaches and stomachaches that undermine academic achievement, and that older students showed a steady progression of flab.

Beyond the efforts at the school itself, Ms. Brown called on parents to help the cause by standing outside corner stores near the school and discouraging students from purchasing their typical sugary snacks.

Read the full article at The New York Times

Friday, March 25, 2011

Increasing Student Learning through the Power of Music

We’ve all heard of new and creative ways of improving student learning, but how many of them include students having their own guitar, strings, capo, pick, songbook, and CD? Well, the six-week session program “Guitars in the Classroom” includes all of these things. Students at Lee Elementary School in Pittsfield, MA are experiencing music integration in their curriculum as educators seek another method for reaching every student in their classrooms.

Lynn Webster, a kindergarten teacher at the Monterey School (another school in South County, MA using music in the classroom) reaffirms, “We have all kinds of students and I think music sometimes reaches through to kids who otherwise wouldn't be reached."

To learn more Click Here

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Will Increases in High School Graduates Lead to a Higher Percentage of College Grads?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of high schools that graduated 60% or fewer of their students in four years decreased by 112 between 2008 and 2009. 15.5% of the decline of low performing schools was in rural districts. Although the decline is a step in the right direction, 1,600 schools in the U.S. are still graduating less than 60%.

These statistics were released Tuesday as part of report to coincide with the Grad Nation summit in Washington. Vice President Joe Biden spoke about the administration’s goal to increase the proportion of college graduates to the largest in the world by 2020.
"Right now about 40% of our young adults have a college degree," Biden said. "In order to meet that goal by 2020 of being number one in the world, we have to raise that to 60% of young adults having completed a college degree. That's a significant task."

To read the full article Click Here

Monday, March 21, 2011

iPad Technology Improving Education for Special Needs Students in Marin County

It’s no secret that technology is changing the ins and outs of education. Recently, the Technology Resource Center of Marin County has discovered how the iPad can be used as a valuable resource in speech and language therapy. As opposed to the technology currently in use, purpose-built devices that cost up to $7,000, iPads could make it possible for thousands more students to take advantage of such effective technology.

Now what? The Technology Resource Center of Marin County is undertaking the task of supplying iPads to 4,000 special needs students in the area.
To learn more Click Here

Friday, March 18, 2011

Students Making a Difference for Japanese Victims

Ever since tragedy hit the land and people of Japan disaster relief efforts have been in full swing. While some have made large and small donations, not everyone is able to reach into their pockets to help the Japanese citizens. Students in the Boston, MA area are doing everything from making paper cranes to hosting their own Japanese Awareness Days to show their concern and support.
Although the trials facing Japan may seem a world away, this tragedy is an opportunity to show students how to be aware of global events and learn how they can do something to help.

To learn more, read the entire article at The Boston Globe

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Technology Brings Personalized Learning to the Classroom

Technology at their fingertips, students all over the world have the ability to instantly access the information most interesting to them. With this abundance of data readily available, how are these same students supposed to focus in a classroom with one-size-fits-all lessons?

In schools across the country, technology is providing a solution as an avenue for personalization in learning. While the time and effort necessary to accommodate such a vast number of students has hindered the process of personalized learning in the past, technology may just be the answer educators are looking for. Although technology could be seen as a replacement for teachers, Julie Young, the president and chief executive office of the 97,000-student Florida Virtual School, based in Orlando, explains, “This does not mean a teacherless environment. On the contrary, it means you need an even more talented teacher who can think creatively and guide students.”

Learn more about personalized learning through technology at Education Week

Monday, March 14, 2011

An Education Reform Bill by Next School Year?

Today, President Obama called for Congress to prepare an education reform bill he can sign before the beginning of the next school year. He firmly expressed, “In the 21st century, it’s not enough to leave no child behind. We need to help every child get ahead.”

With talk about an education plan that will help close the achievement gap and differentiate education so that any and every student can learn, Congress has some critical work to do in the coming months. Although, Republicans and Democrats don’t necessarily agree on how to improve education in America, both parties seem to agree it needs to be improved.

Learn more at CNN

Friday, March 11, 2011

Students Making History Through a New Kind of Time Capsule

Students at Camarillo Academy of Progressive Education (CAPE) in California are not creating your typical time capsule. Traditionally, a time capsule consists of objects that represent a generation in time or a particular school class collected in some type of container and usually buried to be opened at a distant point in time. However, the students at CAPE are using their knowledge of the internet to create a new kind of time capsule—the virtual kind.

Selected as one of 27 schools to participate in a national web archiving program, the CAPE students are selecting websites for three separate collections.

Learn more at the Ventura County Star

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Student News Program Making a Difference for Elementary Students

We all get our news in different forms. Some watch the news on TV, others through the internet and podcasts, but how many of us get the news from puppets? For the students at Colbert Elementary School in Spokane, WA, news from puppets is a regular monthly occurrence.

Initially, it began as a replacement for school assemblies, but the school news became something much more than just news. The news reports from student-controlled puppets not only focus on the character word of the month, fundraising events, and anti-teasing strategies, they also provide an avenue for students to take leadership roles in their school and have fun doing it.

Learn more about how this program is having a positive impact on students at Colbert Elementary School at THE Journal

Monday, March 7, 2011

Students Protest Education Budget Cuts

Photo from
Budget cuts—a phrase commonly heard in education, the workforce, and all across the nation. While numerous cities and states are making necessary cuts, these cuts aren’t being made without protest. In Ore City, Texas, a group of students decided to make their voices known in a public protest against the proposed state cuts in education.

It all started when an Ore City fifth grade social studies teacher, Betty Hildreth, wanted to give her students a lesson in how to exercise their right to free speech. With handmade signs accompanied with verbal protests, these fifth graders are learning firsthand what it means to stand up for what they believe is right—a lesson that goes far beyond the classroom.  
To read the entire article Click Here

Friday, March 4, 2011

Obama Speaks on Budgets and School Turnaround

Today, President Barack Obama defended his proposed education spending increases to a group of Florida teachers and students. The president’s proposed budget for next year includes an 11% increase in federal education spending.

Beyond defending his budget proposal, President Obama, along with Secretary Arne Duncan and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appeared at Miami Central Senior High School to comment on the turnaround that has occurred there through implementing a reform plan in cooperation with the teachers union.

To learn more, read the entire article at CNN

Thursday, March 3, 2011

U.S. Department of Education Releases Documents on Education Spending

Today, the U.S. Department of Education released promising practices for productivity and flexibility concerning the spending of federal funds for education in each state. State leaders around the country have been faced with deciding the most efficient and non-damaging approach to tightening their budgets in every area, but especially education.

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, stated in a letter to governors that “governments at every level face a critical need to cut spending where we can in order to invest where we must.” While one document contains actual examples of how states and districts can improve their spending, Duncan’s letter also included, “Advancing Student Achievement Through Labor-Management Collaboration”—a product of the Feb. 5-16 Conference on Labor-Management Collaboration.
To learn more, read the entire article at U.S. Department of Education

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Bill Could Eliminate Education Programs

Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved a bill that would cut close to $4 billion in spending. However, this same bill would include cuts to education programs and entirely extinguishing other programs such as Striving Readers, Small Learning Communities, and the Even Start program as well.

Now, the bill goes to the U.S. Senate and is expected to pass. However, not everyone in Washington is supporting the cuts. Senators Tom Harkin, and Patty Murray have both publicly expressed their concern with these major cuts in education.

Read the entire article at Education Week